by Stano Faben
First of all, I want to thank Lou for letting me to spread the word about our event through a blog post on his highly visited website – Thanks tons, Lou! Also, let me clarify what we’re calling a â€œski mountaineeringâ€? race is, to avoid confusion. Basically, it is the same thing many of us in North America call a â€œrandonneeâ€? or a â€œrandoâ€? race. People skin-up or boot-pack with their skis, then they shred it down some challenging slopes.
Our Mountain Storm race here in Fernie is inspired by ski mountaineering racing scene in Europe which is over 20 years old. Me and my organizing buddy, Miki, did some races over there and we had an opportunity to observe their best practices in organization (as well as the insane Euro racing speeds).
|Fernie. Lou wants to visit.|
Then we raced couple of times over here in North America, since Canada became our new home. And so the idea was simple â€“ try to merge the European racing standards with North America’s enthusiasm for anything that is new and out of ordinary.
Mountain Storm will be the first race on this year’s newly formed Canadian Ski Mountaineering Cup calendar that is sanctioned by the Alpine Club of Canada. The Cup will consist of four races from which the racer’s best three results will count towards the over-all series.
Mountain Storm will be held at the Fernie Alpine Resort (which is located in the south-eastern corner of British Columbia) on January 19th, 2008. Based on the reviews and personal experience, Fernie is a powder legend when it comes to white fluffy stuff!
Now, we are at our final stages of preparation for the event and from now on we will post new information on our website quite frequently. We’ll have two exciting race courses – â€œCrazyâ€? and â€œSaneâ€? – and two categories â€“ men and women. Racers on AT, tele or split-board gear are all welcome as long as they can climb up using skins.
The Crazy course will feature around 1300 metres (4,266 feet) of climbing and will be most likely divided into three uphills and downhills. The Sane course will be a bit more sane with only around 700 metres of climbing. Since start and finish will be at the same place, racers will ski as much vertical as they climb.
There will be great draw prizes (some avy beacons!) at the end of the day, and if you get among the top four men and women over the Crazy course you will receive some cash as well!
Entry fees will be $45 Canadian for the Crazy people and $35 for the Sane ones when registering online. You can also register at the pre-race meeting (night before the race) but the entry fees will be bumped by additional $15. So secure your bib early.
I hope I got you all excited about a real challenge for your bodies and minds that will give you a break from daily routines of your 21st century lives. So stop eating those grandma cookies and get to work!
And for all Crazy and Sane that live south of the Great White North, Fernie is very close to the US-Canadian border with Washington, Idaho and Montana – we expect you up there in January.
Thanks again Lou and if you find a time to come over to experience the Mountain Storm for yourself you are very welcome.
See you all in Fernie,