Tahoe Rim Tour

The Tahoe Rim Tour on Sunday was a blast. Classic skiing is not usually my strong point. On the other hand, skiing 6.5km uphill with virtually no technique transitions is a great opportunity for me. (Downhills, technical turns, and frequent double-poling/striding transitions cost me lots of time in most other races.) After starting at North Tahoe High School, more than 100 classic skiers climbed a steep trail (Tahoe XC’s Gold), descended the “fiberboard freeway” for about 1.6km, and then climbed 800+ feet to Starratt Pass. I smiled at the feed station-or tried anyway-and held on tight for the descent to Northstar XC. In most races, the downhill tuck is a position of rest, but it gets pretty tough for such a long descent. I will confess that I had to stand slightly every now and then. It cost me time though. I need to do more tuck-jump exercises to hang in for that long. If you watch the linked video, spend a 1-2-3 count in the low tuck before jumping.

From what I hear the 4th annual Tour had the best weather seen yet for that weekend. Thanks to the director Don Heapes and all of his volunteers for an incredible event. I will be there next year, no matter what the conditions.

Back in the Groove

IHS Freshman Evan Vomund skies through the lap halfway through the Royal Gorge 5km High School open race

I haven’t raced much since the Snowshoe Thompson race following Christmas. I was planning to fly East to visit with grandparents but switched to a roadtrip to Los Angeles when NYC got buried in snow. (About 7,000 flights were canceled in just a few days.) I did the first Tahoe Donner night cup race, a 5km classic race. Somehow I managed to blow up in a 5km! My lungs started burning after 1 or 1.5km and the oxygen debt took me further and further downhill (not in the good way). I guess I need I need to wear a balaclava or buff even when the temperature seems OK. I feel like a rookie.

I have been training as hard as ever though. Monday I am racing the Sierra Skogsloppet, the second Junior National Qualifier and another notch in the Sierra Ski Chase. That will launch me into the Tahoe Rim Tour (26km classic division) six days later and the Alpenglow 20km skate race at Tahoe XC the following weekend. I am going to have a lot more race kms than I did in the earlier part of this season. Last year Alpenglow was my first race since I only got on snow Jan. 2nd after my move to Truckee.

Finally, Incline Nordic enjoyed some great weather at yesterday’s skate race at Royal Gorge. The loop was short and fast with few hills. After some nasty weather at the Kirkwood opener and the Snowshoe Thompson, the California rays are back. I’m sure alpiners are bummed by the shortage of fresh pow, but as an XC skier, I couldn’t care when or how we get our spring base.