tomorrow is race day.
i haven't been writing much about it because i've spent a lot less time worrying about it and a LOT less time course sleuthing. the race is being held out of the same geographic area as last year's, so a lot of my guesses about where the course MIGHT go still apply.
last year because there were a limited number of ways to get in and out of catamount, i had a much better ability to guess where the course was going to run.
you can't know where the control points are going to be, obviously, and if you figure out the race is going into camel's hump state forest, that leaves a LOT of possibilities.
there are about a bazillion ways the race could come in and out of cochran's ski area.
for instance, it could go up into huntington or duxbury via into CHSF, which connects to the catamont trail and the came's hump xc ski area.
or it could start in the bolton valley parking lot and go up ricker mountain and then down the ridge or down into cotton brook. or it could start at waterbury state park and go up the east side of ricker and down the ridge.
if it comes down ricker, it positions the race really well for a rappel or a tyrolean traverse at either lower west or at the bolton quarry. and if it does that, the course is positioned really well to cross the river and return to cochran.
you want to see my last year's map? i didn't make a new one, but the redder an area is the more strongly i felt it would be on last year's course.
here's my list of probables:
paddle on reservoir
ropes element at lower west or bolton quarry
bonus round at cochran
paddle on winooski to deforge power station, long portage.
ropes element at deforge
hike or bike on ricker in bolton ski area
hike or bike (cotton brook) on ricker in little river state park
hike in camel's hump state forest
bike on camel's hump ski area trails/catamount trail
less likely: paddle down little river, with portage.
for instance, one theoretical course could start in the parking lot at bolton valley, go over ricker by foot or bike, go down the other side of ricker by foot or bike, paddle the reservoir, take out and travel down to lower west on bike or on foot (depending on trail use or bushwhack). bike or foot travel to river crossing. the bridge hasn't been built yet, but there's a right of way and this time of year it's a short wade. that brings us back right about to cochran.
there are a lot of possibilities, though, so that's just one of many practical possibilities.
we'll find out when they give up the maps.