Power of Four Aspen/Snowmass SkiMo Race
Yesterday I competed in the Power of Four Aspen/Snomwass COSMIC SkiMo Race with my buddy Jon Gibans. It was hardcore. We started yesterday morning at Snowmass Base Village at 7:15 am and finished nine hours and forty-nine minutes later coming down a mogul field on Slalom Hill. We climbed all four resort mountains, over eleven thousand vertical feet and twenty-two miles, finishing back in Aspen at the bottom of 1A just before dark. My goal was to make the cut-off at Highlands at the entrance to the Congo Trail before 2:00 pm and arrive at the finish line. We did it! My race partner Jon Gibans and I got to the top of the Grand Reverse at Highlands where the Congo Trail begins at 1:50 pm, ten minutes before it closed. It was a long day; I was spent at the finish. It was such a cool race though. I loved it. I did it on my split-board and was the only split-boarder to complete the race. My transitions were slower, but I definitely didn’t lose any time on the downhill and the Congo was awesome on a board. I used the new Burton Freebird split-board with Voile slider plates and Scarpa F1’s. My new Scarpa F1’s ruled. They’re the best climbing and split-board boots. Missy joked when she dropped us off at start yesterday morning that the sport didn’t quite have the outfits down yet. We were a funny looking bunch with bicycle and climbing helmets and tights.
I was suffering going up Highlands; that was undoubtedly the worst part for me. The wind was howling on the bowl. I was wearing only thin liner gloves and had to put my hands in my pockets and drag my poles to stay warm. Both quads were cramping as I hiked to the top of ? Highlands Bowl. I quickly jumped on my board at the top to descend Ozone and get out of the wind. Every heel turn I made my legs would seize up, thought I was going to go over the handlebars and tomahawk to the bottom. Fortunately I made it without exploding. Every step from the bottom of Deep Temerity Lift to the Congo was painful. Congo was a fun descent. It was like a terrain park. Felt like I was in a SBX course in a few banked turns. Once I arrived at Castle Creek Road, after a wrong turn onto North Hayden road and a walk up Castle Creek Road, I somehow recovered and got my second, or twentieth wind at that point, and felt much better going up Midnight Mine Road. I was wondering how I was going to make it up that last climb, but I miraculously recovered and felt much better on the Midnight Mine climb than I did heading up to Loge Peak.
Congrats to everyone that competed and to Aspen Ski Company for a great event. It was one of the hardest athletic events I’ve ever participated in, might be tougher than a liver transplant. Seventy-five teams started out and forty-two made it to the finish. The longest hike I did leading up to the race was a four hour adventure up Express Creek to Barnard Hut. The lack of long training hikes might have lead to my suffering. For me it was harder than the Leadville Trail 100 Mtn. Bike Race and The Elk Mountain Grand Traverse. In any case it’s great training for both and a fun adventure. I learned a lot and can’t wait to do it again next year. I encourage you to check it out next winter. Enjoy the pics. Thanks for stopping by. CK