Slough management. The expression suggests an ability to somehow control one of winter's most powerful natural forces - piles of snow yielding to the force of gravity. We see the term written in stories and hear it and see it in adrenaline-fueled ski porn. The fatter skis and higher speeds of today's free skiers allows for "managing" ever larger so-called sloughs. But at some point we need to call a spade a spade and admit that some of these events are really avalanches. I mean, who are we kidding here?
Last weekend a crew of Jackson skimo racers descended upon Bozeman for the annual Bridger Bowl Skin to Win Randonee Rally. This is one of the country's longest running events and is typically a fun and well-organized race. This year was no different although the weather conspired to make the day more trying than previous editions.
One of the longer running skimo races in the U.S. is coming up in a couple of weeks. These guys know how to put on a great event. Great course and ample volunteer support make for a fun day out. Here's what the promoters have to say:
On March 10, Brighton Ski Resort will host the 10th Annual Wasatch Powder Keg backcountry race. The Powder Keg is a test of speed, strength, and endurance for any backcountry skier. The race will have captivating views of Heber Valley, Mt Nebo, Mt Timpanogos, and the Cottonwood Canyons. The race division will cover 11 miles and have 6 climbs for a little over 6,000’ of climbing. The Recreational division will cover 6.5 miles and have 4 climbs for 3,500’ of climbing. Within each division there will be categories for male and female. Within the Race division there will be categories for male/female and Race/Heavy Metal. This year we will also be having a short, spectator friendly sprint event prior to the awards ceremony. There will be a BBQ, awards ceremony, and raffle following the race at the Milly Chalet. For registration or more details see www.wasatchpowderkeg.com.
See you there. - Brian
Intervals. The very thought of the word makes my pulse rise. From my first exposure to them as a 14 year old swimmer to my weekly date with them now, intervals inspire varying degrees of pain and satisfaction while preparing me to perform at my best. If you want to go fast in an endurance event, there is no substitute for regular exposure to high intensity training.
When my various ski partners contact me about skiing together the upcoming weekend, it almost always involves some challenge with ample amounts of physical discomfort. My text from Nate Brown on Wednesday was typical. "Race style push on the Middle Teton for time." This meant light packs, silly light skimo race boots and skis and lots of heavy breathing. I always get a little tickle in my stomach contemplating these adventures immediately after my phone chimes with the invite. But I love this sort of thing and conditions were looking prime.