race with really lots of climbing

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Ken Roberts
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race with really lots of climbing

Postby Ken Roberts » Wed Jan 02, 2008 9:54 pm

24 Hours of Sunlight
now going into its 3rd year in Colorado.
Instead of distance, it's about vertical: Climbing up and Skiing down.
Current Men's record is around 15000 meters (50000 feet) of vertical skiing up and down in 24 hours.

I think the hilliest cross-country (citizens) ski marathon in North America has around 1100 meters (3600 feet) of vertical climbing.

24 hours is a bit much for me, and Colorado is a bit far to drive, so I'm thinking of this one in Vermont. Here's the US schedule for 2008.

Snow -- A big advantage of this style of climbing up and down on skis "rando" racing is that it's easy to hold the races in venues that already have massive snowmaking operations -- downhill ski resorts.

Already there are two other races at other downhill ski resorts in the Northeast (not on the official US schedule) in addition to the Mad River Valley race. Looks like about the only remaining major U.S. ski region with no ski-rando races is the Mid-West.

Ken

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Askel
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Postby Askel » Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:05 pm

Not on quite the same scale as those events, but it looks like Telefest has a short uphill/downhill race this year.

http://www.downwindsports.com/telefest.html

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swervy jervy
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Postby swervy jervy » Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:26 pm

Downwind Sports is a super xc shop. Jeff Sasser is aces. Does Danny Dehlin still work there, by the way?

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Askel
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Postby Askel » Thu Jan 03, 2008 4:45 am

swervy jervy wrote:Downwind Sports is a super xc shop. Jeff Sasser is aces. Does Danny Dehlin still work there, by the way?



Not sure, is this at the Marquette Location?

I just started showing up at the Houghton location fairly recently once I got into heavy duty duck bill stuff. :D

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Cloxxki
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Postby Cloxxki » Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:11 am

Walking up alpine hills is so 2006.

In the Tour de Ski they SKI UP that kind of hills :-)
How about using the lifts to safely come back down.
Makes it a climb-only interval. No time to be made up by taking risks downhill. No need to undo your skis either. Time to take some gatorade on the way down. Quick nap.

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Postby Ken Roberts » Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:22 am

Askel wrote:Not on quite the same scale as those events, but it looks like Telefest has a short uphill/downhill race this year.
http://www.downwindsports.com/telefest.html

So the Mid-West does have one after all.

"scale" -- Actually even with the "big" rando events, often they have an easier shorter course for "recreational" participants. Organizers associated with downhill ski resorts are not stupid about broadening their market base beyond the elite daredevils.

Like see the short (450 vertical feet) moderate course of Day 2 of the "Wasatch Powder Keg" in Salt Lake City on March 16 -- as a 4-person relay race.
    I suspect that in decent snow conditions most of that Day 2 course in the Albion sector of the Alta ski resort could be done both up and down in XC track skating skis. I think I've already skied the downhill section on my XC track skis.
There's no reason that more Mid-West downhill ski resorts can't have uphill-downhill races.

Ken

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Askel
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Postby Askel » Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:41 pm

I'll be watching the Telefest race with interest. Who knows, I might even decide to enter. Although with no climbing skins allowed, I don't really have a suitable ski for both climbing and descending. I suppose I could just boot it up the hill.... Or slide on my butt the whole way down.... :lol:

This winter I'm kind of focusing on racing with the spandex and Gu crowd, but randonee racing definitely sounds like a fun idea. If it actually is that much fun and there's enough interest, there are plenty of places around here to hold one, and it wouldn't be the first time I organized a race series just so I could compete in it. :D

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Postby Ken Roberts » Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:44 pm

Cloxxki wrote:Walking up alpine hills is so 2006.
In the Tour de Ski they SKI UP that kind of hills :-)

The winners in those ski-rando races are climbing most of the hill sections on their skis -- How is that not "SKI UP"? Many of the rando racers are so strong, they're also getting some glide in each of their strides on skis up the hill -- it's not normal walking. Seems to me that's the most traditional cross-country ski technique of "classic diagonal stride", just adapted to steeper hills.

Sometimes unlike the boring smoothly groomed Alpe Cermis climb in the Tour de Ski, they do steep climbs thru difficult obstacles, very unsmooth -- like see the warning for the Day 1 Individuals course of the Wasatch Powder Keg race on March 17 in Utah: not some boring Nordic race course.
Cloxxki wrote:How about using the lifts to safely come back down.
Makes it a climb-only interval. No time to be made up by taking risks downhill.
I don't see "safely" as a concern on that. I'm confident any of those racers (and lots of people here on xcskiforum) could ski down the Alpe Cermis trail in decent snow conditions with no problem. (Some stages of Tour de France finish with an uphill, some don't -- it's just the organizer's choice).
    For a downhill ski resort hosting an uphill-only race, see the last event in Utah Nordic race calendar. Also try a search on "Billy Dutton uphill". Or for a race with more down than up, try the Stowe Derby in Vermont.
I'm glad to see some of the international XC ski race organizations getting dragged forward, kicking and screaming, into the 1990s. I'm glad that they're finally learning something about race formats and course designs from other forms of ski (and bicycle) racing.

One way of seeing ski-rando racing (and the Alpe Cermis climb) is as a natural extension of the trend to make XC World Cup courses steeper and harder. I would sorta hope that the young racers themselves would push for new developments so they could demonstrate that they're just as skillful and tough and strong as the ski-rando racers.

If they can do something with Classic XC racing that gets more away from the "double-poling fests" on smooth groomed courses, and toward some more interesting challenges that show off more different technical skills (perhaps downhill as well as uphill), I think that would be great.

Ken

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Cloxxki
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Postby Cloxxki » Thu Jan 03, 2008 4:27 pm

Glad to stand corrected :-)

I'd love to see them climb those hills on their skis!

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Postby Ken Roberts » Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:50 pm

Cloxxki wrote:I'd love to see them climb those hills on their skis!

More opportunities for you than for me:
world race calendar | Switzerland calendar | UIAA calendar
    or here's a video which shows some of the kick-and-glide striding on the gentler slopes -- even a kick-and-glide finish sprint at video time 6:28 -- though the glide goes away when the climbing gets steep (as it also does in Classic XC racing) - [ another shorter video | another short ]
This list of licensed international ski-rando competitors is interesting . . .

Isn't that a Birkie winner there in the U.S. contingent?
    This article suggests that older XC racers in other countries also are crossing over into ski-rando racing.
The list includes countries I would not have guessed (Morocco, Turkey, Iran, Venezuela), and some "XC" countries not getting left behind in the new wave (Norway, Sweden).
    Guess which north Euro country does not have a licensed competitor (yet?)
Seems like a sizable percentage of the Americans are aged in their late 40s, unlike the Canadians who are more like early 40s. Looks like the country with the highest percentage of women is Norway (but Sweden is the opposite).

Ken


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