2010 Dogtooth Dash Race Report

photo courtesy of Alex Giesbrecht

The cowbells rang hard Saturday April 3rd for the Canadian Championship race and second annual Dogtooth Dash.  This race was the culminating event of great season for Canadian skimountaineering circuit, we had 5 calender races, record participation and exciting additions in the works for the future. 

15 cm’s of fresh snow had fallen overnight on the technically demanding course and the Kicking Horse Mtn Safety team was hard at work all morning breaking trail to get things going at 11.

The Lemans start was an animated way to kick things off, and racers enjoyed a quick lap around the Eagle’s Eye restaurant before clipping into skis and tucking down the first run.   Competition was hot after the descent and all the racers piled into a scrum at the transition with Reiner leading out followed by Jeff C and Alex Wigley.  The lead pack was tight all the way to the bottom of the second descent where Jeff took a nasty fall that would eventually sideline him.

photo courtesy of Alex Giesbrecht

The 650 m climb spread the group out a bit as we wound through the trees and into the alpine to the Start/Finish area. We booted up one of the classic Kicking Horse elevator shaft couloirs to find a healthy crowd of spectators going nuts, cheering us on as we ripped the skins and dove into another high-speed descent.

With half the race done and all sorts of dramatic shuffles happening reaching the most technical portion of the course, it was all we could to charge through the exposed, airy Heavy Metal ridge section and on to the high point of the race, Terminator pk.  A leg burning ski off the pk gave way to a beautiful guide-esk skintrack, our final booter and a ridge walk to the finish line.

Reiner Thoni gained a commanding lead and kept it, winning the men’s race category, with Andrew Mcnab’s strong descending skills, paying the bills to get him in second place and yours truly, Ian Gale in third.  “Miss Pierra Menta” herself, Melanie Bernier dominated with first place, with Julie Matteu in second and Billie Velisek in third.

Other impressive results we posted by Brad Schalles of Lethbridge who took seventh place in his first ever race (on misery sticks no less), Niall Gleeson finishing shortly after and Nicole Walker cleaning up the splitboard division and bringing home a killer Black Diamond avalung backpack.

I’d like to send a huge thanks to the Kicking Horse Mtn Safety Team, who held things together gracefully in the inclement weather as well as Jordan Petrovics, the man on the mic who knows how to get an event going and all the courses volunteers who pitched in.  The Dogtooth Dash would not be possible without outstanding effort from these folks.

Black Diamond Equipment, Integral Designs, The North Face, Suunto, Rossignol, Dynafit, Kicking Horse Coffee and Bigrock Brewery all threw down outstanding prizes, Many thanks to them for their generosity.

Official results HERE


6 Responses

  1. Congrats Golden team for taking 2 medals and also to Andrew being able to hold on to the great shape he was in during Pierra Menta 🙂

    Looks like there was/is lots of snow and you guys had some good skiing.

    One thing that is little disappointing by looking at results is that attendance was quite low. To have only 29 people participating in such a great event that is too low. Even additional categories don’t do much. Hopefully, KHMR will be as supportive in the future as it is now.

    Cheers and enjoy the medals 🙂 and beer 🙂

  2. Stano, Good to see that you haven’t fallen off the edge of the earth. The race was really fun! I see why everyone liked it so much last year 🙂

    yes, the number of racers was really deflating. it was a mix of factors, the date, the weather, the fact that there isn’t that many people thinking about ski touring at this point in the season.

    I think all the canadian skimo scene is really in need of some support right now. Everyone who has gone out to a race and liked it should really put in the effort to make it out to a few next season. Challenge their friends, enjoy the comraderie and don’t take for granted that this sport will still be around in canada if we don’t see consistant attendance numbers……. I mean, judging by how many people are checking out these blogs regulary(here, skitheory, skimostoke, skintrack) it’s a pretty interesting sport right?

    Most people do come across the line smiling… or atleast shortly there after.

    oh and the golden team actually took home 3 podium finishes. that is If we were counting 🙂

  3. Completely agree with your 3rd paragraph, especially about “taking things for granted” part.

    From what I can see and compare to Europe, I can say that the Canadian races are organized very well, good overall structure is in place too… so now it is time to see whether enough people actually want this sport in a racing form.

    The time to see might be defined by next 2 seasons then it should be quite clear whether it is worth to expand so much energy for couple of folks to test themselves from time to time.

    At the end it is people’s choice to decide. I am in it whether for racing or just fun.

  4. Add two months to a skiing season and peoples enthusiasm is going to be at rock bottom not to mention really bad conditions a month prior. The dog tooth is simply a barometer demonstrating this.


    Yes numbers in the dog tooth were down but this is not so important. This year at all the Canadian races (including the dog tooth) there was more people on race gear then ever before in Canada.

    This is important growth.

    Looking at races in Europe there are very few “ski tourers” at races its “dedicated” racers. This is the group of people that enjoy races they will not need so much influence to race and will not be so subjected to environmental influences.

    As this component continues to grow races will be less subjected to environmental influences and will also depend less on lures to get the numbers they want. It will come naturally and at this point it will be sustainable.

    • Reiner,

      I agree with you to a point… I see it like a pyramid though, with spandexers at the top in the minority and the folks who come out to a few races as the base/foundation of the sport who’ll slowly get more into it and talk about it around the watercooler at work. In the middle are the folks who’ve done it a few times and are starting to take it seriously, with training and specific gear. I think that each level of the pyramid is fed and driven by the level below it. So without the large base of people to drive entry there won’t be enough folks progressing to the elite level of the pyramid and eventually to the world stage……

      I think that you’re right, in that, the past few years have focused on getting as many people into the sport as possible, where as this last year has been about a stronger national team competing at worlds…. maybe this shift in focus has resulted in the core 15 or so of us benefiting but the base of the pyramid shrinking.

      Not a terrible thing for the temporary, but eventually we’ll need to see growth on all levels.

      Or maybe people just felt like skiing pow saturday instead of racing….. 🙂

      • I didn’t mean to come across as discounting how important the foundation is to the sport. I guess what I was trying to say more then anything is that the “foundation” is more susceptible to environmental influence and at the end of the season isn’t as reliable as per say the spandex group when measuring growth.

        I do like your pyramid analogy and I think the only difference in Europe is that everyone wears spandex!

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