Last weekend Pete Gaston of Aspen asked me to race in the Elk Mountain Grand Traverse with him because his brother broke his back and can’t race anymore. I swore that I never do the race again mostly because of the logistics. It’s always tough to find a ride to Crested Butte in the first place, and then we have to be there early Friday morning for gear check-in, even though we don’t start racing until midnight on Friday night. But this year, the prospect of using my lightweight gear to race was really intriguing, so when Pete asked me I said yes.
I have competed in the race twice (2005 and 2008) and used backcountry touring gear and then nordic skis. This year I will be racing on my ski mountaineering gear and I’m actually looking forward to it. My La Sportiva skis and Stratos boots are significantly lighter than both my nordic and backcountry set-ups and out-perform them by far. Pete is a super strong young gun that placed 5th in his first ever SkiMo race and then won the 12 Hours of Sunlight on a two-man team. Although he has not raced the GT before, I’m psyched to be racing with him hopefully we’ll be a strong coed team.
But first, this weekend, we’re heading to Fruita for the spring Honey Stinger mountain bike team camp.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that I had a good race at the Aspen Highlands Inferno last Sunday. I was the second person to the top of the Bowl behind Max Taam and finished sixth overall, winning the women’s division. I still need to work on my descending skills, but overall I was pleased with my performance.