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pics by HP Yogini Sandra Lee of your feeble teacher using every HP Yoga® arrow in my quiver to pull out a stunning Overall Podium Win this Saturday at the 43rd Pajarito Pinhead Challenge near Los Alamos, NM.  your feeble teacher is HONORED to be on the scroll of the amazing uphill/downhill skiers which have won this race for decades. to be 56 years-old and still winning OVERALL Titles across several sports?
still Proves -after 35+ years of racing – 
 the merit of what your feeble teacher attempts to teach and Transmit.



gotta admit,

feeble ilg had that Special Feeling about this race.  Never done it before. Had heard about it for years previous.  Always had other sponsored races up north in Summit County.  this year?  Sponsorship $ was low.  when is not?   and the Front Range/Summit County was being PUMMELED by hurricane winds.  synchronicity played a big factor in ilg attending this famed race.  took Dewa down to Pajarito Ski Area to alpine ski into nordic ski at Pajarito just two weekends earlier.  we had SUCH a great time!  check my social media for a great vid on that special day.  during that day, Dewa and i met old nordic friend Tarjek and his daughter on the nordic tracks after we alpine skied.  pestered Tarjek, a Los Alamos local where Pajarito is,  about the famed Pinhead Challenge.  One weekend later,  ilg lost fabulously again to my younger rival the one and only Clay Moseley from Los Alamos at the Coke Series Race #3 10k Poker Race.  after the race, ilg pestered Clay like a Red-Winged Blackbird pestering Cattails…

sensing the auspiciousness,   ilg chose to go for the Pinhead Challenge as a rookie and check it out… still had fitness fr(om) a Blessed season, and was really wanting a long, hard uphill grind with a techy descent to test wholistic skiing skills…  ilg got what ilg desired!

Race Morning:   arrived at venue before any other racer.  got Bib #1.   ha!

big decision:  this is an Uphill/Downhill race;  you gotta ski UP 1,440′ vertical before skiing down advanced intermediate alpine ski runs on either Skimo (ski mountaineering) skis, or skate skis.   the uphill course for skate skiers is longer, yet more gradual to the summit.  the skimo course is steeper, yet more direct.  hmmmm….  ilg weighed the options long and hard.

opted on  Race Morning to go with Skate Skis…

knowing the flavor of the ski resorts gradients,  ilg reckoned ilg would lose time only during the middle, most steep section of the ascent yet gain time in the early traverse sections and at the summit traverse section before the downhill.   now,  skiing fast downhill on advanced alpine ski runs on SKATE SKIS?!?!   well,  not for the timid or unseasoned.   ilg felt confident that ilg could deliver at speed the downhill on skate skis against the skimo guys that would have metal edges, and much wider skis, and locked down heels.


to hell with locked down heels!   ilg is Skate Skiing this thing!



so,  gun goes off and ilg starts skate skiing up 1,440′ of vert to 10,430’…  it took ilg a solid 26 minutes of lung searing, leg burning effort to get to the summit whereupon ilg was nearly neck and neck with the 2nd place Skimo guy… ilg passed 2nd on the gradual uphill traverse to the downhill, yet, 1st place had flown the coop… ilg focused on my small yet well earned gap between myself and 3rd place…

the downhill:
early morning (our start time was 8:15a)  cord was frozen solid at 10,000’+…  ilg was suddenly skiing down 16% slopes on skis without edges and barely 2″ wide!   you think you like skiing speed?  well, let ilg tell you:  SPEED IS RELATIVE!!!

CRUSHED the downhill at speeds over 30 mph on SKATE SKIS  and increased my gap over 3rd!

the winner,  Young Gun Jeff Haskep,  a sponsored Ski Mountaineering Athlete finished 6 minutes in front of ilg on skimo equipment and got the OA on that category.  after crossing the Finish Line and with the interview by the Race Director,  Jeff said, “OMG,  i may have won, yet ilg, whose books i’ve grown up with,  for him to SKATE SKI this course?!?!   HE IS my HERO!”

that was VERY sweet to hear fr(om) the younger gen and ilg bows to Jeff, yet

warns him,


next year?


ilg is bringing my skimo set up!




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