Monday, January 30, 2006

Skinning 10 Grand

I am considering racing in a 24 hour ski mountaineering race on Feb 10th. Yep that’s right, 24 hours non stop of skinning up, and skiing down. The race sounds awesome but it’s very expensive at $316 per solo. To race without a crew I would also need to spend at the least $95/night for a pit/room at the base of the mountain. Otherwise I’d probably freeze to death. So now we’re talking around $700 plus the 450 mile drive to Glenwood Springs, CO from Jackson Hole. With all that said it’s the first ever 24 hour randonee rally race. It will be an amazing challenge for me, especially being new to this type of ski racing.

All that brings me to what I did today, in preparation for a race I might do.. I climbed 10,050 vertical feet on my skis non stop. This is the most vertical I’ve ever done in one shot, and to be honest it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, although 24 hours of it will put me in the pain dojo for sure.

The day started at 9:10am at the Snow King resort right in Jackson. My first lap was awful as I tried to figure out the ‘correct’ way up the mountain to avoid the ski patrol. The first lap of the 1,600 foot climb took me 1:03 as I fiddled with my mp3 player, tried to get comfy and figure the best way up the mountain. The next climb was much better as I ditched the mp3 player for the sounds of the mountains and got to this zenful place where I was alright with sweating like a crack head. This one took me just :43 minutes. One thing became apparent: I need a softshell breathable outfit to race in. No one climbs in their Gore-Tex like this kid was doing. I must look like a new school dork trying to climb with all my roomy Gore-Tex gear on.

It took me 7:09 but I skinned 10,050 vertical feet, and of course I got to ski down the same amount. This was my last chance at a big training day before the race. Hopefully the day in and day out of hiking and skinning will have prepared me... we'll see on Feb 10th.

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