The third and final climb of the day, out of Lenado to Four Corners and home.
In seasons like this, when the steeper backcountry skiing isn’t all that safe, we keep ourselves busy with races. And part of the fun in that is in the training days.
Many of the seasons races are already behind us. The Power of Four, the Vail COSMIC (for Christy), and the Highlands Skimo Series are all wrapped up. But we still have the Breck Five Peaks next weekend and the Grand Traverse the Saturday after that. Even though we’re probably good on mileage, the weekend forecast looked pretty lousy, so Christy, Anda, and I set out for another long day. This time, we connected the two original 10th Mountain Huts– McNamara and Margy’s– from a start at the Hunter Creek trailhead. read more>>>
Or don’t even go. Here are two photos of recent natural avalanches that sum up conditions in the backcountry around Aspen. read more>>>
Chris approaches the top of the Burnt Mountain climb on Snowmass.
The 3rd Annual Aspen Snowmass Power of Four Ski Mountaineering Race was this past weekend.
It’s great to see this race so popular and run so smooth. Very often new events can be disorganized and struggle to find support. Fifty-eight teams of two took on the full course (14 more did the “Power of Two” half course) in perfect spring weather, and my guess is that those numbers are only going to grow in the years to come. Continual tinkering with the course has made things a little more fun and slightly faster. If a couple more discussed changes take place next year– including a more interesting route for the last climb– the race would likely become a Colorado favorite, if it isn’t already.
Congrats to everyone who was there, particularly Max Taam and John Gaston who nabbed the win in an unbelievable 4:54– a time that’s really hard to comprehend when you consider the course is over 25 miles long and climbs more than 12,000 vertical feet. Even though the minor course modifications make the finish times hard to compare year-to-year, the gist is the same, and faster is better. read more>>>
The start of the loop course. Photo courtesy of the Aspen Daily News
Thanks to everyone involved for getting last nights ski mountaineering (skimo) race off successfully. Donning headlamps and the lightest touring gear they could find, about 30 people, a majority of whom were women, lined up for the 5:30pm start. It was the first of a series of four races to take place at Aspen Highlands this season, and hopefully many seasons to come.
A map of the loop. Click to enlarge.
It’s a loop that we hadn’t done before– Capitol Creek to Avalanche Creek to Hell Roaring Creek. Though friends say it’s longer, we figured it to be about 26 miles, with 7300 feet of vertical gain. read more>>>
On the way up to Copper Pass.
That was about all I could do on my run the other day. East Maroon to Triangle Pass to Conundrum was the goal.
I knew I’d be in chase mode. I haven’t been out for more than a few short runs since Hardrock, and these guys were so fast, I went out with the simple goal– to just keep up.
As tiring as it may be, and even if one of the partners is a wiseguy who loves to remind you when you’re falling off the back, it’s good to go out with people who push you. read more>>>