A Return to Rando Racing

24 hours of sunlight

i’ve got no business rando racing. i just don’t have that high end. i’ve got asthma and 80% the lung capacity of a normal dood. so i’ve figured out i’m pretty good at going long, real long. but short and hard is not my forte.

i backcountry ski almost every day. so one would think that i’d be a good rando racer. although on paper they seem like the same thing, in fact they are totally different sports. daily backcountry ski tours are long slow distance vs. a ski mountaineering race which is a full on sprint for 2.5hrs. yeah that’s right, the fast guys cover a course with 8,000ft of uphill vert in 2.5hrs. again, i can go all day. a 10,000ft day does not really phase me at this point. but i am not fast.

but i can’t deny the draw to it euro-dominated sport (and it’s got nothing to do with the skin suits, of which i’ll avoid at all costs). but keeping track of my vertical gain on this tahoe veritcal.com website has been such a treat. it reminds me of a caddyshack line from chevy chase…

Judge Smails: Ty, what did you shoot today?
Ty Webb: Oh, Judge, I don’t keep score.
Judge Smails: Then how do you measure yourself with other golfers?
Ty Webb: By height.

eons ago i did a few of these “ski mountaineering” races. it was hard and fun and frankly it’s the type of training i need to do. high end anaerobic. after thinking about this for a while i’ve started to “get the band back together”. i’ve got an old nasty pair of 170 ski trabs. a bit too long, and waay too skinny to be any fun to ski. i’ve even got two pairs of skins from racing in the first ever 24hr ski mountaineering race in 2006.

what put me over the edge was the procurement of the rare bird. one almost more rare than a used cheap pair of dynafits… a free pair of the scarpa f1’s from a friend who “hates” them. and they sorta fit me!  it’s not the f1 race, but it will do for my purposes (lou dawson’s take on ’em).  i’ve ordered a pair of the dynafit tlt speeds from backcountry.com.  i’ve got one more step.  to retrofit my BCA backpack with a dynafit”style” strap for the quick transition to bootpack where your skis go one your backpack and hike in just your boots.

so i’m racing this weekend!  chad, evan and i are heading to logan, utah for the crowbar race.  we leave tomorrow.  it snowed 11″ last night and i couldn’t get out of bed.  so i’m obviously still recovering from my 100,000 feet in a week adventure.  energy levels are pretty low and lots of daily sleep is required for any sort of normal daily functioning.  i’m not injured and my torn mcl has seemingly healed.  we’ll see how i fare on a 12 mile course with just 4,500 feet of elevation gain.