What does “The Drift” mean?

The Drift has local significance to this area. It is named after the Green River Drift, which is the oldest continually used cattle drive in the United States. Since the 1890s, local ranchers have been driving cattle along this 58-mile territory, and The Drift is the first ranching-related Traditional Cultural Property listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the nation. Check it out!

Is this a triathlon?

No. Racers must choose to travel on foot, bike or ski. You must declare your division at the mandatory pre-race meeting Friday night before the race. This gives racers a chance to decide on or change their discipline based on current trail conditions.

Is this an adventure race, like Surly Pika?

Nope! This is an individual race on a mapped race course. You do not need to gather punches, or find flags.

Can I bring my dog, pacer, or personal snow machine?

Nope, nope and nope. This is strictly an individual, human-powered race. Although your entourage may cheer you on out on the course, having non racers pace, follow or otherwise assist you will result in disqualification. Outside assistance is not allowed. You may accept help from another racer, if needed, or provide help to another racer in need.

Should I skate or classic ski?

Personal preference. The ski division will not be further divided based on classic or skate. Trails are groomed and wide. Skating is theoretically possible. However, don’t expect the course to be like skiing 40 miles in west Yellowstone.  Expect everything from ice, bare ground, hero snow and drifts and plan accordingly.

Is the entire course bikeable?

For some, yes. For most there will be some pushing. The initial climb will be challenging to ride in its entirety. The trails are groomed, but again, trail conditions can vary and may change during the race. Be prepared to push.

Do I need  fatbike to race?

Most likely.

Do I need snowshoes if I am in the foot division?

Probably not, but they are allowed, should you desire to use them. Without snowshoes, there is a possibility of punching through a few times or walking through a drift, but with all the snowmachine travel the trails should be set up enough so that snowshoes are not necessary. Conditions may be punchy and slow or icy and slow.

Why the mandatory gear list? Do I really need any of the recommended gear?

Know thyself. Keep in mind this is a remote winter, wilderness race. All racers need to be prepared to stay out longer than anticipated and avoid dehydration, hypothermia and frostbite. Evacuation is not necessarily timely or possible.  A change in trail conditions, weather or a gear problem may keep even the fastest racers from the finish line. Although groomed, the trails are not the quality of typical groomed Nordic ski trails. Plan on being out longer than you think. Race Directors reserve the right to refuse any racer who shows up on race day inadequately prepared. Check out the full gear list.

Is there cell phone coverage?

Largely no. Depending on your service provider and your phone you may have spotty coverage at the start/finish only.

Is the course marked?

Yes. But despite best efforts put forth in marking,  someone will likely end up off course. Don’t let it be you. Course markings may be blown over, covered in snow or stolen. Pay attention and know the course. Maps, GPS etc. are allowed. Check out the race map and profile.

Can I wear headphones?

Yes, but in one ear only. You must be able to hear snowmachines, other racers, and other trail traffic.

Dropbags?

Racers may use a drop bag for the finish line (¾ mile from the start). Racers may drop-off at the start line. There will not be any drop bags on the course. Racers are expected to start with all gear, layers and food they will need for the entire race. Dropbags should be clearly labeled with the racer’s name and phone number.

Although highly unlikely, what happens if I can not finish?

Keep working toward the nearest aid station and let race staff know you are not able to continue. If you are past the first aid station you will leave the course via snow machine evacuation. If a racer drops out before the first aid station, they will be permitted to leave the course on their own, under their own power. In the event of snow machine evacuation, we ask that you make a $50 donation to Tip Top Search and Rescue. Leaving the race course without alerting race staff is a violation-racers must be accounted for in some capacity at each aid station. Missing racers means a search party is sent out immediately. DO NOT LEAVE THE RACE COURSE WITHOUT INFORMING RACE STAFF.

What if I miss an aid station cut off?

Cut-off times are strict and exceptions will not be made even in the event of gear failure, fluke etc. If you miss aid station 1 you will return to the start. If you miss other aide stations you will leave the course via snow machine evacuation, and will be expected to make a $50 donation to Tip Top Search and Rescue.

But I don’t want a snow machine ride out…

By showing up to the starting line and signing our race waiver you agree to accept a snow machine ride out in the event you are not allowed or not able to finish the course beyond mile 10. We cannot leave anyone on the course. This is not negotiable, so quit bitching. Besides, there is a post-race party calling our names, and we aren’t going to miss it. Make the checkpoints, or get a ride out. Finish the race, or get a ride out. Those are your options.

But I like to argue about rules set in place by others. What should I do?

Sign up for a different race.

How do I sign up?

You can register online. The race will be capped at 50 participants-no exceptions, so don’t delay!