Talk about a weekend that had so much WIN and so much suck that it required an extra day!
I am going to try to intersperse this epic tale with some quotes that defined the weekend.
The plan was to ski some pow at KHMR, do the Tiki Torch Dash in the evening, and then GTFO back to Canmore. We (as in MT and I) had to drive through Radium hot springs on the way there, adding some time to our trip, but it was okay because we were listening to fishing and hunting radio shows. And talking about snowmobiling:
"I don't get what is so fun about climbing up a hill"
"Peter, you skimo race..."
"Haha, okay, but if I had a sled, I would just head to a meadow and boondock all day!"
We eventually arrived at KHMR, though a little late, and the parking lot was filled. There was an astonishing number of red plates. A surprising number of 'Bertans braved the highways.
"What do you want for 2011?"
"Less douchebags with red plates. Eat a dick" (from The Force gazette)
I guess the secret is out and as a result, KHMR on a weekend after a storm is busy! We had some amazing runs, hit up the opening of Fuez bowl, and met up with cycling buddy Kirk Hamilton for a run, and he showed us a cool stash in Fuez. I tried to ski everything as non-stop as I could for "training" purposes. We missed last gondola, but ripped one last run on the Catamount chair. I brought a huge cooler of snack food (it would come in handy) and we rocked the tailgate lunch and dinner!
Alright! time to suit up for the race. I slipped into my skimo suit (I definitely got some glares from others) and with Rogers Pass closed, there was an absence of many racers. A large portion of the national team live west of Rogers Pass, either in Revelstoke, or on the coast.
"So due to highway conditions, our referee and many other racers could not make it, so there will be no points...Is that okay Peter?"
"If this map looks like it was hand drawn with pencil crayons, that is because it was"
I was flying solo for the first 4 lap short course race and I took off and developed a huge gap. After a quick rip of the skins, I took it easy on the rest of the course as I was also seeing the course for the first time. Ian Gale, a national team member racing in full denim was on a 2 person relay team and left for his first lap as I was leaving for lap 2. I stayed with him, giving up only a couple of seconds at the top, but he pulled away with a quicker transition at the top (I hate saying transition, as the word is usually associated with trigeeks). The rest of the laps ticked by pretty quickly, and eventually I rolled in with a convincing win in the solo men. Unfortunately, Brad, another super fast up and coming racer did not have his race setup together, so he chose to race on his much heavier tele-setup. There will be some epic battles in the future!
Alright so after the short course race was a vertical race to the top of the Catamount chair. I got into position behind Ian right off the start, and managed to stay within a couple of seconds for the whole race. The gap would widen and narrow. With the top of the chair in sight, I attacked to close the gap, pulled close to even (ha I think I surprised him, but with no other fast guys there, I am not sure if he was going all-out), but he responded by upping the pace. I pulled into the finish just behind him.
"How far away is Whitetooth...I mean Whitefish?"
The suffering is definitely feeling easier. Just put the head down, and SUFFER!
Alright, so after picking up some swag, and a sick dinner, I slammed some energy drink for the drive home. Unfortunately, the 93 was now closed, so we stayed the night in Golden. We got up pretty late and didn't seem to have the energy to ski the 10cms of higher density snow that fell overnight. So we just chilled around town, killing time before the highway was scheduled to open.
"80% off of a $7 bathing suit? That is like $1!"
We hit up Subway, just before leaving and I got the Volvo stuck in the deep snow.
"How obvious is it that it is your parent's car?"
Ha well that just killed some time, and off to Radium where we found out that the highway was still closed for another day. Off we went through Fernie, and after getting a little lost in Calgary,
"What is this? a shopping mall?"
we arrived in Canmore at 2am.
Work on Monday was not going to happen, so I made use of my time in the mountains by throwing down a rip up the skiout to the top of the Divide chair.
Too much driving, no Whitefish race for me.
MT is starting to get stoked on skimo racing, he is thinking about the mods he is going to do to his gear!
As fun as KHMR is, I am not sure if I would head there again if the road conditions were questionable. But unfortunately, the dicksplashes who manage/own SSV have provided me with some extra incentive not to pay to ski there. But it is definitely a good place to get some training in! Glad I didn't get a pass there as it gives me the opportunity to get into the backcountry to train or check out Lake Lousy!