The Individual Race took place at 8 am on Sunday March 26th, 2017 with around 50 competitors. The course started at the Whitehorn Bistro, so we had to take the chairlift halfway up the mountain to get to the start line.
I was so happy to have a sunny day because I wanted to see the view at Lake Louise while climbing. The Canadian Rockies are so beautiful!
The first climb brought us up to the top of Mount Whitehorn and then we got to descend down one of the Gully runs. It was steep and super fun! A little bit of fresh snow on a supportive firm base meant you could really rip some big GS turns.
The second climb involved a boot pack up the next Gully so that we could then turn around and go down the next Gully. It was nice being close to the other ascent/descents so that you could see the other competitors ahead of you and behind you. The third climb brought us up to a lip with a cornice. A cornice is where the wind blows the snow in one direction over a peak and creates an overhang of snow. We had to drop over the edge of the cornice down about 70 cm to get to the slope to ski on. I really enjoy terrain challenges like this in a race. Ski patrol checks the stability before the race, so you can concentrate on skiing well and attacking the line.
The fourth climb brought us along the ski area boundary before skiing down the valley towards the Temple Lodge. The fifth climb is always the most punishing for me. I was glad to have company in this climb from a fellow competitor from the Men’s category. The last descent is a long ski out back to the base of the resort. This involves tucking, resting while tucking and skate skiing.
Athletes from all across Canada were present with members from Skimo East making the trip to join us in the West.
In the end I was the third Elite Woman to reach the finish line to get the bronze. Michelle took the silver and Kylee the gold. What a great season racing with these ladies in Canada and in Italy!
The men’s podium saw the same shuffle with the second and third place racers switching places leaving: Joel in first, Peter in second and Travis in third at the finish line. It was a very tight race for the men with all competitors reaching the final transition together.