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Dark Side Skimo Race: Presented by Escape Route

Dark Side Skimo Race: Presented by Escape Route

Skimo race is back!

The Coast Mountains’ only ski-mountaineering race is back in April! Will you be coming over to the Darkside?

Since our first sponsored race in 2007 at the World Backcountry Freeride Jam in Whistler, The Escape Route has been keen to see another skimo series come to fruition. Thanks to the determination of Eric and everyone at Squamish Skimo, we can see a new, exciting race emerge in the Sea to Sky corridor.

At its very essence ski touring is about freedom. Ski touring gives you the freedom to chase big alpine powder lines, or have a great sunny walk in the mountains with the added bonus of a ski descent. Skimo racing gives you all the joys of touring, with the opportunity to explore the athletic side of the sport and to test your endurance. Moreover, given that The Darkside Race takes place within the Blackcomb ski resort, it allows you to push and test yourself in a more controlled, safer environment.

What is skimo exactly?

The term skimo gets bandied around a lot, we’ve recruited Darkside competitor Brendan Armstrong to explain what skimo is, and what it means for him.

Skimo is a sport that I usually describe as essentially backcountry skiing racing. A preset course is raced in a mass start fashion where the best cumulative time wins. Other variations of races exist; however, the individual race (as described above) is the most popular. Technically, the sport of skimo may consist of fast folks running up and down hills with tight suits in a race style format, I like to think of the sport of skimo with a much broader view. Skimo to me has meant getting faster and going further. Faster going up, faster going down, faster transitions, and pushing the boundaries of what I thought I could do; as always with the benefit of more pow!

The skimo style of efficiency doesn’t have to mean suffering in the skin track. If often means using your energy wisely. For example, cutting hours of standing around at transitions from your day by learning new faster techniques. Having a small jacket accessible for quick descents or even fueling your day properly by eating and drinking before you get thirsty and hungry. Small tips and tricks that have been pulled from the racing world of skimo means that I can get more skiing into my day by travelling more efficiently through the mountains. Skimo racing has allowed me to practice becoming more efficient and it has allowed me to put my limits of what I thought was possible of myself!


Are you in?

This course has it all; steep climbs, rowdy descents like Pakalolo (this guy gets it) and a spicy boot pack or two for good measure. Regardless of your ability level, there will be something to challenge all participants.

After all is skied and done, we’ll wrap it up with a feisty fiesta on the deck at Glacier Creek. Isn’t that what a day in the mountains is all about?

To register click here.

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