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Course Marking & Rules

All courses follow the ISMF color-coded scheme for marking:
  • Green = skinning, removable climbing skins on skis (160cm min length men, 150cm women) with full metal edges, and bindings that free heel for ascents (plus fix heel for descents in Full Competitive Course).
  • Yellow = booting, skis affixed to pack (on back), *not* held in hands.
  • Red = skiing, with skins stowed in clothing or pack, *not* held in hands.
  • Blue = transitions (at which poles must be placed flat on the snow), with wand symbols for skinningskiing, and booting.
Colors can take the form of:
  • Mountaineering-style wands (usually planted in the snow) with colored flags.
  • Surveyor-style flagging tape, tied to trees, towers, pipes.
  • Broken-off race gates shafts (i.e., not full alpine race height).
  • "Turf" paint, on snow, with lines of travel for skinning and skiing, and rectangular boxes for skinning.
Click HERE for a pictorial essay of course marking examples.

You must always:
  • Adhere to the travel modes indicated by the course marking.
  • Transition between modes where indicated by the transition zones.
In other words, this is *not* a "choose your own adventure" kind of event with "decide for yourself" strategizing for optimal travel mode.
Examples of specifically prohibited actions include (but are by no means limited to) the following:
  • Continuing a ski descent past the transition zone into the skintrack or bootpack = potentially dangerous because of skiing at speed past transitioning racers.
  • Skating without skins on a skintrack = potentially dangerous because flaying poles & skis take up more trail space and then the eventual transition might be in the way of downhill traffic. 
  • Skiing down with skins still affixed to your skis = potentially dangerous because of the unpredictable behavior of skiing with skins affixed.
  • Holding onto pack when approaching the transition to or from a bootpack = potentially dangerous because a pack held this way can be dropped onto other racers.