Wednesday, January 2, 2013

COURSE MAPS AND DESCRIPTION

Downloadable course maps are available under Useful Links to the right of the page. Below is the course description. It varies slightly from years past. Course maps will be included in everyone's race packets, course descriptions will not. Also added under Useful Links is this year's Race Day Time Table.



US NATIONALS COURSE UPDATE

The start will be the same, in front of Nick Wilson’s Café at the bottom of the tram. Skin a steep groomed run, Gros Ventre, up to a left hand turn onto the South Pass Traverse cat track. Follow the cat track past the base of Thunder lift to the base of Sublette lift. Here is the first change.

Instead of continuing up Rendezvous Trail, racers will veer right and climb up onto Pepi’s Ridge, following an off-piste skin track to the top of Alta One chute. The first transition is here. This is also the turn-around for the Recreational division. The Pro division will descend Alta One, being very careful in the choke, as it is rocky. When Alta One merges with the groomed run, Laramie Bowl, racers will continue their descent almost to the bottom of Sublette chair. Look for the transition on skier’s left at the bottom of Grand Woods.

Skin off-piste up through Grand Woods until it meets Jay’s Traverse, a short switchback which brings racers onto Thunder run. Transition here under the third tram tower and descend Tower Three chute. Ski the fall line, looking for panel gates at the bottom. Here is the second change.

Instead of crossing Amphitheater run, the transition will be at the bottom of Tower Three, where it joins the bottom of Toilet Bowl. An off-piste skin will go below Amphitheater Rocks, through some trees and onto Amphitheater Run. Now the course will rejoin last year’s course for a skin up a cat track to the top of the gondola, at Couloir Restaurant.

Put your skis on your pack for a bootpack up the White Spider to the top of the Headwall. From here, it’s your choice to skin or skate across the Headwall to the top of Chute 10A. Drop down Chute 10A and go right, below the cliff band, traversing high to cross the top of The Cirque to a transition at the bottom of Pepi’s Bootpack.

Put skins on at the top of the Cirque to begin the skin up Tensleep Bowl to the start of the bootpack up Corbet’s Couloir. Climb the ladder to exit the couloir then skis back on to skin to the top of Rendezvous Peak. This transition will be directly in front of Corbet’s Cabin. If you want a waffle, I would suggest getting it to go!

Ski down Rendezvous Bowl, looking for panel gates and a course marshal directing you into Central Chute. This is skier’s left of Rendezvous Trail, the main run. Drop into Central Chute cautiously, as it is bumpy and rocky. Angle left out of the first chute and traverse roughly 100 feet before dropping into the second chute, which will deposit you into Cheyenne Bowl.

Ski fall line down one more pitch, cross the flats and meet up with Rendezvous Trail. Ski the groomed Rendezvous Trail almost to the bottom of Sublette Chair. Look for panel gates, fencing and a course marshal to direct you right, off the run, onto Lower Sublette Ridge. DO NOT miss this turn and pass below Sublette Chair. If you see the maze at the bottom of the chair, you went too far.

Ski Lower Sublette Ridge, following panel gates and pin flags all the way to the bottom. The course will be mostly fall line, but you will have to veer slightly right to stay on the ridge. Be careful near the bottom as it gets quite bushy. Go left on the cat track at the bottom of Sublette Ridge (this is the ski area boundary) and follow it. Go straight past the right turn which takes skiers to the bottom of Union Pass lift, continuing straight on the cat track until you see the transition. This transition is under the Union Pass lift, about halfway up.

From here, begin the last skin. It is bushy but follow the pin flags and it is continuous. You will climb South Colter Ridge up to South Pass Traverse cat track. Depending on conditions, the course will either angle down and left directly from this transition or racers will go down South Pass Traverse about 100 feet before turning right and descending Lander Bowl onto Tram Line. Follow Tram Line until it pinches left and continues down to join Way Home. Watch for traffic coming from the left as you descend. Follow signs and course marshals to the bottom of the tram and the finish in front of the awards tent.


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