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Sunlight to Host One of Colorado’s Top Ski Mountaineering Races

More than 100 competitors expected to compete in 11th Annual Heathen Challenge

Heathen Challenge 2016 Photo DeAnna Trevizo

This Saturday, Jan. 13, Sunlight Mountain Resort will host the eleventh running of the Heathen Challenge. More than 100 competitors from around the world are expected to compete in what has grown to become one of Colorado’s largest ski mountaineering races.

The race, organized by Cripple Creek Backcountry of Carbondale, is part of the Colorado Ski Mountaineering Cup series that was first held at Sunlight in 2007. Last season Sunlight hosted the United States National Ski Mountaineering Team Individual World Team Qualifier Race that drew more than 200 competitors each vying for a spot on the national team.

Organizers say interest in ski mountaineer racing is on a path of steady growth and they anticipate even more competitors in this year’s event. The race features a pro and recreational division. The pro course features three mountain ascents and descent totaling more than 4,500 vertical feet. The recreation division course covers include one ascent and decent totaling about 2,500 vertical feet. Registration opens at 7 a.m. in the Sunlight lodge and the race starts at 8:30 a.m.

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