The Gunnar Hagen 30k classic race is next Sunday ... or is it? Conditions at Cabin Creek are not quite optimal right at the moment; Nick the groomer wisely decided not to groom today to try to preserve the skimpy snow cover, and the forecast is a little iffy.
But we can still hope for lots of snow! The Kongsberger events committee huddled yesterday and came up with some alternative plans for the Gunnar Hagen, factoring in unpredictable conditions and Forest Service restrictions. The final decision will be announced this Tuesday, but in the meantime, here are the options, so you can start making your plans:
- Plan A (the optimistic plan) is to hold the “standard" GH on the regular course ( or maybe a slightly modified version of that course depending on the snow conditions, but all on the lower Cabin Creek trails). We have the logistics organized to hold such a race. The fees would remain the same, although there would be no monetary penalty for those who register the day of the race.
- Plan B would be to hold what we are calling “The Amabilis Scramble”. Due to road closures and FS restrictions, we are planning to have a mass start at the bottom of the Amabilis Hill (at the road) at 10:00, and the first person to the top wins. Meaning, this would be more of a mountaineering, decision-making, running/skiing race. Skiers would need to be prepared to carry their own water, boots, snacks, skis, extra clothes, etc, and to run/hike at the start. It would be their decision as to when they don skis/boots on the way up. Backpacks could be left on the trail or carried by the individual skiers up to the top, which again would be their decision. They would need to pick up their own gear on the return down the mountain. This would be a race to the top, following the Amabilis road. No newly groomed spurs. Easy departure, easy logistics. Skiers would get their overall time at the top from a timing crew and ski down. A chili lunch and short awards ceremony would follow afterwards. Registration would be free and limited to the first 75 skiers to sign up (a Forest Service permit regulation). The event would remain a CLASSIC race only.
- Plan C would be to cancel the race entirely. We are optimistic that this will not happen.
Don't you think Option B sounds kind of fun? Cross your fingers, and keep doing your snow dance!