Five Peaks ski mountaineering race returns to Breckenridge March 10, again highest race in U.S. | SummitDaily.com

Five Peaks ski mountaineering race returns to Breckenridge March 10, again highest race in U.S.

Skiers race past the starting line at Breckenridge Ski Resort's Peak 8 base area during a previous ski mountaineering race at the resort. The Five Peaks skimo race returns to Breckenridge on Saturday March 10 at 6 a.m.

Registration is open for the event that annually takes the honor as the highest ski mountaineering race in the United States, The Five Peaks at Breckenridge Ski Resort.

This year's long and short course races are scheduled for Saturday, March 10, from 6 a.m. to noon. The annual event is part of the regional Cosmic Ski Mountaineering Cup and provides racers the chance to top out at an elevation of 13,633 feet.

Race organizers this year are strongly recommending that if you are an interested competitor who has never raced skimo before to race in a different skimo race previous to taking part in the long course race. For those who can't ski a separate skimo race previous to the event, organizers are urging those racers to participate in the short course race.

Last year, the long course was conducted in a European tradition as a duo race while the short course solo event was within the controlled areas of Breckenridge Ski Resort.

This year, those competing in the long race will be required to carry an avalanche probe, an avalanche shovel and 457 kHz avalanche beacons. Both long and short course racers also must compete with alpine-style skis with metal edges (no split boards). Randonee, 75mm or NTN telemark bindings are also acceptable.

Other race rules include competitors giving the right of way to Breckenridge Ski Resort customers, as failure to comply results in an immediate disqualification. For uphill portions of the race, skiers must stay within the established skin track or 5 feet of the course markings. And when going downhill, racers are required to stay within 30 feet of course markings.

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Race transitions also must occur within 20 feet of the transition point. Event organizers are also asking racers to agree to a possible equipment check before the race and at the finish line. And no lightweight Nordic gear is allowed in either race category.