By: randosteve|Posted on: December 27, 2007|Posted in: Races | 7 comments

Grand Targhee Ski Mountaineering Classic
Teams Race Course
Click here for larger image.

I went over to Grand Targhee last week and hooked up with skier Zahan Billamoria and Targhee Events Director Andy Williams to scope out the course for the rando race scheduled for January 12-13. This will be the first ever USSMA teams event and a great chance to test your skills and fitness. Points from the race will go towards overall ranking in the USSMA series.

In a randonnee teams race, racers must travel together for the entire course, coming into and leaving the transition areas at the same time. You really don’t have to come into the transitions together, but you definitely have to leave at the same time. Racers should stay relatively close to each other on the course and you risk disqualification the further away from each other you get…so choose your partner accordingly. I know I did!!

Andy Williams and Steve Romeo check out the topo maps
Andy Williams and Randosteve check out some topo maps on the snow-cat
ride up Peaked Mountain while a potential racer looks on.

Grand Targhee is really psyched to host more events like this and is really open to some of the ideas that Zahan and I had. One of the coolest things about this race is that the start won’t be at some ungodly hour in the morning. Though the actual start time isn’t confirmed yet, look for it to be around 10-10:30, so you have plenty of time to get your rest and beauty sleep. Organizers hope that having the races start a little bit later will increase their visibility, in turn, helping them grow in popularity.

This is a two day event. The first day will be the Teams Race and the second day will be what is being called a Freeride Race, which is designed for people that may or may not have all the super light gear and the course will be quite a bit shorter. The Freeride Race will have a Lemans start and begin at the top of Fred’s Mountain. Racers will cruise over the Mary’s Nipple for a short bootpack, before speeding over to the base of Peaked Mountain for another short booter, before a high speed run to the bottom and the finish.

Grand Targhee Ski Mountaineering Classic
Freeride Event Course
Click here for larger image.

The feature event, the Teams Race, will consist of about 5000′ of vertical and although the official course isn’t 100% dialed yet, pending snow conditions; the jist of it is as follows. Starting at the base of Grand Targhee, teams will skin to the top of Fred’s, up the northern end of the mountain. A descent will bring the racers to the base of Waterfall, below an area referred to as Middle Earth. A skin will bring to them to a saddle to the north of Mary’s and a bootpack will then bring them to the top. A short ski to the south preps the racers for another short bootpack to the top of Peaked Mountain, before a descent into an area that hosts guided cat-skiing for the resort. A long skin to the top will be the last uphill section before a steep descent through some cliff’s, called Reliable and a highspeed run to the base area….and the finish.

Entry fee is $30/team for the Teams Race and $10 for the Freeride event. Lift tickets will be sold for $35. Register here. If your coming from out of town or just interested in spend the whole weekend at Targhee, a 20% discount on lodging will be extended to racers…putting Teewinot rooms at around $100. There might be a two night limit and let them know your racing when you book. For info, call 1.800.827.4433.