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Come on out the Granlibakken Ski Hut tomorrow night at 6:30PM for the final team meeting of the 2012-2013 season. Should be a good one. There will be an outstanding meal (as usual) provided by Debra Schroepfer with the general meeting after.
It had been close to twenty five years since I'd worn a pair of tights (high school cross country) and I was a little nervous about busting them out in public again. I'd bought a pair back in February when I started running a lot in cold temps but I was pretty sure no one I knew had seen me in them. Now I was at the base of Squaw getting ready for the Billy Dutton Uphill and while It wasn't super cold, it felt too damn cold for shorts. So I made the call…I was tighting up.
Don't get me wrong. They weren't pink sparkly tights and I wasn't skipping around Dave's Deli singing show tunes…not that there would be anything wrong with that. .. but if you're a dude and you put on tights I think it always occurs to you, if only for an instant, "There's absolutely nothing manly about this at all." I'm guessing the more you rock 'em, the quicker you can dismiss this thought but the fact remains.
The race was starting in five minutes so I made my way to the start area and took off my sweat pants. Troy showed up. Then Dirk. Next thing I knew Doug R. was there too. Suddenly I felt like I wasn't wearing any pants at all. I braced myself for the barrage of trash talking.
Nothing. Chit chat. We talked about how brutal the first hill would be and made fun of the guy wearing five finger Vibram shoes and no socks. One minute to start and I moved towards the front of the start group. Dirk said something about moving back so he could pass a bunch of people. The next thing I knew the crowd surged and we were off.
By the way, Five Fingers beat me by .7 seconds.
Mountain Approach Skis
The team is now proud owner of a pair of Mountain Approach skis. Many thanks to Mountain Approach for their generous donation to the team. As I recall, someone on the team spotted a pair at the Benson Hut this season and thought they might be a good snowshoe alternative for some of the post-holing snowboarders we often have to haul out.
If you're unfamiliar with these skis, they are designed for backcountry snowboarders and are a three piece foldable approach ski with skins permanently attached to the bottom. I haven't skied them myself but I would imagine that they are much more efficient uphill tool in deep powder (sliding vs. stepping) and would also be much better in traversing situations.
So enough speculating, who's going to be the test pilot and take these bad boys for a spin?
Billy Dutton Uphill
Everybody's favorite uphill suffer-fest was held at Squaw Valley USA on April 14th and it did not fail to deliver on the pain and suffering front. The field seemed to be evenly split between skiers and snow shoers/runners and conditions were fast (for runners at least…..I don't know how the skiers felt and conditions are always slow for snowshoes, right?).
It was a fast start for the first fifty meters until racers hit the first hill. It's not a long one but it's almost vertical and had the effect of immediately stretching out the field. We had had a solid freeze the night before so the snow was firm and there was a pretty stiff wind blowing the entire race. There were several strong downhill gusts on the climb that were completely demoralizing.
Once I got to close to High Camp, before the climb to Shirley chair, I thought I was in pretty good position. Maybe fifteenth I thought. I had been chasing 14 year old Casey Jobe from Truckee the entire race and just could not reel him in. He might have been five feet tall but he maintained a punishing pace. Troy and I had run together most of the race and I knew he was he was on my heels too. I stretched it out on the field behind me but Casey hung tough. At the beginning of the downhill, Casey and I bumped knuckles and I told him, "Let's go."
You probably want a happy ending where Casey and I finished together arms raised in a perfect picture of sportsmanship and camaraderie, . Well that didn't happen. Fortunately for me his legs weren't long enough to really stride it out, so once we started the downhill I pulled away pretty quickly.
Next year the smart money will be on Casey.
Team finishers: Geoff Quine 45:21 (13th), Troy Corliss 46:57(18th), Bernie Mellor 49:07 (23rd), Dirk Schoonmaker 50:13 (27th), JC Schoonmaker 54:22 (51st), Grand Poobah 58:23 (65th), Jim Granger 1:04:23 (87th), Mera Schoonmaker 1:55:01 (163rd) and Marty Schoonmaker 1:55:09 (164th)
Team Elections for 2013-2014 Season
Team elections will be tomorrow evening. Nominations close today, I believe. They might already be closed but if you have someone in mind for a position you should try to nominate them anyway. Can't hurt, right?
Here's who on this year's slate:
President Chris McConnell (unopposed)
Vice President Troy Corliss, Paul Honeywell, Geoff Quine
Secretary Devin Hiemstra (unopposed)
Board Members Sarah Carbonari, Joanna Wright, Geoff Quine, Jeb Mirczak, TJ Johnson
Member of the Year Joanna Wright, Cathy Strand, Gary Sterle, Holly Beattie, Dirk Schoonmaker
Nothing on the calendar right now folks but if you are interested in leading a training please contact training coordinators Steve or Jeff. It's important to keep your search skills sharp over the summer so if you have a skill set or knowledge that would be valuable to share with the team get in touch with either Mr. Reynaud or Mr. DeVries.
That said, be sure to check the forum often over the summer for training opportunities. Warm weather and long days make for some fun days out.
Spring Time Garage Clean-Up This Tuesday, May 7th
It's that time of year folks. Hard to believe things are too out of whack in the garage with only seven searches this season but the garage always needs some TLC come this time of year. Please come to the Team Garage this Tuesday, May 7th from 5-7PM to buff things out. We will be cleaning and organizing everything garage and equipment related so if you have any stray equipment at home (radios, jackets, etc.) please bring that stuff in so we can account for it and get it cleaned up or charge it or whatever may be required. Once we've cleaned things up we'll be grabbing dinner and refreshments at The Blue Agave so come on out, get dirty and then enjoy a some Mexican fare with your teammates.
Have a great summer everyone! Even though we won't be having monthly meetings, we will have searches (I'm pretty confident of that). If you haven't already transitioned your search pack from winter to summer, now is the time.
Stay safe North Tahoe!