SIA awesome fundraiser billed as the Uphill/Downhill Challenge

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on December 3, 2009 4:51 pm

It will be the perfect capper to SIA, the Snowsports Industries America trade show.  It’s being billed as the Uphill/Downhill Challenge and will take place the day after the SIA closes shop on what will surely be another glorious time. 

For the few unaware, SIA is the largest trade show for the snow sports market, and this year it’s happening in Denver from January 28th to the 31st.  It’s always an awesome time, a chance to check out all the new gear coming out from the biggest and best manufacturers, large and small.  The nighttime festivities, that included the Snoop D-O double G last year, are always fun the 50th power.  

All sorts of cats come out for SIA, from Gene Simmons to Tanner Hall, Jeremy Jones, Glen Plake, Mike Douglas.  Basically, anybody who is anybody goes to SIA.  If you’ve never been, make it a skiing Haj, and go!  It is an awesomely good time.

No that we’ve established the incredibleness of SIA, back to the Uphill/Downhill Challenge.  Brilliant idea, whoever hatched it, as it will be an awesome way to burn off those excess food and drink calories.

The game plan is as follows:  on February 1 at 2PM, teams will skin 1,700 feet up a marked track at Winter Park Resort to the Sunspot Lodge, quaff a beverage of choice, remove skins from skis or splitboard and descend a marked course down a bump run, through the glades to more bumps, to the base area finish.

“Although it sounds demanding, the Uphill/Downhill Challenge is a super participant-friendly event. Really, anyone can enter and enjoy a nice skin track up to the Sunspot Lodge and ski back down to the base area. The Challenge is also a ‘first-of-its-kind’ opportunity for many Americans to see randonee skiing at the highest level as members the US National Ski Mountaineering team will also be racing,” said Pete Swenson, Director of the United States Ski Mountaineering Association.
“The race team concept is a perfect way to encourage camaraderie and collaboration more than competition, but let’s face it – some of us love to compete,” commented Kim Miller, SCARPA’s CEO.
Teams are based on a three-person combination, but not required to race together. Individual times are combined to determine the team’s overall time. Prizes will be awarded for category winners and the fastest overall individual will win a pair of SCARPA F1 carbon fiber boots. There’s even a “Bean Counter Bonus” for teams with a CEO, President or Owner – a five-minute handicap will be taken off their time.

(Steve Bellamy is definitely worthy of a five minute handicap.  With all that vegan food he consumes, there’s no way he can compete with the rest of us beef-jerky-eating, supremely tuned athletes.)
SIA organized the Uphill/Downhill Challenge with support from a number of companies and individuals within the backcountry, randonee, splitboard and telemark communities. The Uphill/Downhill Challenge is a fundraiser for the US Ski Mountaineering team and all funds raised at the Uphill/Downhill Challenge will help fund the team’s trip to Andorra for the Ski Mountaineering World Championships on March 1-7, 2010. Contributions will be collected in the USSMA-labeled jar at the SCARPA booth.
Entry into the Uphill/Downhill Challenge is free; however, contributions to USSMA are appreciated and encouraged and include a beer at the awards at West Portal Station.

For rules and entry form, click here (PDF file) or email Pete Swenson of USSMA at
Participants can also register the day of the race by 12:00 noon at the SCARPA On-Snow Demo booth.

Zeke Piestrup ( More Posts)

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