Monday, September 1, 2008

Back Country Blast Ski Mountaineering Race

I travelled down to Ohau this weekend for the Black Diamond Back Country Blast Ski Mountaineering Race. Last year I organised this event and we had a hard time of it, with a thin snow pack and white out conditions that rolled in just after the start of the race. Thankfully this year I was there as a competitor, which made for a much more relaxing time. This was only my 2nd race in NZ, with Rainbow being the 1st!The Start There was a good turn out and the weather was great, clear skies and a light breeze to keep it from being too hot. The race started on the main groomed run and then turned sharp towards Powder Bank and then a short ski back to the up-track. We then skinned and boot packed to the ridge, before skiing about 300m down. Then it was a final climb up to Mt Sutton and a mixture of spring snow and "coral reef" on the ski to the finish.Jane skinning along the ridge top of the 2nd climb
I was pretty happy with my 1st place result and it felt great to really hammer out the 800-900m course in around 50mins. The clever little Suunto on my wrist told me that I was climbing over 22m a min during the first climb. Most of all it was just nice to finally be racing here in NZ!

My dad, Gus, looking the part with his big sunnies and Sorels on

I also got to catch up with my parents, as well as Théo and Maël from France that are part of the All 3000m team.
Me with Maël and Théo
Thanks to Ash, Jane and my Mum for the above photos

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"The skier who forsakes the lifts to climb under his own power to a mountain summit is a very different person from the downhill only piste basher and is often regarded by the latter as something of a curiosity.
But he was the creator of the sport; and possibly with him lies the future"
-Robin Fedden, The book of Europen Skiing, 1966
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