The Outdoor Gear Exchange Bitter Pill returned to Bolton Valley this year for the first time since 2009. We love spending time at Bolton in the summer – great views, great trails, and great amounts of elevation gain!
Wait, something’s missing here… the pleasant sunrise didn’t happen until later in the morning.
This was one of our tighter paddling segments – lots of competition on the water as teams jockeyed for position.
At the first Transition Area, racers carried boats a short distance – just enough to be thankful it wasn’t a portage – and then headed into the woods on foot for a trek up the back side of Bolton.
Observant racers followed a segment of the Woodward Mountain backcountry ski trail – not well-marked, but it did open up a bit in places. Some of these glades could use another visit in a few months…
Near the top of the trek, one of the points was hung on the far side of Goose Pond. Most teams went around the mud, some did not.
Mmmm that’s adventurous.
Racers were treated to post-race watermelon donated by longtime racers “The Donner Party” as well as pints of Conehead IPA from Zero Gravity Brewing.
Two of our youngest racers ever (10 and 15) competed this summer (both with a parent) and they showed amazing endurance and competitive spirit!
We hear from racers that they don’t often stick around at other races, but with GMARA the post-race story-swapping is one of the best parts of the day. We can’t imagine it any other way!
Thanks again to all the volunteers – planning, scouting, marketing, flagging, testing, setting, photographing, cleaning, and bacon-frying, it’s a huge effort that can’t happen without help. Anytime that you can’t race but still want some adventure, let us know.
The next generation of GMARA members!
All the photos we’ve collected are are at photos.gmara.org as usual. Enjoy and give a shout out to GMARA if you’re sharing!
Thanks again to The Outdoor Gear Exchange for making the Bitter Pill possible!
See you in March, when these hillsides will be slightly more frosty.
– The GMARA Crew