Getting Started: Where to Race in the Northeast

Transitions at friday night lights on black mountain

Transitions at friday night lights on black mountain

Forget About The Gear

Everybody gets hung up on the gear. People love talking about how many grams they shaved by spending X-amount of dollars on their new bike and ski gear. Yes, gear is important: You can’t go skiing without it. You sure as shit can’t ski uphill without it. But I want to take a step back from the gear for a bit and look at some of the other factors that I think will make be important to this new sport that I’m diving into before I even start getting gear.

Northeast Skimo Race Websites

I guess a good place to kick things off with actual information is where an East Coast Noob can find some good, pertinent info on skimo racing in the northeast.

NE Rando Race Series

This place has some basic info about where to find gear, race rules and most importantly: where to you can race in the Northeast. They have 6 “official” events for the 2019 season along with a very complete list of race venues in the Northeast at the bottom of their schedule and registration page. You’ll need a $40 dollar license from the US Ski Mountaineering Association to compete along with the entry fees for the race.

Skimo East

For those of you with a Canadian persuasion this is a great site to check out but it looks like recently they’re only hosting a couple of races. They have some pretty nice tech videos that go over transitions and a list of resorts with an uphill policy.

I was surprised to see Tim Johnson affiliated with the site. He’s a regular at some of the bike rides that I photograph so I think I’ll need to chat with him about his skimoness the next time I run into him.

Ski The Whites

The start of friday night lights at black mountain

The start of friday night lights at black mountain

Andrew Drummond. He’s the man. An all around mountain-nut, he’s accomplished some pretty impressive feats in the White Mountains. And now he’s got a little retail shop at the Black Mountain Lodge where he sells touring related ski gear. Definitely check out his website. He has great info about picking gear as well as some impressive stories and photographs from adventures past.

Most importantly, Andrew hosts the Friday Night Lights (FNL) race series at Black Mountain. After the sun goes down and the lifts stop running, Andrew takes to the slopes with lanterns and reflective poles and sets up a course that winds its way up the mountain. These races aren’t what anybody would call “official” but they’re fun and they’re cheap: entry fee was $10 last year. There’s typically a 1 lap (sport) and a 2 lap (expert) category. This event attracts all of Andrew’s fast spandex clad friends and the competition in the expert category is pretty heavy. And it looks like Andrew is expanding the series this year to have three events per week. Check his site for updates.

Friday night lights is where I plan to do most of my racing this year. I’ll probably try to squeeze in one or two “official” events just to get a feel for them and to see how I stack up against other competition. It will also be nice to do some racing during daylight hours.

This seems to be one of the best sources of info about US based Skimo. One of the topmost site you’ll find with a Google search. Lot’s of different posts about everything skimo. Also some literature and training plans for sale if you’re into that kind of thing.

Catamount Trail Association

For those in the wilds of Vermont, these guys have a Tuesday Night Lights event at Bolton Valley Ski area. So, if one were so inclined, you could race Tuesday through Friday and then hit a big event on a weekend. Burly.

I’ll continue to come back to this post and update it as I come across new info.