For the sixth year in a row, Aspen Snowmass is scheduled to host the Audi Power of Four Ski Mountaineering Race Saturday, Feb. 27.The Audi Power of Four Ski Mountaineering Race is the winter edition of the Power of Four series that includes both a bike and run race in the summer. The ski mountaineering event tests athletes endurance as they race in teams of two across all four area mountains on a grueling course that covers 24 miles and more than 10,000 feet of vertical climb.
Teams start in Snowmass Village at 6 a.m., traverse to West Buttermilk, skin up Aspen Highlands, including Highland Bowl, ski down the backside of Aspen Mountain along the Congo Trail, skin up Midnight Mine Road and then ski down the front side of Aspen Mountain to complete the race in Gondola Plaza.
For athletes not quite ready to take on the full course, participants have the option to race the Power of Two that covers the last two mountains of the full route, Aspen Highlands and Aspen Mountain. In addition to the Audi Power of Four Ski Mountaineering Race, Aspen Snowmass is slated to hold a Power of Four Uphilling Demo Festival in Gondola Plaza.
No other course includes so much climbing. Its the longest and most difficult course in the U.S. It attracts a large deep field. I enjoy covering so much of our home terrain, so quickly, says local ski mountaineering athlete Max Taam, winner of the 2015 Audi Power of Four Ski Mountaineering Race with partner John Gaston. It’s also unique to be able to connect four great ski areas.
In addition to the full course, participants have the option to race a shorter course that starts at the base of Aspen Highlands and finishes in gondola plaza. The Power of Two begins at 8 a.m. and takes athletes up the famed Highland Bowl as well as down the Congo Trail, one of the most technical portions of the course.
Categories for the Power of Four Ski Mountaineering Race are broken into male, female, coed, and vet. Prizing for the race consists of a $5,000 cash purse divvied out amongst the top three mens and womens teams that complete the full Power of Four course. Entry includes an exclusive Helly Hansen Power of Four base layer, post-race party, awards ceremony at The Limelight Hotel, chip timing with results at the finish line and a custom finisher gift.
In addition, Aspen Snowmass in partnership with the City of Aspen will host a Power of Four Uphilling Demo Festival in Gondola Plaza to coincide with the race. Open to the public, visitors will have the opportunity to test the latest in uphilling gear as well as enjoy a number of other brand activations. The Demo will run from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
The Audi Power of Four Ski Mountaineering Race is sponsored by Audi, Helly Hansen, GoPro, Smith, Bud Light, The Aspen Times, Clif Bar, ResQWater and Perky Jerky.
For more information about Aspen Snowmass, visit www.aspensnowmass.com or call (800) 525-6200. Follow Aspen Snowmass @aspensnowmass on Twitter and Instagram, @Aspen_Snowmass on Snapchat, or at www.facebook.com/aspensnowmass.