Randonee racing, ski mountaineering or, for short, SkiMo — by whatever name you call it, the competition of skinning uphill then racing downhill in the fastest time is gaining ground within niche ski circles and is scheduled to play center stage at this year’s Outdoor Retailer Winter Market All Mountain Demo.
In its first appearance at Outdoor Retailer, the Wasatch Citizen SkiMo Series is hosting one of its races during the show’s demo day, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, at Solitude Mountain Resort. All show attendees are invited to participate.
The approximate hour-long event (set to start at 2 p.m. at the base of the Moonbeam Parking Lot) adds competition to the growing alpine touring category. Participants must climb with skins on the ascents, and then descend on AT skis or splitboards while following a marked course at all times. There will be two divisions, recreation and race, with the recreation division being of shorter distance than the race division.
Cost to enter is $5 with additional donations accepted to support the U.S. Ski Mountaineering Association. Gore-Tex is title sponsoring the race.
A raffle and prizes from sponsors is also being organized. Registration will be available at: www.ussma.org/events/wasatch-citizen-series-race-5-gore-tex-wasatch-ski-mountaineering-race and on Outdoor Retailer’s All Mountain Demo page at: www.outdoorretailer.com/winter-market/events-seminars/all-mountain-demo.shtml
Alternatively, same-day, in-person sign-ups will be available at the All Mountain Demo.
Wasatch Powder Keg Race Director Chad Brackelsberg said SkiMo races are on the rise for many of the same reasons that mountain bike and trail running events are popular.
“People are looking for an opportunity to challenge themselves in the mountains,” he said. “The rapid improvement of gear getting much lighter over the past few years and the increasing number of race opportunities has also helped.”
For more information on the Wasatch Powder Keg and other events the group puts on around the Salt Lake City area, check out: www.wasatchpowderkeg.com