Test Your Nettle

Frigid Edition — March 4th, 2017 — 10a.m. to 3p.m.


1. a herbaceous plant that has jagged leaves covered with stinging hairs.
2. irritate or annoy (someone).


1. a person’s ability to face a demanding situation in a spirited and resilient way.

Have you always wanted to dip your toes into winter adventure without submerging your entire boot in a frozen stream? We’ve heard from a lot of people that want to try out adventure racing & test their navigation skills, but the Frigid Infliction is a bit much. For 2017 we’re adding an event to help you get your feet wet (so to speak). Luckily, in the winter you’ll be able to test your mettle without encountering any nettles.

We want your experience to be similar to a typical GMARA adventure, so this shorter event will take place on the same day as the Frigid, you can expect to cross paths with those racers, and you’ll definitely be able to share stories at the post-race party that evening. There’s one major difference:

  • This isn’t a race against other teams; It’s your team vs. the backcountry.

We will publish results after the fact, but the goal of this event is to let you build skills, try out gear, see how your team gets along, and learn whether you like the taste of adventure. (If you really need that competition, consider the Frigid Infliction.)

The other major change is that it’s not a multi-sport event. For new racers, it can be hard (and costly) to find all the gear they need, and harder to train with all of it. To simplify things, we’re making it a choice:

  • Snowshoes OR Cross Country Skis

No matter which gear you choose, there will be a solid 3-5 hours of adventure waiting for you. Teams on skis will most likely move faster than teams on snowshoes, but some points won’t be reachable on skis. That’s why this isn’t a competition against other teams, it’s your team (and your gear) against the map and the terrain.

We wouldn’t suggest a team with mixed footwear, that would be frustrating.

Some things stay the same as other GMARA events:

  • Navigation with topo map & compass
  • Great terrain
  • Team-based adventure with 2 or 3 racers per team
  • Fabulous post-race dinner
  • T-shirt for every racer
  • Awesome raffle prizes

Other things will be adjusted:

  • Shorter race length (3-5 hours)
  • Significantly lower price
  • Later start time (you can sleep in, or drive from out of town that morning)
  • Reduced gear list (less to rent)
  • No awards or prizes for top teams, just pleasant exhaustion

You’ll have to decide how much training and physical preparation is required for 3-5 hours of adventure in the backcountry, but if you’re comfortable with a hike of the same duration you should be able to join in the fun.

Read on below to learn more about what to expect from the event.


You’ll still need to be safe in the backcountry, even if you’re not out there all day. We’ll do a pre-race gear check just like we do for the Frigid Infliction, and you’ll have to have the following items:

Per team, carried through the entire race:

  • Waterproof map bag (a 2-gallon ziplock works ok if you don’t go swimming)
  • Pencil/pen to mark passport
  • Watch
  • First aid kit with equivalent of:
    • 1” bandages
    • 3×4” gauze pads
    • 2×5 yd gauze roll
    • 1/2” adhesive tape roll
    • Tweezers
    • Anti-bacterial creme/towelettes
    • Ibuprofen
    • Iodine tablets or other water purification system

Per racer, carried or worn during the entire race:

  • Backpack
  • Snowshoes OR cross country skis
  • Trekking/ski poles (only mandatory if you’re skiing)
  • Container for at least two litres of fluid
  • Light source (headlamp recommended)
  • Compass (declinating compass recommended)
  • Space Blanket/Bag
  • Whistle
  • Knife with folding, locking blade
  • Long sleeve winter jacket
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Long sleeve fleece (or similar insulating layer)
  • Full length winter pants
  • Lighter / waterproof matches
  • Mirror (compass mirror is acceptable)
  • Two chemical hand warmers


As always, your money goes toward things like trail passes, insurance, maps, shirts, and post-race dinner. We’re 100% nonprofit with no paid employees.

  • There’s an up-front non-refundable $48 registration fee.
  • There’s a separate per-racer fee that we’ll collect later.

The registration fee will reserve your team’s spot and lock in your per-racer rate. Please pay that immediately. Racers will be contacted later to select shirts, add dinner guests, fill out waivers, and collect individual fees according to these rates:

  • Early registration: +$42 per racer
  • Jan 12th or later: +$48 per racer
  • Feb 6th or later, full price: +$54 per racer

To be totally clear, that means a team of three signing up early will pay $48 + $42×3 = $174 total, and a team of two signing up late will pay $48 + $54×2 = $156 total. Only the $48 is due on signup though, the rest will be gathered separately in a few weeks.

Please take a minute to review notes on costs and refunds including important details about what happens if you withdraw closer to race day.


The “Test Your Nettle” is designed to be about half the length of the Frigid Infliction, around 4 hours. We expect some teams to feel like 3 hours is plenty of time on snowshoes, and they’ll head back to the Nordic Center hot tub and bar shortly after noon. Others will stay out for the full 5 hours, finishing at 2:59 p.m. with the bulk of Frigid Infliction competitors.

In either case, everyone should be off the course by 3 p.m.


Check-In & Gear Review:
9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Map Review & Instructions:
9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
10:00 a.m.
Latest Time to Finish:
3:00 p.m.
Post-race dinner:
4:30 p.m.


It looks like you’re on a mobile device, and unfortunately our registration form is a bit of a mess on mobile. Volunteer web developers and so forth.

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If it’s unusable, please come back when you’ve got a larger screen available! If you want a reminder, please contact us and we’ll be in touch shortly.

Please fill out the Registration Form to get started.
We’ve made some code updates recently, so if you see any issues by all means please contact us for assistance.


Our host venue will be the Bolton Valley Resort. Registration will be on-site at the Nordic Center. Here are directions to the resort.


If your division ends in -WL, that means you are on the waitlist - our race is full, but if a spot opens up we'll contact you. You should still get all racer-related email, but don't pay us until you hear that we can actually accomodate you.

#DivTeam NameCaptainTeammateTeammate
41 3C Hoppity HooperEmily Gambino Rebecca Burns Joe Moreshead
42 3C Three WanderersSamson Gkr Prashant Bhattarai Karthik Nagrajan
43 3O Grn Mtn Aging Racer AssocTim Curtin Colin Rose Scot Rose
44 2C A ParadoxTimothy Grogean Claudia Grogean
45 2C Arctic HedgehogCasey Engels Eli Scheer
46 2C Got The RunsNick Cassotis Britt Barone
48 2C OTsHannah Wingate Chris Tranten
49 2C The Two TeesClare Tattersall Radu Teodorescu
50 2C The WampuscatsEmily DesMeules Josiah Russell
51 2O GMARA Ladies AuxiliaryCharlotte Gowen Jen Guimaraes
52 2O On WisconsinMeg Freebern Kate White
53 2O The Woods WanderersAlison Clode Jessica Cassotis
54 3C Hard CorpsNatasha Steinmann Laura DeMaria Wyatt Vargas

Division breakdown: 2 Person Coed: 6, 2 Person Open: 3, 3 Person Coed: 3, 3 Person Open: 1 (13 teams)

Where racers are from: VT: 57%, MA: 13%, ME: 7%, NH: 7%, CT: 7%, NY: 7%, MD: 3% (30 racers)


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