Big Mountain Battle

Posted by Heather on March 2, 2012

Hero (w1297538752339)

WHEN: March 24, 2012
WHERE: Park City Mountain Resort
REGISTRATION: 8:30-10:00 registration
START: 10:30 

"Helly Hansen's Big Mountain Battle is in its 4th season.  It is a fun adventure on the mountain you thought you already knew. It will take you to corners of the mountain you may not have been to for years, send you hiking up a climb you would have never thought to do, go searching in the woods for a checkpoint, get tracked in real time by our friends at Flaik GPS and you get to do it all with your buddy."

Here is a story about my Big Mountain Battle adventure last year. I loved it and am looking forward to another great one in March! Hope you join us.

Sometimes it isn't about Winning

My son, who just turned 8, was going through this phase of not liking to race.  On his bike, on a sled, on his skis, or even to the mailbox.  I am not sure if it is the not liking losing or if it is the not liking racing.  This is slightly confusing to me.  I have always enjoyed racing, and like my daughter, learned to find every opportunity to try and be faster than the person to my right, and to my left.  I preferred trying to catch those in front and stay ahead of those behind.

I don’t think one approach is always better than the other.

There should be some happy medium in it.  Learning to equally enjoy the preparation, the process and the completion.  

With this in mind I came across a flyer for the Big Mountain Battle.  It was happening right here in our hometown and “our” ski area.  As I looked into it I saw that there was a 12 and under intermediate division.  This meant I could team up with Jack and he could comfortably do all the required runs.  It started at 10:30 which meant we could drop little sister off at her ski lesson and head up to the start with time to spare.  The weather was forcasted to be fantastic. Perfect.

This Battle required your team to stick together while skiing 4 designated trails, find and tag 3 flags and ride 4 lifts.  You could do this in any order you choose, a GPS tracked you and the fastest team to complete it wins.  You had 3 hours.

No big deal right?  Simple, fun, Jack had a Flaik GPS and a map.  It began with a LeMans Start which was so fun.  Jack was so excited from the rush of the mad dash at the start.  I know he was nervous, but something about doing it as a team seemed to give him confidence.  Couldn't believe how fast he ran and got his skis on,  leading the way to the first lift.  Although this was a “RACE” it really did seem more like a challenge. For the first time I was enjoying the process, the time with my son doing something I absolutely LOVE and seeing him have so much fun.  

So eventually we found our last flag (he found all but one himself and they were not all that easy to locate).  We were headed up the last lift and had a decision to make.  There were two ways to get to the finish from where we were.  The long way down the easier trail he knew or the short steep way down the black diamond Erica's Gold, one would be much slower, one much quicker.  We chatted about it on the lift.  I let him know that I thought either would be a good choice but that I wanted him to decide.  I followed him off the lift to Erica’s Gold and we could see the finish from where he petered over the edge. Erica’s Gold.  He has never done this run, never done a black diamond (at least not in Utah) and the top pitch of it is STEEP.  And it was groomed and slick.  He looked down and back to me and said “let’s do it”, down we went.

He was scared, I could see it in his face and his little legs trembling as he followed close behind me cautiously back and forth down the pitch.  Slowly it leveled out to a more comfortable slope for him, I stopped and asked how he was doing.  He was grinning from ear to ear and proudly looked back up to where he came from.  I pointed again down to the finish and said “now I follow you Jack, to the finish.  I’ll be right behind you”.  And off he went.

Now, it wasn’t until late that night as I put away our new Helly Hansen goodies that I realized we missed a required lift.  I pulled up the GPS results thinking it would be fun for him to see his speeds and how it tracked us.  It had an X for us under FINISH.  And then another X for Bonanza lift.  I felt sick to my stomach.  No FINISH?

But we did FINISH and he was so happy and he said he couldn’t wait until next year to do it again.  I expect this to be the start of a wonderful family tradition.

I haven’t told him about Bonanza yet.  Do I have to?



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Comment posted by Kristen on March 2, 2012 7:49 PM MST

Love this story! What a great wish we could be there to partake. Maybe some year!

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