Summit locals LaRochelle, O’Keefe win Breck Ascent ski mountaineering races on Peak 10
Fresh off of a return from the International Ski Mountaineering Federation World Championships in Switzerland, Summit County local Nikki LaRochelle won Wednesday’s third Breck Ascent ski mountaineering race of the season at Breckenridge Ski Resort.
LaRochelle’s time of 59 minutes and 17.8 second was more than 20 minutes faster than her nearest competitor in the long course race on the resort’s Peak 10 terrain.
Twenty men took to the long course on Wednesday, as Breckenridge local Sam O’Keefe won with a time of 57:25.8, just edging out second-place finisher Todd Olson (57:30).
Also returning from the International Ski Mountaineering Federation World Championships in Switzerland, Max Bonenberger of Breckenridge took third place on the long course with a time of 59:13.2.
Wednesday’s long course saw racers ascend from Breckenridge’s Peak 9 base area up the Lower Lehman and Upper Lehman runs before a bootpack adjacent to the Grits run to a single-track ascent adjacent to the Crystal run. Skiers then descended the Corsair trail to Upper Lehman before a bootpack up the Peak 10 Maintenance Road. Skiers also bootpacked up to the top of the Spitfire run to the Peak 10 patrol hut before they descended Spitfire, Upper Lehman and Lower Lehman runs to the finish.
The top five in the men’s long course competition was rounded out by Michael Hagen (1:00:15.2) and Bonenberger’s youth Team USA teammate Sam Wescott (1:03:28.0).
On the short course, the women’s podium consisted of Jill Sorensen (37:40.4), Eva Hagen (38:27.5) and Erin McGinnis (44:40.0).
In the men’s short course competition, Daniel Kraft won with a time of 33:58.1, followed by Max Wipperman (41:27.4) and Scott Yule (44:41.6).
The short course consisted of an ascent from the Beaver Run parking lot at Peak 9 to Lower Lehman to the bottom of the Falcon SuperChair on Peak 10 and up the Crystal run, finishing at the Peak 10 patrol hut.
The final race in this winter’s Breck Ascent series is scheduled for March 27 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Peak 7. As of now, it’s slated to be a time limit race where skiers complete as many short laps as they can in one hour. Following the race, awards will be given out and prizes will be raffled to participants. Through this race season, local businesses including Mountain Outfitters, Hagan Skis and Cuppa Joe have provided gifts.
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