Boulder Nordic Sport – one of the stores that has a great selection of skimo racing gear – will be hosting an evening ski mountaineering race series starting on January 15th!
The series will consist of three races that will be held on these Wednesday nights:
- January 15
- January 29
- February 12
The “Boulder Nordic Sport Wednesday Night SkiMo” series will be the first of its kind in many ways. Most importantly the series represents the first time the rapidly growing sport of Ski Mountaineering has been contested on the Front Range. Ski Mountaineering, or SkiMo, racing have seen an exponential increase in popularity over the past three seasons.
This race series aims to give skiers in the Front Range and the Denver Metro area easy access to SkiMo racing and introduce new skiers to the sport and equipment via product demos and clinics. Also the series will be unique in that it will be held in the evening, under the lights of the Front Range Ski Club giving racers easy post work accessibility and the rare experience of racing at night.
Race entry information can be found here: http://www.prerace.com/races/event/46028/Boulder-Nordic-Sport-Wednesday-Night-Skimo
Known as Ski Mountaineering, SkiMo, Randonee, Alpine Touring, AT, Ski Running, or uphilling, this form of racing is essentially moving quickly through the mountains. Using climbing skins skiers run or power hike up a “skin track” to a given point where they transition by removing (stripping) the skins, step into their binding and alpine ski downhill. This process is then reversed and the skiers skin back uphill. Races are set over courses usually consisting of a loop of 3-5000 feet of vertical ascent and taking 1-5 hours per race. The Boulder Nordic Sport Wednesday Night SkiMo series will consist of three ascents and two descents or a skin-ski-skin-ski-skin format.
Ski Mountaineering is very popular in Europe and a truly global sport with a very good chance of being included in the 2018 or 2022 Winter Olympics.
Boulder Nordic Sport is the largest Nordic ski shop in North America and a leader worldwide in Nordic skiing and all products involved. Boulder Nordic Sport entered the Ski Mountaineering segment last season and is excited to be part of the fastest growing segment of the ski industry.
Matthew Klick says
That is very impressive, Jimmy and Jeff, to willingly knock off such a large race fee chunk! And I do appreciate the time and effort that goes into any event, much of which goes unnoticed and unpaid. Best to you and the series and I hope to give it a try, if not this week, the following races for sure. -MK
Jonathan Shefftz says
Charging $40-something for an event like this sure seems reasonable in light of all you’re getting — plus sounds very convenient for anyone living in Denver.
By contrast, remember those Dynafit Nachtspektakel events? Three were held in the northeast during the 2010-11 season. Entailed skinning up ~1,000′ to dinner. No race, no clinic, just a short skin and dinner … for $75.
And for this season, a ski shop was trying to get me to promote their one-lap race of ~600′ vertical … for $40. No clinic, food, or anything — has to set some sort of record for ratio of $:vertical!
Thanks to Jeff and Jimmy for your responses. Just to clarify, I am very excited that you are putting on these races – we all want more people racing on the front range and this will certainly help. See you there!
Thanks for your insight Jimmy! I was also a bit apprehensive about the price, originally assuming it would be a rather informal affair. However, it sounds like a lot of work is going into it to make it a great experience! I will be there next week to try it out and will let you all know what I think.
Thanks again for lowering the price. I am trying to get some more of my backcountry friends to try out a race, and the lower price definitely helps.
Stano Faban says
Kudos to BNS for responding so quickly!
I want to challenge racers in the area to go to the first event and come back here and leave a comment whether they think it was worth it, because I believe it will be a great skimo series.
As an organizer myself, I know 99% of events are just getting by (paying their costs) in order to keep the fees affordable for racers, yet providing all bells and whistles to make it a great experience. There is much more work involved than putting a trail running race together.
Jimmy Archer says
I’m the other BNS SkiMo Race series director.
Firstly, we’ve decided to lower the fee to $45 per event and $125 for the series. Obviously this is not quite the $20 of some other events. However it is:
A) the absolute best we can do with the costs associated with the venue. The goal here is to open up Front Range SkiMo opportunities. These events represent an attempt to prove the value of offering uphill access at Front Range Ski Club. FRSC is an Alpine race training facility, SkiMo was not their initial niche, but they are intrigued. We are hoping to prove SkiMo’s value with these events and thus create Front Range uphill access.
B) This fee (as Jeff said) is for a full on race, with food/drink/awards and pre-race clinics for beginners, as well as a long and short course option. But more importantly we should note that the course will have a set skin track with technical aspects and a couple of boot packs rather than just skinning up groomed alpine run. So, it is indeed more than just a training race.
In general the $20 training races offer timing, results, and access. No food/drink, and no real course design and no clinics.
So, while I would like to offer a lower entry fee we have to cover mountain rental, insurance, and course design. Hopefully this makes sense and can justify the race fees. Feel free to contact me with any questions.
That’s terrifying. I still think it should be more SLC-style, but I suppose pricey racing is better than no racing.
Jeff Paulson says
As one of the event organizers I must comment. This will be a full race experience followed by food, beverages and awards for participants. Full course, full-on weeknight racing. Rec and Race categories. The entry fee matches other Cosmic races and if you are from the Front Range the cost savings on travel and lodging actually makes this a really good deal. Think of it as a weeknight out in Boulder or Denver only you get to ski hard, hang out in a cool location with friends, food and drinks present. Cosmic and BNS will more than likely not be making any profit on these races. We just want people to have a great time!
Jonathan Shefftz says
Although I agree that these are certainly expensive evenings by skimo standards, by the standards of the Front Range Ski Club, it’s a crazy cheap bargain.
Click here if you dare:
Matthew Klick says
I was SUPER psyched to see this announcement, then learned of the price. Yikes. As a PhD student, I’m out. Even if gainfully employed, though, likely out. Even my beloved ski touring is going the way of gltiz, glam and uber $$$$$.
Stano Faban says
Andy, yes the price seems a bit steep but it perhaps will be a full on event but taking place on a week night. Will just have to wait and see.
Stano Faban says
JBO, in my memory, the only one I ever saw use “ski running” is Dynafit. No other brand or public seem to use the term at all.
Have you ever heard anyone use the term “ski running”? I only see it in Dynafit dealer books and regurgitated product descriptions on BC.com. But good to see another series starting!
We’re pretty excited about this on the front range, but it’s a little disappointing that the evening races are so expensive. $65 per race and $180 for the three race series seems pretty steep for weeknight races.