A-Basin skiers and riders, this is not just your daily grind | SummitDaily.com

A-Basin skiers and riders, this is not just your daily grind

ARAPAHOE BASIN – Just as skiers and snowboarders who like to hike thought it was time to take a breather between challenging competitions, Arapahoe Basin throws its inaugural A-Basin Grind into the mix.

The Grind caters to experienced skiers snowboarders with good sets of lungs and kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday.

It all begins with the ascent on snowshoes or skins from the Basin’s base area. The climb takes competitors 2,000 feet up to the top of the East Wall at 12, 752 feet where they ski or ride down the double-black, high-angle North Pole back to the base area.

“We’re the ideal venue for something like this,” said A-Basin mountain manager Alan Henceroth. “Although it’s a winter event, it’s a good lead into spring and summer.”

Unlike the Imperial Challenge, which, for 11 years has sent competitors up to Breckenridge’s Peak 8 base via mountain bike, 3,000 feet up to the summit via snowshoe or skins and back down again via skis, snowboard, or flailing on lightweight Nordic gear, the A-Basin Grind is going to require some downhill skills.

“The idea is to make it more of a ski-mountaineering-type race,” said Marc Carlisle of Great Adventure Sports, which is helping with registration for The Grind and is the longtime organizer of the Imperial Challenge.

“It’s a pretty demanding descent,” Carlisle said. “It’s going to be different that the Imperial in that it’s got a technical component in the downhill. In the Imperial Challenge, you can tumble, slide and do whatever you can on the downhill. In (the Grind), you have to be able to ski. There won’t be any Nordic skis out there.”

Proficient skiers or snowboarders with a good set of lungs will have it made in The Grind. Organizers said the race is open to everyone meeting this critieria, whether they’re a super athlete or just a decent skier or rider up for the grind.


Pre-registration for the Arapahoe Basin Grind is $25 through 5 p.m. Friday and can be done at Great Adventure Sports next to City Market in Breckenridge or online at http://www.greatadventuresports.com. Race-day registration is $30 and begins at 8 a.m. Saturday at A-Basin. For more information, call (970) 496-7007.

Shauna Farnell can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at sfarnell@summitdaily.com.

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