Skimo course set for COSMIC race this weekend at CBMR
Written by Than Acuff   
Wednesday, 23 January 2013
Tweak to include Snodgrass

Along the same vein as thinking outside the box, race organizers and resort officials are thinking outside the resort in an effort to provide an exciting ski mountaineering (skimo) course for the 2013 Crested Butte Ski Mountaineering Race this Saturday, January 26 at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. The race is part of the Colorado Ski Mountaineering (COSMIC) Race series.
It should come as no surprise that the skimo race will not include the Guides Ridge. Lack of snow just makes it impossible.
Still, thanks to the collaborative efforts of race organizers, resort officials and the Crested Butte Professional Ski Patrol, the course this year does come with plenty of climbing, descending and new territory. In the end, both the rec and race divisions will get a tour of Snodgrass during their respective races.
“It’s the best we can do with the terrain that’s available without jeopardizing the safety of the racers,” says race director Bryan Wickenhauser. “The ski patrol and resort are supportive of the Guides Ridge route, it’s just there’s got to be snow there.”
That doesn’t mean the course will be free of any epic climbs, booters and challenging terrain.
Racers will begin at the base of Crested Butte Mountain Resort at 8 a.m. and head around Columbine Hill, through the trees to the top of Painter Boy, a.k.a. Ten Peaks, before heading down the other side and over to Snodgrass.
The course then heads to the top of Snodgrass through the trees and back down, mixing in the road and some tree skiing areas before returning to the ski resort, back to Ten Peaks and down to the bottom.
The rec division can then hang up their gear and start relaxing as the race division heads back up for a tour of duty on Crested Butte Mountain.
The trip includes a climb up Peel, complete with a boot pack section through the choke. Skiers descend before a climb up the Headwall to the Headwall Ridge via another boot pack section.
In keeping with the off-piste nature of skimo racing, racers will then head down to the bottom of Teo Bowl before climbing back up to the top of the High Lift for one final descent via Monument, International and a side trip into the Blood Forest/Hot Rocks area to the finish line by the Magic Carpet area.
While the rec division will get a total of 3,200 vertical feet of climbing, the race division will have 6,500 vertical feet of climbing stretched out over 16 miles of touring.
Wickenhauser estimates it should take the winners approximately two and a half hours to complete the race division course.
“I think we’ve got a pretty spectacular Plan B here,” says Wickenhauser.
For a more involved layout of “Plan B,” check out the assortment of course maps at
Despite the loss of the Guides Ridge, Wickenhauser expects the throngs of skimo racers to descend on Crested Butte for the race.
“Crested Butte is always a mainstay on the COSMIC tour,” says Wickenhauser. “We’re expecting a full house.”
For any fledgling skimo racers, this is a great chance to test the waters and see how you stack up against some of the nation’s top skimo racers. In addition, full skimo set-ups are available to demo at the Scarpa SkiTrab Demo Center, located in the Elevation Hotel.
The awards party will be held on the deck of 9380 following the race and then fans and racers are invited to head back out that evening for a full moon tour to Ten Peaks for a bonfire from 4:30 to 7 p.m.