It sounded like a great conditions for rando racing with about a foot of fresh powder before the race which allowed for nice wiggle turns down Gunsight. It sounded like a battle for the top three positions until the last transition between Brandon French, Pete Swenson and professional adventure racer (and first time rando racer) Michael Tobin…who I think is from Sun Valley.
Brandon pulled out the win, which is great to see since he is one of the younger guys showing some talent. Pete Swenson came in second…which is no surprise even though he’s been more or less the backbone of rando racing in the States these days. And Cary Smith pulled in third. Didn’t talk to Cary yet, but I’m sure he’s feeling a bit tired after the Europe and driving to SLC after work Friday night. Congrats to Brian Harder for his highest race finish coming in 6th place. Word is Zahan had some gear issues and didn’t make the finish…which is too bad. What I want know though is how did Pete’s brother Carl do do? Being an Olympic nordic skier and all…it’s always interesting to see how these guys do. I didn’t hear much about the women’s race, but it looks like long time podium queen Monique Merrell too the weekend off…like many racers it seems. Read Backcountry Magazine’s, Craig Dostie’s thoughts about his race here.
Anyway, that’s all I really heard about the race. If you have any more juicy details…feel free to leave them in the comments. With the National Championship race in Jackson next weekend, I hope all racers get their rest and recover from the last few races. Conditions are looking pretty good for once and maybe the racers will be spared from skiing the coral reef of C1 for once…no garrenties though. A lot of varialbes are at play as to my decision to race or not and I seem to be putting a little more weight on just skiing these days. We’ll see though.
Thanx for the update and links Steve.
Upon arriving at the Black Diamond store for the pre-race meeting, racers were told that Alta had been receiving up to 3″ an hour that day. Warm weather and sun that day in the valley, and reports of a 9 degree F starting temp. Racers & staff had to be in the Goldminer’s at 6:15 due to a planned Interlodge & control work. The daylight savings shift made for a long, dark morning!
The race was off by 8:00 thanks to the work of Colleen, Butch & Andrew (who reportedly was out at 3:00AM setting the track). Small changes in the course required racers to adapt to unforseen conditions- the field was choked into a single-track only a few hundred meters up with a slow pace- everyone had not yet sorted into their position. The line was a bit slow- breaking trail took too much energy.
The new snow took the bite out of the Gunsight area- soft snow was forgiving.
The race was interesting for us slower people- the third and fourth climbs were adjacent to each other, so as some of us were ascending the third pitch, we could see a few guys already topped out at the fourth pitch- too far away to cheer them on, close enough to remind us we likely wouldn’t be on the podium.
Racer Ian (still a bachelor) Levenson pulled off a great race despite losing both water bottles on his belt (and drinking 2-3 oz of water during the race). Racer Robb Sgroi promises to pose a greater threat to the podium once he trades in the 177s for a pair of race skis from upcoming raffles…
Thanks for the report Robb.
It’s always great to hear how other peoples races go.