WARREN, Vermont — The Life-Link Ski Mountaineering Race Series is coming back to Vermont’s Mad River Valley. A national race series sanctioned by the United States Ski Mountaineering Association (USSMA), the Life-Link races are held at some of the premier resorts in North America including such backcountry havens as Crested Butte, CO and Jackson Hole, WY. Last year marked the first time a race was held east of the Rockies when Sugarbush and Mad River Glen in central Vermont hosted an event. This year’s race will be held Sunday, February 4th.
The race series test competitors’ endurance, equipment and skiing skills while skinning up and skiing down some of the toughest terrain around the country. And the Sugarbush/MRG event will prove to be one of the burliest.
Competitors will begin at the base of Mad River Glen and skin up the Antelope Slope. Once to the summit, they will traverse the Long Trail to Sugarbush’s Mt. Ellen where they will descend into the Slide Brook Basin via Rim Run, Lower Rim Run, and Lower F.I.S.
After traversing through the Slide Brook area, competitors will take one of two routes??вЂќthe recreational division ascending Village Run to the base of the North Lynx chair while the race division ascends up work roads to the summit of North Lynx chair and then down to the base of that chair via Birch Run.
The rest of the course is downhill with racers in both divisions continuing on Castlerock Connection, through Header, and down to the finish at the Valley House by way of the Lower Jester and Coffee Run trails.
“We’re really psyched to again be the only eastern venue to host this event,” remarked adventure skier and head of Sugarbush’s Adventure Learning Center John Egan. “The terrain that lies between Sugarbush Resort and Mad River Glen is extremely challenging, it ranks up there with some of the most technical descents I’ve done around the world.”
The event is open to skiers, telemarkers, and split-board snowboarders, and will feature some of the fastest ski mountaineering racers in the U.S. Registration information can be found at sugarbush.com or by calling or emailing Sugarbush’s Laura Worthen at 583_6849 [email]email@example.com[/email].
The Race Series finishes up with the Life-Link North American Championships at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on March 24th.