Some racers reach the finish line and collapse, legs burning with lactic acid after carving through 171 gates over 5.75 kilometres, descending almost 1,400 vertical metres (4,700 feet) in a partial tuck. Others take the course a little slower, stand a little taller, and cross the finish line with smiles on their faces.
However participants got to the bottom of the annual Appleton Rum Peak to Valley race last Friday and Saturday, it's clear that the world's longest giant slalom race is stronger than ever.
As usual it was sold out shortly after going on sale, with 80 teams of four snapping up all the available spots last summer. Each team has to have at least one female racer, and teams were grouped in categories according to their combined ages.
The overall top team this year was The Way She Goes with a combined time of 23 minutes, 40.04 seconds. They also topped the 150-174 age category.
In second place was Barry The Rooster in 23:56.22, winning the 175-199 age category. Third place was All Wayne's Children in 24:06.01, winning the 149 and under group.
Only three males on Friday cracked the six minute mark. Finishing first was Marcus Waring, who navigated the course in 5:45.73 while averaging 59.8 km/h from top to bottom.
Tom Prochazka was second in 5:49.77, while James McSkimming came in at 5:52.32.
The top female on Friday was Anne Marie Francois in 6:04.67, averaging 56.7 km/h. Liz Thompson was second in 6:06.06, and Kim McKnight third in 6:07.56.
Conditions were slightly faster on Saturday with 24 men breaking six minutes, including several former World Cup competitors who finished in the top five.
Whistler Mountain Ski Club coach and former World Cup downhiller Jeff Hume placed first in 5:18.23, averaging 65.1 km/h. Clay Dolan was second in 5:20.23, and Chris Kent third in 5:24.08.
Charlotte Whitney topped the women's group on the second day with a time of 6:04.38, averaging 56.8 km/h.
Jenny Small was a distant second in 6:24.43, followed by Natalie Morel in 6:24.78.
The top three teams in 149 and under were All Wayne's Children in 24:06.01, followed by Ski School-Privates in 24:24.70, and Whistler Kidz in 25:22.62.
In 150-174, The Way She Goes was first in 23:40.04, followed by Team Spirit in 25:03.08 and Most Gold in 26:06.12.
In 175-199, Barry the Rooster was first in 23:56.22, followed by Menage a Quartre in 25:05.77, and Flying Pandas in 25:33.99.
In 200-224 the top team was the Blue Ice Wrecking Crew in 24:39.10, followed by Swiss Movement in 25:07.91 and the Piste Pounders in 28:29.48.
In 225-249 Jules' Jewels were first in 25:49.30, followed by the Fabrictime Cruisers in 25:56.25 and the Georgian Peak Bombers in 26:59.02.
In 250-Plus, Fi-Fi were first in 30:57.70 followed by Three Roosters and a Chicken in 33:02.28, and Blue Chair Lifties in 33:44.36.
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