Keep cross training — winter is almost here in the northern hemisphere. This season add a ski mountaineering race or two to your alpine experience. Races are an excellent way to get motivated for peak fitness, and to fine tune your gear and skills.
Gignoux Morpho 400 ski boots might give you the edge, but more economical (and more comfortable) race packages are available too. When I won the women’s rec division of the Powder Key in 2007, I didn’t have special race skis. I used my sturdy everyday AT skis and boots which luckily worked to my advantage since the snow was chopped up and hard. Admittedly skis back then were narrower underfoot and perhaps lighter than many of the backcountry powder setups we use these days.
Below is this coming 2014-2015 season’s race schedule for easy reference. Things change, of course, so always check http://ussma.org for the latest.