Rando racing is growing in the U.S., even if California skiers have been a little slow to join the fray. With two upcoming races in the Sierra, that may be changing
By AJ Johnson

Backcountry skiing has been on a strong growth spurt as evidenced by the increasing number of vehicles at the trailheads and the booming interest in alpine touring (AT) gear. Most skiers just want to go out on day tours or to find that remote powder stash, but like most forms of recreation, there is also a form of competition —randonee racing.

Randonee — “rando” for short, or “ski mountaineering” if perhaps you’re a Francophobic politician — racers use lightweight ski gear to race up and down the mountain, pitting themselves not only against each other but against the terrain and the elements. The sport continues to grow in Europe, the birthplace of alpinism and ski …