While many of the hallmarks of the 48th annual Zions Bank Boulder Mountain Tour remain in place, there are a few key changes this year in response to the Covid pandemic and desire to keep racers and the community-at-large as healthy as possible.
The first is the date. Instead of one day, participants can ski any day and any style between Monday, February 1 and Sunday, February 7.
The second is the place. BMT organizers are encouraging racers to use their imagination to create and complete self-supported 15 or 30-kilometer races. To this end, many ski areas and organizations have established courses in conjunction with the BMT. Course partners are located throughout the United States. They include Soldier Hollow Nordic Center, Utah, Tahoe XC, Calif., Mount Bachelor, Ore., Meissner Nordic Community, Bend, Ore., Craftsbury Outdoor Center, Vermont, Washburn Ski Trails, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, Rendezvous Ski Trails, West Yellowstone, Mt., Sun Valley Nordic Center, and the Blaine County Recreation District.
“We appreciate everyone rallying to make the Boulder happen. The response has been amazing. We want to emphasize you can ski anywhere. It doesn’t have to be an official course. It is whatever and wherever makes you happy. If you want to ski 10k at three different venues that is awesome,” BMT executive director Jody Zarkos remarked.
Registration runs through January 31 on SkiReg.com. The cost to “Rock the Boulder” is $39 for adults, $25 for 18-under, and $125 for teams of four. The entry fee includes an official 2021 BMT race hat by SWIX, raffle entry, sponsored items, BMT collateral, and a general training plan geared to novice, intermediate and advanced skiers.
The Boulder Mountain Tour, sponsored by Zions Bank with substantial support from the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Sue Engelmann of Berkshire Hathaway, Sentinel Security, and Blaine County Title, believes in the power and passion of nonprofit organizations performing vital work during these difficult days. To this end, the BMT will expand its “Ski It Forward” award, in recognition of the vital work these organizations perform. This year, the BMT will donate $5,000 to nonprofits throughout the United States. Registrants vote on the charity of their choice, and organizations receiving the most votes will receive donations at the BMT’s culmination.
Prizes will be awarded via raffle on an almost daily basis throughout the week via livestream at vimeo.com/2021BMT. Prize categories are Oldest/Youngest Racers, Best Costume (based on photos), Team Spirit (based on photos), and Pacesetters. Some of the great prizes up for grabs include skis from Salomon and Madshus, a pour-over coffee bar from Lizzy’s Fresh Coffee, boots, and outstanding cross-country gear from industry standouts.
Event sponsors also include Atkinsons’ Market, Backwoods Mountain Sports, Clear Creek Disposal, Davis Embroidery, Elephant’s Perch, Engel & Völkers Jones Grover Team, EnjoyWinter, Fischer, Hammer Nutrition, Lizzy’s Fresh Coffee, Power Engineers, Rex Wax, Rossignol, Sturtevants, Sun Valley Associates, Salomon, Swix, TOKO, Zenergy, with support from Blaine County Recreation District, Bluebird Solar, Boulder Nordic Sport, Cellar Pub, Conrad Brothers Construction, Dons, Galena Lodge, Lefty’s Bar & Grill, Morgan’s Fine Finishes, Mountain Rides, Nourish Me, Perry’s, Rickshaw, Sawtooth Avalanche Center, Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Sun Valley Community School, Sun Valley Company, Sushi on Second, VAMPS, Wrapcity and Wood River YMCA.
To help participants gear up for the 2021 Zions Bank Boulder Mountain Tour, the good folks at Hammer Nutrition provided hydration tips to get you to the starting and finish lines in the best possible shape; physically and mentally.
An original in the industry, Hammer has offered endurance fuels, supplements & education since 1987.
To visit Hammer’s website and see their great lineup as well as additional information and articles, please click HERE.
Hammer Tip One – Hydration
FACT: In general, most athletes, under most conditions, will satisfy hydration needs with a fluid intake in the range of 20-25 ounces per hour – roughly the equivalent of a standard size small or large water bottle.
Lighter athletes or athletes exercising in cool weather conditions may only require an intake of 16-18 ounces per hour. Larger athletes or athletes exercising under very hot and humid conditions are the ones that can consider a fluid intake in the range of 28 ounces per hour, perhaps up to 30 ounces per hour in extreme conditions.
It’s important to remember that regular fluid intake over 30-34 ounces hourly significantly increases the potential for serious performance and health problems
Hammer Tip 2 – Caloric Intake
For best performance, DO NOT follow the “calories out, calories in” advice given by some “experts.” Instead replenish calories in “body cooperative” amounts, allowing your fat stores to make up the difference. For most athletes, 120-180 calories/hour is the ideal range. In very rare instances, larger athletes and hyper metabolic types may need slightly more calories per hour.
Workouts/races of 2 hours or less: choose a fuel with complex carbohydrates, not simple sugars (glucose, sucrose, fructose, etc.). Simple sugars cause energy peaks and crashes, and must be mixed in weak concentrations for efficient digestion. Complex carbohydrates absorb at about three times the rate as simple sugars. Plus, you get steady, reliable energy—no peaks and valleys.
Workouts or races of 2-3-hours, or more: Fuel primarily with complex carbohydrates, not simple sugars. Also, 10-15% of your fuel’s calorie content should come from protein, ideally soy, to help satisfy energy requirements and prevent muscle tissue catabolism.
Hammer Tip 3 – Electrolytes
FACT: Salt (sodium chloride) cannot fulfill your entire requirements for electrolytes. The minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium also must be replenished to ensure the proper functioning of key body systems. In addition, your daily dietary sodium intake, fitness level, acclimatization, and the environmental conditions, such as heat and humidity, all affect the amount of electrolytes you will need to replenish during exercise.
For a balanced, full-spectrum formula of electrolytes, replenish with Endurolytes. Choose regular Endurolytes, Endurolytes Extreme, or Endurolytes Fizz in doses appropriate for the conditions.
Hammer Tip 4 – Pre-Event Fueling
To perform and feel your best during races or workouts, consume no more than 300-400 calories. Choose easily digested, complex carbohydrates, along with a small amount of protein and a little healthy fat. Avoid fiber, simple sugar, and acidic foods. Finish your meal 3 hours before exercise. Eating within 3 hours can seriously hurt your performance by 1) reducing the conversion of fats to fuels, and 2) accelerating glycogen depletion.
Tip: If your race is early, don’t sacrifice sleep to eat. Instead, consume a small amount of supplemental fuel, such as one Hammer Gel, about 5 minutes before starting.
Hammer Tip 5 – Recovery
What you do immediately after your workout is just as important as your workout itself. “Refill the tank” as soon as possible; ideally within the first 60 minutes to fully replenish glycogen and build and repair muscle tissue. Consume 30-60 grams of complex carbohydrates and 10-20 grams of protein. Recoverite supplies both in the ideal 3:1 ratio. Also, be sure to take antioxidants after exercise to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals and speed recovery.
Hammer Tip 6 – Reflecting Back, Looking Forward
Whether your recent race was a “personal best, a “DNF,” or somewhere in between, now is the time to reflect—making written notes even—on how things went and why.
Start with reviewing what went well from the race, so that you can be sure to incorporate it into your next race. This includes factors like physical performance (such as pacing) and your gear and fueling choices.
Next, take note of areas of opportunity, such as consuming too many or insufficient calories or fluids, timing them wrong, going out too fast, or choosing the wrong gear. These extremely helpful lessons learned can lead to improvement next time.
Instead of allowing these setbacks to be stumbling blocks, turn them into stepping stones so you can achieve greater success in your future races.
Enjoy the beauty of the high Cascades on the fantastic trails of the Mt Bachelor Nordic Center while challenging yourself in the 2021 Zions Bank Boulder Mountain Tour on our 16km single-loop course.The course begins on the Common Corridor and immediately rises to the high point of the course on Blue Jay’s Way. From here, the course makes a long and exciting 3 km descent to the low point of the network at the bottom of Oli’s Alley, via the Lower Devecka’s trail. Upon completion of Oli’s Alley, the course winds up and around Leslie’s Lunge and returns to Lower Devecka’s for the steady climb back up to Bob’s Bungalow. From Bob’s, it’s a moderate and gentle climb up Woody’s Way before the final climb up the Screamer Trail to the lap/finish on the Common Corridor. With excellent views, pristine grooming and a true test of skill, it will be an event to remember!
Please note: Mt Bachelor will offer a marked course Monday through Friday, Feb. 1-5, but not over the weekend. As well, all participants will require a trail pass or season pass, as well as a (free) parking reservation.
Nestled in the Cascade Mountain Range near Bend, Oregon, the Mount Bachelor Nordic Center boasts the longest groomed ski season in North America and some of the best cross-country ski trails in the Northwest. This unique resort, located entirely on United States Forest Service land, is situated on a dormant volcano and surrounded by peaks of 7,000 to 11,000 feet. With 56 km of groomed trails and an average snowfall of 40 feet, Nordic skiers enjoy extensive and exceptional grooming from mid-November through late May. The Mount Bachelor Nordic Center is the spring training grounds of the United States Ski Team.
The Sun Valley Nordic Center has put together three great trails to make a 15km loop.
From the Sun Valley Clubhouse follow Trail Creek Loop out to Trail Creek Cabin. Once there, ski to the left of the Cabin and take the Boundary Loop out over Hyndman View and return back along the creek. When you return to the Cabin stay to the left and ski the Proctor Loop. Upon your return to the Cabin finish the Trail Creek Loop for 15km. Ski it twice for 30km.
Discover some of the best cross-country skiing in America, with unmatched trail quality, training programs, clinics, rentals and a state-of-the-art clubhouse for skiers of all levels. With over 40 km of trails groomed daily for skate and classic skiing, the Sun Valley Nordic & Snowshoe Center provides a head-clearing experience. Sun Valley’s trail system maintains consistent conditions without leaving you gasping for air. Ski and snowshoe equipment for all ages is available for rent.
Virtual BMT racers at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center will contest their efforts on one of the Outdoor Center’s most classic skis, a 7.5km version of the Ruthie’s Run loop. Leaving the lower field and the lap has a mellow start, with a gradual climb and then fun descent down to the Black River. From there the climbing begins, with a two kilometer gradual climb up to the height of land. Another gradual rolling descent back to the Black River gives tired skiers an opportunity to recover. The final 2km include a fast flat kilometer along the river bottom before a series of stair step climbs bring skiers back to the lower field for another lap.
The Craftsbury Outdoor Center is a 4-season trail center located in village of Craftsbury in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Our 104km trail network rolls through farm fields, crosses lakes and swamps, and dips in and out of the hardwood and softwood forests that make up the landscape of the Black River Valley. Our team of groomers works tirelessly to provide the best ski conditions for visitors of all ages and abilities, from first timers to World Cup champions.
In the winter, the Wood River Valley transforms into Nordic Town USA. Boasting fantastic beginner, intermediate and advanced terrain, excellent snow for Nordic skiing, and almost perpetual sunny skies. Thanks to the Blaine County Recreation District, the area offers over 200 kilometers of expertly groomed Nordic trails each year.
Please note: For participants familiar with skiing the traditional Boulder Mountain Tour course, this year’s self-supported BMT will not provide the following infrastructure: a groomed starting area at Senate Meadows, constructed or manned road crossing south of Galena Lodge, aid stations, course sweep, or expanded finish area across from SNRA Headquarters.
Also, the North Valley Trail System will be open to the public the week of the BMT. Dogs, recreational skiers and fat bikes could be part of your ski experience. Share the trail and share a smile.
Areas groomed by the BCRD with total kilometers (not including snowshoe trails):
In partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, the Blaine County Recreation District manages, maintains and grooms over 160km of terrain including over 50km of trails around Galena Lodge located in the heart of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
The Gallatin National Forest’s Rendezvous Ski Trails offer a beautiful setting for cross country skiing. Easily accessible from the town of West Yellowstone, Montana, the Rendezvous Ski Trails consist of over 35 kilometers of gently rolling, beautifully groomed trails that wind through tall stands of lodgepole pines. The trail system is located entirely on U.S. Forest Service land and it is managed through a cooperative partnership between the Forest Service, the West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce and the West Yellowstone Ski Education Foundation (WYSEF).
The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation will have a 7.5k loop at Lake Creek. Half-Boulder participants can ski it twice to reach 15k and four times to record a 30k distance. The public is strongly encouraged to avoid Lake Creek from 2:30-5 p.m. during the week due to lack of parking when SVSEF teams are in training. Thank you!
There will also be a 5k course at Quigley Nordic. Details will be posted when available.
Established in 1966, the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation offers exceptional snow sport programs for the youth of the Wood River Valley. Disciplines include alpine, cross country, snowboard, freestyle, freeskiing and big mountain for youth athletes, ages 5-19. For elite-level postgrads, SVSEF has the XC Gold Team. With a philosophy of Strong Minds, Strong Bodies, Strong Futures, SVSEF views the mountains as the world’s best classroom, where a child’s imagination is captivated and their potential for learning, growth and inspiration is realized.
The Cross Country Ski Areas Association offers a comprehensive compendium of ski areas throughout the United States and Canada, as well as an e-magazine, the Nordic Approach, geared to the cross-country ski lifestyle and all that it entails.
Cross-country skiing is fun… it’s also fun to learn, healthy, family-friendly, accessible, affordable, and offers great variety! Cross-country skiing uses natural movements, it doesn’t require special skills to get started and has a short learning curve. Just a couple of hours spent being coached by a professional instructor will give you the skills needed for a lifetime of fun!
The sun was shining on the 2020 Zions Bank Boulder Mountain Tour and Sun Valley Nordic Festival – literally and figuratively.
The 47th annual race marked the feel-good edition of the BMT. Not only was the weather flawless, adding to a marked cheerfulness by all involved, locals had reason to cheer as the race saw its first local champion in 12 years and the youngest ever race winner.
Johnny Hagenbuch, 19, a senior at Sun Valley Community School and member of the U.S. Ski Development Team, backed up his potential in the men’s elite field deemed to “be the deepest in the history of the race” by Rick Kapala, SVSEF cross country program director.
Emerging from the trees in front, Hagenbuch built a strong enough of a lead on the homestretch to turn around and look at his pursuers. He crossed the finish line – alone – in 1:17.07, almost one second ahead of Jordheim and Bie, who were separated by 1/100th of a second. The pair, along with women’s champion, Guro Jordheim, are coached by Miles Havlik, a former racer on the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Gold Team and two-time NCAA National Champion at Utah.
Hagenbuch’s victory marked the first win by a skier who grew up in the valley in 12 years. Mikey Sinnott claimed the Harriman Trail crown in 2008.
The women’s race came down to the wire, with Jordheim narrowly overtaking 2019 runner-up Katie Feldman at the finish to win in 1:25.50.3. Feldman crossed the line in 1:25.50.5, and 2019 champion Erika Flowers was a close third in 1:25.50.9.
Jordheim, 23, a six-time All American, is competing in her third NCAA Championships this week in Bozeman, Montana. She is the top-seeded skier in the women’s 5k classic and 15k skate in the West Region. Havlik’s Utes won the 2019 NCAA banner in his first season as head coach, and with six veteran skiers, including the Jordheim twins and Bie, competing are looking solid once again.
Cash prizes totaled $8000 in the elite class with $2,500 going to the race winners, $1000 to second place and $500 to third place, along with flowers and BMT special-edition cookies. There is no disparity between men and women regarding cash prizes awarded.
Age class champions in the Full Boulder were Ella McNeeley, Sarah Kilroy, Jordheim, Mary Rose, Flowers, Kellie Carim, Kathryn Roberts, Brooke Hovey, Barbara Kreisle, Kim Kawaguchi, Elizabeth Youngman, Janet Conway, Linda McClatchy, Andrew Crouch, Jackson Monz, Hagenbuch, Bolger, Gelso, Joshua Korn, Sam Kreig, Joe Jensen, John Bauer, Barry Makarewicz, Kris Thoreson, Steve Moore, Peter Darienzo, Del Pletcher, and Steve Swanson.
Wave class winners (3-7) took home $75 cash courtesy of Zenergy Health Club and Spa. Champions were Sloan Storey, Eloise Zimbelman, Maria Gesior, Naomi Goldberg, and Justin Calvin for the women, and James Roloff, Will Sladek, Ruslan Reiter, Jeff Aken and Clint Mortley for the men. Goldberg and Calvin won their waves outright.
The Jon Engen Memorial Award to the skiers who improve their times by the most significant percentage year-over went to Hannah Young (17.5%) and Brad St. Clair (31.7%). Jon’s wife, Darlene Young, was on hand to give out the eponymous belt buckles hand-crafted by Foster Weld of Boise.
A new award this year, Ski It Forward, is given to the nonprofit organization of the winning team’s choice. “Bjorn to Adventure” with Hagenbuch, Bolger, and Bjornsen garnered $1,000 for The Hunger Coalition, who builds healthy community through access to good food and addresses the root causes of food insecurity in Blaine County.
“There are so many amazing nonprofit organizations on which our community is built and depend. We are happy to contribute to their wonderful work and be a good partner in our quest to create a healthy and happy community,” Jody Zarkos, BMT executive director, remarked.
Youth was served in the 15k Half Boulder, as overall titles went to 13-year-old Reed Wuepper of Bend, Oregon, in 38 minutes and 15 seconds and 12-year-old Cora Scott of Hailey in 43 minutes and 28 seconds. The pair finished first and sixth overall, respectively. The winning parent/child team was McCallen and Brady Campbell of Hailey.
This year’s race attracted 877 (676/201) participants, with 587 racers finishing the Full Boulder and 174 crossing the line in the Half.
As always, the Zions Bank Boulder Mountain Tour received tremendous support from its partners in the community and nationwide. Zions Bank was the title sponsor for the sixth consecutive year. Gold sponsors were Sentinel Security, Sue Engelmann of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, and Blaine County Title.
Silver sponsorships were provided by SWIX, Limelight Hotel, Backwoods Mountain Sports, Elephant’s Perch, Atkinsons’ Market, Power Engineers, Voće Tea, Lutz Rental, Zenergy, Blaine County Recreation District, Galena Lodge, Davis Embroidery, Rossignol, Madshus, Rex Wax, Salomon, Hammer/Heed, TOKO.
Bronze sponsors were Sturtevants, Jones Grover Team of Engel & Vølkers, Clear Creek Disposal, Sun Valley Associates, Sun Valley Garden Center, Lizzy’s Fresh Coffee, Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, McCall Remastered, Boulder Nordic Sport, Fischer, Bliz/Swenor/START, and Enjoy Winter.
Race supporters include West Yellowstone Montana, Sun Valley Community School and Ski Academy, Morgan’s Fine Finishes, Lloyd Construction, Mason Family Restaurants, VAMPS, DONS, Conrad Brothers Construction, Perry’s Restaurant, Wrapcity, Nourish Me, Sushi on Second, The Cellar, Sawtooth Avalanche Center, Lefty’s Bar & Grill, Glow, Wood River YMCA, Pisten Bully’s, Mountain Rides, Wood River St. Luke’s, U.S. Forest Service, and Bluebird Solar. The NordicTown USA Sprint purse was provided by board members Muffy Ritz and John Seiller.
The BMT would like to extend its gratitude to Sharon Pyle of Atkinsons for her help in procuring race-bag items and the following amazing companies who made very generous donations to the delight of our racers: Pro Bars, Nuun Hydration, Kate’s Real Food, Betty Lou’s, BoBo’s, Nature’s Path, Wolo Bars, Honey Stinger, NibMor, Raw Rev Bars, Dandies, and Backcountry Bars.
Jack Weekes created the official poster and artwork for the custom-made socks of the 2020 BMT. A limited number of both are available for purchase at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nils Ribi was the official race photographer. Program contributors include Emily Williams, Mikey Sinnott, Annie Pokorny, Don Shepler, Mary Rose, Matt Gelso and John Reuter. Design by Judy Stolzfus of Judy’s Design House.
We would like to acknowledge the City of Ketchum for co-hosting our BMT Block Party and Awards Bash, as well as local businesses and sponsors who provided food and drink; The Cellar Pub, Leroy’s, Voće Tea, Wood River Sustainability Center, La Parilla, Sawtooth Brewery, and Zions Bank.
Race stalwarts include our wonderful aid station sponsors, Galena Lodge, Sun Valley Suns, Sun Valley Community School, Sturtevants, and Girls on the Run spearheaded by Tom Bowman. We would also like to extend our thanks to the road crew with Bryce Turzian and friends. Andy Munter for buses and biffies. John Seiller ran the start for the Full Boulder and Kelley Yeates and Family the Half Boulder start. Prime Time Timing of Wisconsin expertly provided race timing supported by Bobby Noyes, safety measures by the Galena Backcountry Ski Patrol and emergency services by the Ketchum and Sun Valley fire departments, Idaho Transportation Department, Idaho State Police, and Wood River Ham Radio. In acknowledgment of the local ham radio club’s years of service, the BMT donated $500 to the organization in honor of Joe Yelda. The course grooming crew headed up by Eric Rector of the BCRD did an excellent job, and the course held strong all day long.
The board of directors of the BMT would also like to extend its sincere thanks to the 260 committed volunteers who absolutely make the race what it is year after year. This race would not happen without your dedication, energy, and enthusiasm. Volunteer heads include Ted Angle, Jenny Busdon, Roberta Heinrich, Travis Jones, Rick Kapala, Jim Keating, Eric Rector, Bobby Noyes, Ashton Wilson, John Reuter, Nils Ribi, Gay Riley, Muffy Ritz, Bob Rosso, Jim Keller, James Lieberman, Frank Rowland, Andy Munter, Don Shepler, Pete Stephenson, Mike Wolter, Bryce Turzian, Tom Bowman, Joe Yelda, Mat Hall, Kelley Yeates, Sue Hamilton, Ivana Radlova, Paddy McIlvoy and Martha Pendl.