Excellent powder skiing and skin management were the two themes of the 2016 skin to win randonee race at bridger bowl. Fortunately I was able to take full advantage of the former and avoid the latter and take a surprising 5th place. Read on for details.
|race start (photo: mark story)|
|le mans start, bulk of the course is along the ridge line in the distance (photo: mark story)|
I was battling a minor cold the week leading up to the race but was feeling better by Thursday so decided to pull the trigger and register. Boy am I glad I did. With 6 inches overnight and 3 the previous day, the skiing off the ridge was really good! I was surprised to be first off the line in the Le Mans start, but after a minute or two, the fast folks slowly started passing and when I arrived at the top of the first climb, found myself in 11th place.
|was not expecting to be first off the line (photo: mark story)|
I hoped the steep technical skinning of climbs 2, 3 and 4 would play to my strengths and sure enough, I was able to overtake 3 folks for-real and another 3 battling skin issues (bummed for jeffrey and mike wolfe). Note – I grew increasingly worried with each I passed that I would be next, since I had only a single pair of skins (no tail clips) but fortunately a few extra seconds of attention and care at each transition kept my glue alive and me in the race.
I was getting glimpses of janelle perhaps a minute ahead on the final climb to and along the ridge but was unable to close the gap as she departed the ridge for the final descent a few seconds before I arrived. I figured baring a significant crash, I wouldn’t catch her so took my time on the final run, making sure to stay on course and enjoy the skiing. At the finish, I was excited to hear of brian’s hard fought win but also bummed for mike foote getting off course and costing him the W.
|sawyer, brian and foote at the finish (photo: mark story)|
|mellow pow skiing the following day near ross pass|
Props to the bridger patrol for working hard to allow us to stick to the full course (really good course by-the-way) with the new snow.
Rose: really good skiing, both during the race and a few runs afterwards
Thorn: seeing friends have their races derailed by skin issues and course marking
Bud: skimo racing is really fun, dare I invest in race skis and a speedsuit??