The COSMIC event at Crested Butte Mountain Resort has had many changes over the past few seasons. Last year the event included a very technical ropes section called the "Guides Ridge". In addition the event was doubled as a COSMIC event and was also the North American Championships. We had another very low snow year as we did last season and couldn't use the extreme areas for descents. In addition the Guides Ridge was pulled from the course as well. Race director Bryan Wickenhauser and CBMR managed to make a longer and quite technical course using Snodgrass Mountain and skinning up the extreme runs on the mountain. The final course covered 17 miles and 6800 vertical feet of elevation gain.
The winning time was 2:54, with some of the full course racers taking 4-5 hours. It was a great mix of backcountry skinning, steep technical skinning and 2 bootpacks. It was the best possible course the mountain had to offer given our lack of snow. I really look forward to tackling the Guide Ridge next year and hopefully we can have descents on the Headwall and Northface. If we can pull off the whole planned course it will be a world class ski-mountaineering event.
Next stop for Team Crested Butte is the Teva Winter Games with a long backcountry ski-mountaineering event on Saturday February 9th. Jari and I will be competing in the Ultimate Mountain Challenge. The event consists of a 10K skate race on Friday, the ski mountaineering event on Saturday and the Vail Uphill on Sunday. I won the overall last year so I am really excited to defend my title next weekend. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more podium finishes from Team Crested Butte.