Photos by Mike Saemisch
As spring descends down the western U.S., the vibes on the mountain tend to change with it. The sunscreen comes on, we shred layers, tailgating takes on its own life throughout resort parking lots, and we tend to enjoy slower days on the mountain along with great conversations with our fellow riders.
I did something that I have never tried in my six years of snowboarding and entered a competition — a race nonetheless — named the Georg Hartlmaier Classic Ski Race. The race is held in conjunction with Nastar and was scored on the Nastar scoring system that is held throughout the country and was hosted at Brian Head resort this March.
While it was not extremely competitive, mostly a downhill timed run where each racer takes two timed runs against riders who share the same age group, it had a very friendly and community vibe with everyone cheering for one another. There were skiers ranging in age from from 5 to 85 testing themselves to see where they rank against others and hoping to score the fastest time on the hill with the top male and female racers getting their names engraved on the Georg Hartlmaier Cup.
This race had more competitors than any other event I have seen at Brian Head, mostly made up of skiers and a handful of snowboarders, including myself. While I didn’t have high expectations of winning any prizes, I managed to get gold in my division. I do owe it a lot to my equipment as well as challenging myself every season and raising my skill level. Whether you are at the beginning levels or a seasoned veteran, this race was a lot of fun, and I highly recommend it. Definitely keep your eye out for this race when it returns for its third year next March, and maybe invite a few friends to see who gets bragging rights for the rest of the year.
The day ended with the ceremony held at The Last Chair Saloon along with live music, a BBQ dinner, and awards handed out to nearly every competitors. It was definitely a good way to recap this winter season on a high note, and I look forward to raising the bar next season. Brian Head will end its winter season with the “Woodstock on the Mountain” spring carnival on April 2 and its annual end-of-season rail jam on April 9. For more information on Brian Head Resort, closing dates, summer activities, and events, please visit brianheadresort.com. I hope this season has treated you all well and that you look forward to new adventures during the warmer months. See you on the hill!