Ethan Passant, of Crested Butte, Colorado won the Arc’teryx Randonne Rally at Sunshine Village, Alberta, Canada, on Saturday, February 3rd, in a time of 1 hour 30 minutes and 57 seconds. Second Place in the ski mountaineering race went to Cary Smith, of Jackson Hole, Wyoming who finished in a time of 1 hour 31 minutes and 35 seconds. Passant and Smith were challenged throughout by a very fast Peter Svatojansky of Slovakia, who unfortunately was disqualified because of course infractions. Third place went to Andy Traslin of North Vancouver, BC, who finished in a time of 1 hour 40 minutes and 27 seconds. Traslin is a member of this year’s Canadian National Ski Mountaineering Team.
"The course at Sunshine was tougher technically and physically than last year’s event." stated Ryan Johnstone, Jury President and Board member of Ski Mountaineering Competition Canada / Compétition du Ski Randonnée Canada (SMCC) a committee of The Alpine Club of Canada. Johnstone, along with past competitor and title sponsor Arc’teryx manager John Irvine set the course for both the Race and the Recreational categories of the competition.
“It was an incredible day, with a very alpine feel” claimed Karen Kingsley, of Ophir, Colorado, female winner with a time of 1 hour 55 minutes and 01 seconds. The challenge of the course was demonstrated early on, when a sponsor’s representative inadvertently kicked off a ski and slid the length of Delirium Dive, narrowly avoiding several cliffs. No harm was done however, and ACC volunteers and competitors alike were on hand to celebrate with beer at Sunshine’s Creekside Lounge a few hours after the race.
The race was sanctioned both by the United States Ski Mountaineering Association (USSMA) and the Ski Mountaineering Competition Canada/ Compétition du Ski Randonnée Canada, as part of The Alpine Club of Canada. All of the racing division competitors garnered points toward the overall USSMA Series Title as well as the Alpine Club of Canada’s 2007 series.
The USSMA series now travels to Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Crested Butte, Colorado for the next race on February 10th. The Series then goes to Kirkwood, California for the Marmot Kirkwood Mountain Resort race on March 3rd. Alpental, Washington and the Outdoor Research Alpental Race is the next stop on March 18th. This race will be organized by Martin Volken, well know mountain guide and retailer in the Seattle area. The Race Series finishes up with the Life-Link North American Championships at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on March 24th.
This year, as last year, points can also be earned by competing in the Black Diamond Powder Keg held in Salt Lake City, Utah on March 17th. Money from the races goes to benefit the local avalanche forecasting centers or the search and rescue organization in the local communities where the races are held.
Sponsoring the series this year are: Life-Link, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, Arc’teryx, Outdoor Research Couloir Magazine, Back Country Magazine, Off-Piste Magazine, Buff, Croakies, Clif Bar, Suunto,
Adventure Medical Kits, Honey Stinger
For more information and complete results go to www.life-link or www.ussma.org or call 800-443-8620