24 Hours of Sunlight returns Feb. 23-24
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” After four world records, more than 275 participants, and a successful marriage proposal in its first two years, 24 Hours of Sunlight will return for a third run with a new twist ” moonlight.
This winter, the event will be held three weeks later in the season ” Feb. 23-24 ” to take advantage of a full moon, assuming it’s not cloudy. The latter date also gives participants more time to train and may bring slightly warmer temperatures.
The unique event challenges competitors to ski, snowshoe or trek on a splitboard 1,483 feet up the mountain and then slide or snowshoe back down. Over and over and over again.
The event sprang forth at Sunlight Mountain Resort outside Glenwood Springs after the demise of the 24 Hours of Aspen, which tested the endurance of a small number of elite skiers who competed in pairs in a round-the-clock race on Aspen Mountain. They road up the gondola and then skied down a lit, nighttime course at breakneck speeds.
The 24 Hours of Sunlight is a more inclusive locals event, attracting a range of athletes from the valley and around Colorado.
In 2006, Greg Hill set the record for most vertical feet skied in 24 hours with 51,100 feet, Jonathan Baker set the same world record for snowboarding at 20,215 feet, and Polly Samuels-McLean set the world’s best mark for vertical feet ” 31,110 ” skied by a woman.
Last year, Glenwood’s Mike Schneiter got in on the world-record action, besting Baker’s mark by recording 36,048 feet on his splitboard (a board that splits in two to hike up the mountain, and comes together to form a snowboard on the way down).
This year’s course will begin at the base area at Sunlight and go up Dotsero to Loop Run, up Loop to Rebel, and right off of Rebel into the Parks where there will be the Turn Around Tent. On the way down, participants will descend The Parks to Beaujolais, to Sundown and back to the base.
The elevation change from bottom to top is 1,483 feet.
As always, the race will be open to individual participants, pairs or teams of four or five. At least one woman must be included on teams with five members.
Outside of the competition, Sunlight will again be hosting a party at the lodge throughout the competition. Last year, bands played until 2 a.m. and food and beverages were offered nonstop.
Registration is open for the event, and teams or individuals that sign up before Jan. 15 get a $25 discount per person and are entered to win a $1,400 alpine touring package (Movement skis, Crispi boots, Rottefella bindings and Leki poles) from Ute City Cycles and Skis.
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