The brand new Power of Four Ski Mountaineering Race presented by Helly Hansen – one of the most challenging events to date in Aspen/Snowmass – tested athletes endurance as they raced in teams of two across all four area mountains this Saturday, March 5. The course covered over 25 miles and more than 11,000 vertical feet of climbs.
Teams started in Snowmass Village and skinned up to the top of High Alpine, then traversed to Hanging Valley Headwall ending at the top of the Elk Camp Lift. Then racers traversed from Elk Camp to West Buttermilk. Once at West Buttermilk, racers skinned up to the top of Buttermilk and skied down to the bottom of Tiehack. From there athletes crossed the bridge by the Aspen Recreation Center and headed to Aspen Highlands Base Village to ascend Thunderbowl. From there skiers skinned up to the summit of the Highland Bowl and skied down to Castle Creek Road via the Congo Trail off of the Grand Reverse. Teams then crossed Castle Creek and headed up Midnight Mine Road until they reached The Sundeck. In the final descent of the race, athletes skied down Aspen Mountain, ending at Lift 1A.
The half race, which followed the same course on Snowmass and Buttermilk, ended at the base of Tiehack.
Men’s Full Course Final Results:
1st – Brian Smith & Bryan Wickenhauser – Time of 6 hours,13 minutes and seven seconds (6.13.07)
2nd – Jared Inouye & Brain Harder – 6.31.03
3rd – Max Taam (Aspen Mountain Patroller) & Chris Kroger – 6.31.55
Women’s Full Course Final Results:
1st – Jari Kirkland & Eva Hagen – 7.58.09
2nd – Anda Rojs Smalls & Colleen Ihnken – 8.32.41
3rd – Lyndsay Meyer & Jessica Phillips – 7.42.50 (with only one member finishing the course).
Mixed Full Course Final Results:
1st – Monique Merrill & Mike Kloser – 6.46.45
2nd – Stevie Kremer & Marshall Thomson – 7.00.42
3rd – Christy & Ted Mahon – 8.05.30
This race is part of a larger endurance series which plans to include a mountain bike race currently scheduled for Sunday, August 28, 2011 that will also traverse each of the four mountains.