Summit ski mountaineering athletes rise to the top of the competition at Vail’s Winter Mountain Games | SummitDaily.com
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Summit ski mountaineering athletes rise to the top of the competition at Vail’s Winter Mountain Games

Competitors climb a steep slope during the sprint race at Vail's 2022 Winter Mountain Games from Feb. 25-27.
Hugh Carey/For the U.S. Ski Mountaineering Association

From Feb. 25-27, several Summit based ski mountaineering athletes competed across three events as part of Vail’s 2022 Winter Mountain Games.

The competition served as the USA Skimo National Championships for the Senior, U23, and 45-plus age divisions.

Taking place the evening of Friday, Feb. 25, was the individual race, which is often referred to as the crown jewel of races in the skimo world. The individual race led participants from Mountain Plaza up Vail Mountain, down to the resort’s Back Bowls and back again for a 10-mile course.



Breckenridge’s Delilah Staberg navigated the challenging course for a fourth-place finish in the women’s U16 division. Staberg finished in a time of 1 hour, 47 minutes and 5.2 seconds.

In the men’s U20 division, Summit’s Jeremiah Vaille and Sam Burke competed to finish within 30 seconds of each other, both landing on the podium. Vaille finished in second place in a time of 1:55:20 while Burke placed third in a time of 1:55:47. Paul Hans, also from Summit, placed fifth in a time of 2:24.14.



In the senior women’s division, Nikki LaRochelle of Breckenridge placed second with a time of 2:01:30 while Kate Zander, who is also from Breckenridge, placed fifth in 2:10:26.

Frisco resident Arthur Whitehead placed fifth in the men’s senior division in a time of 1:44.38. Breckenridge’s Tim Faia competed in the masters men division and placed fourth in a time of 2:00:22.

Summit's Jeremiah Vaille, second from left, Sam Burke and Paul Hans begin the sprint race Saturday, Feb. 26, at Vail's 2022 Winter Mountain Games.
Hugh Carey/For the United States Ski Mountaineering Association

On Saturday, Feb. 26, a few Summit athletes doubled back to compete in the sprint skimo race.

Staberg matched her finish from the day before by placing fourth in the sprint in a time of 6:18, while Vaille and Burke improved upon their finishes.

In the short race, Vaille and Burke had success working together to pull ahead from the rest of the competition. Vaille topped the men’s U20 age group in a time of 4:30.8 and was tailed closely by Burke, who placed second in a time of 4:35.4. Hans placed fifth again in the vertical race with a time of 5:27.9.

In the senior divisions, all of the Summit skimo athletes broke onto the podium with LaRochelle finishing in second in a time of 5:08.7 and Zander placing third.

Whitehead placed third in the men’s senior division in a time of 4:07.7 after being assessed a 20-second penalty.

Breckenridge's Delilah Staberg competes at Vail's 2022 Winter Mountain Games. Staberg placed fourth in her age division in every skimo race at the three-day event.
Hugh Carey/For the United States Ski Mountaineering Association

On the last day of competition Sunday, Feb. 27, athletes competed in the vertical race.

Staberg went three for three on fourth-place finishes in the U16 age division on the weekend, as the 15-year-old placed fourth again in the vertical race in a time of 33:58.

Delilah Staberg’s sister Grace Staberg also joined in on the fun Sunday to ski to an uncontested U20 race title in a time of 33:50.

In the men’s U20 vertical race Vaille and Burke topped the competition again, with Vaille winning his second race of the weekend and Burke placing second. Vaille finished the course in a blazing fast time of 31:53, and Burke finished in 35:00.

Whitehead and Chris Vargo were the only Summit athletes to race in the senior division on the final day. Vargo placed seventh in a time of 31:08, and Whitehead placed 10th in a time of 32:38.

Faia was the only Summit athlete to win a U.S. skimo national championship, taking the master’s division vertical race title in a time of 35:50.

Josie Fisher, from left, Rea Kolbl and Breckenridge's Nikki LaRochelle compete during the women's sprint race at Vail's 2022 Winter Mountain Games.
Hugh Carey/For the United States Ski Mountaineering Association

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