Monday, January 25, 2010

Powder and an Avalanche (or two)

From (2010)

From (2010)

Avy observed from afar -- it was a big one that ran on N facing facets.

From (2010)

From (2010)

Powder 8s are back in, so says Alex.

From (2010)

Uh oh! Watch out!

From (2010)

Bart in a tree aka THE SAFE ZONE after his textbook skicut.

From (2010)

The crown.

From (2010)

From (2010)

The path midway down.

From (2010)

Pretend the tree isn't there. That's what Sam does.

From (2010)

From (2010)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

2010 Sunlight Heathen Challenge Results

This one will dog me for a while.  And when that wears off, I will be able to come back here and reflect, and recommit, and train harder to go faster.

1 Chris Kroger 1:55:59
2 Max Taam 1:55:48
3 Pete Swenson 1:57:11
4 Bryan Wickenhauser 1:58:19
5 Ben Parsons 1:59:49
6 Jared Inouye 2:00:24
7 Travis Scheefer 2:01:05
8 Jason McGowin 2:03:05
9 Jon Brown 2:06:48
10 Jake Jones 2:11:06
11 Brian Johnson 2:12:46
12 Michael Hagen 2:15:11
13 Pierre Wille 2:15:58
14 Andre Wille 2:20:10
15 Ross Schnell 2:21:56
16 Brian Edmiston 2:24:36
17 Joey Dempster 2:28:29
18 Ray Hellinger 2:30:02
19 Greg Albrecht 2:30:13
20 Tucker Thole 2:33:00
21 Ian Elliott 2:36:19
22 Miles Venzarg 2:38:05
23 James Kovacs 2:39:48
24 Jordan Carr 2:40:07
25 Michael Lowe 2:45:05
26 Dave Weidemann 2:48:09
27 Hadley Hentschel 2:49:51
28 Steve Lipsher 2:50:17
29 Mike McCoy 2:54:11
30 Darren Nakos 2:55:48
31 Adam Frisch 2:55:49
32 Todd Smith 2:57:37
33 Jimmy Tast 2:59:34
34 Tom Verry 2:59:56
35 Scott Beegun 3:03:49
36 Cody O'Neill 3:12:43
37 Seth Murphy 3:28:29
38 John Lowe 3:32:00
  Travis Macey DNF
  Greg Ruckman DNF
  Brooks Beal DNF
  Eric Schweikard DNF

Monday, January 18, 2010

2010 Sunlight Heathen Challenge Rando Race

5400 vertical at Sunlight Mountian Resort. 


1. Chris Kroger
2. Max Taam
3. Pete Swenson
4. Brian Wickenhauser
5. Ben Parsons
6. Jared Inouye
7. Travis Scheefer
8. Jason McGowin

(I'll update when they post the results)

Chris, Brian, and Ben qualified for the national team.  I missed the cut by 1 place (needed to finish in 5th), which finished about 30 to 40 seconds faster.  So, if anyone that qualified can't or decides not to go to Worlds, I might be able to go.

I raced as hard as I could.  Unfortunately, I couldn't get going on the first climb and, at one point was in 16th place.  I think maybe that I didn't get a good enough warm up and that I went out too hard and fast.  Good transitions and a fast descent helped me get to 10th place by the bottom of the second climb.  I felt great on the second climb and moved to 7th.  I crashed on the second descent and got passed by Jason McGowin.  Ben, Jason and I transitioned together at the bottom of the third climb, and left in that order.  Jason and Scheefer had to deal with skin issues.  I moved into 6th on the last ascent, but couldn't close the gap to Ben.  The tough competition and constant shuffling of places made for a fun race.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Grand Targhee Ski Mountaineering Classic 2010

The 2010 Grand Targhee Ski Mountaineering Classic was a good one.  The course climbed a total of 5350 vertical feet.  There were three major climbs, three major descents, and a boot pack.  The first climb was a drag race up steep groomers, from the bottom of the resort to the very top.  The second climb began with some rollers, then up a single skin track to the top of Mary's Nipple, followed by a bootpack up to the top of Peaked. The third climb went back to the top of Peaked with clear views of the Tetons for the majority of the climb.  The descents were more or less a big painful blur, and they really don't matter anyway, since it's all about the up!

There was a great turnout.  I think that the men's race field had about 30 racers.  Top 15 were as follows:

Pete Swenson (CO), 1:37.32
Brandon French (MT), 1:40.03
Cary Smith (WY), 1:40.40
Ben Parsons (MT), 1:42.22
Max Taam (CO), 1:43.38
Chris Kroger (WY), 1:45.10
Jared Inouye (UT), 1:49.57
Jason McGowan (CO), 1:52.52
Travis Scheefer (CO), 1:54.07
Zahan Billamoria (WY), 1:55.45
Brian Harder (WY), 1:57.17
Wray Landon (WY), 1:58.32
Erich Wilbrecht (WY), 2:00.26
Jon Yarington (MT), 2:06.26
Erich Peitzsch, 2:08.35

Brandon, Cary, and Max qualified for the national team.  Ben missed a checkpoint, allowing fifth place finisher Max Taam to get the 3rd available slot.  So, as of now, the national team members include veterans Pete Swenson, Brandon French, and Cary Smith, joined by Travis Scheefer and Max Taam.  These guys are fast!

I don't have very many complaints about my race.  I think I have improved over last year.  I figure I spent about 1:35 climbing and about 15 min descending and in transitions.  That's a climbing rate of about 56 feet per minute for 1:35.  I was hoping to sustain 60.  My avg heart race for the whole race was 176 bpm -- which is an indication to me that I couldn't have gone much harder.  And ~5300 ascent and descent in 1:49.57 is probably a personal best for me.  To put it in perspective, the 2008 Powderkeg was less vertical and it took me 2:04.  I had some eating and drinking issues -- my gel and my water froze.  Trying to get stuff into my mouth cost me a bit of time.  And because I wasn't able to eat and drink right, I ran out of gas on the last climb.  Even without these minor mishaps, I don't think I would have caught Max who finished 6 minutes ahead of me.  

So will I qualify?  It's going to be tough.  There are three more spots and there are lots of guys who are fast enough to fill those spots. I'll try again next week at Glenwood Springs, CO.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It is Time!

The first USSMA ski race is this Saturday at Grand Targhee resort.  In the past, this has been a team event, but because it is a qualifying race this year, it is an individual event.  One of my goals/hopes is to qualify for the US Team and to that end, I started a training progam for that purpose in October.  I am generally satisfied with the way things have gone training-wise.  I wasn't able to precisely follow it, but more or less got it done.  The major deviation was the failure to complete a high intensity block last week, which was to come on the heels of a high volume week.  I couldn't do it because I was walking a fine line of being overtrained and sick.  Right now, I'm trying to rest and recover in time for Saturday.  Hopefully, Saturday's race won't come as too big of a shock to the system . . . yeah right, who am I kidding.

It's been a challenge preparing for an "A" race without having any sort of training races as precursors.  But we'll all be in the same boat since this is the first skimo race in the US this season.  I guess I'll just have to rely on my intervals and gut it out.  And take solace in the fact that I'm going into this race with a lot of ski hours compared to years past.  And remember that this is a really cool sport!  (See video below from last year's Pierra Menta.)