Monday, January 21, 2013

Whitefish Whiteout or as they say, "Blueout"

After a pretty uneventful week, I met up with Stano and Brad and headed down to Whitefish, Montana for the 6th annual Whitefish Whiteout. It was great to get there a day early and stretch out the car legs and preview the first drag race to the top.

Bluebird weather, and no new snow left us with some fast conditions for what I am told is a record number of racers.

Course: Last year with the new snow, I really struggled on the climbs and had some skin failure issues. The course was the same this year and was marked really well. This time, the climbs were scraped clean and although there was not the deluxe, benched out, skintrack that is common for Canadian races, I enjoyed being able to pick my own line, and I was feeling good on the technical skinning. The descents were fun as well.

Technique: My change-overs were pretty dialed except for a couple of blems that I will have to work out with more practice. I lost time to the leaders on the descents as well, so I will have to work on that. I'm also going to try to speed up my cadence on the flats. I was feeling awesome on the steeper climbs.

Gear: No issues this year. I'm sure Brad wishes he could say the same...

Engine: I sent the first climb really hard and threw down a sub 29min time. I was feeling really good, just slowly faded back from the leaders. The last climb was short and mentally, it was easy to push myself to try to catch the skier ahead.

TSN Turning Point: No real turning point today, maybe except that I couldn't respond when Stano pushed the pace on a flatter section of the 2nd climb and eventually bridged up to Ben Parsons.

Overall, I skied to the finish in 4th place, not really that far behind the leaders and with a decent gap to the rest of the field. At around 1.5hrs, I enjoyed the shorter race. Results are posted on the event website.

Team Canada

Brad snagging the holeshot

Nearing the top of the ~600m first climb, not too far behind Brad and right behind Ben .

Sunday, we met up with what I'm sure is a large percentage of the Whitefish/Kalispell touring community and went up into the mountains.

A view towards the "other" Glacier National Park.

Multiple lines off multiple aspects of the peaks.

A lifetime of terrain with some nice ridgeline.

21 people up to a 1400m vertical summit, moving reasonably fast. Don't tell me that  ski tourers should go slow!

And I'll leave you with some pictures from last weekend at Castle Mountain. I'm feeling fit, which is awesome because World Championships are coming up fast!

Fun, technical bootpack.

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