The 12th Annual Elk Mountain Grand Traverse was held this past weekend. Nearly 130 teams of two lined up for the midnight start at the Crested Butte High School, ready to make the 40 mile ski pilgrimage through the night to Aspen. This year’s race was marked by single digit temperatures and driving winds up high which most participants took in stride, because anyone who has done this race knows– it’s never ordinary out there. It’s always something at the Traverse.
Christy and I have finished the race nine times now, three of them as a team, and agree that the course can rarely be described as “typical.” Be it gear issues, weather problems, partner troubles, or some combination of the three, each year seems to present a unique challenge of some sort. Here’s a brief recount of some of the highlights through the years, at least for us– read more>>>
Curiosity got the best of me this past weekend. I figured joining Christy for her 5th go at the 5th Annual Coureur Du Bois, a 90km skate race from Steamboat to the Wyoming border and back, sounded like good fun. It wasn’t– it crushed me.
Who was I to think I could show up with only a single 40km training day and a few shorter races under my belt and casually cruise the course? As if covering 54 miles on skate skis, cresting the Continental Divide and climbing near 6500 vertical feet should or could be done ‘off the couch’. Or that when read more>>>
With four ski mountains in the area, locals have an unique opportunity to ski them all in one day. The “four mountain challenge” as it has been called, isn’t something that’s done or talked about very much and there seems to be several different ways it can be executed. Most of the time it’s an Aspen old timer that has gone out for the challenge. Tom Hines and Dick Jackson did the tour for Tom’s birthday 30 years ago starting from Snowmass and making their way to Aspen Mountain via Midnight Mine Road in time for a beer at the Sundeck at 3:30pm. Well-known, local skier Johnny Love likes to connect all four mountains by riding the chairlifts, skiing down, and then driving between the ski areas, in which the hardest part is probably the parking. Last year Ted and I took the advice of Aspen natives Andre and Pierre Willie and skinned and skied all four mountains starting with Aspen and finishing with Snowmass. In preparation for this year’s Grand Traverse, read more>>>
Locate this sign and you'll feel a bit less lost out there
With six weeks to go before the Grand Traverse, team Lucky No. 9, a.k.a Christy and I, went out to log some miles, skiing a classic interconnect between the two founding huts of the 10th Mountain Hut System, Margy’s and McNamara.
Starting at the Lenado trailhead (8640 ft.), we made our way to McNamara Hut (10,360 ft.), via a linkup of the Tincup Trail to Four Corners to the Van Horn Park Trail. Grabbing a quick snack at the hut, and after nearly being taken out by some novice skiers descending from the hut, we began the seven mile stretch towards Margy’s, read more>>>
Christy and I are happy to report we both set personal records at the Owl Creek Chase this year, and by more than twenty minutes!
Congrats, right? Well, not so fast (pun intended). For as much as we’d like to take credit for this, being a result [...]
Sound like fun? It all depends on your perspective, literally.
From it’s top, it’s a fast, steep descent towards Snowmass, and on nordic skis it can almost be scary. When tackling this stretch of the Owl Creek Trail from the opposite direction(pictured), the only thing ‘flying’ is your heartrate, into the red that is.
Participants in next [...]