Sunday, November 28, 2010

West Yellowstone - A Better Update

After a ridiculous day of travel (see update here - By the Numbers) on Monday, I finally made it to Bozeman. As I had missed my ride due to the debacles with flights, I arranged a shuttle into West Yellowstone. That actually worked out quite well as the roads were terrible. Highways were shut down everywhere, and in fact the race originally scheduled for Wednesday had to be moved to Thursday; partially because it was brutally cold, but mostly because the timing crew and equipment got stranded in Idaho (see article on Faster Skier - article). Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself...

Monday night in West Yellowstone consisted of getting the Boulder Nordic Sport trailer organized and ready to work. For those of you who remember the trailer, this is very similar. Unfortunately, moving the trailer to the front of the hotel, where it would sit for the week, meant that we immediately got stuck. There was a lot of snow.

Tuesday we were up early and out testing skis. With temperatures hovering around -23C and howling winds, it wasn't looking promising for the race. Nevertheless, we braved the cold and went out to test some wax (Tuesday results). Given the wind and falling snow, using the speed trap was out of the question and we resorted to testing by feel. Ski*Go was running well and Chris and I decided to go with a base of Swix LF4 covered by Ski*Go C380 on the race skis. In the end it wasn't relevant and the race got moved to Thursday. Boom.

Wednesday was more of the same - cold temperatures and blowing snow. We ran some more tests and C380 continued to run well (Wednesday results). We continued with the same setup and spent the evening working up race skis for Drew. 

Thursday was race day and Drew stomped the field. This race was basically just a points grab to help the US sprint field improve their FIS rankings. It's an odd event, but the organizers held two sprint qualifiers (classic then skate) back to back with no heats. Weird. We were on old school Ski*Go -2 - -15 kick wax and Holmenkol Cold powder.

Friday was the skate race - generally a good day but room for improvement. Moving on...

Saturday was probably the most interesting race day of all. The field was super tight with the leaders changing throughout the race. Drew had some tough luck breaking a pole and probably would have challenged for the win otherwise. Nish and Graham Kilick were right in the mix too. Really great.

Is there more to report on the weekend? Probably, but I'm getting hungry and the all day breakfast upstairs at BZN is calling. Here are some pictures, stolen from Drew, to give you an idea of just how much snow there was.

Jeffries, Butler and Nish check out one of the many snowed in team vehicles.

A Yellowstone Parks building - mad snow.

Downtown West Yellowstone looking more like the Antarctic than Montana.

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