Vail HillClimb features scenic and grueling trail |

Vail HillClimb features scenic and grueling trail

Daily staff report

The La Sportiva Vail Trail Running Series continues on Saturday, July 7, with the Vail HillClimb.

The trail running series, presented by Bloch & Chapleau Attorneys at Law and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, will test runners with more than 50 miles of scenic, grueling and rewarding climbs, descents and rolling countryside for a total elevation gain of 16,475 feet over seven events throughout the summer.


Named best trail running race in 2006 and most-scenic, non-ultra-race in 2011 by Colorado Runner magazine, the Vail HillClimb has been one of the most renowned trail running races in the state with many veteran racers traveling from the front range and beyond.

Gondola One in Vail Village, which accesses Mid-Vail, is open for spectators to ride to the top for free from 7-7:30 a.m. All friends and family who are going to watch will need to pick up a free lift ticket for gondola access (good for that morning only) at bib pick up the day before the race or on race morning at registration. Failure to load the gondola by 7:30 a.m. will forfeit access to Mid-Vail without paying a daily scenic ride ticket. Dogs or other pets are not permitted to load the gondola. Post-race, the gondola will be free for racers and spectators to download to Vail Village.


Race participants will follow the historic gravel double-track route that has made the HillClimb a favorite among trail running enthuasists. While the course offers a steady incline, even experienced runners find this mountain race a challenge due to the altitude, with many participants choosing to walk the steeper sections. Despite the grueling course, racers are always rewarded with a celebratory finish and greeted by a multitude of spectators, friends and family members.


Registration for the race is $33 for pre-registration, $38 race week or $45 on race day.

Friday, July 6, Registration and Bib Pickup

Register or pick up preregistration information/bibs from 3 to 6 p.m. on Friday at the Vail Sports store in Vail Village. Vail Sports is donating gift cards for bib pickup! Pick up your bib at their store and be entered to win a $25 or $50 gift card that will be given away after the race during the awards ceremony at Mid-Vail.

Day-of Registration and Pre-registered Bib Pickup

Day-of registration will take place from 5:30 to 6:45 a.m. in front of Vail’s Mountain Haus next to the covered bridge.


Racers will have the option to drop gear at the start line. All gear will be loaded into a Vail Recreation District vehicle and be delivered to the finish line at Mid-Vail.


Free parking is available near the race start in the Vail Village parking structure or across the village in the Lionshead parking structure.


Saturday looks to be perfect racing weather with a sunny forecast and an estimated temperature of 56 degrees in Vail at the start of the race. The projected high for the day is 85 degrees.


While area wildfires have affected the air quality in mountain areas surrounding the race course, the race is scheduled to start as planned. After consulting with the Eagle County Public Health and Environment, it has been determined that current conditions, the early morning start, cooler temperatures and dry air will allow us to execute a safe environment to compete in. Officials state that if visibility is less than 5 miles due to smoke in the area, smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy and that is not currently the case in Vail. We will continue to monitor this situation.

For more information regarding air quality please visit quality/air_quality.aspx.

If you have health concerns or are at high risk (i.e. asthma, elderly, young child), we will gladly transfer your registration fee to another race in the La Sportiva Vail Trail Running Series.

Support Local Journalism

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User