The Kirkwood 9 to 5. 8 hours of shredding at Kirkwood Ski Resort. However, this time around, there was no snow to be found…
Team Bigfoot put on a delightful mountain bike endurance race in late August at the base of Kirkwood. Using some of the trails from Kirkwood’s bike park, the event organizers created a course from mostly singletrack, and offered an 8 hour and a 24 hour race. (Ironically enough, due to the wacky weather that weekend, it did start snowing lightly around midnight on the 24 hour racers.)
A post race view of the Cirque from the parking lot:
On my first lap of the 6.5 mile course, I was having a ball with all the fun and twisty singletrack. About 2 miles to go and the course found its way directly underneath Kirkwood’s infamous Cirque, a permanent closure of the ski area, and the host venue of the North American Freeskiing Championships.
Each time around, where we would pass under the Cirque, I’d take a moment’s break from the suffering at hand, carefully pull my gaze from the trail and up and to the right, and think about skiing. I was able to piece together the lines I skied in the past 2 contests there. I always think it’s cool to be able to see what exactly lies underneath all that snow that we ski on. Whether you’re riding the Cable Car at Squaw in the summertime, or hiking Rubicon Peak, the bare terrain that ultimately contrives all of those chutes, spines, and cliffs that we ski for 6 months each year, is exciting to check out. In the case of the Cirque, volcanic rock permeates the land. And remembering this year’s ski contest, that characteristic might explain why so many athletes fell victim to the “dry dock” folly when heading into an air. Hmmm… woah! Time to put my head back down and pedal!