Sunday, March 3, 2013

Going Up... Hill!

Just like last year, early February means only one thing: Winter Mountain Games.  This time around, my man was pushing so hard for me to race on Saturday on the Ski Mountaineering race.  Nope, I said.  It's too hard.  While I didn't mind all the uphill skinning, I did mind not skiing down the fun stuff I like to ski in Vail and then you gotta boot-pack and put skins on and off and such. Seemed too hard and I wanted to have fun.

Alright, there's the other thing: I wanted to go claim the first place since I had placed second last year.  If you know me, you know I am competitive.  So off we go.  Left home early on Saturday and arrived in Vail in time for Chuck to start his competition.

Handsome man getting ready for race
There were three categories: Beginner, Advanced and Elite.  He wanted me to do the beginner, he wanted to do advanced.  He started and I went back to the car to get ready to snowboard.  Ahhh... how I missed my snowboard.  First time this season on my board and it was pretty awesome.  Half way to Blue Sky Basin, I get a text from my man saying he decided to do the beginner course because it was damn hard as is so I worked my way back to the base to see him finish.  He finished 3 minutes after I got there... PERFECT timing.

I spent the rest of the day riding and enjoying pretty good snow.  We then had dinner and drinks together followed by some big air shows, concert and a good night sleep.

In the morning, it was my turn.  I got ready and was sure I could do much better than the previous year.

Lady ready to go
I knew the course, and just as the previous year, everyone just took off super fast.  But I felt like I stuck to the group much better than I did last year.  I won't talk much about the actual course since it's well described in last year's post, but I was able to keep a steady pace the whole way up.  This time around I was not last and the sweeper did not catch up to me.  Not only that, but I started passing people in snowshoes... NICE!

On the last steep hill I was starting to get close to a girl in AT setup, just like me and since I saw her struggling with the climb, I wanted to catch up and help her if she needed.  When I reached her, I saw she had the same skis I did but with Tele bindings and blue boots.  Wait, that's the girl who beat me last year: same skis, tele bindings, blue boots.  Umm, I will not offer help, I will say hi and continue on. I have to beat her.  So I did.

In the end, she took her skis off and boot-packed up (which yes, is faster than with skis).  I was trying to fly to the finish... and yep, I beat her by a few minutes.  Again, it was only the two of us in our category, but this time, I walked away with the gold medal.

Yes, I'm awesome!
My legs were tired, I couldn't even ski down considering I had to traverse towards Vail Village to get to our hotel, so I just took the Gondola down with Chuckles.  We took it easy the rest of the day.  Now on to next year... when I'll be in a different category, so I legitimately need to get better.

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