|Some poor one-handed pole action through the technical terrian|
I helped out with a clinic on the Saturday before the race where we showed attendees the wonders of of kick turns and transitions.
The hill was pretty hurting for snow so the first climb was a heinous battle through the alders. There were also a couple of short descents to dance around fallen logs and alders. I think everyone was pleased once the skintrack rose into more open terrain.
The low snow year also meant that the bootpack, that started with a downhill section was extra spicy with more exposed rocks. The lone star descent was predictable wind pressed snow with an exposed traverse above the bare "midriff" of the run adding some technical nature. Don't fall (or you might break a femur". The 2nd and final climb was familiar from last year's modified course with steep climbs to make sure that you had something left in the tank. The final descent down the cat skiing area would have skied nicely, but our short and skinny race skis could not float very well in the baseless snow.
German Philipp Schädler showed up and sped off from the start with a pace that only Travis Brown could match. Through the alders I found myself in no-man's land just ahead of Oliver Bibby and Steve Sellers but losing ground on Travis. Young Olie caught me on the bootpack and passed on the descent before crashing. With Steve joining us at the transition for the final climb, I had my work cut out for me, put my head down and set a pace that nobody could match. 3rd place, but a whopping 20 minutes behind Philipp and 10 behind Travis!