Saturday, March 5, 2011

Winter Wild at Mt Sunapee New Hampshire

Winter in New Hampshire offers exciting opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. This unique ski area race is called “Winter Wild“ ( and was held March 5th at Mt Sunapee Ski Mountain, Newbury, NH (

The rules for this four mile snow-covered uphill/downhill race at Mt Sunapee were pretty easy and simple. You cannot leave anything stashed anywhere on the mountain! Whatever you go up with you must return with at the bottom the hill.

The 133 athletes wore a mixture of ski and running equipment. Some donned their alpine skies up the hill, while others backpacked them up. Others wore back country skis or Telemark skis, and either wore them climbing up the hill or backpacked them. Many skiers used climbing "skins" on the bottom of their skis for traction uphill on the icy and snowy slopes. Quite a few wore crampons with hiking boots or running shoes.

My choice was my hiking boots with running crampons.

The Mt Sunapee course is marked on the map in red and follows the clockwise peripheral of the ski area. The course begins at Spruce Lodge and then up Elliot Slope to the access road down where you ascend the Williamson Trail to Stovepipe and up to the Mount Sunapee summit. You descend the Upper Ridge to the Lower Ridge trail returning to the lodge.

Some Winter Wild moments:
• We had a 6:30 am start because to have all the participants off the mountain by the time the Mountain opens at 8 am.
• Half way through the two-mile uphill I felt a cramp coming in my right calf. I slowed to a walk for a few minutes and then continued my run and walk pace.
• As we ascended the 2,726 feet mountain with its three secondary peaks it was foggy and at the peak we had snow. The temperature at the top was in the mid-twenties.

Enjoy my video as you join me in this unique winter event. I never have to say, "I wish I had run the Mt Sunapee Winter Wild race".

My February 27, 2011 post documents my training and equipment/clothing research for this race.

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