Test Your Nettle

Frigid Edition — March 3rd, 2018 — 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. In 2017 we added an event to help you get your feet wet (so to speak) and it was such a success that we’re doing it again! 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 included!
  • 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, and the post-race dinner. We’re 100% nonprofit with no paid employees.

Important: Our cost structure is a bit unusual, please review:
  • There's an up-front non-refundable $48 registration fee.
  • There's a separate per-racer fee that we'll collect later.
Plan to pay the registration fee now to reserve your team's spot at current rates. Each racer will be contacted separately to fill out waivers, review shirt options and collect individual fees as follows:
  • Dec 21 - Jan 03: +$24 per racer.
  • Jan 04 - Jan 21: +$30 per racer.
  • Jan 22 - Feb 11: +$36 per racer.
  • Feb 12 - Feb 28: +$42 per racer. (No shirt choices at this point)
To be clear, that means a team of 3 signing up late will pay $48 + $42x3 = $174 total.
Only the $48 is due on signup though, the rest will be collected later.

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

Additional costs:

We love it when you bring guests at dinner, but to help offset those costs we’ll have to ask for $30 each. It’s worth it, our post-race party is one of the best around, and the company can’t be beat. You will need to plan ahead, though, and let us know about guests early enough that we can order food. Ideally, just talk the guests into racing!

Shirts are optional this year since racers keep telling us they have plenty – registered racers will see the options on the post-registration info page, with costs starting around $10 for a wicking T.

We’re not making a profit on dinner or shirts – just passing along our costs to you.


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. Some of our youngest racers in 2017 decided that 60 minutes (and two checkpoints!) was plenty.

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.

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.

Register your team here: Registration Form

We’ve made some code updates recently, if you have any issues please contact us for assistance.

We try to do most of our waivers online, but you may still have to sign a few paper documents at on-site registration.

Any racers under age 18 on race day will need a parent or guardian to sign waivers for them – in that case, we’ll reach out with specifics.


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
31 3C Doubman Gen X + a LeFevreJay Doubman Tara Doubman Thom LeFevre
32 3F Three Ladies and a Little BabySteffanie Keilty Elizabeth Keane Ginny Keilty
33 3F Jess and LizAlison Clode Liz Metayer
34 3M Forzen Wanderers Samson Gadekar Prashant Bhattarai Karthik Nagarajan
35 2C Chaos Baby MachineKate White Wilder White
36 2C Enfant TerribleKaren Phillips Patrick Noyes
37 2C Ice JobKelley Johnston Scott Willison
38 2C Where Two SkiBrian Barclay Janet Barclay
39 2F Doubman - Gen ZEmma Doubman Lyn Doubman
40 2F Moblin ClubMeg Freebern Adele Freebern
41 2M Monadnock GoatsSean Lukeman Jason Ballou
42 2M Slow and Low TempoSeth Cassin Patrick Garland

Division breakdown: 2 Person Coed: 4, 2 Person Female: 2, 2 Person Male: 2, 3 Person Coed: 1, 3 Person Female: 2, 3 Person Male: 1 (12 teams)

Where racers are from: MA: 48%, VT: 19%, NH: 15%, ME: 7%, CT: 7%, OT: 4% (27 racers)


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