Marmot US Ski Mountaineering National Championships


For all you rando racing fans, once again it’s time for the Marmot US Ski Mountaineering National Championships scheduled for this Saturday, March 20th at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Start time is 8am…beer, food and raffle to follow the race. Register HERE…event site HERE…Jackson Hole Randonee Community on Facebook…HERE. Anyone interested in volunteering for the race in exchange for lift tickets…contact

Let me tell you, the organizers have put together a new course for this year and it will be more challenging than any other rando race held in the US. With 7500′ of climbing, it highlights some of JHMR’s best and most difficult ski runs. I sure hope you’re ready!

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1st Uphill- From the base area, up the Gros Ventre to South Pass and the Sublette chair, continuing up Rendezvous trail to Bird In Hand, ending at Flip Point above Laramie Bowl. That’s gotta be over 3000′ feet of climbing right there. Better pace yourself!

1st Descent- Down Pepi’s Ridge and Alta One Chute. I blew my knee out on Pepi’s my first year in Jackson, worked the Sublette chair for a few years and used to rip Alta one all the time. A JH classic steep run and in full view of the riders on the chairlift. Welcome to Jackson Hole!!!

2nd Uphill- The tamest of the ups in this race, the course goes up the Grand run and ends at the top of Thunder Lift. A good time to regroup and evaluate how things are going.

2nd Downhill- It’s a good thing this descent is early in the race, because Tower Three is one of the baddest runs on the hill. Steep, tight, long and bumpy (at least this year), you better keep your wits about you for this one.

3rd Uphill- I think the Cascade run is a groomer, and it takes you to the top of Bridger Gondola, where you then bootpack to the top of the Headwall, were racers typicaly skin or skate to the next descent.

3rd Descent- A quick shot, the course proceed down the upper section of the Coombs run and then a big traverse to the skier’s right over towards Tensleep Bowl. Kind of a weird section here, but cool that the course includes the Coombs run.

4th Uphill- The highlight of the race, racers then skin up Tensleep Bowl and climb the ladder up Corbets Couloir. Corbets is thin this year and the cornice is huge, so I’m sure it will be extra steep and spicy! A short skin bring’s racers to the summit of JHMR. I think it’s cool that the course brings you to the top this year.

4th Descent- Hello leg burn! If you can rip this descent non-stop with speed…you are my hero. Top to bottom, racers ski Rendezvous Bowl, Central Chute (be sure to give a shout out to Big Wally as you pass Wally World), Rendezvous Trail and on to Lower Sublette Ridge. Close to a 4000′ descent.

5th Uphill- More off-piste skinning will be sure to test your technique at the end of the race…so stay on form. The last uphill goes up North Colter Ridge and ends at South Pass. If the sun it out…this will be a HOT one!

5th Descent- And you thought the organizers would be easy on you? To top it off, if your butt isn’t already kicked, the Lower Tramline run will do the job with its steep rollovers, bumps and double fall lines. I never liked this line (except when it was buried under 2′ of powder)…but it will sure test the best of the best at this point in the race.

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15 Responses to “Marmot US Ski Mountaineering National Championships”

  1. 1 Dub Mar 15th, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Whew! I’m exhausted just reading through your course description. Burly course this year, good luck to everyone involved!

  2. 2 Jared Inouye Mar 15th, 2010 at 8:58 am

    I’m crying already.

  3. 3 Derek Mar 15th, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Wow it is going to be hard to get motivated to crawl up the mtn when there is no powder and maybe no snow. LOL I dont understand it. I think there will be more rocks then snow on the Lower Sublette Ridge.

  4. 4 randosteve Mar 15th, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    conditions can change quick around here…so there is still hope for some softer snow. at least let’s keep our finger’s crossed.

  5. 5 Michelle Smith Mar 15th, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    I thought about doing this one on my split board and then realized how much it would suck…..about 9 transitions? no thanks.

  6. 6 randosteve Mar 15th, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    yeah michelle. i can see how skinning on a snowboard might not be that much fun.
    sorry…couldn’t resist. :cool:

  7. 7 Michelle Smith Mar 16th, 2010 at 10:03 am

    no worries, I agree….but I live to surf the snow:) The up part isn’t all that bad as long as there isnt an icy skin track. Trying to do a rando race with all the transitions would be the not so fun part.

  8. 8 nick Mar 16th, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Get into a hard boot set up with dynafit toe pieces in stead of the voile touring brackets. Once you make some minor boot adjustments they ride really well, not as fun as a soft boot set up but they are way better than you’d think, you still have total control. The slight decline in riding is made up for 10 times over on the skin up (traverses are suddenly not even given a second thought) the transitions are way faster(especially changing to crampons, strap ons are a joke compared to automatics) kicking steps and climbing are a pice of cake (no calve burn, no bruised toes, easier to kick into hard snow) NAnd the big thing is you can shave a pound off each foot while skinning, A POUND! … you really don’t realize how easy skiers have it until you make the switch.

  9. 9 Big Chris Mar 17th, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    How about a friendly contest to guess the winning time? My guess is 3hrs.16min.

  10. 10 randosteve Mar 17th, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    i’m in Big C…but that guess is WAY too high.

    my randoball says…2:25:30.

  11. 11 Michelle Mar 17th, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Thanks Nick. I do have some hard boots…have not gone to the dynafit toe pieces yet. Lately I have been using the sparks r and d bindings with soft boots. I like how lightweight they are and I love the contact I have with my board for the descent….but still major issues on ascending/traversing…..the crusty ice slush around here lately does not help. Any ideas how get that kind of close contact to the board with a hard boot set up for descending, or let me know how you are set up for descending?

    Also, I used to ski so I know how easy the skiers have it:(

  12. 12 randosteve Mar 22nd, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    yo BigChris! Winning time…2:26:26. damn i’m good!!! :)

  13. 13 Big Chris Mar 23rd, 2010 at 5:54 am

    Nice guess! Congrats!

  14. 14 randosteve Mar 23rd, 2010 at 5:58 am

    ha…thanks. here are the results of the pro-division.

  1. 1 The Snow is Always Deeper- Mountain Kidd Pingback on Mar 19th, 2010 at 10:21 am
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