Monday, March 15, 2010

Wasatch Powderkeg 2010

The 2010 Wasatch Powderkeg was held on Saturday. I've had a love affair with the Powderkeg since it started in 2003. When the race was announced in 2003, I thought it was the coolest thing ever -- a race, on backcountry skis, covering 5k vert over classic Wasatch terrain. I was intimidated by the race, but my friend Joey convinced me to do it. I showed up at the 2003 race on Tuas, Hammerheads, and Scarpa T1s. I entered the Rec division. I raced up Grizzly Gulch with Bruce Tremper, and since it was a low visibility day, went off course, got lost, and got DQ'd from the race. It was fun though, and I was hooked.

I missed the 2004 and 2005 editions while I was working in Las Vegas. But I was back for the 2006 edition. I raced the rec division again and got edged out at the finish line by a guy from Logan. In 2007, I entered the race division and finished 11th or so. And in 2008, I finished 5th. I skipped the PKeg in 2009 since I was racing in Europe, and in 2010, well, I was able to win.

Of course, winning makes me happy, but I think I was much happier about the fact that the Powderkeg was still in existence, and that it remains alive and well. After the 2008 edition, the the Powderkeg had taken its toll on its promoters and organizers -- putting on a race like that is hard! -- but a group of Park City Powderkeg lovers led by Chad Brackelsberg stepped in and saw to it that this Wasatch tradition continues. I certainly thank them for that. They rounded up some great sponsors -- Bluehouse, Voile, Brighton, Patagonia, Backcountry Magazine to name a few. Brighton ski resort was the host and the venue was perfect. This year, there were close to 140 participants, many of whom came from out of state. It was a great turnout -- one that Chad and Co. should be proud of. Long live the Powderkeg.

Once of the cool things about the Powderkeg is that it brings the backcountry community together. It's fun racing and hanging out with people who share your passions. Yes, if you feel like you're the only one in the world who likes to traipse around the Wasatch on skinny skis and get lots of vert, you can find others that belong to your tribe at the Powderkeg. I've made several good friends at the Powderkeg.

It was especially fun to see several friends succeed at the Powderkeg as well. Bart, in his second ever rando race, finished on the podium. That's why he is Apollo Creed (not to be confused with Apollo Ohno). Tom Diegel finished second. The Dorais brothers went fourth and fifth. And yes, they are part Asian, Korean to be precise. And no, I am not related to them. Joey was 8th. No, I'm not related to him either, thanks for asking. Tim White and Mike Hales were in the mix as well. I tour with all of these guys and I'm glad they came out to race. Full results are posted here.

Joey (part of him), Me, Jason, and Andy (Photo by Mark Lengel aka Trabman)

From Drop Box


SLC sherpa said...


Grizzly Adam said...

Looks fun. Maybe next year...

dug said...

i love the IDEA of the powderkeg way more than i love the actual powderkeg.

me n sunderlage did it a couple years in a row way back when it started. later i decided i didn't have that much jam, and would rather hike leisurely than racedly.

i still love the IDEA of the powderkeg. and i'm very glad it's still around. cuz it's cool.

Next Epic Adventure said...

Fantastic race, Jared!

I was so amazed at the lightweight set-ups (the guy that finished right in front of me claimed to have a 4lb total, including boots, skis, bindings, skins and poles!). I went home and weighed in, and my tele set-up was 24 lbs!! That's 10,000 foot-pounds more work over 5kft. Nuts!!

Next Epic Adventure said...

correction: 100,000 foot-pounds more work!! I need to see the LIGHT!!

JZ said...

Congrats man!

You headin up to Jackson for the national champs? That course looks brutal.

Jared said...

Adam, rando racing is your winter sport. Face it.

Dug, rando racing would also be your winter sport if you would get off those Megatons and get a faster setup.

NEA, light gear makes a huge difference. For the record, I'm at about 4 pounds PER FOOT. So, setup is 8 pounds total, which makes your setup 300 percent heavier. Ouch.

JZ, thanks. Yep. Headed to Jackson.

dug said...

"Dug, rando racing would also be your winter sport if you would get off those Megatons and get a faster setup. "

i'm not a good enough skier. i need the magic earmuff effect the megatons provide.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jared,good to meet ya in Andorra. congrats on the win and good luck at j-hole

Jared said...


Good to meet you to.

Anonymous said...

HA Ha, ya it's Ian. I didn't realize my "handle" would come up instead of my name...... oops.

brian p. harder said...

Oooo, I know that feels good, Jared. Nice job. Makes all the pain and hours worth it. Coming off of Worlds makes you a sand bagger, of course. What was it, like 10 minutes to the next guy? Dominant performance. Wish I was there to watch you ski away from me!

Ryan said...

Thanks for the coverage. It was my first W. P. Keg and I loved every minute of it. I will defineately be there next year (with a much lighter set-up)

Are there any more races like this within 12 hours driving this year?