This past Saturday, an athletic event like none other graced the beautiful Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The U.S. Ski Mountaineering National Championship Race. Here’s what we said about it last week:
“One of the toughest mountain endurance races is happening in Jackson Hole this weekend. Can you guess what it is? That’s right…the U.S. Ski Mountaineering Championship. This is no joke folks, the athletes who compete in this race are some of the most physically fit robots we’ve ever seen. This is the 10th year of the Randonee Rally at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming.
Racers start in the Teton Village base area with shins on, and they finish by climbing a ladder up to Corbet’s Couloir only to traverse right back down. And don’t worry–everything in between is hardly a cake walk. The course is is new this year, spanning 7,800 feet.
Register online at http://ussmanationalchamps.athlete360.com for the 8AM race on Saturday. Here’s a race organizer, Cary Smith (also the 2006 National Champion): “With almost 8,000 feet of climbing and descending, the new race course sets a new standard for ski mountaineering races in North America. It takes a mountain like Jackson Hole, and the unparalleled community of athletes that live here to create an event like this. It is going to be a ski mountaineering ‘tour de force,’ and the ultimate way to test your big mountain endurance.”
Here’s what the Jackson Hole ski area had to say about the event:
“US Ski Mountaineering National Championship Race, Jackson Hole, WY. March 20th, 2010. Saturday morning was beautiful and sunny, temps were around 15 degrees at the 8am start of the race.
Competitors took off to tackle the new course with 7850ft of climbing and descending. They experienced icy conditions with the early start. 82 competitors started the race with one not finishing due to a broken ski caused by icy moguls. Pete Swenson and Monique Merrill both repeated wins respectively. Being the 10th anniversary of the race organizers really stepped it up to make this one of the hardest ever!”
Here’s some video footage of the race.