Tour du Rutor Extreme 2012: Veronika Swidrak (AUS) & Nina Silitch (USA) -4th Place overall Women

The Tour du Rutor holds a special place in my heart because it really was the first real ski mountaineering race I did with my teammate Lyndsay the year we started ski mountaineering racing in 2007. It was our first real introduction to “real” ski mo racing with technical ridges and arretes and some great long downhills. It is great because it is just over the other side of the Chamonix valley in the Aosta valley, so not too far away to drive compared to many of the other races I have been to this year. My teammate Veronika’s journey was much longer, driving 8hrs from Austria.

Le Rutor

In 2007 we placed 10th overall for women with L. Roux winning again back then and many of the same women’s teams  in the top ten, many of which are still world champions today.

Looking ahead to what is next

As I look back to when I really started ski mountaineering racing 5 years ago with my youngest son not yet one  year old, I am really proud of where I have come and even more so what I have learned about myself along the way, and meeting so many wonderful people from all over the world. This year my oldest son is super excited as he has been asking to try skinning for many years. Last week I put some skins on his cross country skis and he joined me with for a nightly training with our Chamonix club.

Technical Boot packs

This year , like in 2010 when it was a World Cup race, The Rutor,  was a three day stage race, similar to the Pierra Menta but higher in altitude.

Great Views

The Rutor, this year, is also part of the Grande Course Series which includes the Pierra Menta 2011/2012, Mezzalama 2011, Adamello 2011, Tour du Rutor 2012, Patrouille des Glaciers 2012. I will race the PGD as an “all American” team  with 2 great friends and athletes, Lyndsay Meyer and Sari Anderson.

Madonna at the Summit on stage 1

I am currently ranked 5th in the Grande Course Rankingsjust behind the 4 women who are tied for 1st place, (l. Roux, M. Miro, R. Pedrazini, F. Martenelli)

All smiles after a strong 4th place on the 1st stage

I am super excited and pleased with Veronika and my overall finish of 4th place.  It was a goal of mine to finish in the top 5 in one of the Grand Course races and so far this year I have done that twice, with a 5th place at the Pierra Menta and a 4th at the Rutor.

Skinning up 1st hill on 2nd stage

It was a real pleasure to race with Veronika who is experienced, an excellent pacer and always bringing positive energy to the race.

Heading down the fixed rope on 3rd stage

We are a good strong team and we  had a great 3 days of racing. We managed to hold our  4th place throughout the 3 days. Here are some cool shots of the race.

Trail running season started early! (running down the ridge)

It was hard to gain more time on the local Italian world champion Gloriana Pellisier but we came very close on the 2nd day with a very good stage.

Last downhill was over 2000 meters!

Here are the 3 stages with over 6,690 meters of climbing in 3 days.

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

While many of you are putting away the skis, and getting out the running shoes and bikes, we still have a good month of racing left. I will be celebrating the Easter holidays with my boys and then head to Tromso, Norway for the ArticRace, the last World Cup weekend of racing with the Sprint Final on Saturday the 14th and the Individual final on Sunday 15th. Currently ranked 9th overall for the Ind. ISMF rankings, it should be a great season finale for the World Cup. The season finale will finish with the Patrouille des Glaciers on the 27th of April.

Happy Easter and Happy Spring in the Mountains!

 Enjoy the sunshine and warm weather! 



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