Monday, January 17, 2011

Winter Wild Uphill Race Series: Total White (ski) Domination

Gered on Mt. Hunger with the White Skis.
This past weekend marked the start of the 2011 Winter Wild uphill race series at Whaleback Mountain in NH. Winter Wild is in it's second year, and can boast 4 great randonee race locations, a 300 percent growth rate in attendance over last year, and still an outstanding ratio of giveaway prizes to participant (.5:1, and good schwag too).

The race allows any mode of muscle driven transport up and down, with the most popular categories being skate skis, telemark equipment, running shoes with spikes, and the noble donkey (punch). Check it out. Do it. It's pretty great.

TeamScrappy was in attendance for this year's opener and posted a 3rd place finish and record breaking 12:54 time in the telemark category. In a race series dominated by washed up old olympic nordic skiers, the telemark ski is often overlooked in favor of the lighter and snappier skate ski. Well, this year they got their comeuppance. Always expect the Spanish Inquisition. And now, the White Ski.

You need to know a little bit about the White ski to understand how significant a victory 12:54 is in a 2 mile course. The White Ski was purchased on ebay for 20 dollars (Andy, I may still owe you for them?), and mounted up with Voile 3 pin cable bindings. The White ski is a ski of unknown manufacture, country of origin, length, side cut, weight, composition, torsional rigidity and any other unit of ski measure you can think of. All that is known about the White ski is that it is long, and white.

It's thought to be a double camber ski, and we think it's Karhu-made for the 10th mtn division. I would guess that the weight range is somewhere between 160-185 (think fully loaded pack with machine gun in tow), because at 138 pounds I sure as poop can't flex it enough to edge. The White came with a supplemental set of custom strap-on climbing skins that we KNOW are made of real baby seal skin and are definitely circa WWII.

Now, this doesn't sound like your typical ultra lightweight randonee race setup with 150 cm 1.5 camber 3/4 edged 79-54-68 skis and Scarpa F1 race boots. But with leather Garmont lace ups 3-pin bindings and glueless skins it is light, and that makes it sneaky-fast. And, less than 200 bucks to set up - compare to a top notch diagonal setup at 600 bucks, and the White setup is even more impressive.

With skins tightened to the tail and cross straps left hanging, the White's are quick and stable(ish) uphill, and with a quick flick of the wrist at mountain top and you're out of the skins and bindings are buckled down for a harrowing descent. If you're considering a new race setup and have always wanted to get into uphill racing, then you gotta go White.

Happy racing people. And look for Total White Domination in the rest of this year's Winter Wild Series

Results: Whaleback Winter Wild 2011

I rule.

1 comment:

  1. Whitesnake rules!

    Thanks for the guest post, Gered, and let me be the first to congratulate you on putting together a masterpiece of self-congratulatory, thinly veiled racism. I should have you post more often!

    But really... where's my $20?