Got up early this morning, excited to watch the big Life-Link rando race, meet people, and absorb the ambiance of the Tetons. It always amazes me what goes on around here. Yesterday the East Ridge of the Grand Teton got its first ski descent, and other lines are falling as well. Up on top of the Jackson resort, you can look over at the Grand Teton and imagine how extreme it must be up there, then swing your gaze around to Cody and Noname, where lines such as Talk Is Cheap filter out all but the elite ski alpinists.
But the focus of today was the North American ski mountaineering race championships. The comp went well, perfect weather, on-time start, no hurts I’m aware of. Pete Swensen won the race in 2:01:45, with Jennie Wall number one woman at 2:19:53. The course included a number of transitions, and a final climb up Corbet’s Couloir, the famed Jackson Hole air-in run where the concept of hucking was probably born. The racers kick steps up Corbet’s to the final vertical section where they boot up a ladder that’s been tied in to the mountain with ropes. As the last obstacle at the end of max vertical, one can only imagine what that feels like.
|Winner Pete Swensen jams the final climb.|
|Poly Samuels-McLean is always smiling. As Mrs. Consistency, she’s got the number 3 slot tied up for the overall North American standings because of her commitment to attending all the races in the series. Of course, seeing Poly here begs the question, where is Andrew? We’ll let him tell that story, hint, it involves one wheel.|
|Ever seen this many Dynafits in one place?|
|The famed and historic Jackson Hole tram, to be removed this summer. Grand Teton in the distance, the original Briggs ski route takes the snowfield from the summit.|