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Talk about extreme skiing...
Crested Butte Mountain Resort hosted the inaugural GORE-TEX North American Ski Mountaineering Championships over the weekend.
Skiers from Italy, Spain, Slovakia, Canada and the United States competed, and Manfred Reichegger of Italy and Janelle Smiley of Crested Butte took top honors.
There was a short sprint course and an individual course that climbed roughly 5,000 vertical feet and took racers to the peak of Crested Butte Mountain (elevation 12,162 feet).
A route of this difficulty has never been seen in a North American competition before, according to organizers. It was a low class-five technical boot pack ascent via fixed rope up Guides Ridge. Racers used mountaineering gear to harness themselves into 1,000 feet of line rigged by Crested Butte's ski patrol.
“Today’s event put mountaineering back into the sport of ski mountaineering,” race director Bryan Wickenhauser said in a news release.
Reichegger had a combined time of 2:03:23, with Lorenzo Holzknecht, also of Italy, and Reiner Thoni, of Canada, taking second and third, respectively, in the men's competition.
Among the women, Smiley had an overall time of 2:45:39. Sari Anderson, of Carbondale, came in second place and Stevie Kremer, of Crested Butte, finished third.
RACE DIVISION - MEN
1 Manfred Reichegger Italy 2:03:23
2 Lorenzo Holzknecht Italy 2:07:16
3 Reiner Thoni Canada 2:12:47
4 Luke Nelson United States 2:20:11
5 Jason Dorais United States 2:24:58
6 Marshall Thomson United States 2:26:43
7 Jared Inouye United States 2:29:37
8 Andrew McNab Canada 2:32:14
9 Travis Scheefer United States 2:35:12
10 Andy Dorais United States 2:35:30
RACE DIVISION – WOMEN
1 Janelle Smiley United States 2:45:39
2 Sari Anderson United States 2:50:31
3 Stevie Kremer United States 3:09:14
4 Gemma Arro Ribot Spain 3:19:05
5 Melanie Bernier Canada 3:19:30
6 Jari Kirkland United States 3:24:35
7 Julie Matteau Canada 3:43:34
8 Lindsay Plant United States 3:56:34
9 Lyndsay Meyer United States 3:57:27
10 Jen Gersbach United States 4:01:16
See the Sprint Race results.