Tuesday evening of the 31st of January I attended a slideshow put on at the Alpineer in Crested Butte. Team Crested Butte showed up to give the public an overview of Rando racing, rando gear and some insight into what might be necessary to race in the Elk Mountain Grand Traverse. Bryan Wickenhauser lead the presentation with help from teammates Jari Kirkland, Jon Brown, and Brian Smith.
I came away with the following (specifically concerning impending EMGT race in March).
- Amiee and I need to have a tow line. Basically its a light line with bungie in the middle that keeps teams together. Either end has a quick clip on it and there is bungie in the middle that allows for variability in the distance one teammate gets from the other. This gear item isn’t actually used to pull someone along, but it ensure that teammates don’t get too far apart which can have a significant psychological impact on the member who finds themselves consistently behind the leading member. Additionally, when used in team races it pretty much ensures that you won’t get DQed for being too far apart.
- I need a bigger pack than the C.A.M.P. Rapid 260 I’ve been using thus far. Takeaway here is that 40 miles and the minimum gear list would be hard to traverse given the limited capacity of this race pack. Currently I’m considering the C.A.M.P. X3 600, but have been poking around looking at some of the others.
- I’ll need to carry a “real” shovel, the bear claw won’t work for EMGT. Bugger, so much heavier, but at least I won’t be showing up to the starting line with the wrong gear.
- Ski retainer “system” can be as light as a rolled bit of TP. Ok, maybe a little more sturdy than that, but the requirement appears to be largely notional for AT race gear and the requirement is only in force while on Aspen mountain. Jon had some pretty keen ideas that I’m going to monkey around with over the next month and a half.
- Train at night! EMGT starts at midnight and we should be comfortable making a significant portion of our way to the finish line in the dark. We also need to have our gear list down enough that we’re not stopping periodically (especially in the dark) to change up or out.
- Keep moving! It sounds like this is a common problem during EMGT, you start strong and decide along the way that a little refresher might be in order. The longer you stop the more likely it becomes that you’ll be turning around. The two of us have to be prepared to hit the trail consistently for 11 to 12 hours non-stop and then there will be all the rest in the world. Avoid cold muscles cramping and the like.
Thanks again to Team Crested Butte for the insights!