Kelly, LaRochelle win final Arapahoe Basin ski mountaineering race of the season |

Kelly, LaRochelle win final Arapahoe Basin ski mountaineering race of the season

Rise & Shine Rando Series concludes with more than 50 racers

Nikki LaRochelle skis in March 2019 at Aspen Mountain. On Tuesday, she won the final Arapahoe Basin Ski Area Rise & Shine Rando Series ski mountaineering race of the season.
Summit Daily file

ARAPAHOE BASIN SKI AREA — With more than 50 skiers on the Arapahoe Basin Ski Area slopes, familiar faces Rory Kelly and Nikki LaRochelle won Tuesday’s men’s and women’s final Rise & Shine Rando Series ski mountaineering race of the winter.

Kelly picked up his second win in a row and fourth victory of the season by completing the course in 50 minutes and 56 seconds, just under a minute ahead of the runner-up in the 49-athlete men’s race.

Behind Kelly, Davide Giardi was second with a time of 51:50. In third place, Logan Greydous raced to a time of 52:26.

In the women’s race, LaRochelle crossed the finish line with a time of 1:04:02, more than three minutes faster than the next woman. Tara Richardson finished in second with a time of 1:07:28, while Jen Schappat finished in third with a time of 1:08:27. For LaRochelle, this was her second consecutive podium finish in the series.

The final race course of the season had skiers start up High Noon and pass Black Mountain Lodge before heading for Grizzly Road into Powder Keg Glade. After a short wander in some trees, skiers came out onto Slalom Slope for a bit, then were back on Grizzly Road, ascending to the top of the Pallavicini chair.

Using the ski area’s “back road,” skiers went over to the West Wall saddle, where they accessed the Davis trail to descend to the bottom of the new Beavers chairlift. Athletes then executed a boot-pack hike up the lowest and steepest pitch on the Loafer run in the Beavers.

From there, skiers dove into the Glockenspiel Glades, switching back and forth to work the terrain’s pitches to emerge at tree line on Loafer once more. There, skiers climbed to the ridgeline overlooking the Zuma cornice before a finish at ski patrol headquarters.

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