Participants in the 19 th annual Appleton Rum Peak to Valley saw it all over two days of racing last week high winds, snow, sunshine, dense fog, ice, slush, and temperatures that ranged from around minus eight degrees Celsius in the alpine and close to eight degrees at the bottom.
Although it was rough going and no records were set, the top race times were only about 20 seconds off of last years mark.
The race itself has a vertical drop of 1,443 metres from the top of the Saddle to the Creekside base, with 180 gates and a course over 5 kilometres long. Teams of four compete in combined age categories, with at least one member of the opposite sex on each group. The total time of all four racers, with two team members racing on each day, determines where each team finishes in the standings.
On Friday, Jan. 31, the fastest racer was Whistler freeskier Chris Winter, who cleared the course in six minutes, 1.29 seconds. Janine Linder Joris was the fastest woman in 6:24.73.
On Saturday the new snow was packed in and the race was a little faster. Chris Gruber was the fastest in 5:42.75, and Joan Wilson was the fastest woman in 6:10.78.
The overall fastest team in the race was Wild Willies Nesters. Liz Roehrig Thompson (6:36.72), Rick Lewon (6:21.31), Rob Rainer (5:56.39) and Chris Kent (5:45.04) posted a combined time of 24:39.46.
The fastest, oldest team and the winner of the Dave Murray Trophy were the Wild Eastern Flyers, with Bill Furse (6:51.84), Sandy Hogan (7:54.23), Lloyd Henderson (6:28.37) and Lou Fenniger (6:54.99) posting a combined time of 28:09.43.
The closest race has to go to Team Desparadoes and Team Over Easy in the 200 to 224 combined age category. When the races wrapped up, the two teams were separated by just seven one-hundredths of a second.
Registration for the 2004 race starts in June at Guest Services. This years event sold out before the beginning of the ski season, so teams are encouraged to register early.
Bunky Larson and Kristeen Pichler each won a pair of Atomic skis in the prize draw at the awards banquet. Tom Prochazka, the head coach of the Dave Murray Ski Camps, won a pair, but declined so they could go to someone else.
Heike Stippler wore a coconut bra to win the best costume award at the party, earning a trip for two to Jamaica for his efforts, courtesy of Appleton Rum.
Complete results are available at www.whistler-blackcomb.com/calendar/events/peaktovalley.asp.
Category VI, 225 and Up
1. Wild Eastern Flyers 28:09.43
2. Denny and the Jets 28:17.50
3. Fifi 29:46.52
Category V, 200 to 224
1. Desparadoes 30:02.71
2. Over Easy 30:02.78
3. Team Morgold 30:13.20
Category IV, 180 to 199
1. The Fourmidable 26:39.07
2. Raven Madness 27:19.06
3. Drink Fresh Beer 27:36.24
Category III, 160 to 179
1. Wild Willies Creekside 25:22.24
2. Garbage Bay Ski Team 27:12.47
3. RockinRobins 27:36.27
Category II, 145 to 159
1. Wild Willies Nesters 24:39.46
2. Mild Millies 25:26.72
3. A Lady and Her Tramps 26:44.52
Category I, 144 and Under
1. Lickity Split 26:50.33
2. Crested Beauts 27:29.59
3. What Gate? 28:51.05