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Wow!  I had no idea there were so many racer geeks on the List and that
nobody would jump on my post to say I was full of tihs.  In the old days
Jerm would have done it immediately to tell me that risers take away feel
for the snow and that I should get rid of them.  I would if it would make
me ski like Jerm.  

I did a season of club racing in 1984 (I think).  It was how I got to be a
decent skier and was a lot of fun.  However at the end of that season I
went west for the first time and returned with the germ of an idea.  Why
spend most of my ski budget running gates on ice on little hills in PA at
night when I could use it for a season highlight week out west instead? 
Especially when more than half of my race team time was standing at the
top of the course freezing my butt off waiting for my turn?  What you
learn racing does stay with you.  I have raced seriously since, just one
time, with the following result.
http://www.firsttracksonline.com/blueknob.htm 
Can't recall now if I said so in that story, but the shocking thing about
that race was that none of the racers skied after the race was over.  They
went to the lodge and waited a good hour and a half for the results and
then _THEY JUST WENT HOME_.  

It is also interesting to me how many backcountry skiers have turned to
the BC after racing.  

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