This year some SLC friends have planned a few rando races that have, coincidentally, coincided with holidays. This has been great for me as I'm trying to put myself into good enough shape to improve on last year's race results at Jackson and Targhee. The great thing about these local get togethers is the variety of ski equipment used. Anything from Trab world cups to BD megawatts with all sorts of stuff in between. At the end of each event I think everyone has had a blast regardless of where they finished relative to others, etc.
First, we had a "turkey trot" on Thanksgiving at Brighton. Andy had a good write-up here. The Vert 120 was in early December and Christmas Eve was the Christmas Eve Rando Rally. All of the "races" took place at Brighton who has been very friendly to us this year (Thanks Brighton!) Whether because of the poor snow pack this year forcing may to ski/skin at resorts, or because of real interest in randonee racing, the attendance at all events has been great with several people on race gear at each event.
The Christmas Eve race was super fun. I think it ended up being about 4,800 vertical or so and about 9 or 10 miles distance in about 2:20 (Guessing a bit here--I forgot my watch). I passed and got repassed a few times so it felt like a real race! Chad (Powder Keg guy) and I were back and forth a bit with me a bit faster on the earlier climbs, Chad faster on all the descents, and then about the same on the climbs towards the end. I pulled into the last transition just as he finished ripping skins--I knew I wouldn't catch him on the descent with my Grandma descending (to be fair, I was trying not to wreck my race skis so I was skiing more methodically on purpose). Man, those descents through chowder and crust are really hard on race skis! At least for mere mortals like me they are. Jami asked what is easier in the races: the climbs, or the descents-I think the answer is the first 30 seconds of each. After that it starts to hurt a bit and neither feel "easy," especially if the descents are off piste.
I feel like we need some kind of club name or something to give some mountain cred to the fast guys we have here in the Wasatch. Team Wasatch? Wasatch SkiMo? I'm excited to see how the Doraises, Samurai, Tim and other locals do in a couple weeks at the races. It should be a fun exciting weekend of races again in Wyoming.
I even convinced little brother to come out! If nothing else, at least it was a nice, beautiful day.