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Event Report: Catamount Trail BC Challenge

Sunday March 1
Women's Race
Place  Bib #  First Name   Last Name    Finish Time
1       11      JoAnn       Hanowski     2:16:45
2       14      Betsy       Richert      2:19:14
3       10      Carrie      Nourjian     2:36:40

Men's Race
Place Bib #  First Name    Last Name    Finish Time
1        1      Eric        Tremble       1:35:46
2        18     Marc        Gilbertson    1:36:50
3        16     Chris       Rodgers       1:48:22

Full results online:


WCAX News Story about the Catamount Trail BC Challenge click here

Race Report From NWVT Skier Eric Tremble

I’ve been looking forward to the Catamount Trail Trapps to Bolton race for quite some time, pretty much since I crossed the finish line last year. It’s an awesome event; difficult race, unknown conditions and tons of variables, great prizes, free food, good cause, etc.

The race starts with a couple of k’s on the groomed trails at Trapps before dropping down Old Country Rd into the Nebraska valley. Then after two road sections where you need to take your skis off and run, you hit the main obstacle on the course, a long grinding climb up over the ridge, topping out at over 3000 feet. Once you’re over the climb, you have to navigate a technical decent down to the Bolton nordic center.

In the weeks leading up to the event, I was doing a bunch of testing and going back and forth between two pairs of skis, one with a metal edge (for control), and one without (for climbing speed). With the nasty rain, tiny bit of snow, and cold that we got Friday into Saturday, I was back to square one with no idea what I’d use. Luckily, I had time on Saturday to go out and test both the climb (from the Nebraska valley), and the decent into Bolton. I realized that the decent was going to be nasty no matter what skis I had, but the climb was going to be next to impossible on fish scales alone. There just wasn’t enough new snow on top of the boilerplate ice, so the scales had nothing to grab onto. I made a last minute decision to borrow a pair of kicker skins and use the lighter skis without edges.

As we lined up to start the race, I sized up the competition (Marc Gilbertson). He had similar skis, but no skins so I knew he would open a gap on me while I was putting on the skins, but I hoped I would be able to make it up on the long climb. Another wild card was Eric Carter from UVM. He was going to give it a go on waxless race classic skis. He’d definitely be fast on the groomed part, but I was pretty sure I’d see him suffering on the climb.

Out of the start I settled into 3rd behind Eric and Marc. Eric was quickly out of site on his fast race skis, and Marc opened a gap on me pretty quickly too. Jake Hollenbach was cheering at the top of the groomed trails, and he said Eric was 1 minute ahead and Marc was about 15 seconds ahead.

At the first road crossing, I struggled to get my skis off and by the time we got to the base of the climb after the second road crossing Marc was out of site. I put on my skins as fast as possible, but it still seemed to take forever and I almost got caught by the next racers. Once I started climbing I was making pretty good time, and sure enough I quickly caught up to Eric Carter. He must have had no kick at all because he was trying to run up the trail carrying his skis.

A while later I passed Sam von Trapp who was doing the tour, and he said Marc was 4 minutes (!) ahead. I thought he was joking. I was sure I was making up ground, but 4 minutes was a lot. I thought it might be over, but I kept on and with only a few switch backs remaining before the top, I finally caught and passed Marc. I tried to get out of site as fast as possible, but I was starting to bonk so it wasn’t easy. Finally I got to the end of the ridge, ripped off the skins and headed down.

The first few turns were tough due to the icy snow and my shaking legs, but after a few falls I got the hang of it and cruised the rest of the way down to the Nordic center to take the win.

Just finishing this race is a real accomplishment. Congrats to all participants and thanks to Catamount Trail Org, Trapps and Bolton for making this a great event.

More info and full report available at http://www.catamounttrail.org

Bolton Season Opener

Results and Race Report/ Photos


Katrina Howe, UVM, getting ready to start.

Race day dawned with cold temps and a perfect blue sky yesterday. By 9:30, men’s start time, temps were in the mid single digits and the sun was shining. Today’s races was 6km — two laps on World Cup and a finish lap on Broadway and Teardrop.

Thanks to Northwest Vermont Ski Club for working hard to get this race together and collect great prizes. Racers enjoyed homemade cranberry orange bread and prizes donated by the Ski Rack and Seventh Generation.

Race Report by Damien Bolduc, NWVT    The Bolton Opener was held yesterday, December 13, in mid-winter conditions! Seventy-five racers from around New England made their way to the event making the race a great success.

The morning started early with volunteers setting up the course, and getting registration going. Temps were in the single digits with a light breeze blowing. The sun was bright as the morning haze gave way to clear skies. The snow was fresh firm powder groomed and set perfectly by the folks at Bolton. It was deep too! The course was as much of a wake up call as were the temperatures. Starting with an interval start, the course was a long 5K, two laps on World Cup and a trip down to Tear Drop before finishing up the last stretch of Broadway.

It was 4 year old Eva Thurston vs. 5 year old Camille Bolduc in the 1K mass start Freestyle from the top of Broadway to the pump house and back to the Finish. At the half way point the race was neck and neck, with Eva gaining the advantage due to Camille missing the turn around. Eva continued to open the lead to the finish with superior technique and determination. It was great to have these two compete in this division showing promise to the continuation of world class females emerging from Vermont.

The Men’s and Women’s fields were stacked with the best of the best in the region. Racers from UVM, Middlebury, Burke and others showed up by the van load. Last years winner, NWVT member Eric Tremble, knew the odds were against him as he started the race as #1. He held off the UVM team who followed in the start order by not getting passed. He was a great mark for them to chase and ended up 5th overall. He was a little over a minute back from former Olympian Pat Weaver, the overall winner. Other members having a strong showing were Jake Hollenbach, Evan Martell, and Josh Dillon. These three held their own, improving since last season amongst this rather elite field. Tyler Magnan and Leigh Mallory competed as well, shaking the rust off during the first race off the season. Damian Bolduc took home the “What the H@!! happened to you” award for regressing dramatically in the results since last season.

The Women had a very strong showing as well. NWVT skiers all had stellar performances, racing with each other among the aforementioned teams. Rose Long started things out for the NWVT women showing good technique as she gets back into action. It will not take much for her to be back up among the top finishers. Jessica started a few spots back and slowly closed the gap on Rose. Finally Ilke Van Genechten dug in for her first race of the season. She caught and passed Jessica and Rose as well as almost everyone else on her way to finishing 6th overall. These three were all very happy with how their seasons are starting out and are looking forward to the racing ahead.

So the Bolton Opener was a great success for all. Much gratitude to those who donated prizes: Skirack, Seventh Generation, Douglas and Mary Grant Sugaring, and Cat Tartaglia. A special thanks to all who helped out and especially the starters and timers for braving the cold and getting us all out and back on time. And last but not least Perry Bland for barking in the starting gate. He knew each person by name and gave a personalized word of encouragement to each athlete as they counted down to the start. What a great way to start a season!

Goodluck to everyone racing at Craftsbury’s 10km classic today.

Women’s Resuts

Place Number Name Club Finish Time
1 23 Caitlin Patterson UVM 0:21:41
2 27 Jennie Bender UVM 0:22:47
3 31 Keely Levins Rutland HS 0:23:09

Men’s Results

Place Number Name Club Finish Time

1 130 Patrick Weaver UVM 0:18:18
2 123 Juergen Uhl UVM 0:18:31
3 127 Alex Howe UVM 0:18:52
Full Results Link

UVM Ski Team Blog- Race Report Link

Racer crossing the finish line.

Racer crossing the finish line.

Jake Hollenbach, Alpina/NWVT racing on Broadway to the finish

Jake Hollenbach, Alpina/NWVT racing on Broadway to the finish

Results and Story- Catamount Trail BC Challenge

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!

trapps to bolton race- start

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

Link here for full results!