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Mountain Mayhem: A Starry Night for Summit for Life

May Selby
Mountain Mayhem
Lining up for Summit For Life 2021! Lady Fuller photo.
A starry sky over Spar Gulch. Lady Fuller photo.
Fast and furious - runner up Sean Van Horn and champ Andy Reed celebrate post-race at Public House.
Aiden Haynie and his mom, Lyndsey, after hiking together to the top of Aspen Mountain.
Mother/son duo Chris and Christian Kelly at the top of Aspen Mountain post-race.
Fast friends Jennifer Mendez and Charlie Lucarelli.
Team Backbone Media celebrate post-race - Keile Kropf, Austin Caron, Mariel Fulton, Jill Thomas, Emma Cullen with Sean Van Horn in the back row.
Liver transplant recipients Michael Wells and Chris Klug are shining examples of #livelifegivelife. Courtesy photo.
An animated Chris Klug with his kids River by his side and Bali on his shoulders. Courtesy photo.
The Summit For Life start line with just seconds to go till send-off!

The Summit for Life uphill event returned to Aspen Mountain on the evening of Saturday, December 4, benefiting The Chris Klug Foundation (CKF). The nighttime climb from the base of Ajax to the Sundeck took place under a midnight blue sky filled with glittering stars and balmy temperatures.

As the primary source of fundraising for CKF whose mission is to raise awareness of the lifesaving gift of organ and tissue donation, this annual event is a favorite on the local race calendar and was, of course, missed in 2020. For those who preferred to participate on their own time, a virtual version served as an alternative this year.

The starting line on Saturday night was a spirited scene and reunion of sorts. Being a part of the active community and seeing a range of friends and acquaintances lining up for an adventure, engaging with one another and enjoying a fit outing like this is a definite benefit to living here in my eyes. And in line with CKF’s mantra to “live life, give life,” it certainly felt like all were embracing life while also participating with a purpose in supporting an important cause.



Out of caution, this year, the number of entrants was reduced to keep it more intimate, there was just one start time rather than a recreational wave first and competitive wave to follow, and the after party at the top was staged outside with a bonfire, fire pits, hot drinks and a pasta dinner prepared by The Little Nell.

DJ Dylan lifted the energy at the start on the Upper Gondola Plaza with infectious beats and DJ Tenza set the tone at the top with an upbeat set.




On skis, stabilizers, snowshoes, and more, athletes of all ages took part in the uphill, including quite a few kids being towed by adults – the ultimate in teamwork.

After reaching the top, when it was time to head back down the gondola, Paradise Bakery cookies were the well-deserved desserts to take along for the ride and take in the views of Aspen glimmering below.

Learn more at http://www.summitforlife.org.