Monday, November 29, 2010

Vertical Race in Calgary

This past Saturday was the first event of the Canadian Calendar for Ski Mountaineering. We traveled to Canada Olympic Park (COP) in Calgary for a 3 hours vertical race. We all knew that the race would be as hard as we wanted it to be and we knew it would be a great way to kick off the season and also work on transitions… since in fact we had to do quite a few of them!

The race had different format, Solo, Team of 2 and Team of Four. Close to 100 racers took part in the event which was amazing and unexpected considering it was the first edition of the Vert 180.

The course was pretty simple, with a start/ finish line just outside the Cafeteria. Then of course we had to climb to the top the hill, take our skis off for a short bootpack and then straight line the “Alpine Pitch” to do it again and again and again….

I was a really fun event because it felt like we were all skiing together. People were shearing each other, kids, parents, friends teamed up for the event. It was really different then our typical Ski Mo Race. It was also kind of nice to be doing a ski race under the spotlight and looking at the city! Event if COP is not the highest mountain out there, trust me, it was still a challenge getting to the top of it, specially close to the 3 hours mark!

The whole Canadian team did very well!

Here are some of the results:

Reiner Thoni, Solo Category: 1st with 18 laps

Andrew McNab, Solo Category: 2nd with 18 laps as well

Alex Wigley, Solo Category: 3rd with 15 laps

Julie, Billie, Lindsey and Dusan, Team of 4 Category: 1st with 18 laps

Ian Gale & Steve Sellers, Team of 2 Category: 1st with the record amount of lap of the evening!!! 20 Laps! Great job guys!

On my side, I burned 17 laps in the Solo Category and finished 1st woman.

Congratulations to all the racers, it was a really challenging race at many levels!

After a nice meal and some time to come down from such energy output, we crawled into bed to get some rest before driving back to BC for a nice ski off Video Peak @ Rogers Pass on our way home! Next stop will be Golden Alpine Holiday next weekend with the Selkirk Classic Ski Mountaineering Race!!! Something to look forward to as well!

For Full Results of the Vert 180 Check Out:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ski Mo Training Camp

This last weekend was the second training camp of the season for the Canadian Ski Mountaineering Team. We have been long waiting for the precious white gold to come down and we got blessed with precipitation just before the camp so the conditions in the Asulkan Valley @ Rogers Pass were close to excellent for the event. Some team members headed to the cabin early on Thursday just to enjoy a longer stay. As for myself, I made my way in mid-day Friday with a gigantic backpack (maybe not as big as Reiner’s but still) and got to the cabin just on time to have a nice rewarding run down the trees in knee deep powder. We then waited for the other team members to get to the cabin and shared a nice meal. Andrew, Ian and myself then decided to go do some night skiing since by then, the clouds rolled away from the valley and unveiled a beautiful almost full moon. We also wanted to give ourselves a head start by breaking trail for the following day! We had an amazing run back down to the cabin and dreamt of all the turns to come the following day!

We woke-up above the clouds to nothing less then a blue bird day and the valley to ourselves. We skied multiple laps around the cabin exploring the area, looking at the glaciated terrain, taking information on the snow pack and of course making some fantastic turns. We started by skiing conservative lines and built our way up to steeper terrain at the end of the day. It felt so very good to be back on big skis, making turns under the sun in nice deep powder! What a feeling! We all gathered back at the hut for some amazing food once again, sharing stories and reconnecting with one another.

Sunday was a bit more cloudy but still really nice. We first had a quick multiple beacon search (thx Ian for coordinating the search) as Jeff set up a short racecourse for us to practice transitions and technique (thx Jeff for doing that!). We did a few laps just to refresh the memory of our muscles and just to get our mind ready for the upcoming 3 hours race this weekend in Calgary! We then switched the light skis and spandex suits for regular gear and headed back up for a final glory run, packed everything and skied back down the valley. Thx team for a great weekend and see you all the Vertical 180 next weekend for the season opener!

As people were coming in and out of the Asulkan Cabin on Sunday, I realized that people are getting more and more aware of what Ski Mo racing is all about. A few months ago, the International Ski Mountaineering Federation (ISMF) has put together a great video that showcases the sport and describes very well what it is all about. Here’s what we are training for!

Thx to the ACC for facilitating the Camp!

Monday, November 1, 2010

First Ski Mo Race Coming up!

This year, the Ski Mountaineering Race season will get an early start with the first race coming up in less then a month. We will be traveling to Calgary Olympic Park for the first event of the year for nothing less then 3 hours of vertical racing. This should be a great event but definitively not the easiest!

Monday, October 25, 2010

G3 2011 Skigraphiks

The snow is coming, we can feel it! We can see the snow line dropping down everyday!!!!! How Exciting!!!! It's also time to shop for new winter gear maybe even a new pair of skis! Who has never dreamt about designing their own skis?!? Here's an opportunity!
Last week, G3 Launched their 3rd annual Skigraphik contest.

You can also post your vote for your favorite skis if you are not much of an artist. Here's the leading design of the first round by Ben Jepson!

Following is the press release about the contest! Find all the details on the G3 Website
Good luck to all contestants!

"This ski season, G3, manufacturer of industry-leading gear for backcountry and sidecountry
skiing, will give skiers not one but four chances to see their graphics atop a pair of limited-
edition G3 skis. And, down the road, one graphic may be incorporated into the G3 line moving

Launching its 2011 Skigraphiks Contest this week, G3 will run four separate contests in concert
with four partners - online retailers, and,
as well as Backcountry Magazine online. Here’s how it works: Each month, skiers can submit
their designs at, the public gets to vote on them, and the winner each
month will get a pair of G3 skis with their graphic on the topsheet – inside of 90 days.

In addition, during the first three months, the skis will be available on a limited basis to the
public. Each online retailer affiliated with each respective month’s contest will take pre-orders
for that particular limited-edition ski during the two weeks immediately after a winner is
named. The skis will be delivered to anyone who buys it within 30 days of the close of ordering.

“When you boil it down, skiing is all about fun, and skis are fun, so we thought it was a natural
evolution to see how skiers could take the fun to the next level by spicing things up with
graphics from skiers, who we think are generally fairly creative types,” said Oliver Steffen,
President of G3. “And there’s an immediate gratification to this contest in that people don’t
have to wait till next ski season to see the results – the winners will be able to ski on their
creations this winter season.”

This is the third year of G3’s Skigraphiks contest, and each year the company gets more
submissions. Last year’s winner, Andrew Dye of Vancouver, B.C., will have his ski graphics
appear on the 2011/2012 G3 Tonic, which will debut at the upcoming Outdoor Retailer and SIA
trade shows this January.

The contest in affiliation with started Oct. 15 and will run until Nov. 14, when
a winner will be chosen. From Nov. 15 to Dec. 14, G3 will run a second contest in affiliation
with A third contest in affiliation with will run from Dec.
15 to Jan. 14. And a final contest will run from Jan. 15 to Feb. 15 in affiliation with Backcountry
Magazine, via the publication’s web site. Affiliates will promote the contest on their web site
and link traffic to the contest page on G3’s web site.

Winners of each contest will have their graphics used on a current ski from the G3 line. The
graphics from the winner of the contest will be used on the Manhattan, the contest of the Tonic, the contest on the Fever, and the
Backcountry Magazine contest the Zen Oxide. On all contests, G3’s logo must be used in the
design. In the three contests affiliated with the online retailers, their logo must also be used in
the respective contest that they are sponsoring.

At the end of the contest, one of the designs will be chosen as Grand Prize winner by G3. In
addition to skis, that artist will win a quiver of G3 gear, including their choice of telemark or
alpine-touring bindings, as well as an AviTech shovel, Carbon probe, Alpinist climbing skins, a
Bonesaw and G3 ski bag."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Last and not the less of the Series

Last Saturday in Squamish was the last race out of 5 events in the “Hell of a Series”. First off was the OreCrusher in May, then the North Shore Bike Fest at the beginning of June, then the famous and popular Test of Metal a few days after summer solstice. The Gearjammer was at the end of July and the new race in the series for this year: “Just Another Bike Race” was on August 21st.

Each of the events was really unique, testing the rider’s abilities at different levels and I have to say, that this last event was far from being the easiest! The course started at Quest University in Garibaldi Highlands and took us up the Garibaldi Park Road to the top of Half Nelson, a new bike park style trail that gives you the giggles from start to finish… The course then consisted of FSR climbs mixed in with lots of ripping single track, such as the rather challenging “Credit Line”, Roller Coaster, then up again on the FSR for the 3rd time to Pseudo-Tsuga, then into the lower Power Smart and a then into a new trail to me called “Word of Mouth”… this one last trail was a blast.

It was a really fun 40 km race. Since it was the Series ender, the organizers went all out with the awards and the meal! The awards were not only for the race but also for the overall Series categories Champions. Awards were also given for the riders who raced in all 5 events. Congrats to my friend Michael who had another great race and won his category. He also did all 5 events and finished 1st in every event he entered so he won his age group category of the Series! Congrats also to my friend Olivier who finished just behind Michael at the race. On my side, I was pretty happy finishing 1st in my category and fastest time on the ladies side which also gave me enough points to win the 20-29 series age group. I guess crossing the finish line 1st also drew some attention to my wound which I’m still nursing… which in the end gave me concert tickets, and a nice set of devil horns for being the Queen of the Series… thx for putting me on the spot Michael!… pictures to come soon!

For full results:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

First Xterra Experience!

I was thinking mmm... it would be fun to do something different like a multi-sport race, something challenging like swimming, something that involves endurance and being outside… and I always wanted to do a tri but I’ve never been really excited about the fact that most for the race is spent on pavement… So an Xterra sounded like the perfect objective for the summer!

The swimming I think is the part that creates the most headaches to athletes and it has been quite a learning curve for me specially when it comes to open-water swimming

But hey! I wanted a challenge so there! Unfortunately, during a bike training session the tuesday

before the race, I got in a fight with my bike and it won… as a result I ended up with quite a few stitches on my thigh. So I was really on the fence about racing and of course the swim was out of the equation. The option left was the duathlon…I nursed the wound as I could for a few days and first thing I knew, Andrew and myself where on our way to Canmore…!

The day before the race, we were playing with our gear a bit, practicing the switch from our stiff bike shoes to our comfy runners; which really reminded us of ski-mo. We biked the course and I also wanted to make sure that my gorgeous scare would stay sealed over the extended exercise. All the nice stitches stayed in place so I was thinking to myself: GAME ON!… but carefully on!

7am Rockies time, we were at Quarry Lake getting our mountain bike gear ready at the first transition. A different crowd then usual was present for the day, high-level athletes with high value toys…! It was really nice to see! We all gathered at the Nordic Center to get body marking out of the way and get the instruction for the race. We then wondered back down to Quarry Lake and Steve (from ski mo) was out to cheer us on! The duathletes were the first wave to start. At 9 am sharp, we sprinted around Quarry Lake for 3 kms before the first mountain bike transition. We then did 2 laps of about 10 kms on the Nordic Center trail network. The route was nice and challenging with a few long steep climbs, really muddy and slippery sections and nice little chutes. Then the second transition was at the stadium from mt biking to trail running. The run consisted of two laps of over 4 kms.

It was a really fun adventure and we both learnt from the experience and had a great race. Andrew took the overall men category and I won the female and 3rd overall. We also agreed that next time, we would both do the swim…!

For full results:

Thx to Skookum Tom & Greg and Giant for hooking me up with another Anthem while mine is getting all fixed up. Even if the remote fork lock-up on the handle bar is as sharp as a razor blade, I really like the ride!

Monday, August 2, 2010

First Toonie Race in Revelstoke!

Last Wednesday night was the first ever Toonie Mountain Bike Race in Revelstoke. The event was put together by Revelocity, cycling association which goal is to organize and promote road and mountain bike training and racing events in Revelstoke BC. Having spent 5 years in Whistler where the Thursday Toonie Races were events I religiously attended every week, I could not be more excited when I found out about the Revy Races! About 13 racers were on the start line on Wednesday and I would not be surprise if the number increases week after week since the 1st edition was a success. The race started at the Beaver Lake Parking Lot and took us through some of the nicest trails in the MacPherson Network. There was a lot of great prices for everyone and it was just a really nice and social event. This race was the first of 3 which will be on the 11th and 25th of august.

Thank you very much to organizers and volunteers!

More Details at:

An other GearJammer

On July 24th was the GearJammer, an amazing mountain bike race in beautiful Squamish BC. This race was the 3rd event of 5 in the “Hell of a Serie” . I always look forward to this event since it’s a 47 kms race mainly on single track with very little logging roads. The trails were in perfect shape again this year; dry and fast! We quickly checked out the course on Friday night just to get even more excited about the upcoming event.

Saturday was blue bird and 28 degrees! And the

race started in the heat of the day at 11am. Everyone lines up at Alice Lake Provincial Park with big smiles up on their face ready to sweat a whole lot! The race course took us from Alice Lake on a short FSR to Ed’s bypass, Cliff’s Corner, fast downhill on Bob McIntosh. Up Mike’s Loop, up the Mashiter Creek ….(long climb), up to Skookup, Power Smart and linked to Recycle and Pseudo Tsuga… which to my surprise has been buffed a lot and was fast and nice! From there, we linked to the Garibaldi Park Road where we climbed to the famous power house plunge. From there, we were not done climbing! We connected to Crumpit Wood, Father Side and S&M Connector, Three Virgins (under the power lines… it was smoking hot!…), Seven Stitches and back to the subdivisions on Plateau Drive. It was a technical and challenging course but one of my favorite so far this year.

The race went very well with no mechanical and over all good energy!

Congrats to my friend Michael who won his category and had an amazing race. On my side, I raced 29 minutes faster then last year so I was pretty happy.

For more details on the results, check the following link.

Thx to all the volunteers involved in the race and to Jodi for being there for us as the feed station!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hottest Race in Revy!

For the second year, Skookum Cycle was hosting last Sunday a really fun mountain bike race in the MacPherson Trails in Revelstoke and for the second year, the race turned out to be on one of the hottest weekend of the summer! The racecourse took us through the Revelstoke Classic double and single tracks with really nowhere to rest so it made for a challenging race for sure! This year over 140 racers showed up for the event divided in different categories, the youth, Adult sports and Adults Elites. The elite course consisted of 2 loops of 17 kms. This year, we had the chance to race aside Catharine Pendrel, 4th at the last summer Olympics; which was quite inspiring. Catharine is now traveling around BC to go to the National this weekend in Canmore and then to other races around the globe. All the best to her for the rest of her racing season.

The race started just after 10 am, and god did it start fast. It did not take long for the pack to get spread out nicely in the ascent on the “Main Loop” and then on “Space Man” to TNT. Then connecting to “Break a Leg” there was already a few people here and there getting thrown off their bikes. Up to “Dusty Beaver” a new section of trail built last summer unto hydro hill, a really fast descent on double tracks logging road. Then back to good old tantrum. By this point, I was pretty much racing on my own. It was just like going on a casual weekend ride, except a little faster! It’s really fun to get the race at home in trails that you know well. And there’s something about not having to travel in order to race. I was really happy to see the end of that race since it was really demanding. I managed to finish 1st in the elite 19-29 category but the real star of the race is my friend Michael who came up from Whistler to race. He had a great consistent race and finished 1st of all categories and set a new course record. Great work Michael!

After the race, Skookum put together a great BBQ and had a lot of great prizes for everyone. Thx to all the volunteers and Skookum Staff who made this event a success!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Chilcotins Canada Day Adventure

After a busy spring with a few races and a lot of work what better then to escape to one of the best kept secret in BC; Bralorne. This small town is pretty much a paradise for mountain bikers who are not scared to be self-reliant. Bralorne has it’s own network of trail which we tackled a little bit… well let’s say one of the trail started pretty much from the front porch of the beautiful log cabin where we stayed (thanks to Andrew’s friends Charlie and Matt) so we had no choice but to go for a spin in the area around Mt Ferguson.

The main goal of our trip was to go on an overnight trip in preparation for longer exploratory missions later on this summer. Both Andrew and myself have dreamt for quite a long time now to ride the famous Spruce Lake area. This is a trip that can be done with floatplane access but we decided to use our legs and lungs

to climb the long Gun Creek Trail. The multi use path presents obvious sings of horses use but is really nice and easy to ride. We started the first day armed with our big packs and climbed slowly our way to Spruce Lake. To our surprise, the meadows were blooming which gave us breathtaking scenery… it was actually hard to keep the eyes on the single track ahead. We camped for the night at the main Spruce Lake Campground where to our surprise, we got snowed on! ….the white stuff milted by breakfast time and the sun came out to guaranty us an other day felled with amazing views. We first explored the trails on the Tyaughton Creek side, and climbed back up to Spruce to take the trail to Cowboy Campground and to Hummingbird Lake. Unfortunately, there was a fair amount of fallen trees in the trail to Hummingbird lake but it should be all clear by now since we met the magic chainsaw men on the way.

From Hummingbirds Lake we then charged back all the way down the valley… and god was it ever fun. The single track that we nicely climbed the previous days was now a flowy tunnel through high grass, flowery meadows, sandy berms and thick forest. You can get going so fast on that trail it’s pretty scarry… Euh.. I mean amazing.

After our 9 hour day, we got back to the car with scratched legs, a few bruises (well not Andrew, just me), soaking wet shoes from river crossings, squeaky bikes but most importantly large smile up on our faces. As images are worth a 1000 words, here they are!

Monday, June 21, 2010

It was quite a TEST!

The Test of Metal! How to describe it???

As soon as I got to Squamish on Friday evening, we could feel the level of energy and excitement rising everywhere we went in town. I made my way to Brennan Park to pick up race plate and such and also met with friends to chat about the upcoming event! A lot of racers were coming and going some looking really serious, some with a large smile up on their face.

After a quick spin just to get the blood flowing in the legs and a thunderstorm later, it was time to make some last adjustments to the bike and get the hydration plan ready for the big event!

At 9:00 am, the cars were already lining up around Brennan Park. There was A LOT of people! It was great to pedal along that one paved road and chat away with friends, fellow racers as getting warmed up. Then, came time to line up the bike for the start. It was something to try to get around and position it for a good start… quite the challenge with close to 800 riders trying to do the same. The energy was really high and the atmosphere was like nothing I have experienced before…

After the national anthem, and the pipe bags, we were on our way for 67 kms of pure fun! The racecourse took us through the subdivisions of the Garibaldi Highlands just to spread out the pack as much as possible before entering the double and single tracks. I was told to get a good start and hammer as hard as possible for that first little while which I did and it worked out very well (Thx Ian!). It was amazing to see how the community of Squamish responded to the event as people were out with cowbells cheering and some also had the hoses out to cool down racers already sweating! What a rush!The race went all the way to Alice Lake provincial park from the Highlands, then took us to Roller Coaster, a nice twisty trail and then to Rock and Roll where a lot of the spectator gathered at the last impressive pitch to see the riders zoom by.

We then crossed over and down the Diamond Head to pass by the Power Plunge Feeding Zone were lots of friends gathered to cheer and feed racers. This was a great boost for what was coming up… the 9 miles hill. Personally, I pre-rode everything but… and I did not really know what I was getting into. I was wondering why people were slowing down that much. Things were going well on my side looking for shade wherever possible, hydrating along the way, having a time but I was far from knowing that the hill is really 9 miles in length and becomes steeper as you go. Fortunately, I did not bunk but I was really glad to get to the top! It was really rewarding since we then buzzed down the “Ring Creek Rip” a fast and refreshing single track (refreshing for the legs anyway…), then to the Power House Plunge, which is a bit more technical. It was a bit greasy from the rain on Friday night… nevertheless, it was challenging at this point in the course to keep a good focus and good balance. Then back through the Power House Feeding station where friends were waiting again with large smiles and nothing but amazing energy to give to racers! We were not done quite yet, a bit more climbing and some great single track with roost and rocks took us back to the pavement for a small section then through the Bluffs and back to Brennan Park! I crossed the finish Line with a big smile up on my face, with no mechanical issues, no cramping and no bunking. Since I was aiming for 3:30 and finished in 3:22 I was really happy (1st in my category and 8th overall women). Congratulations to Michael Robinson who also finished 1st in his category and had an amazing race. Congrats to Cros, Jed, Mike and all the great friends who also did the test! Thank you very much to Rose and Kevin for feeding us all and for cheering! Full Results and pictures at:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Iron Lung in beautiful Canmore

This weekend was Back-to-Back mountain biking event at the Nordic Center in Canmore. Both events were put together by one of the largest cycling team in the Bow Valley; Cyclemeisters. The event brought together many other race teams from Alberta for a total of 300 riders. Saturday was the XC race event with Sports, Novice, Elite and Expert Categories. This race was part of the Alberta Cup Series. Sunday was the Organ Grinder 5 hours enduro race. I only enter the Saturday race since there is a big event coming next weekend…I am so excited already… but more about this race first!

It’s always such a treat to go to Banff/ Canmore. Friday, as pre-riding the course, which was a bit soft not to say greasy, it was really hard for me to focus on the single track ahead. The mountains around the Nordic Centre and to view from across the valley were simply amazing. It’s funny how we often forget how lucky we are to live in such a gorgeous set up. I completed a few laps of the course with a local as the sun was setting on the strong and impressive rocky peaks.

Saturday, race day, each category had a different start time and of course, they kept the experts and elites last. We gathered at the start in the heat of the day (2:30pm) and it was hot!!! The Elite mans started with over 20 racers. Two minutes later, the expert mans were next with over 40 really competitive racers. Then the elite and expert woman followed. The laps were about 6 kilometers in length with a mix of double tracks, single tracks, steep ascents, a few technical sections in the descents… for the people who biked at the Nordic Center before, how fun is the Devonian Drop!!!! It’s just a bunch of dirt jumps and berms followed by a few sharp turns in a steep bank…loads of fun… and of course that’s where most of the spectators were so it was a bit of a no fall zone. They also had the racers go through a pretty good drop just before entering the stadium at the cross over point…another place where you definitively did not want to hit the ground! In all, it was a really fun 20 kms race. With such a short distance, it’s like a sprint for runners, no room for recovery… It was my first time doing a provincial race and I’ve never raced in Alberta before so it was all new to me. I have to say I was a bit intimidated by the head to toe sponsored racers lining up right next to me. But in the end, we were all there with the same goal in mind, … well maybe not but mine was to do my best, push the limits, have an amazing time and give it all and so I did! We all started the first climb really fast and then the pack started to spread out. 2 Girls took the lead but I managed to keep them close enough that I was able to pass then both on the descent and away I went. I kept the momentum all the way to the finish line knowing that a really experience rider was just at my tail. This was a great experience for sure and so much fun to ride somewhere different with different a crowd. Congrats to Marty who did his first race in a while and ranked 11th in Sport Category. Congrats to Don as well, great work with a 20th place in the most competitive category. Don also did great at a XC race in Merritt last weekend, coming in 3rd place. God I wish I could be that fast!

This was a leg warm up also for a totally different type of race going on next weekend in Squamish: Test of Metal, 67kms XC race. I have been looking forward to riding this event for at least 3 years so this should be a lot of fun!

Thank you very much to Skookum’s Steve and Adam who gave some well-deserved love to my light blue beast just a few days before the race. It made a great difference. Pictures of the race to come soon!

Full race results at:

Monday, May 17, 2010

First Mountain Bike Race of the Season DONE!!!

Last Sunday was the 9th annual Skookum Salty Dog 6 hours Enduro Mountain Bike Race in Salmon Arm BC. The race course linked various trails of the South Canoe Trail System. From steeper climbs, fast single track descents, logging roads and of course slightly technical sections, the 10.5 km track was a lot of fun to ride for all level. This is a family oriented event with kids, youth, adult team and adult solo categories, which also makes it a great event for the first timer! The Salty Dog sold out really early this season with over 400 registrations in the different categories.

Day of the race:

At 8am on Sunday, cars were already starting to pile in the field adjacent to the trails. The tents were starting to get set around the start/ finish line area and racers were starting to get excited… the pros were busy adjusting their light weight steel horse, others were already talking about the after-race beverages... People were smiling, joking around, hanging out with friends, which made for a great pre event atmosphere. Just after 10 am we all rolled down to a further start line in order to give some distance between the riders. There was some excitement and butterflies as this race was the first one of the bike season for me! A few cheers to fellow racer later, it was “Go Time”! We climbed a nice steep and dusty logging road to gain the first section of single track and that’s where the fun begun… 6 hours of mountain biking! On a race like this one, it’s really hard to know who you are racing against because of the many different categories. It’s really easy to get carried away. As riders were passing or getting passed, lots were cheering and or teasing, which helped keeping the mind away from the growing pain in the legs. As the clock was ticking, racers crossing the finish/start line were covered with more and more dust which made for really funny faces… we were all really dirty!

The fastest men solo expert was Brian Cooke with 9 laps in 5:42. The fastest women solo expert solo did 8 laps in 5:57. As for me, I finished 1st of the women solo category with 8 laps in 6:08 which makes me second women overall. Congratulations to Joal Borggard (from ski mo racing) who finished 25th in his category and his friend Kevin who came in second. Also congrats to Audrey Ayotte and Julie Gamache (team Poutine) who had a wicked race and finished 2nd in the women team category!

For full results:

More details on the event:

The Skookum team did a great job once again at organizing the event, which was a huge success. A big thank you to all the volunteers who did an amazing job at cheering racers and helping out.

Special thx to Skookum’s Tom and Greg for the team jersey, the yummy apple pie and the good times! Next Skookum event will be in Revelstoke on the 10th of July for the 2nd annual “Get Rev El Stoke”. As for me, some skiing and biking in the week to come!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rab Backcountry Gear Review

Introducing Rab :
"The Rab brand is renowned for producing outstanding quality clothing and sleeping bags, suitable for extreme cold environments and high altitude mountaineering".
This company starting producing gear oriented toward expedition for extreme weather about 30 years ago and Rab is now working on a new line of clothing oriented towards backcountry skiing. Rab just started infiltrating the Canadian market and I would not be surprised to see more and more of their logo out in the Canadian mountains next season.

I had the chance to test and ski with Rab clothing over the last ski season and I have been truly impress with some of their innovative, comfortable and practical gear. Rab has also been kind enough to support our Canadian Ski Mountaineering team by donating "Neutrino Endurance Jackets" to 13 athletes and team support...

Where can Rab be found?
If you would like to have a look at the full Rab line:
I know locally ValHalla Pure will have some sample available during the summer and a full order in the winter time.

Should you be interested, here are some of my personal feedbacks on the gear I tested over the last winter months and please do not hesitate to ask questions!

1-Latok Alpine Pants: Love the pants! I never thought I would ski only with these and a pair of under layer underneath…! Really surprised on how the material is waterproof but also allows it to breathe very well on ascents and under warm temps.

2-VR Trail Pants: The pants work well for cold dry days since they are really warm. As previously mentioned, when we wear under layer under them, they are really warm but the liner moves when taking the pants off.

3-Photon Pants: I love them!!! For what I used them for, they were just perfect… (after races and after training). They kept me warm and allowed me to keep dry underneath. I don’t have much more to say about them besides from I like the fit, long enough and roomy.

4-VR Lite Jacket: I like the fit and the style and really useful for the really cold days but it was a bit too warm for me… I was getting really wet quickly with it even if I was just wearing a short sleeve short under. Good jacket for under layer when skiing down but maybe I sweat too much for this kind of jacket!

5- Latok Alpine Jacket: Love the jacket, nice fit and nice style. Really comfortable in ascent… I was only wearing it with a t-shirt under and was fine most of the days.

6-Neutrino Jacket: One of my favorites along with the Microlite!!!
Amazing down jacket! Love it! It’s really nice and warm, really good for the cold days ski touring in the bottom of the pack. Keeps its loft for a while even when wet. All the Canadian team had nothing but positive comments on them!

7- Microlite Alpine Jacket: One of my favorite pieces of clothing… I basically wear it all the time! It’s really nice to have in the pack when day trip ski touring to keep warm when stopping. Light and small, can be put anywhere.

8-Rab Expedition Bag
Nice, solid and roomy, it’s all you need for travelling, going to competition and bringing at the start line. The “back pack” straps are a really nice feature. The material is waterproof enough to be kept outside in the snow and not get all wet. I really like the mesh pocket inside the cover but it would be great to have an additional division inside as well or smaller exterior pocket for the smaller items.

9-Ice Gauntlet Gloves: the gloves still look great after many days of ski touring, patrolling and such. The string of one of the wrist ropes gave up on me but besides from that, they are in great shape. They are warm and don’t get wet easily.

10-Rab M14: these gloves got lots of use and still look fine… just starting to rip between the thump and the index a bit. I like the fact that the top of the hand is always staying dry since the material seems to do a great waterproofing job.

11- Baltoro Softshell Gloves: I really liked those gloves and love the fact that they are long and breathe well. They seem to never get wet. They are a bit on the cold side in cooler weather when descending but perfect on those same days for climbing up!

Thank you so much for help and support over the season of 2009-2010. Rab really made a difference for me this season and I am really grateful."