A sunny day for a Randonnée

Brace Lee blitzes up Red on his way to men’s gold.   - Caley Mulholland photo
Brace Lee blitzes up Red on his way to men’s gold.
— image credit: Caley Mulholland photo

Kicking off Red’s Kokanee Spring Fest in style was the first annual Redhead Randonnée Race, a ski mountaineering competition that combined both an uphill skin up Red Mountain’s Dale’s Trail and Sally’s Alley to the peak, with a ski down The Cliff to base.

A handful of hardy athletes arrived Saturday morning equipped with touring gear, backcountry skills, and big lungs, but Brace Lee took the cake.

He crushed the uphill, ripped the transition to downhill mode, and screamed down the Face of Red to cross the finish line in a total of 35 minutes.

Other competitors, athletes all, took an hour to complete the same circuit.

It was already a special day for Brace: His win also marks his 100th day of ski touring this season.

Veteran randonnée racer Karen Reader, who placed first among the women, remarked that “Red Mountain is a great location for this event because the ratio of uphill to downhill is perfect.”

Reader gained much of her randonnée racing experience at Crested Butte, Colo., where an annual event commemorates 19th century postal worker Al Johnson who delivered mail on skis to remote mining camps.

Rossland also has a long history of backcountry ski racing, including the famed Grey Mountain Grind in the 1940s that involved a skin up Grey and a ski back to town.

The Redhead Randonnée may be a first step towards a revival of the Grey Mountain Grind tradition, which could get Red Mountain included in the Alpine Club of Canada’s sanctioned randonnée race circuit, an event well-suited to Rossland’s strong backcountry culture.

Red’s Mika Hakkola said he hoped the word gets out about this year’s randonnée to attract more of Rossland’s hard core of ski tourers when the event is held again next year.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Time to get ready for the Rossland ski season
The benefit of team sports
Interact’s Cambodia experience
Ride-sharing company spooks taxi firms
RDCK cuts to reduce threat of wildfire
Bergman runs to valley and B.C titles
Swim team defends valley
Barzilay jiving with new challenges on the slopes
Selkirk College prepares for SROAMazing Race

Community Events, November 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 30 edition online now. Browse the archives.