By: randosteve|Posted on: January 7, 2009|Posted in: Races | 6 comments

Considering this season’s somewhat scary snowpack, it could be a great year to hit the United States Ski Mountaineering Association (USSMA) race circuit.  If you are a little nervous about breaking trail in the backcountry this weekend, why not put on your racing suit and head on over to Grand Targhee for the first western rando race of the season.  Targhee is offering 20% off lodging for those that are coming from out of town or regional racers who might just want to make a weekend out of it.  Call 800-TARGHEE for more information.

2009 Grand Targhee Rando Race. Click for larger image.

I competed in this race last year and it is one of the few “Teams” events that will be held this year. Conditions permitting, the race will have a new course layout with some steep and deep skiing off the north side of Peaked Mountain. Which can be really interesting when the only thing between the cold snow and your manhood being a couple layers of lycra. A bootpack to the top of Mary’s Nipple and a ridge line traverse in front of the impressive Teton landscape tops off what is sure to be a great race with close to 5,000 vertical feet of climbing. Entry fee is $40 per team and can be done online before the event. Visit for more information.

2009 Grand Targhee Freeride Rando Race Course
2009 Grand Targhee Freeride Rando Race Course. Click for larger image.

As a two day event, Targhee and the USSMA will also put on what is being dubbed as a “Freeride Race”.  With only one uphill bootpack section, this race focuses on fun and is great for those that might not have all the latest and greatest, super light racing gear.  And in regards to both races, the USSMA adds a new “Heavy Metal” category to both the race and recreational divisions.  Again, allowing AT and tele skiers who don’t have the light gear to be matched up against similarly outfitted racers.  Have fun and race hard!!!