The Silitch Family

Adventures in the Alps and Beyond

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Nation's Relays and Closing of the Ski Mountaineering World Championships!

USA World's 2010 Ski mountaineering Team: Pete Swensen, Brendan French, Cary Smith, Molly Zurn, Ben Parsons, Max Tamm, Amy Fulwyer, Jari Kirland, Travis Schefer, Bryan Wik, Jared Inouye, Mona Merrill, Nina Silitch (missing junior member-Matuesz Burgunder)

The Ski Mountaineering World Championships is coming to a close. Today was the nations relay. I had a chance to sit this one out and be a spectator for once which was super fun, especially as it was a gorgeous day. The relay event has to be one of the most exciting and a sure crowd pleaser. If we ever make it into the Olympics as an event, this will surely be a good ticket. The course was held at the top of a gondola, and was just 180 meters elevation gain over 2 climbs, one climb 120 meters and the 2nd, a short skin, followed by a boot pack and final skin. The course had 2 great descents as well.
Killian Jornet crashed and still managed to come away with the 3rd fastest overall time. Impressive!

What a site to see the top men and women. Cow bells were ringing, voices cheering in at least 7 languages ....."hup hup, allez, forze, venga, go, go..." It was great to see almost all the nations participating and helping this sport make more of a presence in the world. I continue to be in awe of the depth of the sport in nations such as Italy and Switzerland.

Roberta Pedrazini and Francesca Martinelli ( a mother of 2) of Italy, who have been doing this sport since they were teens and now are in their late 30's, are purely inspirational to me: they have the epitime of teamwork- syncranizing in stride together almost as if their skis are one.

Today in the relays, the USA women and men put forth a great effort with the women finishing 8th and the men 9th. The competition was fierce and we were in there! Way to go USA! For the final nations ranking the USA placed 9th out of 23 nations, a strong presence for sure.

I can not speak for everyone on the team, but I can speak for myself: Thank you so much to all of you that made it possible for me to be here this week. It was an unforgettable experience for me and an amazing
opportunity to be joined by 23 other nations, see this sport at such a high level and see the athletic prowess that so many individual entail. Bravo to all who participated and thanks the my fellow USA teammates
for making it such a fun event together!

Photo: Women's Team: Mona, Amy, Nina, Molly, Jari
We are all a part of the growing movement of ski mountaineering in the USA and one day we will look back on this and say we were a part of that in the early days.

Photo Video Hightlights:
Here is a little video I have put together with highlights from the week!





Or for the direct link to the web album click on the photo below.
If you missed the video footage of the individual race....here it is below to get as sense of what it is about.
video

If you are interested in viewing any of the official videos (they are great!) of the world championships click here:

And you can also find great info on skimo.org

What is on the rader coming up? For me, home to my 3 boys and a quick turn-around to

....The Pierra Menta- the most beautiful ski mountaineering race in the World- and the harderst- a 4 day stage race- also known as the Tour de France of ski mountaineering. I will be doing this for the 3rd season with my great friend and USA teammate Lyndsay Meyer.