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Tagged ‘race report‘

Free Range Skimo Race: 2nd Place

There aren’t that many skimo races in the Pacific Northwest, in part because the sport is only beginning to take root and in part because local ski resorts (I’m looking at you Mt Bachelor) have not been welcoming of race series. Consequently, if you want to race, you get to drive. Still, after three straight weeks of full-time studying and a cabin fever mental breakdown, driving five hours from Portland for an hour of racing didn’t sound so bad to me.

Last night’s race was hosted by Free Range Equipment at the rootsy Hoodoo Ski Area as part of the Hoodoo Backcountry Fest. I’m not sure what’s backcountry about the backcountry fest, but there were tele slalom comps, fatbike races, and parking lot parties raging when I arrived. Between the beer and the bluegrass it seems like a pretty good time.

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The race was the brainchild of Tosch Roy, friend and founder of Free Range Equipment. He and his indefatigable mother set a course of glowsticks through a closed area of Hoodoo under the afternoon’s rain and remained cheerful as contestants arrived. The rain, thankfully, switched to snow.

Tosch, usually a strong racer, was out with a cold, but still stoked. His new packs (the Big Medicine and Raven) are slick, capable, and minimalist. More on those later.

Tosch, usually a strong racer, was out with a cold, but still stoked. His new packs (the Big Medicine and Raven) are slick, capable, and minimalist. More on those later.

The course was a single 650-vertical-foot drag race along a flat groomer and then up a pair of steep headwalls. Following the transition came a road, a tuck and throttle dark and shadowy groomer, and a well-lit but super-icy-chunky steep face to the lap flag. The race division made four laps for 2700′ in just under four miles. One tricky race rule was the lack of a mandatory transition zone at the base, with skating permitted to the end of the flat groomer (if skating is your thing). Read on →

The 2014 GoreTex Grand Traverse (Reverse)

For more than a week now, I’ve struggled against my keyboard to beat out a race report from the GoreTex Grand Traverse (GT), which Taylor and I raced on the night of march 28th and well into the day on the 29th. To encapsulate 15 hours of backcountry racing into a succinct blog post is nigh impossible given the spectral range of emotions and experiences that evolve and transpire during such a lengthy race. Nevertheless, inspired by a report from my friend and fellow racer Ethan Linck, I hope to bring you a few highlights. 

Expanding my sense of the possible is the biggest kick that I get from prolonged endurance events, and the GT was a new high for me. I’m a new convert to prolonged endurance, having only run my first Ultramarathon last summer. Nevertheless, it’s an addicting feeling to line up for a new challenge and to wait for the gun on a race that’s longer than you’ve ever done before. More addicting still is the confidence that, regardless of the duration, you are strong enough to finish– that feels good.

skinning crested butte

Skinning into the beautiful mountains of Crested Butte, headed to the sanctuary of Gothic.

Read on →