The Boyne Vistas 10km Freestyle is a bit of a unique race. Held Saturday, February 23 at Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls, Michigan, the race starts with a 300 foot climb straight up an alpine ski slope with an average climb of 8%. That's average: the climb actually ranged from around 1.5% to a gradient of almost 16%. Fortunately, the snow was freshly groomed, firm, and easy to ski ("easy" for an uphill that is).
Once to the top of Boyne Mountain, there was a fast descent to the Vistas trail. Meandering over, around, up and down a golf course, parts of the trail received quite a bit of sun during the previous day's above-freezing weather. The Vistas was regroomed before the snow had entirely frozen, leading to a few places where the corduroy froze solid. This made for a couple fast and potentially precarious decents.
Once on Vistas. races skied two laps, finishing on the second lap and climbing another 600 feet of vertical along the way for a grand total of 894 feet of climbing.
Although it sounds tough, a women used this event as her first ski race, ever. A bit nervous at the start, she was all smiles at the end!
Since we finished at the top of the mountain, and our warm-up clothes were at the bottom, race officials kindly transported clothing to the finish. Getting back to the start required a 100 foot climb to the top of the mountain before descending with the downhill skiers back to the start line.
The race started about 2.5 km from the Nordic Center, where registration and awards took place, making it a good warm-up ski.
Ellie Callison won both the women's climb to the top of Hilda and the overall women's race in 33:00. Tracy Gravlin () was second in 34:21, with Sierra Bowden in third (35:37).
Kevin Tarras has the fastest time overall, 26:26, just beating Milan Biac by a second (26:27), with Jamie Somerville just a few fee behind in third (26:30).
View the full results for the 2019 Boyne Vistas 10km cross country ski race (PDF).