Phew- what a whirlwind of adventure.
The Castle Mountain Skimo Race is a spectacular event full of athleticism, mental stamina, challenging skiing, technical skinning, and remarkable scenery. Just days after completed this competition, I’m still grinning from ear to ear and what a great event it was.
In short- the race had it all. The skin track favoured no one, but instead incorporated all styles. Due to a low snow year, the technical kick turns and course through the trees included a bit of alder-bashing, branch grabbing, and a bit bush whacking. Before a third of the first ascent was completed, every athlete had their turn of tricky skinning. In addition to technical components, the ascents included steep hills and flat sections, giving everyone a chance to shine at their strength.
One segment that I am particularly fond of is the boot pack. Oh goodness I love bootpacks! It involved several joys such as running across a technical rocky ridge, downclimbing, slipping, and jumping. Parts had just a skiff of snow covering to make it slippery.
After a long bootpack we went for a long run down lonestar. Usually filled in with powder, my skis chattered across chunder and and rock hard wind lips. This took me by surprise and I believe I pulled in the reigns and didn’t ski it as confidently as I could’ve.
Ascent 2 held its own little goody bag-500 meters of non-stop arduous steep climbing right up the cat track. The headlong climb made it difficult for me to pick up the pace.
The last descent in the cat skiing area challenged me, which also took me by surprise. Last time I skied like a boss through that area- this time I was bucked around as if I were riding an upset horse. It was embarrassing & I felt transported back to the first day of ski touring.
Finally I hit the cat track and alternated between tuck and skate-skiing to the finish line.
To sum up-> conditions! conditions! conditions! It was a great race with some demanding conditions.