Jax n’ Lance here to explore the epic feat of SkiMo with you.
SkiMo (Randonee) can be defined as the following from wiki:
This is a form of ski touring that variously combines the sports of Telemark, Alpine and Backcountry skiing with that of mountaineering. The spectrum of ski mountaineering spans from ascending a mountain in pursuit of virgin powder to achieving a mountain’s summit using skis as a tool, with skiing down secondary.
Now there are many versions of this definition above that can be as casual as a feat of fitness to find untracked powder to literally racing for a World Championship.
As one of the fastest growing category’s in the outdoor sports market, we thought we would take you for a ride down the competitive side of SkiMo to show you how hard core this can get.
Today we give you the canvas of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in a way you probably have never seen it during the Ski Mountaineering National Championships that took place on January 5th, 2013. This race is flat out EPIC. On skinny, super light skis, the athletes literally run up the slopes we ski down and then ski on some of the hardest terrain on the mountain.
On this very morning, we woke up and raced to the first tram to see the athletes that were already a good hour into the competition as they made their way up Corbet’s Couloir. Yep, you heard that right. UP the couloir ending with climbing up a 40 foot ladder.
Not many know of the white spider hiding behind the rendezvous restaurant. Well it is the quick, lung buster boot pack staircase that gets you straight into Casper Bowl. A tip from us: you might want to have a pack for your skis. These athletes literally skip up the stairs after skinning up half of the mountain, race down towards the cirque again and then head right back up tensleep bowl to the couloir. Up and down slopes of the resort 5 times.
So here is a little map of the course (courtesy of the race blog) at the resort to look at your ski runs in a whole new perspective. Oh and by the way this was one of three stages in two days. I am exhausted just thinking about it. Here is a link to the entire event: http://jacksonrandoneerace.blogspot.com
Here is a blog post to get a deeper view from Sari Anderson who competed.
Coming after retiring from being a pro duathlete and elite triathlete as well as an elite runner, I immediately saw how my world could combine my passion for skiing with epic feats of endurance and fitness. The ladies and gentleman that are doing this are some of the fittest athletes on the planet. I mean heck, they literally run up mountains. Over and over again. Then as we all frollop along on super wide skis, they rip off their skins within seconds, stuff them in their pack and start slaying down faster than we would on super skinny skis.
Right after seeing an epic finish between second and third place, I immediately became pumped and motivated to make this new sport my own and decided to whip up the headwall and then over yonder to a few “other spots” to scramble up and ski down as fast as I could with heavy gear, too much clothing and give it my all. Lets just say this was the a culture shock version of imagining what these folks are going through. I mean, how do you even train for something like this?
Lets just say within a couple weeks I had dynafit bindings, Voile skis and realized the advantage of a super light setup for starters. At just over a year later, I haven’t quite ventured into seeing what this could be like as a competitive sport, yet it still does come to mind when I ponder the next move for my competitive spirit and lets just say A LOT has evolved in my ski touring world since this very pic was taken.
So the next time you huck off of Corbet’s Couloir, take a moment to peak down and imagine the sight instead of super hard-core humans hauling up a boot pack to climb out.
Then take it a step farther and imagine your skis are 2 pounds, short, have an 88mm waist and your are racing down central chute, tower three chute, alta 1 chute, rendezvous bowl, lower faces and so on in whatever weather and snow happens to be around that day. For example, this year the weather was in the negative temps, heavy winds and really difficult snow.
And if this just motivated you to try the sport, head on over to Snowking Mountain resort and hike or skin up and then imagine doing that a few times in a row (at twice the distance) and as fast as possible.
And if this really motivated you, check out the http://www.ussma.org to find a race to train for.
SIMPLY HARD CORE!
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