March 11, 2007

The Countdown to Baja

Some excerpts from the recent competitors update...sounds like a ton of fun!!

The Ropes/Canyoneering course at this year’s race is serious business. You must
be prepared to rappel and use your ropes gear in many challenging and potentially
dangerous situations. Do not come to the Baja Travesia with less than 20 rappels
under your belt (not just gym rappels). You must know your gear and your
teammate’s gear.

The Ropes Skills and Gear Check will be very strict. Any team that shows any
doubt in the use of their gear or the demonstration of ropes skills will NOT be
allowed to race. Do not take this information lightly, we cannot and will not let
any team start the race who gives us any reason to doubt that they are 100%
prepared for the ropes section you will encounter.

Now all that being said, if you take the time to prepare and come with ropes
experience you will enjoy the ropes and canyon like no other race you’ve ever
seen. The canyon will test every team’s ability to work together and problem
solve. If you are all prepared to help each other you will have the absolute time of
your life.
We made the first descent of this canyon and it was absolutely incredible. You
will be some of the first human beings ever to descend this canyon, an
opportunity you won’t want to miss.

There will be some swimming sections that are unavoidable.

We have made it very clear in the race description that Canyoneering will be a
major element of this race. This section will take from 20 to 30 hours and the
good news is that water is abundant throughout. Most teams will opt for a sleep
during this section and there are many, many nice camping options (nice is of
course relative).
As we have mentioned this is completely unspoiled, virgin terrain that will require
the utmost care in low impact and haul out your waste ethics. The only piece of
trash we found in this canyon was the remains of a helium balloon. We want to
find it that way following the race.

Your altimeter will be a very, very important tool in this section. A back up
altimeter is required and a third is highly recommended.

You will likely spend a good deal of time sliding on your butt in the canyon
section to scramble down some of the slick rocks. We recommend you get your
team mates to wear some sturdy shorts or face looking at their bare butt during
this long section.

Desert Auto Rally - The sport has put Baja California on the map. The Baja 1000 puts drivers, navigators and cars to the ultimate test. And now the Baja Travesia incorporates the Ultra Endurance Car Rally into international expedition racing. Get ready for this truly unique portion of the event as teams cross the barren landscape of the Baja Desert in Baja race vehicles. Surely a discipline to get every team member's heart pumping. Racers will navigate an open/rail vehicle driven by car's owner, through barren desert. You would be smart to do this section with day light! We have secured a whole new line up of cars, and the auto section will be much more involved in 2007.

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