|Good racing crowd - 40 Racers start! - from Big Dave`s video|
|28 Recreational/Ascent-Only racers start (1st & 4th loops only) - from Big Dave`s Video|
|Lead racers ascend into the fog - from Big Dave`s video|
Even the top transition zone came as a surprise. Transition went well though not flawless as a couple guys came and went around me. Difficult to go fast on the first groomed run due to limiting visibility in the fog.
|Peter Knight starting first foggy descent - from Big Dave`s video|
2014 Course Description for reference
1st Leg - Toni Matt Ascent Start right of Chair 1, in main lift plaza. Ascend to Big Mtn summit(new this yr- checkpoint at top Chair 5). Transition to downhill.
2nd Leg - Haskill Loop Descend Inspiration to Cal's Country to Haskill Slide. Transition - ascend MoeMentum, up North Bowl Face, to summit transition.
3rd Leg - East Rim Loop Descend Fill Hill out Russ' Street past Moose ski run. Turn right at 'Buckle your Boot' traverse, go out apron, down Moose. Transition to climb bootpack N.B.C. to summit.
4th Leg - Hellroaring Loop Down Hellfire from Connie's road. Descend Slingshot to 'Glory Hole' road. Transition to skins for skin track up Glory Hole to Hellfire road. Quick charge to finish line at Summit.
2nd ascent had a little bit of skinning in the trees up snowy steep climbs. Unlike last year where it was a lot of super tough kick turn climbing. To my surprise, as I missed hearing this in the morning race briefing, of a few possible boot-pack sections. Two extra times up this climb before skinning to the top to the wonderful sounds of cowbells!
|1376 elevation gain, 740m loss, over 8.1 km|
first ascent 630m over 2.2 km
4 bootpack sections shown in orange
very much an ascending race!
and mostly bootpack in the latter legs
Short descent, got spit out to transition to a short skin up to NBC boot-pack. Boot-pack went by uneventful, a flat skinning section then steeper skin to the same transition with cowbells. Transition was a gong-show falling over on the uneven surface while removing my skin.
|Local skier Ben Parsons leading Canadian Eric Carter |
up the N.B.C. boot-pack - from Big Dave`s video
|Peter Knight crossing the finish line - from Big Dave`s video|
I was thinking of what best to do at the top of the boot-pack… take time to put the skins on or skate-ski. It was probably only 400m to the finish. I'm an x-c skier and chose the latter. With a slight incline, had to work the two-skate then could single-skate once I was closer. The hardest part was the final five feet up to the steep finish line!
|Marg Michelle Tele-Martha Peter - chilling at the top post-race|
Michela Adrian from Bozeman, who I met at the Jackson Hole Race, finished a couple minutes back. She put her skins on for the final leg.
Michelle Katchur Roberts braved the event with her healing fingers (frostbite at JH race) and came in soon after in good spirits. Quite a few racers were missing due to colds, and one recovering from ACL surgery.
It was nice to be warm the whole time during this event. Thanks to the organizers and volunteers standing out there. It was a fun racer crowd to ski with as well.
My first ascent 32:45 was a minute quicker than last year's time (course was slightly altered). The top racer up the ascent won a $50 prize with Eric Carter having a stellar sub-28 min time. Last year women were included in the ascent prizing. This year, not sure what happened to equal prizing for women on that one! It may still come. Hopefully, it just got lost.
|Super thrilled to find the spring just west of Fernie!|