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Irwin Skimo Race cancelled due to lack of snow in the forecast

“There’s a possibility of postponing the race until April”

by Than Acuff

Well, it should come as no surprise that the Irwin Skimo Race on the Irwin Cat Skiing terrain scheduled for this Saturday, December 9, has been cancelled due to a lack of snow.

Race organizers had delayed the decision one week until Sunday, December 3 to see if any storms would potentially materialize the week leading up to the event, but it didn’t look good so they pulled the plug.

“Looking at the five-day forecast, we didn’t see any major storms coming through to cover the venue to make it possible to slide down, or even skin up,” says race co-director Bryan Wickenhauser.

“We had to make the decision unfortunately,” adds snow safety director for Irwin, Billy Rankin. “The big storm we needed wasn’t happening.”

It’s the third time in the eight-year history of the event that the race has been cancelled. The years the race did go off were either thin but solid conditions or unbelievably good powder skiing.

While the race has been called off, there is talk of hosting it later in the season at the very same venue, and organizers and the Irwin operatives are now kicking around the idea of a potential date in the spring.

“There’s a possibility of postponing the race until April,” says Wickenhauser.

“We’re just now kicking around the idea,” says Rankin. “We just have to think it through but it could be a great race. With a mid-April date, we could pull off a really cool race and possibly open up even more terrain options for the course.”

Local skimo racers will have the next two weeks to continue their training as the Colorado Ski Mountaineering Cup (COSMIC) race series is scheduled to return to the Gunnison Valley, and Crested Butte Mountain Resort will host the Griggs Orthopedics Ski Mountaineering Race on Friday and Saturday, December 15-16—fingers crossed.

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