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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Crested Butte Randonee Race

I got to participate first hand in the COSMIC racing scene on Saturday in Crested Butte, CO. Here are some notes:

  • Pete Swenson has done a great job at growing the sport of ski mountaineering racing/rando rally -ing/randonee racing in Colorado. There was a big turnout in CB.
  • The CB Rando Rally climbed to 11,900 ft. and descended down Mt. CB. The technical descent definitely gave the race its "ski mountaineering" status. Total ascent of ~4800 ft. Icy bump skinning. Booting up a rocky ridge.
  • Gunnison/CB has to be the heart of US ski mountaineering racing. They have great terrain, great access, and most importantly, some really fast people there, like from another planet fast. On the second pitch of the first climb, there was a group of about 8-10 with a couple other groups of 4-6 behind. I was killing myself to stay in the first group (I'd say between 55-70 fpm) when all of the sudden Brian Smith launched a full on attack, sprinting out of the group up a hill. B. Smith ended up winning with a time of just under 2 hrs.
  • Unlike other races where the first group separates and the race order is essentially established, the field was so deep that there was competition throughout the whole race. People were rallying past one another, getting passed in transitions, every second counted.
  • I was a bit disappointed to finish out of the top 10 and pretty much got destroyed, finishing 20 minutes behind the leader. (Edited to add: ACTUALLY, now that I see the results, I feel a bit better.) That said, I couldn't have been happier frothing at the mouth in a line of 15 fast guys in skinsuits in F1s drilling it up a 40 plus degree pitch. It was like I had been separated from my flock at birth and had finally found my family.
  • I had gear issues. I went through 4 skins. I had to stop a couple times to put my spare skins on -- first the left, then after a few hundred yards, the right. On the final climb my spare skins were dangling off my skis from my toe down, making it hard to go up, let alone go up fast. When they completely failed, I put my skis on my back and started booting it.
  • My F1s kept popping out on the downhill. I think I'm going to have to install shims that prevent the "flex out."
  • Avg pace for me was about 39 fpm. By contrast Targhee was 50 plus fpm. The difference is a bit puzzling, but might be attributed to terrain, gear, fitness -- don't really know.
  • When I rolled into Gunnison at around 11 pm, it took me over 15 minutes and a variety of high-decibel producing methods -- telephone calls, door buzzer, counter bell, screaming, and finally rapping on a glass door with a hard object -- to wake the worker who was loudly snoring in the back room.
  • Bad driving to race ratio: 5:1. Left SLC at 3:30 on Fri.; back in SLC at 6:30 on Sat.
  • I'm now motivated to grow the rando racing scene in the Wasatch. Who's in?

EDITED TO ADD: Crested Butte Rando Rally Results

MEN’S AT RACE DIVISION

1 SMITH BRIAN 02:00.1

2 SWENSON PETER 02:01.0

3 SCHEEFER TRAVIS 02:05.0

4 WICKENHAUSER BRIAN 02:07.5

5 BROWN JON 02:08.4

6 O’NEIL PATRICK 02:17.6

7 JONES JAKE 02:18.3

8 LAROCHELLE BRAD 02:20.3

9 BIGGERS JOHNNY 02:21.1

10 INOUYE JARED 02:22.1

11 STUBBE JASON 02:23.6

12 RICKERT JESSIE 02:24.2

13 RIEPE BRIAN 02:34.1

14 WIENS DAVE 02:35.2

15 SMITH TODD 02:45.0

16 HUCKSTEP AARON 02:45.4

17 JENNINGS MICHAEL 02:46.5

18 KILCOYNE JAMIE 02:50.5

19 NOLAN MIKE 02:54.4

20 CICORA BRIAN 02:57.3

21 ORAM ALAN 03:00.1

22 TAYLOR MARK 03:07.3

23 JENKINS WILLIAM-SANDY 03:10.5

24 ELLIOT IAN 03:12.1

25 GARCIN RICK 03:43.1

26 BRON SKI PETER 03:53.4

27 ZIMMERMAN ROBYN 03:54.4

28 NORTON SEAN 04:17.8

29 EASLEY NIC 04:38.1

30 LUKENS TRAVIS DNF

5 comments:

ag said...

nice man, sounds like fun despite the gear issues. you needed a split board, much more simple...

Brian Smith ripped it huh? What doesn't he do- xterra's, mtb, rando...

Ski Bike Junkie said...

You beat Dave Wiens by 13 minutes. Dave has won the Leadville trail 100 for the last as-long-as-anyone-can-remember and last year beat a guy named Lance Armstrong in that race. You may have heard of Lance.

Nice work.

tcruicks said...

Jared,
Dont know you, but I was thinking the same thing about Wasatch Ski Mountaineering racing. Lots of people to draw from. You'd think that there would be enough people to host a weekly night-time race like the Europeans do. It would basically be a time-trial. I wonder if Brighton or PCMR would ever consider such a thing?

-tyler

Juniper Anderson said...

Hey Jared,

Thanks for the link to my site. Nice job in the race!

Cheers,
Sari

bre said...

Hi, I used to live in Crested Butte but moved to SLC this fall. I'd definitely be into some rando racing here! I did the Xterra race a couple weekends ago and was surprised to be one of only two women in the 12K. Rumor has it there is an uphill only race on April 18th at Snowbird.....can't seem to find it anywhere online. I think the U of U nordic team is putting it on so the field should be fast.....