Newcomers unseat multi-time defending ski-mo champs at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area race
A first-time racer from Boulder emerged victorious Tuesday morning when 66 skiers returned to skin all the way up to Snow Plume Refuge on Arapahoe Basin Ski Area’s West Wall as part of the fourth installment of the Rise and Shine Rando ski mountaineering race series.
After Rory Kelly won three consecutive Rando races on Dec. 12, Nov. 28 and Nov. 14, it was newcomer Pete Innes who took the title Tuesday morning with a time of 53 minutes and 30 seconds. Innes skied to the finish line at the top of Cornice Run seven seconds ahead of David Glennon (53 minutes, 37 seconds), who barely edged out Brent Herring (53 minutes 38 seconds) for second place.
Of 14 female skiers, it was another newcomer in Martina Valmassol who won Tuesday morning. Valmassol was more than a minute-and-a-half better than her nearest of 13 other competitiors, finishing the course in 57 minutes and 13 seconds. Three-time defending Rando female champion Eva Hagen was the second female to cross the finish line at 58 minutes and 37 seconds, three seconds ahead of third place finisher Sierra Anderson, who also finished second at the Dec. 12, Nov. 28 and Nov. 14 races.
The course the 14 females and 52 males took Tuesday morning involved heading up A-Basin’s beginner Wrangler trail before traversing Chisholm Road and past the bottom of the Lenawee Mountain Lift before skiing through the shooting gallery. Skiers then took a right and headed up through the ski area’s old weather station gap, went up Steppin Out, through Mountain Goat Alley and above the Whoppee Jump to the base of the intermediate West Wall trail. It was at the base of the West Wall trail where skiers removed their uphill skins, clicked into their downhill setting and raced to the bottom of the mountain via the intermediate High Noon trail.
Once having circled the flag at the bottom, the second part of the race consisted of skinning back up the mountain via the intermediate Ramrod trail. At the top of Ramrod, skiers then cut across the mountain via the intermediate Grizzly Road trail which brought them to the top of the Pallavicini Chairlift. The final ascent featured skiers skinning up the intermediate Cornice Run trail and across the ski area’s West Wall Saddle to Snow Plume Refuge for the finish.
Tuesday’s race was A-Basin’s fourth in a six-part series of uphill challenges on Tuesday mornings, from 7-9 a.m., through the winter. Interested skiers can enter via a $25 admission fee. The fifth and final races are scheduled for Jan. 9 and Jan. 23.
A-Basin spokeswoman Adrienne Isaac said on Thursday that though a sample course for the Jan. 9 race is currently listed on A-Basin’s website, the actual Jan. 9 course will be determined by the ski area closer to the date of the race as course creation is dependent on snowfall and what terrain is available.
At the Jan. 9 race, Dynafit will again be on site with a demo fleet of race skis, boots and several touring setups for interested beginners.
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