Saturday, March 7, 2009

Backcountry Ski Race

We got the family up at 4a.m. this morning to drive to Brundage to participate in a BC Ski race.  The weather was great and there was fresh pow everywhere!  The only problem is that I paid to participate in the race.  It was hard to ski the paltry 1200 vertical down in sick pow!  To top it off the course was a lot flatter than I was thinking it would be.  When you have an AT set-up as heavy as mine, you actually like the up.  Sounds funny, but for me it's true.  There was a mix of tele and AT skiers in the race.  Almost all the AT guys had Dynafit bindings and light skis.  A couple of them had a full-on randonee  race set-up.

A lot of the people shot out as soon as the race started.  I started to justify my last place as being "there for the experience" and other statements of weakdom.  In the end, I passed all but five of the lead pack.  I think that there were about 20 racers, maybe less, so 6th place really isn't much.

I was still a little depleted from climbing and skiing on Galena Peak a week ago.  I fueled on the drive up and maintained a disciplined fueling regimen during the race.  The course was well marked and kicked your ass right out of the gate with a 1600' skin up a groomer!  After that was a ridge traverse.  I couldn't resist dropping off the ridge and skiing the powder.  It was supremely delicious!  That of course dooky-chuted me to skin back up to the ridge.  It was worth it.  I know that two others did the same thing!  Then came a very slight 1200' or less Low Angle Geh Powder (TM Dylan Freed) run.  The next section was very flat and very long which led to another skin up a groomed snowmobile run, complete with exhausting snowmo-bile-s.  The last bit was on a groomed cat track all the way to the last 200 yards, where I had to put my skins on for the last time to make it up the groomer to the finish line.

The food was excellent!  Gourmet brats with grilled onions washed down with the lightest beer I have ever drank.  It was provided by Salmon River Brewery .  We had a good time, even though there was a loud-mouthed guy with a Class 5 Cali-jowl that wouldn't shut up about a community in Torre Utah.  I figured that he was just a disgruntled Californian that was looking for the next body part of the US to infect with the cancerous tumor of Californication.  He wasn't even there to race, only to talk.  

All in all, it was a good day.  I think that I will rest tomorrow and maybe climb on our wall.  It's almost spring and time for hitting the crag!

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