Thanks to lots of hard work by Emily B, Eric, Nick, Andy P, Emily S, Brent, and others we have a fantastic technical teams course put together. For route names as they are listed below, refer to the Brighton Trail Map and www.wbskiing.com. Here is a map of the course.
Here is a detailed course description:
- Start at Milly Chalet and ascend far skiers right of Brighton Resort. Climb Evergreen to Twin Lakes Dam and continue on to Backdoor to the top of Milly Express lift and CP-1
- Traverse skiers right from the top of the lift and follow the flags down Lone Pine to Milly Chalet and CP-2
- Follow the groomed track from Milly Chalet to Brighton Lode
- DO NOT FOLLOW SATURDAY’S COURSE
- From the corner, continue straight up through the cabins
- Follow the flagging right into Milly Bowl/Screen Slope and join the climb from Saturday
- Boot through the cliff bands
- Skin to the base of the Elevator
- Ascend the Elevator via the fixed rope – Harness, Ascender, and Via Ferrata Kit required
- Mt Milly is CP-3
- From the top of the rope, go left and continue to boot down the ridge.
- After about 30M, you will attach to a down climb rope. Use of your via ferrata kit is required on this rope
- At the end of the rope, transition to skiing and ski on the ridge.
- DO NOT LEAVE THE RIDGE
- Ski down the east ridge of Mt Millicent to the north side of Lake Mary Dam and CP-4
- Ascend the north facing ridge to False Pioneer Peak
- This is a narrow technical skin.
- The left side of the ridge is corniced, so use caution to stay away from the left ridge. Do not go left of the flags on this ridge.
- Traverse Pioneer Ridge to CP-5 at the top of Green Slope
- Descend from Pioneer Ridge and follow the ascent from Saturday to CP-6 in Snake Creek
- Ascend the ridge looker’s left of Saturday’s descent of Preston Peak to CP-7 at the summit of Preston Peak
- Descent the ridge line to the top of Snake Creek Express Lift
- Go left before the top of the lift and ski Doyle’s Dive under the Snake Creek Express Lift
- Merge left onto Deer Park
- Descent just to skiers right of the Terrain Park and ski down Hawkeye
- Go left on Hawkeye Access and follow this to CP-8 at the main Brighton base
- There will be HEED at this checkpoint for the racers
- There is an 11:15AM cut-off at the checkpoint
- Ascend Hawkeye Access to the base of Snake Creek Express Lift
- Continue up the left side of the lift and ascend the trees between Thor and Sunshine to Snake Creek Pass
- Go left and follow the cat track to the base of the South Ridge of Clayton Peak
- Transition for the long booter to the top of Clayton Peak (CP-9)
- Reach CP-10 at the top of Clayton Peak
- Descend from Clayton Peak following Saturday’s course down Brown Spot and into Hidden Canyon
- Continue down Hidden Canyon staying right on the open trail until you reach CP-11
- Racers will ascend through the trees until they reach the cat track coming down to Elk Park Ridge. This is the same ascent as Saturday.
- Racers will ascend the right side of the cat track to CP-12.
- CAUTION: there will be downhill traffic on this section.
- Drop down from to the right from CP-12 and ski Rein’s Run to Lone Star to the base of Snake Creek Express Lift.
- Continue past the base of the lift and go left on Scout
- Follow Scout and stay left to traverse through the Brighton Base are. Stay above Brighton Lodge and follow the cat track around the lodge, then skate across the cat track on the south side of the parking lot to the finish line at Milly Chalet.
- Watch for Downhill Traffic while traversing across the Brighton Base
- The last section of this descent is the first climb from Saturday’s race
Don’t forget, you must register by 8PM tonight (Feb 25) to receive your T-shirt for the Saturday race. Sunday racers will receive a Buff.
If anyone is looking for a partner for the Sunday Team’s race, please post to the Facebook page. Several people have contacted us looking for partners.
The course for both the race/heavy metal and rec divisions has changed for the 2013 Powder Keg. Where the directions refer to Race Division, this applies to both Race and Heavy Metal. You can find maps to go with the description below on the Race Info page.
Here is a detailed course description:
- As in previous years, the race will start at Milly Chalet. There will not be a running start this year. Upon the gear check, racers will enter the starting coral and not be able to leave. Jackets will be able to be dropped beside the coral and picked up by the finish line volunteers.
- Race will line up in front with Heavy Metal 20M behind the race start.
- Rec will start 10 minutes after Race/Heavy Metal start (to allow for Rec to go through gear check and move into the coral).
- The race will follow the route of prior years to the base of Snake Creek Express (follow Scout to get there).
- From Snake Creek Express the race will ascend Rockin-R until racers are under the Great Western Express lift.
- Racers will go right towards the lift tower, then ascend through the trees until they reach Elk Park Ridge.
- Racers will ascend the right side of Elk Park Ridge until the 2nd flat where they will go right off of the groomed run and traverse under the lift and then climb to Checkpoint 1.
- At Checkpoint 1, the Race and Rec Division splits.
- Rec Division de-skins and descends to checkpoint 5 (Rec Division participants, skip to Descent 2 description).
- Race Division will transition to a booter and boot to the summit of Clayton Peak.
- Upon reaching the summit, the Race division will boot down the ridge to Checkpoint 2.
- At Checkpoint 2, racers will de-skin and descend Brown Spot and continue descending into Hidden Canyon.
- Racers will stay to the right on the open trail until they reach Checkpoint 3.
- Racers will ascend through the trees until they reach the cat track coming down to Elk Park Ridge.
- Racers will ascend the right side of the cat track to Checkpoint 4.
- CAUTION: there will be downhill traffic on this section.
- Follow Western Trail down to Snake Creek Pass and Checkpoint 5.
- Climb the left edge of the ridge and continue past the top of the Snake Creek Express lift and through the backcountry gate.
- Continue to the summit of Preston Peak and Checkpoint 6.
- Ski down southeast from the summit of Preston Peak (note this is the opposite side of the summit from previous years). Continue descending right of the trees following the red flags
- Use extreme caution as you enter the aspen trees towards the bottom of the descent. Follow the flags to skiers right and continue down to Checkpoint 7.
- Prepare for the long, warm climb out of Snake Creek and up to Pioneer Ridge.
- You will reach Checkpoint 8 a short climb after reaching Pioneer Ridge.
- This is the same descent as prior years. You will drop down through the steep trees to Pacific Highway.
- Take Pacific Highway to Wren Hollow. Carefully descend Wren Hollow watching for the rock drop offs marked with Brighton trail markers.
- From Wren Hollow, go left onto Lost Maid, then another left onto Milly Access.
- Follow Milly Access to Checkpoint 9.
- Watch for Brighton skier traffic on this descent.
- Ascend Majestic Access to Canyon.
- Rec Division will ascend only to the junction with Canyon, then de-skin and ski to the finish line.
- Race Division will continue to ascend.
- Stay on the left side of Canyon as you ascend.
- Before the water tank, cut left into the trees and ascend to the bottom of Milly Bowl/Scree Slope
- Transition to a booter at the cliff bands.
- Skin to the base of Elevator (where the teams race will ascend via rope on Sunday) to Checkpoint 10.
- Watch for Brighton skier traffic on this ascent.
- Descend from Checkpoint 10 traversing skiers left to avoid the cliff area you just booted up.
- Descend through the cliff bands between Lone Pine and Scree Slope.
- Use EXTREME CAUTION in this area as there are many cliff bands that need to be avoided. This is the steepest descent of the course!
- Continue down to Canyon.
- Stay left into the trees and transition from Canyon with a short skate up Main Street
- Go right at the first junction and ski Perris Bowl
- Continue on to the finish line at Milly Chalet.
- Watch for Brighton cross traffic as you cross the slopes to the finish line.
Friday, March 8 will be this year’s Powder Keg Sprint Race. This year we will have a similar course to 2012, but we will setup the race like a true Sprint Race.
- Race check-in and packet pickup. If you are racing more than just the sprint race, you will be checking in for all races at this time
- Race check-in and packet pickup for those not racing the sprint
- Milly Chalet will be selling dinner for people who want to eat before the pre-race meeting
We are extremely excited for the sprint this year. Starting at 5:30PM each racer will race the sprint course in a time trial format. The racers will race alone and depart every 30-45 seconds. Depending on the total number of racers, 6-16 racers will advance to a semi final race (or just a final race if the group is small). The semi-finals will be raced ski-cross style with 6-8 racers racing at the same time. The top 3 racers from the semi finals will advance to the finals.
The sprint course will have a a skinning section with several switchbacks, a booter, then another skinning section. The descent will be GS gates with a skate to the finish line. All racers will be required to carry packs, shovel, probes, beacons, and a jacket. Skis must be attached to the pack for the booter. All transitions must be completed in the transition zone (for example, you cannot ski out of the transition until your skins are in your suit).
Here is an example of how the sprint course will be setup.
Remember, the fastest total time from the 3 weekend races will be the overall weekend winner.
Thanks Jim Knight for another great poster design.
Race plans are quickly coming together. With the current stability, we will be able to use the standard Powder Keg course for Saturday (down Stupid Chute and across Twin Lakes).
Thanks to the help of Nick, Eric, Teague, Noah, and Blake we were able to finalize the technical teams course today and it is going to be great. This will be a great course designed by a group of racers in the true heart of a long teams race. The final stats are:
- 8 climbs
- 6 summits (Clayton, Preston, Pioneer, Millicent, Patsy Marley, Wolverine)
- between 8,250′ and 8,450′ climbing
- ~13.5 miles
- 2 standard booters
- 1 steep roped booter
We are excited to have the course finalized. I will have a final course map posted this week. In the mean time, here is a draft with only a few changes that will be made to this. We also hope to have a Google Earth fly over ready in a couple weeks.
Here is a course overview.
- The first climb will follow the Powder Keg course for Saturday until the top of Great Western. At the top of Great Western, racers will summit Clayton Peak straight up from Checkpoints 1 & 4
- The first descent will go down the Clayton Peak ridge to eventually join the first descent from Saturday.
- The second climb up to the top of Cheese Grater and the descent of Cheese Grater are the same as Saturday.
- The third climb will follow Saturday’s climb
- At Checkpoint 4, instead of staying on the cat track, descend Rein’s Run to Lone Star.
- Checkpoint 5 will be just before where Lone Star and Sunshine merge.
- The forth climb will go up through the trees and eventually come out onto Sunshine just before it merges with Pioneer. The rest of the climb will follow Saturday’s course to Preston Peak
- The descent off of Preston Peak will be the same as Saturday to the top of Great Western
- From Checkpoint 7, the race will follow Saturday’s climb, but continue to the top of Pioneer Peak
- Racers will descend from Pioneer Peak and join Wren Hollow about ½ way down the run and then continue down following Milly Access to Checkpoint 9 at the bottom of Brighton.
- The first half of climb 6 will be the same as Saturday, but instead of going right up Little Milly, racers will stay left up Scree Slope.
- Booter #2 will be in Milly Bowl through the mid slope cliff area.
- Racer will then skin to the base of Elevator where they will use their ascenders and via ferrata kits (conditions will determine if crampons are required) to ascend a fixed line up Elevator followed by a short skin to the summit of Mt Millicent.
- The descent off of Mt Millicent and Stupid Chute will be the same as Saturday’s race.
- At Twin Lakes, racers will go left and ascend to Twin Lakes Pass, then Patsy Marley. At the top of Patsy Marley, racers will follow the ridge above Wolverine Cirque to the summit of Mt Wolverine.
- Racers will descend Wolverine Bowl and then stay right as they continue to traverse and descend to Lake Mary.
- The eighth and final climb will take racers across Lake Mary and then climb back up to the base of the Mt Milly cliffs where they will skin back into Brighton Resort.
- The final descent will drop down the steep top section of Scree Slope and continue to the Finish Line at Milly Chalet.
Here are some photos of the course:
The guys responsible for the technical teams course
Looking over at Blake booting up Elevator. It will be nice to have a rope on race day.
Blake, Noah, and Eric approaching the summit of Mt. Millicent.
The time is quickly coming for the Powder Keg and we are feverishly working on race planning. We have once again had a great group of sponsors step up to support the race. With 3 days of racing, we have no shortage of prize requirements and we have been extremely grateful for the great support of our sponsors.
There are lots of exciting things going on this year. Here is a glimpse of them:
- Thanks to Voile and CAMP, we will have a Race Division prize purse of around $2,000! We are thrilled to be able to offer a cash purse and we feel this may help bring in some people for a rematch from the National Team qualifier races.
- For the Heavy Metal and Recreation Division, expect each podium of prizes to be over $750.
- The full weekend schedule has been completed.
- We are continuing to standardize with ISMF rules. Please review the posted rules. The entire ISMF rulebook is here.
- We have updated the required gear list for all of the races and listed some of our sponsors specific gear for the technical teams race. If you do not have a via ferrata kit, we will have a few of them for sale at racer check-in. Please let us know ahead of time if you would like to buy one to ensure we have enough.
- The FAQ page has updates pertaining to the overall race.
- Our sponsors have been finalized.
- We will be finalizing the Sunday Technical Teams course over the next 2 weeks. Expect the first half of the course to be the same as Saturday, but changing the ascent of Mt Millicent and then after descending Stupid Chute, continuing into Wolverine Cirque for more climbing. We are planning 2 roped sections after the start of the Mt Millicent climb.
- Sunday’s racers and volunteers will get an official Wasatch Powder Keg Hoo-Rag.
If you haven’t registered, be sure to sign up at Ultra Signup soon as cut-off for this year’s technical race shirt is February 25.
Powder Keg Racers –
We are excited to announce that this year the Powder Keg will feature 3 days of racing all at Brighton Ski Resort. We are still working out the details, but at a high level, this is what you can expect.
Friday, March 8
- Sprint or King of the hill race
- Pre-race meeting at Milly Chalet
Saturday, March 9
- Normal Powder Keg race
- SkiMo clinics sponsored by the US National Team in the afternoon
Sunday, March 10
- Technical Teams Race: Teams of 2 competing on a more technical course.
- Some of this course will overlap Saturday’s course, but there will be several additions.
- We anticipate this rae to have ~8,500′ of climbing
- The race will have 1-2 standard booters plus 1-2 roped booters requiring harness and ascenders and possibly also requiring crampons.
Please leave us your feedback about the race additions and we will take your comments into account as we plan the courses.
Racers & Volunteers –
We have set the race date for the 2013 Wasatch Powder Keg. The 2013 race will take place on March 9 at Brighton Ski Resort.
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Racers and Volunteers,
Thanks for making the 2012 Powder Keg our best and largest race yet. As with other years we received a lot of positive feedback from both racers and volunteers. We appreciate the feedback.
Congratulations to all of our winners of the 2012 race.
We had our largest race with 162 registered racers. We would like to thank all of our sponsors and our host Brighton for making this event possible. We would not be able to put on the race without their support.
We have posted the 2012 Results and some initial photos. Sallie Shatz also got a photo of our tandem tele racers as one of the photos of the day for Sports Illustrated. You can see the photo on the Sports Illustrated Snapshot page. We will be posting more photos and videos as we receive them.
We look forward to seeing everyone at the 2013 race.
Chad & Emily
Due to poor snow conditions in the Wasatch this winter, we have had to reroute some of the Powder Keg course. The biggest change is the omission of of Stupid Chute. We evaluated the snow in the top of the chute and decided it just wasn’t safe enough. for any snow geeks out there, here were the facets we found that comprised 1/6 of the snow pack.
We have made the following changes to the course from 2011.
- First climb goes up Rockin R instead of Golden Needle
- Boot up to Clayton from Great Western instead of skiing around through the backcountry gate.
- Stay on ridge until it is clearly marked to descend – DO NOT DESCEND TOWARDS LACKAWAXAN
- Ski Brown Spot instead of Cheese Grater into Hidden Canyon
- Ascent up Hidden Canyon joins Elk Ridge, then stays on the groomer instead of joining the track from the first climb
- From Preston Peak you must stay on the ridge until clearly marked – DO NOT DESCEND TO SKIERS LEFT
- From top of Mt Milly, descend, then climb to Mt Wolverine instead of skiing Stupid Chute.
- Carefully follow all flagging down Wolverine Bowl and into the trees to Lake Mary
- Skin across Lake Mary and climb and traverse to Milly Bowl
- Descend Milly Bowl and join the uphill traffic from the Milly climb.
- Stay left at the Majestic Junction and ski to the finish line
We will go over the entire course during the pre-race meeting on March 9th.
Overall Course Details
Red items are race and heavy metal divisions only
- Start at the Church and run across the parking lot to Brighton Lodge
- Ascend Scout, Rockin-R, Elk Ridge, and Elk Park to Great Western (Check Point 1)
- Boot to top of Clayton Peak
- Ski the ridge to the just above the pass between Clayton Peak and 10,420′
- Descend to Check Point (CP) 2
- Ascend to pass between Clayton Peak and 10,420′
- Skin/Traverse to top of Brown Spot
- Descent Brown Spot (CAREFULLY) to CP 3
- Climb out of Hidden Canyon to CP 4 (Great Western)
- Descend Western Trail to Snake Creek Pass (CP 5)
- Climb up to Preston Peak (CP 6)
- Descend the ridge (DO NOT LEAVE THE RIDGE) and when marked, descent left to CP 7
- Ascend to the top of Crest lift and continue up to Pioneer Ridge (CP 8 )
- Descend Wren Hollow, Lost Maid, and Milly Access to CP 9
- Ascend Majestic Access, Canyon, Little Milly, and Backbone to top of Milly Express (CP 10)
- Boot to top of Mt Millicent (CP 11)
- Descend to pass
- Skin to top of Mt Wolverine (CP 12)
- Descend Wolverine Bowl and carefully follow flagging to Lake Mary (CP 13)
- Skin across Lake Mary, up and into Milly Bowl (CP 14)
- Rec Division will traverse left from top of Milly Express lift and ski into Milly Bowl
- Descend Milly Bowl to Canyon and stay left to ski to the Finish Line at the Milly Base.
The course details on the race info page have been updated to reflect these course changes.