Race #2 Recap

Whoa! We just had a huge turn out in the spitting rain at our first Tuesday night race. Thanks to all who endured the elements and raced! These things are fun because of all the positive energy and support everyone offers each other. Also thank you to all the wild family and friends that braved the cold and rain and cheered from the base with cow bells. That made the night!

Blurry pic of a bunch of cool people, psyched to race in the rain!

I’d guess that in total well over 40 people raced the rainy dark course. The format was new and I believe suggested by Courtney Phillips and was an instant hit. We climbed to the top of the Milly lift via off piste skinning and then descended back to the base by headlamp. Our second climb ascended the same skin track but stopped just short of the dam before once again descending to the base. Finally, our last climb followed the now very well worn highway for only a few hundred vertical and then finished back at the Milly base. There were no mishaps that I’m aware of and it seemed that everyone had a great time and workout. Afterward, we mistakenly thought Molly Green’s would be open for prizes, food, and drink but they had closed since there is no night skiing on Tuesdays. We improvised and handed out cookies to the winners (Jason and Gemma) on the deck of the Milly Chalet. A few newcomers earned a strawberry and an apple pie and other lucky folks walked away with a DVD courtesy of the Powderwhores or some skimo clothing schwag!

Next time, if we can’t convince Molly Green’s to stay open for a party, we’ll move the show down to the Porcupine Grill (a bunch of people did just that tonight). Also, as interest grows, we will add a page to the citizen series website that will hopefully include a gear swap listing as well as info for training, touring, carpooling, or racing for those looking for partners with similar schedules.

Thanks again to everyone for coming out, to Brandon Dodge and the rest of the Brighton patrollers for being so friendly and supportive, and to Brighton for being a real skiers resort!

See you all at the next gathering on December 18th at the same time (7:00 PM) and same place (by the church on the Milly side).

Wasatch Citizen Series Race #2

Come join us for the second Wasatch Citizen Series race tonight (04 December) at Brighton Ski Resort.  As always, the race is free.  We will be inbounds Brighton so beacon, shovel, and probe are optional.  Helmet and headlamps are REQUIRED.  Please at the Milly Base along the row by the church.  Please be sure to stay for awards and festivities at Molly Green’s after the race.

As always, everyone is welcome from spandex on toothpicks to Duke’s on Pontoons to Splitboards.

Update – the race starts at 7PM.

Wasatch Ski Mountaineering Thanksgiving Race….

We are kicking off another season of evening and holiday races this Thursday (Thanksgiving morning) at 8:00 AM at Brighton.  This will be the first of 10 races that comprise the Wasatch Citizen Series(ski mountaineering not the nordork skiing) throughout the winter that all lead up to the Wasatch Powder Keg.  Those of you who participated last year know what to expect.  There will be an hour of suffering on the up and hopefully some sheltered powder on the down.  We will chase each other, gain fitness, and earn our turkey dinners!  Afterwards, as usual, there will be pies as prizes and a few other skiing related items to be given out.

Everyone is invited regardless of gear, fitness, or skill level.  Last year we had every variety of gear from full carbon to full iron.

…a couple more housekeeping items:

The price is free but helmets and courtesy to Brighton’s paying customers, cat drivers and patrollers are mandatory.

Park by the church on the Milly side, not in front of the Milly Chalet.  We will warm up together to the start of the course (location TBA).

So forget flag football or turkey trot 5Ks and come out to the 2nd annual “Skin the Turkey” ski mountaineering race!

2012 Utah Snow and Avalanche Workshop

Now in its 4th year, USAW has become a start of winter tradition for my ski partners and myself.  With the unusual snow pack last year, this year’s workshop should be a great learning experience from a snowpack most of us had little experience with.  Whether you are a backcountry veteran or newcomer, I highly recommend this fun and educational workshop.  Tickets are $26 and by clicking the image below.

See you all on Saturday.

Wasatch Citizen Series Season Wrap-Up

Thanks to everyone for a great first season for the Wasatch Citizen Series.  I have wanted to get something like this going for several years, so thanks ANDY DORAIS for stepping up and getting it done.  The season was a huge success with several races having over 50 participants. That is larger than some of the official races on the USSMA calendar!

Our last race was Friday, April 20th.  We had around 25 participants.  Since we were unable to get a pumpkin pie, Courtney took home a pecan pie for being the overall winner (we disqualified Jason since he didn’t wear his helmet).  We also had 2 new racers come out who were both rewarded with gift certificates.

Enjoy a few of the photos from the final race and we will see everyone in November when the series kicks off again.



Spring SkiMo Race & BBQ – Friday April 20th

As we continue to try to extend ski season as long as possible (for those that have already written it off, there is still a lot of great skiing up high and on the big peaks), we have decided to have 1 last citizen series skimo race this week followed by a BBQ. We will be starting earlier this week in order to enjoy the nice evening weather after the race (the forecast is for 40F). 

Meet at this Friday (April 20) at 5:30 at the Millicent Base of Brighton.  As usual, we will be racing for about 1 hour and the race will be followed by some social time.  Instead of gathering at Molly Greens after the race, bring your portable BBQ grill, favorite meat or non-meat product, something to share (if you want), post-race beverage of choice, chairs, and anything else you want for a Brighton parking lot BBQ and skimo party. 

The race format is still being finalized. If you have preferences, please post your preference as a comment to this post.  Beacon, shovel, probe, and helmet will all be required for the race.

In addition, the Wasatch SkiMo Team will be showcasing their new speed suits.  Come check out the new team colors.  If you purchased a suit, bring your money so you can pick it up from Jared at the race.

See you all Friday!

Citizen Series Finale and Season Summary

Last night we held the final race of our inaugural season of racing.  Some 50ish hearty souls came out with enthusiasm to win the Sportiva skis and to once again get some exercise and ski by headlamp while the rest of America sat at home and watched something stupid like the Bachelor.

Pre race instructions

The format was a two person team relay, with each person being required to complete two circuits on a figure of eight course (two climbs with shared descent).  Each circuit seemed to take from 10 to 20 minutes depending on the person, gear, and motivation.

Teams were decided by once again having the “fast folks” step forward and then having everyone on regular gear claim their partner.  Once that was settled, we stepped forward to the straightest starting line of the year and then the drag race was off.  The course began with a couple hundred meters of low angle cat track before tucking into the trees for steep technical skinning.  With the pack strung out along the double track, Jason tried to drop the field but Jared hung on.  My skins were starting to fail as were many others given the cold temps and the unsettled skinner.

Jake and Blake on the final booter

After the first descent, sneaky little Jared managed to jump into a second set of skis and was off before Jason and I had even skinned up one.  Everyone was fighting their own battles though.  I was chasing Jason and trying to avoid being caught by Teague.  Teague was chasing me and trying not to get caught by Chad and Courtney.  They in turn had their own pursuers.

But the evening was determined by those on the heavy gear.  My partner Jake was locked up in a contest with Teague’s partner, Blake.  Those two guys went back and forth and both put in gutsy performances.  In the end, Blake lost a skin and Jake took advantage, pulling away for the win.

Psyched to beat Jared’s team.
The victor’s pie
Raffling PW gear

After the racing, we made our way to Molly Green’s for food, beverage, and prizes.  This time there was a bit more energy as everyone was anxious to win the Sportiva GTR skis, which were being raffled off as our Series grand prize.  The customary pumpkin pies were given to Blake and Jake and then a couple more large pies were passed out to share amongst everyone for all being “winners”.  Then, for each of the nine races attended, people placed their names in the lucky boot and Jared drew the winners.  Noah Howell of the Powder Whore Nation also kindly contributed some PW gear and movies, which we raffled off first (Surprisingly, Jared’s name didn’t come up every time).  Then, a very befitting winner took home the new skis.  Tim White has come to almost all of the races and has been an ardent supporter of the new series.


Series in Review:

So what started as a casual get together of friends on Thanksgiving morning has turned into a wonderful tradition of more friends, skiing, suffering, pies, and prizes.  In all, we had 9 races this year, all of which where held in the Brighton Ski area and the surrounding backcountry.  I estimate that over 80 people came out and participated in at least one race and many many folks raced multiple times.  The format varied and we tried out a few different styles of races ranging from vert style (as many laps as one can do in an hour or two), team relay, hill climb, standard Skimo course, and a four lap short course.  We had current and former US Skimo National Champions (both mens and womens), local hardmen such as Tom Diegle, weekend warriors, newcomers to the sport, people on carbon boots, tele boots, race skis, mega watts, and everything in between.  Many companies rose up to show support including Kirkham’s, Minus 33, the Powderwhores, and main sponsor, La Sportiva.  Brighton was a gracious host all series long and allowed us to use their terrain free of charge to pursue our shenanigans.  Jared Winkler, Brandon Dodge, and Greg the cat driver all deserve special mention for giving the OK from an administration, patrol, and driver perspective.

 My goals at the beginning were many fold:

1. Get faster

2. Get others involved in this great sport

3. Preach the “light is right” philosophy

    a. Help point others in the right direction gear wise as others have done for me

4. Have fun

I think all four were accomplished and hope to grow the series next year and continue our relationship with the above mentioned great companies.  Special thanks to La Sportiva for contributing the grand prize. And, special thanks to all of you who competed and made the series a success.

Comments and suggestions on how to make things better are welcome.

Series Finale This Thursday – Grand Prize

Come out for the last race of our evening race series. If you’ve come before, that only increases your chances of winning a new pair of La Sportiva skis at the after race party at Molly Green’s. If this will be your first race, you still have a chance to win the skis and just might walk away with a pumpkin pie for being faster than your friends.

Meet at 7:00 PM, ready to go at the base of the Millicent lift. The race will be a sprint style relay with your partner being determined on scene. Hopefully, we’ll match dorks in spandex on skinny skis with those on regular gear. Plan on staying after to participate in the awards as you must be present to win the skis. Also, you must fill out the form below by Thursday at 4:00 PM to be entered to win.

Get psyched! See you all Thursday.


From Jared,

“The 9th and final Wasatch Citizens Skimo Race will be held on Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 7:00 pm at Brighton, Utah.

We will conclude the inaugural series by giving away a pair of Sportiva GTS skis.

Here are the rules:

1. To be eligible for the drawing, you must have participated in at least one WCS Race.

2. To enter the drawing, you must fill out the form below.

3. Procedure for drawing: (a) based on form submissions (paragraph 2), a list of all entries will be compiled; (b) each entrant will get 1 entry for each race in which he or she has been a participant; (C) a randomly numbered list of all entries will be compiled; (D) each entry will be assigned a number between 1 and the total number of entries; (E) a randomly selected person at Molly Greens will select a number between 1 and the total number of entries; (F) the selected number wins the GTS skis!

4. You must be present to win.

Thanks and Good Luck!”

Wasatch Citizen’s Skimo Race #8: Vert 60

Pre race briefing

Last night we held our penultimate race for the year and I think it was another great success.  Around 35 people showed up to suffer and have fun with friends for 60 minutes.  We warmed up together to the base of the Snake Creek lift where the usual crooked start line was drawn in the snow.  After a couple announcements, I gave the starting commands and 3 dozen athletes of varying backgrounds were off.  They were all chasing their own goals.  For some, it was a desire to beat a friend.  For others, a certain number of laps equated to success.  Some were just happy to be hiking in the sharp night air amongst friends.

Group Warmup

After putting away the camera, I gave chase and caught the leaders who seemed to have arranged some sort of “gentleman’s agreement” to take it semi easy on the first lap, allowing everyone to warm up properly.  I hung around for a few more laps and then reverted to “race director” and took pics/video of the whole crew.

The usual fast start

It looked initially like it might be a competitive race between Jason, Jared, Tom, Tom, Teague, Courtney, Layne, Chad, Chad, and others (sorry if I didn’t see you up front).   But, one by one skin failures, binding malfunctions, or natural attrition resulted in a two man race.  Jason claims he was toying with Jared but then he lost his skin and he looked like a fool, unable to catch up over the final minutes.

A few random pictures of people getting after it above.

As for the women, Gemma Arro Ribot, fresh off a 2nd place finish in the European Skimo Championships, hung with most of the men and turned in the most laps.  It was great to see at least five other women out racing the men as well.

The little pie for our littl winner

After the hour of pain, most people skied down for the traditional after race party at Molly Green’s for drinks, food, and prizes.  Minus 33 was the sponsor for the evening and donated hats and a couple proform cards.  Pumpkin pies were handed out to Jared and Gemma and then to newcomers, the Diegle brothers, and to Layne and Toph for making every race thus far.

Gemma with the pumpkin pie and a new hat courtesy of Minus 33

Join us next week for our last race of the series.  We will be having another team sprint relay where someone on race gear and spandex is paired with someone on traditional gear.  The first team to complete 4 laps (two each) will be declared the winners.  They will get a pumpkin pie and someone will win a pair of brand new skis from our main sponsor, La Sportiva, in the season finale raffle.

Series sponsor La Sportiva will be giving away a new pair of skis next week!  The skis above a just a few in their new line.