Meet the Skimo Race – Bryan Wickenhauser
Current hometown and mountain range: Gunnison, CO Elk Mountains
If you were not born in the mountains, what drew you to them or enabled you to move to there: Growing up I was an alpine ski racer chasing races all across the upper Midwest. Once I got to see the Rocky Mountains for a ski training camp, I knew I had to eventually move to Colorado.
Age when you started skiing: 2 yrs old
Number of years you have been skiing: 38 yrs
How long have you been skimo racing: My first backcountry ski race was the GORE-TEX Grand Traverse in the first edition of the race in 1998, completing every Grand Traverse but one since then. Additionally, I have raced all seven years in the COSMIC Series …
How did you get into skimo racing: The GORE-TEX Grand Traverse started in 1998 and I had just moved to Crested Butte in 1997 and thought I’d give it a go…how hard can 40 miles of skiing through the Elk Mtns be? 😉
Was there a moment of realization that helped you step it up to the next level of competition: No one moment, but just a journey of little baby steps….the biggest thing is combining a passion of skiing powder and adventure.
What is your favorite thing about skimo racing: The sense of adventure you get via the training, with lots of powder laps in the back country with great a great crew of friends.
What is your favorite skimo race: The CB Skimo race, now with the addition of the Guide Ridge to the peak (1000’ of fixed lines), it really adds that missing element that they have in Europe…and once again adds to the sense of adventure.
What is your most memorable skimo moment: My first GORE-TEX Grand Traverse victory with Brian Smith in 2010. There are lots of “legends” on the trophy, so I was psyched to finally get my name on it!
What do you do to keep in shape for skimo racing in the off-season: Play in the Elk Mountains via running, hiking and mountain biking and hit the weights.
What is your favorite non-skimo sport of hobby: Watching my wife’s collegiate men’s & women’s XC running teams at Western State Colorado University, competing at the highest level in NCAA Division II in the Fall. Seeing them put their heart & soul into fighting for the championship each year, gets me fired up skimo racing!
|Wick & Smithy|
Skimo race wins:
- 2X GORE-TEX Grand Traverse winner
- 3X US Ski Mountaineering Team member
- 2010 Power of Four Winner
- 2009 Five Peaks Men’s Team Winner
Skimo race you have not done that you would really like to do: Pierra Menta
Preference of skimo race format (technical vs. non-technical; in-bounds vs. backcountry; etc): Technical, Backcountry pairs/teams racing, and longer the better!
Preferred skimo gear (skis, bindings, skins, boots, pack, etc.): Ski Trab bindings, Ski Trab World Cup skis, SCARPA Alien 1.0 boots, CAMP or Ski Trab skins, CAMP 260 Pack
Favorite piece of skimo gear: CAMP Flash Anorak jacket. I never leave home without it in the Summer or Winter when traveling fast & light in the mountains.
Best skimo training tip: Boot, binding, skin (process for ripping skins in a transition)
Best advice for beginner skimo racers: Do your intervals, eat your Wheaties and get with a training
group of more experienced racers than you….and watch/listen!
Skimo race nutrition preference: 8 oz. of Acli-mate hydration and 2-3 “gu’s”
Favorite post race beverage: Pastry & coffee
Personal website/blog: http://www.teamcrestedbutte.blogspot.com