During the weekend of January 8th & 9th Jackson Hole Mountain Resort & Grand Targhee played host to two of the three selection races for qualifying for the US Ski Mountaineering Team.
Saturday’s race was the US National Championships at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. With over 7600ft of climbing, including a boot pack up Corbet’s Col, Team Crested Butte’s two top athletes were Jari Kirkland (5th) and Bryan Wickenhauser (5th)….both just missed automatic spots as the top three athletes were chosen. Jon Brown placed 18th.
The 11th annual US National Championships were with out a doubt the strongest field ever assembled…..over 14 current or former US Team members were fighting for five qualifying spots during the weekend of racing!
Following quickly on the heels of Saturday’s race was the Grand Targhee Ski Mountaineering Classic. With over 5400ft of climbing, the back to back grand totals were 13,000ft in two days of racing full tilt…yeah the kind were drool & spit is sliding down your face, and you’re smiling!
Kirkland & Wickenhauser, both accomplished endurance athletes used the second day to show case their abilities as they took automatic slots on the US Ski Mountaineering Team! Kirkland finished 4th in the women’s race and Wickenhauser 5th in the men’s race.
Both athletes are members of last year’s US Ski Mountaineering Team. Wickenhauser will be competing in his third Ski Mountaineering World Championship competition over in Europe. This year’s competition will be held in Claut, Italy www.claut2011.org
All athletes on Team Crested Butte ski on Goode and have been Goode skiers for the last three years. www.goode.com
The final selection race for the 2011 US Ski Mountaineering Team will be held this Saturday, January 15th at Sunlight Ski Resort, the second stop on the COSMIC Series.
For more information on Team Crested Butte please go to www.teamcrestedbutte.blogspot.com
For more info on the US Ski Mountaineering Team please go to www.ussma.org