|There is a team with a pizza theme, they wear capes. Why should they have all the fun? A bit of tape and a sheet, now Future Ski Bums of America has their own cape!
A little while ago I did a sample “journalist’s” lap to check out what these folks are going through tonight. (Apologies to the folks I passed who thought I was a competitor). The uphill is mostly low angled, so glidy skins are key. But near the top of the uphill you’ve got a fairly steep section that after a few laps feels like the Hillary Step on Mount Everest. You do your transition, then the downhill begins.
First, you’ve got to straightline a low angled section so you’ll glide instead of skating over a flat on a cat track. Then you drop into a steep narrow toboggan run with two large pine trees in the middle. This year they actually put a catch fence in front of the wood. Not quite as exciting as in the past when death was possible, but at least someone is actually thinking safety. Wow, with a trend like that they might even end up requiring helmets like any other rando race.
Since you’ve got a race setup on your feet, your not exactly carving like a ski instructor, but rather trying to ski fast but brush of speed with wide turns. But watch out, that’s not a slalom pole, it’s a person on foot stumbling down the hill without their headlamp on!
All I can say is these early days of 24 Hours will be remembered by all competitors with sweet nostalgia in the future when it’s bigger and the rules are stricter and the course more maintained and prepped. For now, adventure is the name of the night.
|Night has begun. It gets tough. Even for the support crew. More later.|
|Louie, Future Ski Bums of America. We’re still second in our class, question now is who’s going to slow down or take a break.
Polly McLean has moved into second, women’s solo. Molly Thole Zurn is still in first. The key for Polly now is to be consistent. She’ll need a break soon, but will try to make it as short as possible.
Feed here is everything from ramen to Cytomax. We try to keep the team away from too much fat and protean, but as the day wears on you start to crave more and more of that stuff. The problem is, you start eating and suddenly you’ve chowed way to much, then you do a slow lap or even get sick. Sometimes it might be better to just get sick and get it over with, bulimic laps?
We had to pay Louie to wear those Dynafit “tights.” Nice Trab skis too, eh? Those are the Ti race bindings and of course Scarpa F1 boots (early model F1, slightly modified). His last lap was a 38 min., that’s good, but compare to the solo guys who are still banging out 40 min. laps – after 10 laps, 15,000 vertical feet! Shoot, that’s better than you can do paying for a helicopter in the Selkirks.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.