Sport is a funny thing - you get a taste of it, you develop it, you challenge yourself ... and it takes you places.
In 2008 after the World Championships Ironman my family was vacationing in Kona and we ended up meeting Bruno Long at a coffee planation. He was hitch hiking and needed a lift. We immediately were having a great time hanging out. He told me about his roommate Jeff who was doing Ski Mountaineer Racing. I was immediately intrigued.
Beginning that winter, I started doing the occassional skimo race. I think my first race was in either rented gear, or on my Telemark skii's. I ended up buying a used lightweight skimo boot from 'legend' Steve Sellers, that I just replaced last week. At that time, Steve also recommended I buy a $250 set of skii's on sale at MEC, and Mohair skins.
For the most part, I don't ski mountaineer. I don't train for skimo. I only 'participate' in skimo races. (I would like to do it, I would like to train for it, but I have not 'really' allowed it into my life - as it has not been a priority.) Since 2009, I think I must have done ... more than 5 ... but less than 10 races. With a good fitness base, I tend to finish mid pack.
Having the gear, fitness, and willingness to participate in Skimo ... leads you to special places, and I think, life events.
You see, a few years ago, I made the decision that I would do an Ironman race in age group, as I "age-group up" .... meaning every 5 years. I've kept that going since in my early 30's in 2001.
In November I registered to race Ironman Arizonia in 2016. To mix up training ... I decided to do some skimo racing ... I did the Vert 180 and having a not too bad a result, I invited myself along to The Canadian Skimo Team training weekend run from Bow Hut Dec 11-13, 2015.
Over the course of the 3 days we skiied 3500m of vertical.
It was pretty stellar ... I got to do more of this.