Global Rescue Sprint Classic at Suicide Six kicks off the race season
The 2016-2017 US Telemark season got underway this past weekend with the Global Rescue Sprint Classic at Suicide Six Ski Resort in South Pomfret, VT. The first of the five races comprising the Minus33 Merino Wool Eastern Telemark Series, the two run event drew a excellent field of participants on a warm and somewhat overcast Vermont day.
Kicking off with forerunners at about 10:20 am, the Expert Women got underway shortly thereafter. Starting from the newly constructed Woodstock Skirunners start house at the top of Mid-Face, the course descended 15 gates to the jump, traversing the steep headwall of the Face and challenging racers with a large offset and skillful set. After traversing the flatter middle section of the course, racers encountered a well constructed jump on the last roller of the course. Presenting a blind landing, competitors traveling a speed were forced to identify an object on the horizon during inspection and to use that reference point while lining up to take the jump.
Spectators watching from the bottom of the run, or even those inside the base lodge were treated to the sight of telemark skiers launching into the last two gates before entering the reipeløkke (“rap”) at significant speed. Thanks to some well planned snowmaking by the Suicide Six staff, the rap was a magnificent bowl, walls of snow over 10 feet high on the bottom left side of the hill. From there, a quick side hill skate, an S-turn and a 10 yard uphill skate led to the finish.