Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ken Jones Classic

I’m not going to lie, I was like “WTF is Ken Jones”. Turns out he was a guide at Skoki Lodge back in the day. The history of ski mountaineering in the rockies is fascinating!

The last race of the Canadian Calendar was at Lake Louise on Saturday. The visibility wasn't great, but the snow was good, and I think I had my best race yet. Rocked the hostel the night before the race so we wouldn't have to drive early in the morning. A couple of fast guys were away, but I battled hard and finished 3rd.

Course: 3 long ascents and descents on this course. The descents were awesome! F-gully in Whitehorn II, Speed Gully on Richardson's Ridge, and finally Elevator Shaft to Rock Garden. There was a really loooooonnnngg bootpack section to Richardson's Ridge that wasn't too bad, until the slight downhill wallowing section. Lots of skating on The Skiout to the finish. Climbing up Purple Bowl was cool! The course utilized some of the slackcountry areas of Lake Louise that I have wanted to explore.

Gear: Gear was perfect again today. Only real issue was that I did not know the ascents that well and didn't optimise the use of my fast or my grippy skins.

Engine: The engine really shined today. I went hard, and didn't fade significantly, though I guess the last ascent was not very steep so that helped. 4 clif bloks, 1 bottle of gatorade, and part of a can of Monster from the feed zone! The feed zone definitely helped, but maybe I will carry some Coke with me to get me to the end of races that do not have feed zones. I find that works well for me, provided I have not bonked already!

Technique: Jeff Colvin put on a descending and change-over clinic. That's all I can say...

TSN Turning Point: Not a major turning point, but a positive one. Downing some Monster at the feed zone before the long final climb. I caught and passed Jeff Colvin (who passed me and put some time into me on Speed Gully) and held him and Steve Sellers off until the finish, and didn't finish too far behind Ian Gale, Mel Bernier.

I'm pretty pumped that I didn't blow up considering that this race was the longest of the year. Switched to the burly setup and got some good (but tired) turns in the afternoon. Still some inbounds areas I want to tick off in this phat year: ER5 couloir, I-gully

Got next year's race setup all mounted up. Not only can MT take sick photos, he can also ski tech, and pre-view courses for me!

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