I have always wanted to complete the All-Mountain. I was on the wait list and made it. That is the good news. The bad news is that with all the snow and conditions, they had to change the course this year. It ended up being about 30 minutes shorter with less climbing.
I was hoping for better this year but it was just not in the cards. I thought my new bike was going to help me climb better. Turns out that bikes don't help, TRAINING helps (LOL). Anyway, I did train but not at the right heart rates and it showed. I was also not able to pre-ride Butcher and it showed. I have only ridden that portion once or twice and it helps to know the course. On this course you need to go all out and push your limits to get what you want! I play it a little too wooooosie!
With the shorter course, the riders were bunched up more with less spacing. There was mud and water on the short, flat, jeep trail section but no snow! The course is considered a XC and DH all in one. Then, they have a "DH only" on day two for the All Mountain Challenge (limit 200 starts). It is technical and is suited for folks with good all-around skills. Some people climb great then get passed un-mercifully in the DH. Bikes take a good beating and you don't want to bring your high dollar ride or you will pay high dollar to get her fixed. All-in-all, it was fun and the town, spectators, vendors, beer drinkers, and riders have a great time. There are a LOT of volunteer opportunities and you are treated very well. This is my 5th year or so, and I will continue to race/volunteer this one....just because!
Note: Due to high waters, the bike jump was cancelled and replaced by a trike race with beer swigs on the laps...or something like that!