Starting tomorrow there is some great skimo racing awaiting all North American athletes. With important upcoming races in NA and Europe the skimo season is in a full swing.
These are the 4 events to watch or join:
- Jan 27-29 – NA Skimo Championships in Crested Butte, CO
- Jan 28-29 – Two rounds of Austria Skitour Cup
- Feb 5-9 – European Skimo Champs
- Feb 11-12 – Canadian Skimo Champs in Golden, BC
North American Ski Mountaineering Championships
Jan 27-29 in Crested Butte, Colorado
Following the championship formats of Euro and World races the action will begin with a short sprint then continue on the next day with a very challenging individual course. Notably, two or three super fast Italians are coming over – Manfred Reichegger, Lorenzo Holzknecht…
Beside the Italians there will be other very fast NA racers. For US, all fast guns should be there – Luke Nelson, Sari Anderson, Pete Swenson, too many to name. Canadians will be represented by current NA champ Reiner Thoni, Melanie Bernier (check out her prep for this race), Ian Gale, Julie Matteau, Andrew McNab, Jeff Colvin and maybe some more.
More info: http://www.ussma.org/race/cosmic/2012-01-28/2012-ismf-north-american-championships
Austria Skitour Cup
Jan 28 in Gröbming, Jan 29 in Marria Luggau
These two races are about 200km apart but many racers attend both of them. Just like the Jackson Hole / Grand Targhee combo. Austrians have many great athletes in both men, women and junior categories, and their speed level is somewhere between NA and the lead world skimo nations.
Since I am currently in Europe and flying back to NA on Monday from Austria I decided to jump into these to gain some more experience in highly contested events.
More info: http://www.astc.at
European Ski Mountaineering Championships
Feb 5-9 in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France
In 2010 the ISMF (World Skimo Federation) have decided to alternate the World and Euro Champs every year to avoid a calendar conflict between Winter Olympic games and skimo Worlds. This year it is time for Euros to show off but Canadians managed to negotiate one entry to keep our best athlete in check 😉
Melanie Bernier belongs to a wider group of the World’s fastest skimo girls and so she will line up against the rest of them in the individual, vertical and sprint races. Note that she is competing in NA Champs, then flying out to France, then coming right back for the Canadian Champs. That is true dedication!
More info: http://www.ski-ecrins.com
Dogtooth Dash – Canadian National Ski Mountaineering Championships
Feb 11-12 in Golden, BC
Everyone is welcomed! The best race on the Canadian calendar hands down and likely in the top two for whole NA. On Saturday, you can choose from 3 courses that vary by length and level of difficulty. The 6000 feet one is the championship challenge. Reiner Thoni and Melanie Bernier are looking to defend their multiple titles but others will try to keep them a bit down from the skies 😉
All Canadian fast and hearty skimo fans will be there. And hopefully the prizes can lure in some speedos from the States too.
More info: Dogtooth Dash and Canadian Champs 2012
Video from last year’s Dogtooth Dash: