Extreme skiing returns to Sunlight Mountain
Glenwood Springs Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Sunlight Mountain Resort will be busy with extreme skiing competitions again this winter as the mountain will not only be hosting 24 Hours of Sunlight again, but the Colorado Ski Mountaineering Cup again as well.
COSMIC, which debuted last year, has expanded this year and instead of a five-series event will now have seven different competitions. The event requires its participants to climb up and ski down the mountain, going exclusively on ungroomed, backcountry terrain. Oh yeah, and it’s double-black-diamond steep.
The events are for experienced skiers with ski mountaineering experience, as they need skis or a splitboard, skins, an avalanche beacon, a shovel, a probe and a helmet to enter.
Sunlight’s event, scheduled for Jan. 20 at 8 a.m., will be the second of the series, as the first will take place on Jan. 19 at Snowmass. The events will continue through the winter at Crested Butte (Feb. 9), Whitewater in Canada (Feb. 23), Loveland (March 8) and Silverton (April 19), and finish at Arapahoe Basin (April 26).
The COSMIC course at Sunlight will go up the left side of Sun King to the summit before descending Defiance to The Heathen, then going left on Midland Trail. Then participants will take the previous ascent to the summit before descending Defiance, then Lower Defiance to valley floor “boneyard road,” ascend Lower Defiance, go left on Midland, skin or boot pack up Perry’s, skin up through aspens outside of the ski area to the east, ascend to the summit, then descend The Heathen and Lower Defiance to Midland Trail to finish at the base area.
Last year, Crested Butte’s Ethan Passant won the race, making it through the course in 1 hour, 55 minutes and five seconds despite bitter-cold temperatures and a fair dumping of powder.
There will also be a recreational course for less die-hard ski mountaineers, which will ascend to the summit on the main race course, but on the descent go left and down Zephyr to meet the first ascent at the junction of Sun King. Repeat climb to the summit, descend Defiance/The Heathen to the Midland Trail, go left to finish at the base area.
– Colorado Ski Mountaineering Cup
– Seven-part series
– Sunlight Mountain Resort will host COSMIC on Jan. 20 at 8 a.m.
– Entry fee $70, includes lift ticket.
– Go to http://www.cosmicski.com for more information.