Results from the GORE-TEX North American Ski Mountaineering Championships

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 31, 2012 7:47 am

Photo Courtesy of Crested Butte Mountain Guides

Results from the inaugural GORE-TEX North American Ski Mountaineering Championships are in and the winners of the men’s and women’s divisions are: Manfred Reichegger from Italy and Janelle Smiley, of Crested Butte, Colorado! Sixty athletes hailing from Italy, Spain, Slovakia, Canada and the United States, gathered at Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) in Colorado to compete in the two-day event, which took place on Saturday January 28 & Sunday January 29, 2012.

On Saturday competitors took place in an individual time trial on a short, but technical course. Racers started with 20 second intervals on a 15-20 minute course and time bonuses, to be utilized on the second day of racing, were awarded based on performance.

Day Two saw racers climb roughly 5,000 vertical feet to the Peak of Crested Butte Mountain; an elevation of 12,162 feet. A low class-five technical boot pack ascent via fixed rope up the famed Guides Ridge, no route this difficult had been seen ever before in a North American competition. Racers were required to use mountaineering gear to fully harness themselves into 1,000 feet of line rigged by Crested Butte Professional Ski Patrol along the narrow ridge.

“[The] event put mountaineering back into the sport of ski mountaineering,” race director Bryan Wickenhauser commented. “Crested Butte Mountain Resort is the venue to showcase ski mountaineering in North America, offering the perfect terrain for a race of this caliber.”

After two grueling days of racing, Manfred Reichegger from Italy finished first in the men’s field with a combined time of 2:03:23, with Lorenzo Holzknecht, also of Italy, and Reiner Thoni, of Canada, taking second and third, respectively. Janelle Smiley, of Crested Butte, led the women with an overall time of 2:45:39. Sari Anderson, of Carbondale, CO came in second place and Stevie Kremer, another Crested Butte local, finished third.

“ISMF was very pleased to have another international calendar event in North America, says David Dorian, technical judge for the International Ski Mountaineering Federation. “Crested Butte was admirable, the community stepped up to put on this event and the terrain here was fantastic. We are very appreciative of the resources the resort gave and yes, we hope to be able to return someday.”

Visted Crested Butte’s website for more information about the GoreTex® North American Ski Mountaineering Championships.