The Wasatch Powder Keg has become one of the classic skimo races in the west. The 11th annual race will take place at Brighton Ski Resort on March 8, 9, and 10. Racers must register by 8PM on Monday, February 25 in order to receive the 2013 technical race shirt.
The race was started in 2003 by Andrew McLean, Butch Adams, and Colleen Nipkow with support from Black Diamond (who remains one of the race’s supporters). The race was originally part of the Life Link race series that got skimo racing started in the US. For the first few years, the race started at Alta and finished at Brighton. In 2004 and 2005, the Powder Keg was a World Cup race. To this day, the Powder Keg is the only race in North America to ever be on the World Cup circuit. The race eventually went away from the point to point format as people got so fast that the race organizers could barely drive from Alta to Brighton before the first racers finished. For the next several years the race both started and finished at Alta. In 2009, the race was taken over by Chad Brackelsberg, Emily Brackelsberg, Mark Christopherson, and Gambrelli Layco. In 2010, the race was moved to Brighton where it remains today. In 2012, a sprint relay race was also added which provided a fun, fast, crowd friendly event after the regular race. In 2013, the Powder Keg became the first 3 day race in North America featuring a Friday Sprint Race, Saturday Individual Race, and Sunday Technical Teams Race.
The sprint race will be a similar format to the European sprint races with a qualifying time trial format (1 racer at a time) followed by semi finals and final rounds that are ski cross style (6-8 racers at a time).
Saturday's race will be part of the traditional Powder Keg course with some areas following new routes that will continue to take advantage of the great Brighton backcountry access. Here is a detailed description of the course.
Sunday's Team race will be longer, harder, and more technical than the Saturday race. We are planning a course with around 8,500' of climbing with 3 booters (1 will be roped). The Powder Keg is excited to have a technical teams race and hopes that with the option of racing 3 days for over 15,000' of climbing the race will draw in a larger crowd than previous years.
As in the past, the Powder Keg will have great prizes, a huge raffle, and a BBQ after the race. New for 2013, the Saturday Male and Female Race Division winners will split a $1,700 cash prize purse! All other divisions for all 3 days will have 1st, 2nd, 3rd place purses of a combined ~$750 plus there will be an overall triple crown male and female winner.
- 1 climb of ~300' that will include kick turn, a booter, GS gate descent, and a skate finish
- Race and Heavy Metal Divisions
- 5 climbs
- 2 booters
- ~6,100' ascent
- ~10 miles
- Recreation Division
- 3 climbs
- ~3,500' ascent
- ~6 miles
- 7-8 climbs
- 2 standard booters
- 1 roped booter required harness, ascender, via ferrata, and possibly crampons
- ~8,500' ascent
- ~15 miles
For full race details, the weekend schedule, and registration, visit the Powder Keg website at www.wasatchpowderkeg.com.