Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Eye Candy

These are the skis you can win (the not yet available Sportiva GTR)! Fill out the form in the previous post below, at, or at by 4PM on Thursday and then come race in the last of our Thursday night races to be eligible.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Citizens Series Finale and Pics of the Day

The 9th and final Wasatch Citizens Skimo Race will be held on Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 7:00 pm at Brighton, Utah. 

We will conclude the inaugural series by giving away a pair of Sportiva GTS skis.

Here are the rules:

1. To be eligible for the drawing, you must have participated in at least one WCS Race.

2. To enter the drawing, you must fill out the form at

3. Procedure for drawing: (a) based on form  submissions (paragraph 2), a list of all entries will be compiled; (b) each entrant will get 1 entry for each race in which he or she has been a participant; (C) a randomly numbered list of all entries will be compiled; (D) each entry will be assigned a number between 1 and the total number of entries; (E) a randomly selected person at Molly Greens will select a number between 1 and the total number of entries; (F) the selected number wins the GTS skis!

4. You must be present to win.

Thanks and Good Luck!

Also, JD and I had a fun tour today, bumping into Adam, JS, and JB. We had all the terrain between the Alpine Ridgeline and Box Elder to ourselves and managed to find a few patches of powder that haven't been blown into oblivion. We kept the slope angles low but still managed to have a good time billy goating a rocky ridge and enjoying stunning views of Box Elder. Here are a couple pics:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Wasatch Citizen's Skimo Race #8: Vert 60

Pre race briefing
Tonight we held our penultimate race for the year and I think it was another great success.  Around 35 people showed up to suffer and have fun with friends for 60 minutes.  We warmed up together to the base of the Snake Creek lift where the usual crooked start line was drawn in the snow.  After a couple announcements, I gave the starting commands and 3 dozen athletes of varying backgrounds were off.  They were all chasing their own goals.  For some, it was a desire to beat a friend.  For others, a certain number of laps equated to success.  Some were just happy to be hiking in the sharp night air amongst friends.  

Group Warmup

After putting away the camera, I gave chase and caught the leaders who seemed to have arranged some sort of "gentleman's agreement" to take it semi easy on the first lap, allowing everyone to warm up properly.  I hung around for a few more laps and then reverted to "race director" and took pics/video of the whole crew.  
The usual fast start
It looked initially like it might be a competitive race between Jason, Jared, Tom, Tom, Teague, Courtney, Layne, Chad, Chad, and others (sorry if I didn't see you up front).   But, one by one skin failures, binding malfunctions, or natural attrition resulted in a two man race.  Jason claims he was toying with Jared but then he lost his skin and he looked like a fool, unable to catch up over the final minutes.
A few random pictures of people getting after it above.

As for the women, Gemma Arro Ribot, fresh off a 2nd place finish in the European Skimo Championships, hung with most of the men and turned in the most laps.  It was great to see at least five other women out racing the men as well.  

The little pie for our littl winner
After the hour of pain, most people skied down for the traditional after race party at Molly Green's for drinks, food, and prizes.  Minus 33 was the sponsor for the evening and donated hats and a couple proform cards.  Pumpkin pies were handed out to Jared and Gemma and then to newcomers, the Diegle brothers, and to Layne and Toph for making every race thus far.  
Gemma with the pumpkin pie and a new hat courtesy of Minus 33
Join us next week for our last race of the series.  We will be having another team sprint relay where someone on race gear and spandex is paired with someone on traditional gear.  The first team to complete 4 laps (two each) will be declared the winners.  They will get a pumpkin pie and someone will win a pair of brand new skis from our main sponsor, La Sportiva, in the season finale raffle.  

Series sponsor La Sportiva will be giving away a new pair of skis next week!  The skis above a just a few in their new line.
 See for more.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Photo of the Day/Citizens Race Tonight

Inverted dense snow with a mix of graupel and rain crust made for some rather enjoyable skiing on the 64 mm race skis.  Photo by Jason and more on
64 mm skis, 145 cm poles, steezy hat, and inverted pow

Also, tonight there will be another Citizens Skimo race at Brighton.  Be there ready to go at 7PM by the Great Western lift.  We'll have one more next week with one lucky person winning a pair of brand new pair of skis from series sponsor La Sportiva.  These races are a lead up to the main event, the Wasatch PowderKeg.  Sign up!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Quad Canyon Traverse: Millck, BCC, LCC, and AF Canyons

This year has left my soul withered up in lost dreams of skiing steep lines with stable powder.  Racing has filled part of the void by spending time with friends and developing fitness that we plan to apply to the mountains in the spring.  But, with the snowpack now sufficient to allow passage through most areas, Jason and I decided to go out and find the joy of moving efficiently through the backcountry.  

The plan was to start at the beginning of the Millcreek road, skin the 4-5 miles to the Big Water TH, make our way up to Dog Lake, ski out into BCC, head up Cardiff, find a way into LCC, skin up the Bird, and then somehow make it out into American Fork Canyon where we conned our little sister into waiting for us at the Tibble Fork Reservoir.  

We were handicapped by the fact that I worked late the night before and was unwilling to start before 8AM.  I also had to work that evening so I set a strict finishing time of 2:30PM.  If it looked like that wasn't going to be feasible, we would bail on the full tour and hitch hike/beg for a ride from friends back to our car.  

5 miles of Millcreek road
Since we were on a timeline, both of us were using race skis (skinny and short) and had on various amounts of spandex.  The quizzical looks from others in the backcountry are funny to me.  Different agendas warrant different equipment. 

Jason kept track our or progress on his cheap Timex watch (both of us forgot any sort of altimeter, GPS, HR monitor, or other technology).  We ticked off the first 5ish miles in around an hour.  Following a skin track through the conifers and aspens, we found ourselves above Dog Lake in an 1:30...ahead of schedule. We skied a mix of luge track and breakable crust to the BCC road and walked over to the snow park where skis went back on.  Again, the cadence was fast and we felt powerful as we ticked off the miles, moving fast while admiring the terrain above us along the Benson and Hedges ridge. 

Passing under the exit of the Hallway Couloir, we found a perfect skin track that took us up the sub ridge  and to the Superior ridge line.  Peering into LCC, we realized we would now be skiing a couple thousand feet of breakable crust on 64 mm underfoot skis.  A few ugly minutes later, we strode down the Bypass Road and started up Chip's.  The legs grew heavy, but we were still able to maintain a respectable pace to Hidden Peak.  

LAME!  Nice speedsuit.

En route, some baggy pants monkey making noodley turns on a groomer noodled his way past and shouted, "LAAAAAMME!"  That was probably the best comment I've heard all year.  Jason and I laughed out loud as I was in full spandex and we were hiking up hill with kid skis through all the radness.  Most folks, however, were actually encouraging.  

We knocked on the Patrol door at Hidden Peak and the guys were super cool when we asked about how to get to AF Canyon.  It was still before 1 PM and the guys made it sound easy.  Committing, we dropped into Mineral and called our sister, telling her to meet us in an hour.  We rallied out a packed snow mobile track before the path mellowed leading to a long skate through a beautiful serene drainage. And then we were there.  The Tibble Fork Reservoir appeared around a turn and we were done.  5:52 after leaving the car in Millcreek.  After constant motion, it felt odd to sit down feel stillness.  Not more than 5 minutes later, Aimee pulled into the parking lot and we were off in search of burgers and fries.  

Really serene terrain heading into AF
Having done a few long traverses in the past, I can say that it is fully addicting.  Light gear + fitness + an inspiring line/traverse/enchainment = more skiing and more fun.  While this quad canyon tour purposefully followed mostly mellow terrain and for convenience passed through the resort, so many variations exist.  Add Raymond, Kessler, Superior, the Pheiff, Box Elder....  Think about it.  

Oh, and BTW, it was awesome to skin up dry powder and ski breakable crust!  South to North would be recommended.  

Distance: Estimated at 30 miles on Google Earth
Vertical: Estimated at 8000 feet ascended by the altimeter in my head
Time: 5 hrs 52 min 37 seconds
Gear: Sportiva Stratos boots and RSR skis, Plum 145 bindings, Dynafit Speedsuit and Manaslu pack, 140 cm $20 Swix poles
Food: EFS gel x 1, Power Gel x 1, Einstein's Bagel, Diet Coke, 2L Gatorade
Partner: One mini me named Jason

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Wasatch Citizen Series: Great Western Time Trial

Stolen without permission from little brother's site, because I can.  "The Citizen Series roles on. Thursday night there was a time trial to the top of the Great Western lift. Everyone started 30 seconds apart and raced the clock to the top. I was driving back from Jackson and made it just in time to take a few pictures. Come next time! Visit for more details."

Robby Babbit about to work hard, trying not to get chased down

Train of lights

Andy and ???
Tom Goth, men's overall winner.

Sarah won the women's division and hopefully everyone had a good time.  There were a few more new faces but a bunch of you regulars were missing.  We take a week off now and will pick back up with our last two races on February 23rd and March 1st. I've tried out different formats and for the last two, we will open it up to popular vote.  Sprint? Relay? Vert Style? Full skimo course?

And HUGE thanks to Kirkham's for stepping up and donating some gift certificates.  It's rad that local businesses are intersted in supporting grassroots races like these. 

Tom - The big pumpkin pie
Sarah - $40 Kirkham's gift card
Liz - Cookies for coming out for the first time
Emily - Valentine's cupcakes for placing 2nd in the woman's division
Courtney - Valentine's cookies for being a sweetie (picture forthcoming)
???? (sorry blanking) - $25 Kirkham's gift card for correctly winning the "guess the closest number" raffle

Friday, February 3, 2012

Wasatch Citizen Series Sprint Relay

Announcement:  Before recapping the race, I want to reiterate that being able to skin uphill at Brighton is a privilege and not a right.  We are guests and need to act with courtesy to ALL Brighton employees.  The correct course of action is to defer without argument to any request while traveling uphill.  Please don't let any unpleasant interactions ruin it for the rest.  End rant. 


Last night we had a record turnout with 50 or so people in attendance.  Tom and Jared came up early and helped me set a figure eight course with two climbs and joint descents that each person would complete twice.  Teams of two were chosen by having all those on race gear step forward and then those without, stepping forward to select their horse.  In the end, there was an odd number so I went partnerless and after racing the first lap, turned my attention to cheering, jeering, and cleaning up the course flags.

The first climb ascended a mellow cat track before cutting up switchbacks for around 350-400ish vertical feet.  We descended the corduroy back to the base before skinning up for another mild section of groomed trail.  From there the course cut up for a couple kick turns and then turned straight up a 150 foot boot pack.  Topping out that section, we skinned a low angle trail to the joint transition zone with the first climb.

It was decided the faster of the partners would go first to keep things competitive throughout the whole race.  So 25 of us lined up at the crooked start line until someone from the back yelled, "go!"  That was sufficient and the whole group surged forward with one Tom Goth at the head pushing the pace. Jason and I were just a little unhappy about being forced to suffer early.  The remainder of the lap went as planned with Jason wrecking fantastically and me winning.  I can only write that every so often...

As we returned to the base, each of our partners would take off, one by one, hoping to reel in the guy/gal in front and avoid getting caught.  There were numerous lead and position changes as well as glorious wrecks in the soft light that was reflecting from the low clouds.

Jared and Morgan
The coup of the event occurred when Jared came absolutely tearing into the uphill transition, stepped out of his skis, and stepped into another pair already with skins, and took off seconds after arriving.  Couple that with his coupling of himself and Morgan (out for the first time but is a former US ski team member and also on race gear) and the win was sealed.  Since Morgan had nothing to do with masterminding the shadiness, she still won the big pie as the overall winner.

Tom Goth and Sarah (on tele gear and also out for the first time) came in second a couple minutes back.  Layne Caldwell and his partner (someone comment with the name...I'm blanking) pulled off third but I don't think anyone really cared too much about how they placed.  The whole night there was someone to chase and someone to cheer.


Afterward, we moved the party over to Molly Green's for some food and prizes (pumpkin pies) and laughed about the night's events.  We have three more races planned, all leading up to the Powderkeg.   Our next race will be this coming Thursday so come out and race your friends, get faster, and ski more!

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