This press release from Life-Link was floating around the net yesterday. Thought it would be a good thing to include here at WildSnow.com, since we enjoy covering rando racing.
First Ever United States Ski Mountaineering
December 14, 2005
Jackson Hole, Wyoming-The United States Ski Mountaineering Association (USSMA) announces the formation of the first ever United States Ski Mountaineering Team. The team is made up of four men and three women who will be eligible to compete in the World Ski Mountaineering Championships being held in Cuneo, Italy February 27, through March 5, 2006.
“The team is made up of the athletes that have proven themselves through their competition in the Mountain Hardwear/Life-Link/Dynafit Ski Mountaineering Annual Race Series” stated John Scott Executive Director of the USSMA.
The men’s team is represented by: Chris Kroger, from Jackson Hole, who was the overall winner of the race series for the last two years. Mark Santurbane, from Salt Lake City, Utah, who finished second in the overall race standings in 2005. Cary Smith of Jackson Hole who finished second in the North American Championships last year and fourth overall. Steve Romeo of Jackson Hole, who placed fourth overall in 2004 and fifth in 2005.
The women’s team will consist of: Jeannie Wall, from Bozeman, Montana who finished in fifth place in the World Championships held in Spain in 2004. Jeannie has both a fourth and fifth place finish in World Cup competition and she has won the women’s division of the North American Ski Mountaineering Championships held in Jackson Hole, four years in a row. Monique Merrill, of Breckenridge, Colorado who finished first in the women’s overall standings in 2005 and third in 2004. Karen Kingsley from Ophir, Colorado who finished fifth in the Women’s Overall standings in 2005.
“We are excited to have our first team representing the United States competing in the World Championships. The Europeans have dominated ski mountaineering racing since it’s inception but with the Mountain Hardwear/Life-Link/Dynafit race series we have created a format for American racers to compete and gain the experience and the technique needed to compete at a world class level.” said Scott.
The team is sponsored by Dynafit, Patagonia and Colltex and will be accompanied to the World Championships by Andrew McLean, a board member of the USSMA who will also be a technical judge of the event.
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.