I love it. Up into the last decade Colorado ski resorts were fretting over how to keep their boundaries closed against backcountry skiing and worrying about how big a kicker they could build before mortality ensued — now resorts appear to be competing to sponsor rad rando races that rival the grimly enjoyable stuff you can do in Europe. I’m thinking the 4-Skin on the Aspens has stolen the crown for toughest race (12,000+ vert with added value such as double diamond bump runs), but this one at Breck appears to compete. Not sure how to spectate this race, perhaps we’ll find out. I’ll leave it at that and reprint their press release.
The Five Peaks Ski Mountaineering Race, April 9th Breckenridge, Colorado
The Five Peaks – North America’s highest and most challenging ski mountaineering race is April 9th at Breckenridge Ski Resort. The Five Peaks course takes competitors over 8,500 ft. of climbing and four summits. Beginning at 6 am in front of the Maggie (Peak 9 base), teams of two will skin and bootpack the peaks and saddles of Peaks 9, 8 and 7, finishing at the base of Peak 7. Highlights include climbs of Peak 9 from both the southeast and north ridge, a boot pack up Wacky’s in the Lake Chutes and a final climb of Peak 7 from the Ore Bucket backcountry access gate.
The Five Peaks is open to ski mountaineering teams of two looking for a high-alpine challenge. The $160 per-team entry fee includes post-race happy hour, beer, dinner and a big raffle at Kenosha Steakhouse. For complete information, course map and required gear list go to: thefivevepeaks.com. Walk-up registration is available in Breckenridge at Mountain Outftters and Amazing Grace, on-line registration is at athlete360.com.
The Five Peaks is the seventh race in the nine-race COSMIC (Colorado Ski Mountaineering Cup) Series: info at cosmicski.com. The Five Peaks is supported locally by Breckenridge Ski Resort, B.O.E.C, Mountain Outfitters, Amazing Grace and Kenosha Steakhouse.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.