Thanks Racers- we had a very successful 2008 Trapps to Bolton Backcountry race in some challenging conditions and weather last Saturday. Link here for full results!
Photo Credit: Jim Fredericks
Catamount Trail BC Challenge Race — Trying to discourage all but the hardiest backcountry skiers, the race poster read ”No Wimps Allowed”. This didn’t discourage fourteen hardy souls who signed up to take the challenge and when it came to race day, twelve racers stepped up to the starting line.
Socked in by dense fog and threatening rain, the racers sprinted out of the start on the groomed trails at the Trapp Family Touring Center. After three kilometers, they made a sharp turn onto the Old County Road and the ungroomed Catamount Trail. Another couple of kilometers, the racers were greeted by the Stowe Mountain and Rescue Squad at the beginning of a seven kilometer grueling climb to the highest point on the Catamount Trail at 2420 ft. At that point Eric Tremble led the charge at a blistering pace with Justin Beckwith in hot pursuit 30 seconds behind. The other competitors were more spread out as they paced themselves for the long climb ahead. Racers using lighter weight racing poles with small baskets punched through the top layer of crusty snow causing more difficulty in the climb. About 45 minutes into the race the going got even tougher for the competitors as a cold rain created an icy coating on the course and harder climbing conditions for all those except racers with kicker skins.
The finish arena was a welcome site for the competitors at the Bolton Valley Touring Center with professional race course fencing, pop up tents, and a enthusiastic group of spectators. First over the line was Eric Tremble of Jericho, VT who maintained his lead throughout the race and nailed down a lightning time of 1:42:39. Tremble crossed the finish line displaying a big smile and a trace of souvenir blood on his face caused by a crash in his daredevil descent. Justin Beckwith of Waitsfield, VT never backed off his pursuit of Tremble and crossed the finish line soon after in 1:44:40. Third place went to Chris Rodgers of Westford in 1:56:11. In the women’s category Sarah Moore from Waitsfield, VT overtook Betsy Richert of Keene, NY on the descent to take top honors in the women’s category in 2:23:48. Unable to detach her kicker skins, Richert lost valuable time in the downhill and finished 1 minute and fourteen seconds off the pace. Competitors used a wide range of equipment from no-wax touring skis and boots to heavy backcountry equipment and plastic boots. The winner, Eric Tremble used no-wax touring skis, light touring NNN boots, and BC telescoping poles.
Beckwith raced with light metal edged BC skis outfitted with NNN racing bindings and a combi boot. His Swix Universal klister worked extremely well throughout the race but he said his race poles with smaller baskets hindered his climbing ability.
Following the race, all competitors and volunteers were treated to a much appreciated pasta buffet at the BV Nordic Center. A great array of prizes were donated by by Karhu USA, Trapp Family Lodge, Rossignol, Bolton Valley, and the Catamount Trail Association. When the day came to an end, all the racers had a great time and vowed to return for the next years 2nd Annual BC Challenge. The profits from the race will be donated to the Catamount Trail Association.
Article by Jim Fredericks, CTA