The show will go on in West Yellowstone, Montana. After organizers of the Yellowstone Ski Festival (YSF) announced in an e-blast on Monday that the West Yellowstone SuperTour, set for this coming weekend, was canceled due to “damage done to the snowpack from the significant rainfall over the past few days,” it’s back on — according to a YSF press release on Tuesday.
“After much deliberation, alternate planning, checking and re-checking weather forecasts, and some more deliberation, the West Yellowstone Organizing Committee, Coaches, and US Ski & Snowboard officials, the decision has been made to hold the Super Tour openers in West
Yellowstone,” the release stated. Robert Lazzaroni, U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s nordic domestic program director, confirmed the races would be held in West in an email to FasterSkier.
As of Tuesday, the snow in the stadium and race course at the Rendezvous Ski Trails were suitable for 1.3-kilometer freestyle sprints to be held as planned on Saturday, Dec. 2, according to the release.
Sunday’s classic races (originally supposed to be 10/15 k classic mass starts) are another story. Organizers are considering four race options, the first three of which are classic races.
“On Saturday, December 2, the powers that be and the powers that ski will meet to decide on one of the following options for the race scheduled for Sunday, December 3,” the release stated, while listing the following:
“A. Classic Distance Mass Start Super Tour
a. We need 10 cm of natural snow to make this happen plus some help spot shoveling
B. Classic Distance Interval Start on homologated trails and with the Super Tour designation
a. We need 6-7 cm of snow to make this happen plus some spot shoveling
C. Classic Distance Interval Start on Dead Dog Super Tour
a. We need 4-5cm of snow to make this happen
D. Skate Distance Interval Start NOT A Super Tour, NRL with prize money
a. If we do this the Super Tour will move to Silver Star on Friday Dec 8th or Monday Dec 11th with the preference being on the 8th”
After this weekend, the SuperTour circuit will head north to link up with Canada’s NorAm opener as scheduled at Sovereign Lake near Vernon, British Columbia. Sovereign is set to host classic sprints and 10/15 k freestyle NorAm/SuperTour races Dec. 9-10.
If there’s no classic distance event in West this weekend, SuperTour organizers will aim to hold a classic distance mass start at Sovereign on Friday, Dec. 8. And if Dec. 8 doesn’t work, they’ll move it to Monday, Dec. 11.
“The West Yellowstone OC will meet tomorrow morning to begin the process of scouting for snow to harvest. An announcement will be made about a meeting time and plan of attack,” the release stated. “An agreement has been made to keep the race courses closed to preserve the snow as much as possible. Please respect this closure and keep off the course. We will do our best to get as many kilometers groomed as we can and will attempt to groom more on the Plateau Road. Keep your eyes on the daily grooming reports for the most up-to-date trail conditions.”
As of Wednesday morning, there was no rain in West Yellowstone’s forecast, but rather a chance of snow showers on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
FIS Race Results
Last Saturday, Nov. 25, season-opening International Ski Federation (FIS) sanctioned races were held on the Rendezvous Trails, with Caitlin Gregg (Team Gregg) winning the women’s 5 k freestyle and Kyle Bratrud (CXC Team) topping the men’s 10 k freestyle.
Gregg won the individual start by just 0.9 seconds over Caitlin Patterson, of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project (CGRP), in 12:01.0 minutes. Petra Hyncicova, a University of Colorado Boulder (CU) senior from the Czech Republic, placed third, 5.6 seconds back.
Erika Flowers, of the Stratton Mountain School (SMS) Elite Team), finished fourth (+11.1), and Christina Rolandsen, a CU junior from Norway, took fifth (+19.7). Another Norwegian Anne Siri Lervik (Team Asker) finished sixth (+21.2), Mary Rose, of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) was seventh (+28.0), Sydney Palmer-Leger (UOP Sports Clubs) was eighth (+32.5), Felicia Geisor ninth (+33.8), and Corey Stock, of the Bridger Ski Foundation (BSF) 10th (+41.1) out of 38 women.
In the men’s race, Bratrud edged Rogan Brown (SVSEF) by 0.6 seconds with a winning time of 21:32.0. Sun Valley had two on the podium and three in the top four with Kevin Bolger in third (+3.7) and John “Jack” Hegman in fourth (+8.7). Karsten Hokanson, a Montana State University junior, placed fifth (+12.2), Brian Gregg (Team Gregg) was sixth (+15.5), Akeo Maifeld-Carucci (Bend Endurance Academy) seventh (+22.9), Ben Lustgarten (CGRP) eighth (+30.3), Cole Morgan (SVSEF) ninth (+32.8), and Silas Talbot (BSF) 10th (+37.8) out of 49 men.