Throwback Thursday: Ski Racing Takes Off

Contributor Dave Dornian saw it coming back in 2001—the bike-helmet-wearing, spandex-clad, skinny-ski toting explosion. Citing races like the Elk Mountain Grand Traverse and European events sanctioned by the International Council for Ski Mountaineering Competition (ISMC), Dorian predicted a boom in ski-mountaineering racing. “The ISMC’s current five-year plan calls for an increasing number of continental and intercontinental races,” he wrote. “Meanwhile, in the North American backcountry, the thought of organized competitions is about as foreign as raclette or glügwein.”


Skimo takes off…or not? Issue 22, 2001


But more than a decade later, skimo, as it’s now called, is gaining traction, with races like the Grand Traverse, which celebrated its 17th year last winter, The Wasatch Powderkeg, a potential Olympic bid and weekly skimo races like those at Brighton, Utah. Still, don’t expect it to go mainstream if people wear outfits like this guy’s….


The brighter the spandex, the faster the skier.






  1. It could have been an ok piece tyler if not for the last sentence and a 15 years old photo of “this guys” 😉

  2. Hah! I didn’t know we had to get our hair done. A skimo racer in north america today is just a ski mountaineer who works hard enough to need a shower at the end of the day.

  3. Jeff Perron says:

    Popularity is self propelling and Conservative attitudes dont Lead to radical progression. The growth in certain markets has as much to do with the population in those areas as it does with the acceptance of skimo by the area resorts. Lots of fit people within close proximty to events will result in strong Participation. Simple….unless you do not have that mix.

  4. Pretty lame finish to the article…

  5. Mike Traslin says:

    Pretty lame…. How Dave. Treated the brother and I after 10 years of rando racing.

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