Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Wasatch Vert 120

Looking to simulate a race type experience without having to travel to Colorado, I sent out a mass text that we would be having another informal underground skimo race.  This time, the format would be modeled after the Canadian race, the Vert 180.  The idea is to find a short hill and do as many laps as possible over a given time period (i.e. 180 minutes or in our case 120 minutes).  

I  spread the word (sorry to those I forgot - DM) and hoped for a good turnout in spite of daddy samurai Jared skipping town to race some Coloradans.  Pulling into the Brighton lot a bit late because of an accident in the canyon, there was already a crew assembled consisting of Layne, Tim, Adam, Nate, Nick, and some newcomers.  Out jumped Jason and Angus from one vehicle and Nate and Kristeen from another.  Adam and I joined the group and then up walked Chad and Matt and Matt.  Our "underground" skimo race was turning out to be a party.  

Pre race briefing
All 18 or 19 of us skinned partway up to the Milly lift before finding a nice open spot to start the race.  I gave a quick welcome, went over the guidelines (stay skinner's right and skier's right to avoid mishap on the tight course), and drew a crooked starting line in the snow. Someone suggested a Le Mans start so we left our skis and backed up 50 meters or so where I drew another crooked starting line.  Matt was the official starter and used an unorthodox, "START!" as the command.  Off running, Jason was first in his skis thanks to the autolock on his Plum Race 145s.  Followed closely by me and Nate, we remained a bunch for the first lap.  

I found the format to be entertaining as everyone always seemed to be in contact with someone, either chasing on the way up or cheering someone on the way down.  I hope it made the race more enjoyable for everyone given the varying collection of gear and backgrounds.  

Jason trying to kill the camera man (Adam)
Eventually, Jason began to pull away and was the clear winner with 9+ laps to his credit before the 2 hours elapsed.  I completed my 9th lap, arriving at the start line as my watch read 1:59:31.  Nate rounded out the top 3 working on his 9th when we called time.  

Overall, I was really impressed with the effort given regardless of the gear.  We had an assortment of race specific set ups to HUGE reverse camber skis to tele gear to even a splitboard.  Afterward, we regrouped at the base and miniature pumpkin pies were given out to the fastest female/splitboarder (one in the same), fastest heavy metal participant, and "race division" winner (not Jason because I didn't want to give him a pie, or me because I didn't want to buy myself a pie).  

We will be having another race, hopefully in the backcountry in a week or two.  Stay tuned...

Pie trophy to top female/splitboarder

And BTW, I'm now a papa.  I guess I could be the Sherpapa.  Lars Andrew Dorais was born last week, is the cutest kid on the planet, and hasn't learned how to sleep yet. 


  1. Well done! The kid, I mean. Step #1 to immortality. Let the legends begin.

  2. Hi Andy, would you be opposed to one more in your future "underground" skimo races? I'd be keen to get on your list.


  3. Thanks Jim! It's either that way or by killing/dying on the battle field right? The kid seems more fulfilling.

    Tom, there's always room. Send me a phone number or email and I'll add you to the list.

  4. Hey Andy. Sounds like You all had a blast. Jared tipped me off to the race.
    However, all I knew was 9 at Brighton' so after cruzin' the base till about 5 or 10 after I headed up for a few laps. Ha ha, just missed ya! Drop a line for the next one. I just moved to town and would be psyched to have a laugh chasing some good folks around.


  5. excellent! looking forward to it. or 9144562323

  6. Hey Andy, this looks like a blast. Please include me on your distribution list in the future.

    Luther Birdzell

  7. Looks like a good time, please add me to the list for next one,

    Eric 801-450-9086