The ROAM randonee is one event that is a portion of the weekend Coldsmoke Powder Festival. Named after Nelson’s ROAM gear shop in town, this randonee (skimo ) race took place at Whitewater Ski Resort and surrounding area.
The snow took a break from falling just in time for us racers to enjoy the warm temperatures and the beautiful scenery. The race began at 9AM from the day lodge, heading up the Quartz run, then out of bounds to the sub peak of White Queen Mountain. The pack of racers appeared to be quite close together during the first portion on the groomed run. I tucked myself in right behind several of the lead men with Martha and Marg close by. Once into the switchback section I lost sight of Stano, Eric, and Ben- which is not the least bit surprising. I travelled right behind Martha, keeping her close and keeping an eye on Nail not much farther ahead. There was a period of time in which Marg tucked in between the two of us. Somewhere along the ridge I pushed back out in front. At the top of the first transition Martha and I had a quick exchange just before she took off with her mad skills downhill. This chic is a strong downhill skier, much to my chagrin, thus she dropped me quickly.
Throughout the ascents I most often had Martha in my sight, just out of reach. We moved through lots of fun terrain, along ridges, through Ymir bowl, and up a couple of fun boot packs. Traversing over to the boot pack on White lightning proved to be a bit of a challenge. The race director had specifically instructed competitors to remove skins before this section- thus I didn’t want to break any rules. However, the track was ascending somewhat and impossible on skis without skins. Another competitor and I took turns “boot packing,” which more precisely was a wallow up to our legs traversing across the slop to reach the climb up the gully. Hindsight is 20/20 and I should have put skins on- as I wasted a lot of time and energy moving myself through the snow.
The finish wasn’t well marked, a problem faced by more than just me. I stopped and stood for a few minutes, panicking, trying to decide which was to go. Finally catching my cool, I figured it out and sprinted for the finish line……. a sprint that included skate skiing up slope and then flat across the line. I was tete a tete with another racer, Josh, who I managed to trade places with as the event carried itself out.