2015 British Ski Mountaineering Championships: Results and Report

The fourth edition of the British Ski Mountaineering Championships took place in France on February 15 as part of the Grand Trace race in the Dévoluy Alps. Ben Bardsley reports on the race.

In the last two days leading up to this year’s event, snow fell in biblical quantities. Indeed, 24 hours from the finish, the organizers had been instructed by the community leaders to abandon the race. However, carefully considered emergency arrangements were presented to the authorities and a safe route was agreed. This was a BIG relief for me!

I’ve done this race twice before and was really excited when “Head Honcho” (and fellow skier) Florent Besses approached me to see if I would consider hosting the British Championships there. It’s a great race with a great atmosphere.

Thus, on Sunday February 15, the robust Britons who had braved the elements to take the start lined up against some of the best French ski mountaineers.

The course was varied and interesting with some open powder runs and tight tree skiing to negotiate. With 1900 m of elevation gain, the riders had plenty of time to fight for their positions.

It was good to see some new names on the scene – two of whom made it onto the podium – well done Ben Bradford and Rozzi Martin for that.

Many thanks to Lyon Outdoor and La Sportiva. Lyon provided a beanie for each runner and was a big help in promoting the event.

Thanks to the BMC who provided trophies and perpetual prizes.

Thanks to Florent Besses, Xavier Nopre and the whole team of “La Grande Trace” whose many hours of work devoted to this event were greatly appreciated.

The band “Monik and The Sex Pistons” greeted the runners at the finish line to lively, catchy tunes. … always a pleasure!


2015 British Ski Mountaineering Championships
in association with La Sportiva: Results

Men’s
1st Ben Bardsley
2nd Ben Bradford
3rd Micha Gopaul

Women’s
1st Ursula Moore
2nd Janine Frost
3rd Rozzi Martin

For complete results and more information on La Grande Trace, visit the race website


2016 British Ski Mountaineering Championships
Next year’s race could well take place at the end of January at “La Croix de Chamrousse” near Grenoble. I will post further details as they become available.


About the Dévoluy Alps
The Dévoluy Alps lie just east of Gap and are well worth a visit in winter or summer. The uphill skiing, ski touring, rock climbing and hiking in this region are all of the highest caliber.
www.ledevoluy.com


Watch a video of the 2015 Le Grand Trace race below.


Grande Trace 2015 by Altitude Films on Vimeo.


Video of the World Championships in Verbier


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