Ski Mountaineering Racing Info

| September 12, 2008 | 4 Comments

A few years ago I was very involved with ski mountaineering racing, both as a participant and later as a race organizer.  It is an incredibly fun sport and aside from the events themselves, there is a a huge amount of carry-over as far as general ski touring goes.  After only a single race or two, you can pick up enough tricks to add thousands of feet to your daily touring regime.  In an effort to help people get into the sport, learn some of the tricks and organize races, I’ve compiled some of my previous web-based tutorials under the “Gear & Food” tab.

Ski Mountaineering Race Info – click here.

Ski Mountaineering racing is huge in Europe where it is almost a blood sport with national rivalries, fan clubs, drug testing and some inconceivably fast skiers.  I didn’t believe it until I saw it myself, but some of the top racer can routinely climb at over 5,000′ per hour.  The U.S. racers have the horsepower, but we are lacking the country-wide infrastructure where people can race every weekend if they want and attend races which all have the same basic lengths and vertical (homologation). 

The video below shows World Champion Stephen Brosse ripping his skins in 16 seconds at the Black Diamond PowderKeg when it was a World Cup event.  Note that he barely stops!

 

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Category: Racing

About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber, Mountain Unicycle rider and father of two very loud little girls.

Comments (4)

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  1. Randonnee says:

    Good stuff, here, thanks. Since watching some videos of randonnee skiers stripping skins a few years ago, I adopted the occasional practice in my tours. Aside from efficiency, it is just nice to remain standing on skis in deep powder instead of postholing around while off skis.

    My superlight Grivel helmet is on my head 100% of randonnee ski tours. Our Cascade snow may melt and refreeze to a hard surface anytime through the season, so that alone is a hazard to one’s head. It got my attention back when I Patrolled that skiers could incur head injury in a ski fall on a blue square or even green circle ski run. Not to mention the serious head injuries in a ski area after slides on double-diamond ‘white asphalt’ into trees or rocks.

    Also it is nice when bushwhacking the forest between runs to have the helmet- limbs and snow slide off the helmet.

  2. Andrew says:

    Which part of the Cascades do you ski? I grew up at Alpental and still consider it my “home” area.

  3. Randonnee says:

    For about 8 years now I ski the Wenatchee Mountains (Ingalls Peak to Mission Ridge)-

    http://www.wildsnow.com/?p=1141#comments

    http://www.wildsnow.com/?p=1092#comments

    http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=4667.0

    There is solitude, sunshine, and powder snow in the Wenatchee Mountains.

    Before that I spent enough time on the Crest, now I prefer more sunshine and nicer snow of the Wenatchee Mountains even if 1/2 the amount…

    My fulltime ski area career was ending, I think, about when you were becoming famous?

  4. Andrew says:

    Excellent! I lived and skied in Wentatchee/Mission Ridge for a year and had a blast.

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