Race Recap: Canada Cup #1 at Castle Mountain

After a year’s forced hiatus, Canada Cup racing returned to Castle Mountain Resort for the 10th edition of the CMR Skimo Races. Mother nature did her level best to spoil the party, dishing out nearly a meter of snow in the week leading up to the event – not to mention some wild weather conditions during the races themselves. The theme of the weekend, however, was the resiliency of volunteers and athletes alike and we saw three days of terrific racing to kick off 2022.

Friday’s vertical race ran in outright blizzard conditions, with 40+cm of fresh snow blanketing the course. Despite the best efforts of forerunners, this meant some trailbreaking for the race leaders. A tight pack splintered near the finish as several athletes suffered skin failures and others made their moves.

Matt Ruta of Golden BC crossed the line in first place for the men, followed by Vancouver BC’s Peter Nowicki. Peter Knight (Edmonton AB) made a heroic recovery to round out the podium after losing a skin just minutes earlier. The women’s race wrapped up with Michelle Katchur Roberts of Canmore AB taking top spot and Nelson BC’s Lori Anne Donald in hot pursuit. Caroline Reid from Golden BC crossed the line in third position.

Saturday’s Sprint saw much more favourable weather conditions and some great racing. Kylee Toth of Cochrane AB picked up right where she left off in Canadian sprint racing, taking the win in a competitive and exciting women’s final ahead of Lori Anne Donald and Caroline Reid. In the men’s final, Matt Ruta made the day’s fastest circuit of the course, topping the podium ahead of Canmore AB’s Graham Suffield and Akio Kato of Vancouver BC.

Castle Mountain is known for a rugged individual course and the kind of ridgetop winds that put the “mo” in skimo. Sunday’s edition of the race was no exception. Athletes powered through tough conditions both up and down, covering ~1500m of vertical in a race that proved tight and exciting right to the end.

Squamish BC’s Eric Carter stayed calm and composed to cross the line first, with Peter Knight in second and Whitefish Montana’s Joel Sheahan rounding out the men’s podium in third place. Ali Walford of Canmore AB made a strong return from injury to take the win in the women’s competitive division, ahead of Michelle Katchur Roberts and Lori Anne Donald.

Full results for all categories are available here.

Many thanks to event organizers, volunteers, athletes, sponsors, our hosts at Castle Mountain Resort, and all of their hardworking staff. Let’s do it again in 2023!

The Canada Cup makes its next stop at Nelson BC’s Whitewater Ski Area, February 5th and 6th. Expect race details in the coming days and stay tuned to the Canada Cup calendar as well as our news feed for the very freshest updates. In the meantime, you can get your skimo fix at multiple events in Alberta and Quebec over the next month. See the Other Events page for details.

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