Today was the annual Climb to the Castle rollerski skate race – 5 miles up to the top of Whiteface mountain where there actually IS a sweet stone castle.
It’s a long race, and there are a lot of switchbacks. And you never realize how high you’ve climbed until you get to the top and look down! (more incentive to finish the race)
Although the picture doesn’t show it, there were ridiculously harsh winds up on top and the race officials estimated the wind to be at 60 mph!
Brooke Gosling, standing in the “wind tunnel”. Right as you round the last corner, there’s high rock walls on both sides of the road and the wind rips through. I was seriously contemplating getting on my hands and knees and crawling, because I was getting knocked backwards by the wind and my poles were whipped sideways. I got super lucky when Kris Freeman passed because he blocked the wind for me. Too bad I could only keep up for 15 seconds!
Above is another racer battling the wind.
After the race, we climbed a little above the castle to see the lookout. Good thing there were railings because the path was slightly clapped out!
It’s still hard to believe the sun was shining, after last year’s miserable rain and fog!
Overall, it was a good race and even though it was incredibly painful, it’s always worth it. Although certain members of CXC will insist that it’s really a climb to Chuck Norris’ castle. And maybe that’s because when you finish, you feel as though you’ve been roundhouse kicked. I don’t know – you decide!