Bridger Bowl Skin to Win Randonee Rally

February 3rd, 2009

And we're off! The Bridger Skin to Win 2009

And so the Skin to Win Randonee Rally came to pass. This is Bridger Bowl’s annual rando race. It’s nice to have one so close to home! Interestingly, Big Sky and Moonlight Basin do not host any rando races - just good old BB. :)

Dawn light hits Bridger BowlOnce again I went in to this race pretty much “off the couch”. We haven’t had any new snow at Bridger in three weeks, so I haven’t been touring or skiing much. I raced up at Whitefish last weekend, and checked out the course conditions at Bridger the day before the Skin to Win, but that’s all. I’ve actually started to go for runs since it’s been so warm and sunny… but that’s not the same as training for ski touring. Different muscles. Actually, worse than getting off of my training regimen, I tuckered myself out pretty good on Friday by trying to ski all the major course descents in the two hours I had after work. I did it - a Hidden Gully lap and a D-Route lap in two hours - but although checking out the course was a good idea in theory, doing so in such a hurry the day before the race wasn’t.

The Skin to Win starting lineI got a good night of sleep and loaded up on food though, so I was feeling good at the start. It was turning in to another nice day as well, which under the circumstances I was happy about. The race started without a hitch at 8:30am. As usual, there was a Recreation division and a Pro division. Once again I made the foolhardy decision to join the Pro race. This course clocked in at about 5100′ on my altimeter watch- a titch more than Whitefish. Also, this race involves some rather time-consuming Ridge traversing that isn’t reflected by the “vert” statistic very well.

2009 Bridger Bowl Skin to Win course map

Boy does that extra traversing make a difference (or the extra 100′?). This race wiped me out. On the third skin I bonked pretty hard and had to eat some food to keep going. At the end of the very last climb, right before the descent to the finish, my vision was starting to act funny. I’m not sure I’ve ever really had that happen to me before, like, ever. So it was a good race. :) I had some competition right in front and behind me the whole time too, to keep it interesting.

Bridger was kind enough to post up some video of the event here: Bridger Bowl Daily Video - Skin to Win.

Very informal medal ceremonyI finished in 2hr 31min, officially. The full results are here. Once again the winner, Brandon French, whaled on me with a time of 1hr 49min. To crunch a few stats: his time at Whitefish was 1hr 33min and mine was 2hr 15min. So the course was indeed longer and harder. We were both 16mins slower. So I raced just about as well as before, I guess. In the Pro division they had “age groups” instead of “tele/AT”, so it’s hard to say where I really placed. I got 4th (also: last) in my age group (16-29), and I got 10th out of 13 overall. I was real close to the three guys ahead of me, but lost them at the end when I bonked. Alas! And still, far behind the fast guys…

The generous prize tableI was too tired to ski after the race and the awards weren’t for three hours, so that sucked… but the awards were way better at this race than the previous two. They actually had raffle prizes! Yay! I missed all the good ones (Avalung, Aleworks gift certificates, etc), but won a set of sweatbands (ready for the next Jazzercise party, I guess). This race was also cool becuase instead of a tshirt for signing up, they gave out pint glasses. Sickter!  I should have entered the Recration race though, since I think my time last year was fast than the winner this year, and I could have scored something cool!

My only regret about the race… is that I slipped on some ice walking to my car afterwards and now have a rather limited and painful range of body motion. Dammit. Good thing it’s not snowing right now! Anyway…

See you all at the Skin to Win next year!

Chairlift sunrise

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2 Responses to “Bridger Bowl Skin to Win Randonee Rally”

  1. Great effort Evan!
    If Frenchie didn’t extend his lead time over you on this longer race, than you actually did better against him in this race.

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