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Lloyd Donovan SkiMo!

July 26, 2017

We've been learning all about SkiMo! Lloyd Donovan, who grew up in Merthyr Tydfil, is a Welsh Ski Mountaineering champion and sat down with us to fill us in on his career and the snow sporting SkiMo discipline!

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Name: Lloyd Donovan

Age: 20

Nationality: British

Sport: Ski Mountaineering

Where are you based?

I am currently living in Chamonix in the French Alps.


Tell us a bit about SkiMo...

Ski Mountaineering or ‘SkiMo racing’ is like traditional ski-touring (climbing uphill with skis then skiing back down) but with a faster, lighter, more competitive athletic approach.

Skimo has a great racing scene with a lot of professional elite athletes. There are vertical races (just uphill), individual races (standard race course with several ups and downs), sprint races (one short up and down, usually taking 3-4 minutes) and classic team races, such as the Patrouille des Glaciers, Mezzalama and the Pierra Menta.

In Ski Mountaineering the uphill is made possible by attaching a ‘skin’ to the bottom of the ski. It sticks with glue and the skin glides up smooth in one direction, then the fibres bite down into the snow so you don’t slide back.

 

How did you get into it yourself?

After finishing school I moved here and worked as a ski instructor. I was already following the sport for a while and couldn’t wait to start training. I bought my first pair of skis, boots and skins in December 2015 and started from there, logging my daily training on the slopes. I learned everything from watching YouTube videos of the races and copying what they did.

 

What is your greatest sporting achievement to date?

I think maybe in March this year, I competed in the Ski Mountaineering World Championships, in the Vertical Race. It was a seven hour drive to get there and the whole process was a very important learning experience for me. I didn’t have the best equipment/gear and my skins were completely ruined. Although I didn’t place high in the rankings I was proud to have lined up with some amazing athletes.

 

What does the next season (either summer or winter) hold for you?

Next winter I want to compete in some of the World Cup events. I will also compete in my first Individual Races, I’ve only skied for three years so I’ve been working hard on improving my descent! The winter season also helps the summer with Skyrunning. All of the accumulated daily hours of climbing and descending provide a strong base for the summer running. 

 

What are your future aspirations within your sport?

I want to train myself to the highest levels and compete professionally in the World Cup, and also be a part of the rising level of British athletes in the sport.

Ski mountaineering is likely to be an Olympic sport soon, possibly in the 2022 Winter Olympics, which I would love to compete in for the UK!

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