There are a lot of reasons to randonee (skimo) race. Coming from an athletics background I certainly enjoy the competition aspect of the sport. There's something satisfying about going as hard as you can and either finishing ahead of someone or getting beat and knowing there was nothing else you could have done. The camaraderie aspect of the sport is also quite enjoyable. Our little Citizen's Series here in the Wasatch is a good example of that. It's pretty cool to get 100 like minded people together on a random Tuesday and all cheer each other on as we run around in the dark. There's also the whole skill and technique aspect of the sport and I think everyone would agree that there's something gratifying about seeing progress. The sport on it's own would be enough to get me excited but there's more. For me, the main reason to race is the opportunity it provides to learn how to move more efficiently in the mountains. Using race gear alone opens up the limit of what is possible in a given amount of time. Add on a little skinning/kick turn technique and some fitness and it seems that the potential is limitless.
Yesterday Tom and I both had time so we decided to head down to Timpanogos and see how much we could get done. We debated what to ski but decided we'd park at my parents house in Pleasant Grove and head up the Cresent (Front Porch) couloir and then over to Cold Fusion. From there the plan was to head north until we ran out of steam. We started a little later than we should have and once we were on the N summit it was pushing 8AM. We looked north and all we saw was dirt and roads. We also noticed there was no cornice guarding the Grunge. Seeing the Grunge in the morning light and not wanting to walk on road for the next forever we decided to move to plan B - ski from the North, South and Main summits of Timp. We figured we could ski the Grunge down to Woolly Hole, climb to Pika Cirque, traverse over to Emerald Lake and up to the South Summit, ski the East ridge, walk back to Aspen Grove, head up Primrose Cirque to the Main Summit and then ski the West face back to the car.
|Tom Goth midway up the West Face|
|Tom on the North Summit|
|The Upper Grunge|
|Many kick turns exiting Woolly Hole was much more efficient than booting|
|Exiting Pika Cirque, the North Summit in the background|
The skinning stayed firm as we headed up the snowfield and before we knew it we were 10,000 feet into the day and feeling pretty good. The west faces were a little bony but there was enough snow that we could leave skis on to the South Summit. From there it's a quick traverse to the East Ridge. It was now around 11 and conditions was almost perfect, maybe a touch soft but the whole E. Ridge skied fantastically.
|Approaching the South Summit|
|The South Summit, the start of the E Ridge (SE summit) in the background|
|The first turns down the E. Ridge|
|Lower on the E. Ridge, Big Provo Cirque in the background|
|Nearing Emerald Lake|
|Unnecessary scrambling on the summit ridge|
|Psyched to be on the third summit of the day|
|The West Face|
|Heading to Grove Creek|
Elevation gain: 15,000'
2 Reese's Fastbreaks bars
2 packs powerbar chews
1 pack honey stinger chews
64 oz Gatorade
SCARPA Alien 1.0
Ski Trab Gara Aero skis
Radiant Hybrid Hoody
Julbo Ultra Glasses