Lack of snow in southern New England has again impacted my racing season. The Thunderbolt Race on Mount Greylock (the highest peak in MA) was postponed until March 3rd, and subsequently cancelled after snow conditions didn’t improve. This week rain combined with warm temps consumed snow at an alarming rate. The steep, natural trails of Magic were reported to be in excellent shape during a Wednesday recon. On Saturday afternoon, I showed up to check conditions and re-set the bootpack that Jonathan had set previously. I was met with vastly different conditions just 3 days later. A thin layer of new snow concealed patches of water ice, rocks, grass, and dirt. Skinning on the natural trails was pretty spicy and the decision was easily made to alter the planned route. I scouted a new bootpack up through the Twilight Zone glade which had just enough snow (as long as you avoided more sections of ice).
Comfortable temps and abundant sun greeted the competitors at the start line. Off the line, it was Jonathan S. and I out front. We were side-by-side for the first half of lap 1 where I was able to open up a small lead. A clean transition to skiing had me headed down before Jonathan arrived at the summit. At the first skins on transition, I was working on my second ski when he arrived. I was able to increase my advantage throughout the remainder of the race as I had clean transitions and stayed on course. I did drop a skin at the summit on the second lap, but realized my error before I started my descent. All clean through the last lap had me across the line in 1:34.
This week the NE Rando Race Series heads to Bromley Mountain for the season finale.