Schedule and FAQ

WHERE

The Rendezvous Ski Trails trailhead is on Obsidian Ave near S Geyser St. in West Yellowstone, Montana — Discounted lodging near the race can be found at the Holiday Inn, a 3 minute walk from the race course.  Use the group discount code EQU to get the Equinox Snow Challenge rates!

SCHEDULE of EVENTS 

6-9 pm- Mar. 21 Bib pick up and final registration at Rendezvous Trailhead Building
7-8:30am- Mar. 22 Bib pick up/race day reg at Rendezvous Trailhead Building
9:30 am- Pre race meeting at Rendezvous Trailhead
9:45 am- Costume Contest at Rendezvous Trailhead
10 am- 3, 6, 12, and 24 Hour divisions start at Rendezvous Trailhead
1 pm- 3 Hour division finish
2 pm- 24 Minute Kids Challenge
4 pm- 6 Hour division finish
5 pm- 3 Hr and 6 Hr Awards at trailhead warming hut
6 pm- Potluck/BBQ at start/finish
10 pm- 12 Hour division finish
10 am- (March, 23) 24 Hour division finish
11 am- (March, 23) 12 Hour and 24 Hour awards at trailhead warming hut

—Civil twilight ends at 7:30pm on the 22nd, the moon will rise at 1:08am on the 23rd, and twilight returns at 7:05am on the 23rd.

 

COURSE

We have three courses for this event. Skiers begin on the 9.1km Deja View loop and will ski it until 6pm if the trail stays in good shape and we have moderate weather. By switching at 6pm, you will get to ski a lap on the night loop (Rendezvous to Grizzly cut-off) in the light to be more familiar with it before nightfall. The night loop is 6km and will be the course for the remainder of the event. — Juniors can race on a 3km couse. The 24 Minute Kids loop is a 300m loop near the trail head.

Our goal is to provide safe, fast and fun skiing/riding/running. Sometimes this involves regrooming courses and general changing of plans.

Both loops are rolling and feature a few moderate hills and some fast descents. Deja View loop is rated as a “more difficult” trail and Rendezvous loop is rated as an “easiest” trail. Both are appropriate for beginning skiers. Typical lap times range from 30-45 minutes. The courses will be marked with reflective tape and flags for easier night time travel.

Can I ski some laps and bike some laps?
Yes!  In the spirit of the Equinox, feel free to mix it up and do something different every so often.

RULES

The Equinox Snow Challenge race rules are pretty simple:

  1. Go around the official course as many times as you can, checking in with the Lap Count Team each time. 2
  2. Laps will be counted as long as they start before the 3, 6, 12, or 24 hour mark, i.e., a sample result for the 6 Hour race could be 10 laps in 6 hours 24 minutes.
  3. Results will be ranked per division by (highest to lowest) number of completed laps and (lowest to highest) finishing time within duplicate lap counts.
  4. Did we mention that you go around as many times as possible?
  5. Please inform the Lap Count Team if your team exits the course before the race finish time. You will not DNF – we need to know that you aren’t out on the course.
  6. The only way(s) to DNF are to shortcut the course, overly hinder another racer (please let them pass when it’s safe), or have multiple racers from one team on course (except on the final victory lap – do note that only one lap is counted, though!).
  7. Please inform the Lap Count Team if you exit the course to fix equipment or sleep but plan on returning.
  8. Did we really mention that you go around as many times as possible? 9) Have fun, wear an outrageous costume if at all possible and smile at everybody.

WAXING

Waxing for changing conditions is to be expected. There will be a Toko wax tech at the start/finish updating the wax recommendation and providing assistance to make sure your skis are fast.  PLEASE NOTE, BRING YOUR OWN WAX for Eric the wax tech to use on your skis.  He does not have enough for everybody!  There are electrical outlets available at the warming hut so feel free to bring an extension cord and set up a bench for your team as well. There will be no waxing inside the warming hut. Some of the hotels in West Yellowstone have wax rooms available as well.

Get a head start on the process by waxing one pair for day time temps and one for night time temps. We will have an wax report and recommendation on Friday for both day and night.

FOOD

There are many restaurants in West Yellowstone and also two grocery stores. There will be the Saturday evening community potluck at the bonfire with a grill running as well as beverages. Potluck arrangements are: A-F bring salad or pasta, G-M bring grilling items, N-S bring beverages, and T-Z bring desserts.

Clif Bar and Hammer are fueling the aid station with HEED and sample size ClifBars for all racers. There will also be water, bananas and chips at the aid station.

There is a microwave in the warming hut so a good set up is to prepare several meals prior to the event and have them in Tupperware for quick and easy heating and eating.

GEAR

  • Multiple pairs of skis for skating and classic. The race is a freestyle event so technically you can skate or classic. Many skiers in the past have chosen to do a few laps on classic skis to change muscle groups and also to make use of the fast, glazed tracks if the spring sun makes the skating sloppy. Multiple pairs of skis also allows you to prewax them for the varying conditions.
  • Lots of socks. It is nice to head back out with fresh socks at 2 AM. You will feel like a new person!
  • Extra insoles for your boots. Feet can be the weakest link and by switching insoles occasionally you can create a new and dry abode for the trusty feet.
  • Headlamp with extra batteries.
  • A hydration system. Perhaps the most important ingredient to the long haul is staying hydrated. There will be water and ClifShot available at the aid station at the start/finish area. Alternating bottles, bladders, or having a freeze proof system is very helpful. Note that there is a warming hut 20 yards from the course making for easy access to warm water, a place for items to thaw out or dry, and a heated bathroom.

TEAMS

Teams can consist of 2-4 people for a Little Team of 5-8 people for a Big Team. The most popular categories are the 6-Hour solo or Little Team, the 12 Hour Little Team, and the 24 Hour Little and Big Teams. You can alternate teamates each lap or do a few laps, allowing your teammates a little more rest, before switching. Working together is smart!

HOW FAR?

There are five races during the weekend. They are the 24 Minute, 3 Hour, 6 Hour, 12 Hour, and 24 Hour. Any of the five can be entered either as a relay team or as a soloist.

MODE OF TRAVEL

Skiers are welcome to skate or classic. There will be classic tracks on the entire course. The current 24 Hour solo record includes a few laps done on classic skis. Mix it up!