Okay, here is the mandatory gear list for the 2012 Elk Mountain Grand Traverse stacked up against the CAMP line of hyperlight and fast skimo gear by our friends at Team Crested Butte … Enjoy!
The Grand Traverse is an unsupported backcountry ski race. The equipment racers carry into the backcountry is crucial. Each team must be independently prepared for a 24-hour bivouac. Due to the length of the course, varying conditions, and the number of racers, all participants must be prepared to be self-supporting in any and all situations.
Individual Gear – each participant must carry this gear. They are allowed to carry additional items.
Skis – Skis of any type can be used. Minimum length of 150cm. At least 3/4 length metal edges strongly recommended. No splitboards. Racers must finish with the gear they start with.
Boots – Commercially manufactured boot with over the ankle cuffs at least 15cm tall, measured from the heel sole. Boots must be compatible with bindings, designed for un-groomed backcountry terrain. THIS IS NOT A NORDIC SKI RACE!
Bindings – Skis must be fitted with bindings that allow free movement of the heels for ascending. Bindings must accommodate a ski retention suitable for ski area use. Note: The use of a ski retention system (leashes) is mandatory on Aspen Mountain. Each racer’s ski retention system will be checked at the top of Aspen Mountain before racers are allowed to enter the ski area and descend to the finish.
CAMP – For a spare pole, make it compact, light and adjustable. The Backcountry Carbon is all three.
CAMP – Check out our nifty, new 100% Mohair Light Fix Skin Kits fine-tuned for modern race skis. Pre-equipped with bungee pulls at the tips and clean tapered cuts at the tails.
These items are the minimum to be worn or carried at all times regardless of weather. Racers should consider bringing/wearing more layers under most conditions. In prior years, temperatures have been as low as -20F and winds have exceeded 60 mph during the race. The race course crosses several running streams where falling into water is possible, making a spare set of socks and clothing imperative.
Wind shell – Jacket & Pants that are windproof, waterproof and breathable.
CAMP – The trick rig is the combination of the Flash Competition Anorak and the Flash Competition Pants — both can be donned from their carrying pouch at the waist over the upper body and legs without removing skis or packs! The Magic Jacket and Magic Pants is another great combo. Hyperlight and packable. Comprised of a proprietary fabric (Araneum) that has some remarkable insulation properties, but still dries with body heat.
Neck & Face Protection – Neck gaiter, or balaclava, or Buff. Wind chills of -60F degrees have been calculated on the course.
Insulation – Jacket must be warm down or synthetic. Pants must be warm down, synthetic or heavyweight fleece. Each team must be independently prepared for a self-supported, 24-hour bivouac. These items are a critical part of your warmth strategy in the event of a bivouac.
CAMP – Three options here. The race does not mandate a hood so the lightest option is the ED Slim Jacket at a mere 8.4 oz. The ED Micro Jacket Evo is similar to the ED Slim but features a hood and slightly more liberal fit. Both use the same Araneum fabric as our Magic Jackets and Pants. The interaction between this proprietary fabric and high-quality down make it surprisingly warm for the weight. Because the exterior fabric is not lined, the down will also stay dry better during aerobic activity. The ED Protection Jacket is our most weatherproof insulated jacket using our HiTex15 shell fabric and siliconized stitches to make it truly weatherproof.
Extra Base Layer – Non-cotton top and bottom. These are in addition to base layer worn at start.
Extra Socks – Non-cotton. This is in addition to socks worn at start.
Gloves – Racers must have at least two pairs of gloves or mittens. Temperatures can vary greatly during the race and most racers carry both lighter and heavier gloves or mittens to accommodate these extremes.
CAMP – Look no further than CAMP for your entire glove system. Our gloves have been design specifically for high-end ski mountaineering and competition racing. The G Comp Wind is perfect for the warm stretches and features a wind shell that pulls out of the cuff for extra protection in the exposed areas of the course. But if you are prone to cold hands or want the extra protection of a wind/water membrane in a light glove, bump up to the G Tech Dry. Carry the G Hot Dry for the cold sections and a pair of the Windmit’N shells that pack to the size of a teabag (literally) and will quickly add 10-15 degrees when worn over insulated gloves.
Eye & Skin Protection– Sunglasses, goggles and sunscreen
Winter Survival System
CAMP – The pack of choice is the X3 600. Large enough to carry the mandatory gear, hyperlight and complete with features like our Express Ski carrying system and pouches for maps, GUs and a lamp.
Food and Water – Minimum 100 oz of water and food to sustain you for 24 hours
Headlamp – Each racer must carry at least one headlamp. Back-up headlamp and spare batteries are discussed under Repair Kit below.
Sleeping Pad – Minimum 20”x45”x1/2” with a minimum R-value of 2. Closed cell foam pads and inflatable pads with a patch kit are allowed. No yoga mats (too thin & cold). No open cell foam mats (absorb water).
CORSAR Card – Participants should pre-purchase a CORSAR (Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue) card at the Colorado Department of Local Affairs website. Participants with a 2012 hunting/fishing license, or boat, snowmobile, ATV registration is already covered by the fund. Racers must provide proof at gear check.
Avalanche Rescue System
Avalanche Transceiver – Avalanche transceivers must be worn (on the body and NOT in a pack) and “on” at ALL times during the race. Transceivers must be on the 457kHz frequency. A transceiver check will be completed at final check-in and at various points on-course. Failure to pass any transceiver check will result in disqualification. Participants are advised that newer transceivers are more accurate and more reliable. Units newer than 5 years old are strongly recommended.
CAMP – Carry the lightest ISMF certified avy shovel in the world, the Crest.
CAMP – Carry the lightest ISMF certified avy probe in the world, the CAMP Carbon Fiber Avalanche Probe.
Team Gear - The following items can be shared between two team members
Emergency Shelter* – Two-person shelter. Brooks Range Ultralite Alpini Shelter 200 is a practical example, but other brands of two-person shelters are allowed. A fly or “blue tarp” will not pass. In an emergency situation, it is strongly advised that teams stay put, set up the shelter and wait for support to arrive. NOTE: the Shelter replaces the Bivy requirement of previous years.
Course Map – Teams must carry a waterproof map of the course.
Emergency Plan – Teams must carry a copy of the Emergency Plan. The Emergency Plan will be provided at check-in.
Compass – No electronic compasses.
Altimeter* – Must be calibrated at race start.
Stove – Commercial quality stove must be capable of melting snow in sub zero temperatures. Solid fuel stoves (Esbit) are allowed. Teams may be required to demonstrate the ability to melt snow at gear check-in.
Fuel & Igniter - A full fuel container or eight solid fuel blocks. Matches and/or lighter to start stove. Propane (isobutene mix) is the recommended fuel as butane is not an appropriate fuel at below-freezing temperatures.
Pot with Lid – Minimum capacity 20 oz.
SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger* – Each team must carry a SPOT beacon and know how to use it. SPOT beacons may be owned or rented from Trackleaders at registration. Rented units will be handed out during the beacon check at the school Friday night. Visit www.findmespot.com.
Repair Kit* – Minimum Includes:
Spare pole basket
Spare binding – (unless using Alpine Touring or Telemark gear). Compatible spare bindings can be shared between teammates, unless teammates have incompatible systems, in which case an extra binding for each racer must be carried.
Binding screws – A binding ripping out of skis is not un-common so racers are required to carry the proper repair equipment and tools. Racers will explain their strategy for repairing their binding to the judges unless using Alpine Touring or Telemark gear. For more information, visit the FAQ page, under the Athletes tab on this website for some suggestions.
Multi-tool – Minimum components include knife, pliers and screwdriver (binding repair).
3′ of duct tape
3′ of bailing wire
3′ of 2mm cord
1 spare headlamp
1 set of spare batteries for headlamps
First Aid Kit* – Minimum Includes:
4 large safety pins and triangular bandage
3′ of 3″ Coban (or other self-adherent elastic wrap)
2 4”x4” gauze pads
Surgical ABD or sanitary napkins (or some means to manage heavy bleeding)
Any prescription meds racers require. Over the counter pain killers if desired.
Blister Kit* – Minimum includes:
Moleskin or second skin
3 ‘ of of athletic tape
* Denotes new items required for 2012