In a county full of endurance athletes, there never seems to be a shortage of opportunities to showcase that ability. That spirit of competition returns to Arapahoe Basin Ski Area Wednesday, April 16, for the 25th running of the Arapahoe Basin Enduro.
The 10-hour endurance competition will have teams of two lapping Pallavicini (Pali) chair from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The team that squeezes in the most runs wins.
“It’s definitely a pure A-Basin kind of event,” ski area chief operating officer Alan Henceroth said. “It’s not a formal race by any means. Most people are just getting out there and having a great time.”
Originally 12 hours long, organizers decided to shorten the competition to 10 hours.
“We decided that (12 hours) was a little too long,” Henceroth said.
Competitors will have an assigned route of 20 lines to follow in sequence — all on A-Basin’s black or double-black terrain. The current course record is 72 runs. That’s roughly 98,000 feet of downhill skiing — or a little over three times skiing from the summit of Mount Everest (29,029 feet) to sea level — in 10 hours.
Henceroth said he participated in the event five times with his son.
For the first few years his son was still pretty young. Though not the record holders, by the fifth year, Henceroth said they started to cover some serious ground.
“I was pretty stinking tired at the end of the day, as beat as beat can be,” he said.
Every year the event raises money for a charity, or a local individual in need.
“It’s such a great opportunity,” Henceroth said of the event. “It’s just a way we can do something and help our community out.”
This year the Enduro and ensuing after-party will serve as a benefit for Summit County resident Trevor Giles and his family. Giles was paralyzed last season in a cycling accident on Vail Pass. He is a former A-Basin instructor and town of Dillon employee.
While A-Basin officials said the Enduro has already reached its cap for event participants this year, organizers are encouraging guests to come cheer on competitors and participate in the Enduro Apres Party at the ski area’s A-Frame base lodge. The after-party will include live music, a silent auction and spaghetti dinner. Proceeds from both the Enduro and after-party will go to Giles and his family to help with medical expenses.
The Enduro Apres party will run from 5 to 8 p.m. Dinner will be $15 for adults $8 for kids.
More information is available at www.arapahoebasin.com. Donations to the Giles family can also be made through a link on the website.