February 17, 2013

Vail Mountain Games and the War Wagon

Last weekend, Jared coaxed me into taking a drive with him in his war wagon; listen to him cough most the way there and join him at the starting line of the 2nd annual Teva Mountain Games ski mountaineering race; now the Eddie Bauer Winter Mountain Games, Vail, Colorado.  Having only done a few skimo races this year, and with this to be my first official rando ski race in the same category of the lightweight fast folks, I registered with trepidation. According to my wife, I've done some form of racing nearly our whole marriage (two decades); probably not a good thing. Regardless, toeing the line with a bunch of guys and gals in spandex ski suits, colorful helmets and packs barely large enough for a shovel, probe and some zingers is a bit unnerving.

The weather was nice at the lower elevation; up high the storm let loose in a big way becoming brutal. The course, relatively low angle proved challenging for me as I'm not accustomed to low to flat skinning. In 20 miles the course gains 6,500 or so feet. My first mistake of many, lose the tail clips on the skins. Despite my follies, it was wonderful to race around Vail and the organizers did a fantastic job putting it on. This iconic resort is huge to say the least.

The company of the other racers was fun and even better was seeing Jared have such a great race given the fact that I seriously thought he had a case of the black lung while driving to the venue (probably because of our tremendous high quality air this winter in the  SL valley). His cough disappeared during the event which was a huge blessing and he nailed it. 

With my goals of learning a great deal, a top ten finish, have fun and to find some cool ski pins for my kids, the race and experience proved a success for me. I'm glad Jared pushed me to do it.

A photo I saw on Facebook and then took off Jared's blog.

Jared lower stretch of first back bowl

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