New for 2021, the 13-mile race will begin on Sunday, March 14 at 8:30 am. This course is wide flat and fast….depending on the snow. Racers will head north from the start along the N trail. Just over three miles in you will pass the Union Pass Road marking the near halfway point to the turn-around. Continue straight, eventually pulling away from the river. The turn-around is just past the old Gros Ventre Lodge (and private cabin) 6.6 miles from the start. Racers will return to the finish the way they came.
All racers must check in at the turn-around. Water and basic snacks will be available. Anyone unable to finish will take a snowmachine ride out will be required to pay $50 to Tip Top Search and Rescue. This recreation event is authorized under a Special Use Permit with the Bridger-Teton National Forest and the Shoshone National Forest.
Although every attempt is made to make this race as safe as possible, Drifters are reminded that you will be traveling through remote wilderness in variable, often formidable, conditions at altitude in the winter. You are ultimately responsible for your safety. There will be limited snow machine support and course sweeps. Do not underestimate the difficulties of this race.
In the event a racer is unable to finish the race or if they miss an aid station cutoff, they will be taken off the course via snow machine. It may not be possible to evacuate from the course immediately. Be prepared to wait. Racers may initially be taken to a heated aid station for a time before a full evacuation can be completed, based on volunteer availability and race flow. All racers evacuated from the 13-mile course are REQUIRED to donate $50 to Tip Top Search and Rescue. Exception: if you turn around before Dollar Lake, you may return to the start/finish on your own. Racers will not be permitted to leave the course on non-race snow machines.
We know it can be a bummer to quit a race. We know the mood. We know you’re tired, you’re pissed, you’re disappointed, you’re hungry, you may be hurting, you’re probably freezing, and you’re just plain defeated. But, be grateful for assistance off the course. Pay your drop-out fee and be kind to your evacuator. Be patient if you have to wait. Remember that these folks are only there because they have volunteered to help you (even in the middle of the night), not to put up with your crap. So, if you need to get a ride out, swallow your damn pride, pay the fee, and be a nice human. K, thanks.
Racers are expected to start and finish with all gear they will need for the course. Racers may pick up snacks and drop trash at aid stations. There is no caching or outside support allowed. This includes dropping gear you are not using, towing or receiving food, water or a ride from anyone not affiliated with the race. Doing so will result in disqualification. Racers can and should help each other. Buddy system is always encouraged.
March in Pinedale is still very much winter. The average high is 38*F (which seems like a lie-it’s colder than that) and the average low is 7*F (again: lies). March is the windiest month (and, hey, that’s really saying something) with an average wind speed of 8 mph (but it’s totally going to be windier than that). However, temperatures in Sublette County in March have been as cold as -39*F. Read it again. For real. (yes, it says negative.thirty.nine.degrees.fahrenheit). Wyoming doesn’t f**k around: frostbite, hypothermia, dehydration, sun- and windburn are all very real and potentially deadly dangers here. Be prepared. Be overly prepared. Should you show up for the race under-prepared, it is at the discretion of a Race Director to determine whether you can safely race, and you may be denied entry, without a refund on your registration fees. So get your shit together and be safe.