Monday, March 9, 2009

Alpina SMR Stampede

The Stampede was held on February 28, 2009, a bit earlier than previous years. Judy, the 2009 family xc-ski racer, did the 21k freestyle. Several days leading up to the race, we were watching the ever changing snow conditions to determine the best race day wax. Friday afternoon, it appeared the overnight lows were going to be around 7 F and race day highs no more than mid-30's. So, an LF7 base and LF6 final was applied to Judy's skis. I still had a old coat of LF6 on my skis, but I was not racing, since I was on duty with Bryce and the camera. We headed up Friday night to Tabernash and there was several inches of fresh powder.

Saturday morning, it was frickin' cold! I mean real cold! I went over to the lodge to pick up Judys race chip and packet. People were saying it was minus 17 degrees F overnight, meaning a MUCH colder snow temp. Later, we found out the wax recommendation changed to LF4!...Ugh!!... meaning a harder wax to resist sharper/colder snow crystal penetration and scrapping off of the race wax.

As the morning marches on, Judy gets ready, we got the hotel packed up and vacated in record time (unusual, since we packed like we were staying for a month), and dropped Judy off approx 1 hr before the start.

After finding a parking spot, it took what seemed forever to get Bryce & the Chariot ready. We missed Judys start, but we skied out and managed to find a great vantage point beyond the finish line. The sun was shining, no wind and temps inching up to 30 degrees, Bryce fell is sweet! Shortly after setting up, the Jr's & 10k race started coming through, followed by a couple of classic skiers (21 or 42K, not sure), but I recognized them as one of Colorado's top xc-ski racers...including Brian and Ross. A bit later, Bryce woke up and was greeting skiers as they went by saying "Hi" in the typical Bryce style. Shortly, I picked out Judy in the distance, wearing her red long sleeve top. The finish was s slow 200 meter uphill grind, not making it a pretty picture for skiers suffering. We cheer on Judy and she finishes! We head over to the finish several moments later. She disappeared to change into drier clothes. In the mean time, I was talking to a few racer I knew. All were saying this years course was much tougher, and the conditions were very slow. Everybody appeared wasted. While waiting for Judy, I got Bryce out to stretch his legs and give it a go on his new Karhu Kboom skis. Bryce's first moments on skis went like this...a couple of scoots, left right, left, right...then the dreaded crossover, and fall forward. All done! He wanted out. So, I unbound his feet straps and let him walk around.

A link to my photo gallery containing pics of the Alpina SMR Stampede can be found by going to the following link: