Monday, February 22, 2016

My progression over the years.

I showed up to my first Whitefish Whiteout in 2012 in my second season of ski-mo racing. Through blizzard, fog, and temperatures just below zero, I battled my way through skin failure on the last climb. Whitefish offers up a prime for the fastest time up the first climb and it is interesting to see my progression over the years. I barely broke 35minutes on that climb. The next year, in 2013, I was living and training in Canmore, preparing for World Championships, and my ski/binding/boot setup was probably a pound per foot lighter. I finished the first climb within site of prime winner Brad, around 28 and a half minutes. In 2014, I had moved back to Edmonton, but I still felt like I had good speed early in the season. I was battling sickness and was not well recovered and I fell off the pace of the lead group on the climb, topping out just under 29 minutes. I think in 2014, they moved the finish of the climb to the top of Chair 5, away from the finish of the race, keeping approximately the same elevation gain of 625m, but shortening the length of the route. I skipped 2015 with an illness, not wanting to have a repeat of the previous year. In 2016, I’ve come out firing and threw down a blistering 27minute climb. As far as I can tell, this is the 3rd fastest time to have gone down! Reiner did a 26:59 in 2010 (longer course?), German Phil did a 26:15 in 2015. Anyways, here is a comparison of my times over the years looking at vertical ascent rate as measured by my garmin (to account for the finish location) and based off course statistics.

Vertical Ascent, Garmin (m/hr)
Official Time
Official Vertical Ascent rate (m/hr)

whitefish top 2.JPG
top of 1st climb, 2014-present
whitefish top.JPG
top of 1st climb 2013
Stano has an interesting analysis from 2010 on Chatting with Stano in 2013, he believes that subtle changes to how the ascent route is followed have some effect on the time, followed by some in depth hotel room analysis comparing Brad and Reiner, factoring in gear weight as well! I think whenever Ben has led the race, we’ve gone up Toni Matt proper, but whenever someone else has led, we’ve gone up the ascent route as marked
whiteout climb.JPG
marked ascent route
full Toni Matt, Ben Parsons special!

But what you are really wondering is how the sufferfaces have changed over the years:
whiteout 2012.JPG

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