Updated: Feb 27
Austrian Championships in Ski Mountaineering:
27.01.23: Vertical Race
28.01.23: Individual Race
I had so much fun racing the Mountain Attack that I have decided to give it a shot on the shorter courses too. I registered for the Erztrophy Austrian Championship weekend which was a Vertical on day 1 and an Individual on day 2.
Vertical meant you start in the valley and finish at the top- no downhills.
Individual means you start and finish at the same spot with multiple uphills and downhills + a passage where you have to carry your skis.
The course was 879hm and 3,45km with the finish at the top.
The gun went off and everyone started with a running movement into the race. I followed and tried not to blow up. The first few hundred meters were pretty chilled until suddenly it got steeper and steeper. I slowed down a lot, my heart rate was pounding and my climbing skins were on the limit of holding me on track. I had to use my poles a lot for preventing sliding back on every step. After leaving the steep part behind me I found a good pace for myself, but quick little views backwards told me I was pretty far back in the field. Still a bit handicapped with my "heavy" skis and gear I was still proud of myself finishing 45th in 47:10 minutes.
The course was 2 laps of 800hm with multiple uphills and downhills.
This kind of racing needs a lot more technique than the Vertical ones. Most of the course is off-piste with a little track through deep snow on the uphills and technical downhills. The key factor are the skis and the climbing skins.
I started into the race super motivated from the day before and felt really good. Managed to stay with a group of people around me and had fun on the course. As I was mounting and dismounting my "Gecko-Skins" which work without glue as they are sticky itself and holding onto the ski adhesive. This was the problem. The fresh snow got stuck on them and they didn't stick on my skis again. I lost so much time drying them and scraping the snow off with my gloves which ended up being all the way at the back of the race with maybe 5 other athletes having trouble with their gear.
My race was a complete disaster, every time I cleaned my skins I lost 5 minutes and made me depressive as this is not the kind of sport that I know is a lot of fun. I still finished the race on 39th in 2:46:46 hours. Which is nothing to be happy about but I just didn't wanna give up.