Winter 2013 will see ski mountaineering (SKIMO) racing being introduced to Scotland for the first time. Ski mountaineering racing is already a well established sport in the Alps and North America, but as yet, has not spread to the United Kingdom - until now.
Ski mountaineering racing combines athletic skiing with mountaineering skills incorporating technical ascents and descents. There are different types of courses ranging from vertical sprints when racers skin uphill over a set distance to courses that have short steep sections which require the racers to put their skis on their backpacks; all combined with technical downhill sections. Competitors are supplied with an equipment list which must be carried over the distance. Competitors all start at the same time, and the fastest person to complete the course is the winner.
Skimo racing is suitable for serious and non serious ski mountaineering enthusiasts. Skimo Scotland’s aim is to provide an introduction to the sport for those who haven’t raced before, without having to travel too far. The races are open to ski mountaineers, ski tourers, split boarders, boarders and telemark skiers - lyrca is not a prerequisite to enter, just enthusiasm for the sport.
Ski mountaineering racers come from all walks of life as reigning GB Male Champion Carron Scrimgeour explains “Skimo racers come from different horizons, but share the love for the mountains. Trail runners, mountain bikers, off piste addicts, weekend ski-touring fanatics, mountaineers, triathletes, mountain guides all have the right background for this unique sport”Skimo in New Zealand Photo: Carron Scrimgeour
Reigning GB Female Champion Leanne Callaghan reinforces this by agreeing that “the great thing about Skimo racing is that your day out in the mountains can be whatever you want it to be: a social event to be done at a mellow pace with friends on ‘heavy metal’ kit, or an athletic endurance race for the fittest and most talented lycra-clad ski mountaineers battling it out over technical challenges. Either way it is a fun, memorable way to have a big experience in a short time”.Leanne Callaghan in the Alps Photo: Ross Hewitt