The uphill battle returns to Vail |

The uphill battle returns to Vail

Ian Cropp
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyCompetitors in the Vail Uphill race can choose any number of footwear to ascend Vail Mountain on Feb. 23.

VAIL ” Most Saturday morning’s in Vail officially start at 8:30, when the chair lifts open.

But on Feb. 23, a bunch of ambitious racers will kick things off a 7 a.m. And there won’t be any lift lines.

The Vail Mountain Winter Uphill, which starts at the Lionshead Gondola, will bring participants along a two-mile course of groomed trails while gaining 2,000 feet.

“Other places like Aspen have entire uphill winter race series,” said Ellen Miller, one of the race directors. “It used to exist here years ago in the winter. We’re bringing it back.”

Participants can make the ascent using just about any form of transportation, with categories including the Open (running shoes, stabilizers and showshoes), Track skis (light-weight equipment) or Heavy metal skis (metal-edged skis including telemark gear).

Miller and Hooker Lowe organized the event not only for the athletic endeavor, but to also honor Vail’s Lyndon Ellefson, who died in 1998.

“This is a great way for people to remember Lyndon while participating in an activity that was so special to him,” Miller said.

Registration is available Online at, at the Vail Athletic Club, through the mail (download an entry form at or on race morning at the base of the Lionshead Gondola. Arrive early to sign the Vail Resorts event waiver in addition to the entry form waiver. Race entry is $30 through Feb. 22 and $35 on race day.

For more information, contact Ellen Miller at or Nancy Hobbs at

“Personally, I think for a race course that climbs a mountain, the finish lines are more soulful,” Miller said. “It’s completely different when you can look down and see you’ve covered a lot of territory.”

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