Aspen Misc.: Benedict 100 ready to depart |

Aspen Misc.: Benedict 100 ready to depart

Paragon Guides departs Aspen for the six-day Benedict 100 backcountry ski trip Wednesday. Twelve participants and three guides will make the nearly 100-mile backcountry ski trip from Aspen to Vail by connecting five 10th Mountain Division Association huts.

The tour, which honors 10th Mountain Division veteran and hut-system founder Fritz Benedict, arrives in Vail on opening day of the FIS Alpine World Championships on Feb. 2.

“This trip celebrates the incredible spirit that created the original Interconnect Ski from Aspen to Vail in 1989,” said Buck Elliott, founder and co-owner of Paragon Guides.

The 1989 “Interconnect Ski” was a three-day ski marathon completed by 12 skiers who transferred the spirit of the 1950 championships in Aspen to those in Vail by relaying a symbolic Interconnect flag that was presented by gold medal alpine skier Stein Eriksen at the opening ceremonies.

“With the Benedict 100, we re-enact the Interconnect route, and once again honor the history of alpine skiing by finishing our tour on opening day of the 2015 Championships,” Elliott said.

During the 2015 Benedict 100 event, participants will ski six days, covering from 11 to 18 miles each day as they travel between Margy’s, Betty Bear, Uncle Bud’s, Jackal and Shrine Mountain Inn huts.

“Days will be long, temperatures will be cold, we’ll have pre-dawn starts, and — so long as there’s fresh snow — we’ll have plenty of trail to break,” said lead guide and Paragon Guides co-owner Will Elliott. “Fortunately, when we arrive at each hut, we’ll be welcomed by hut hosts who will make life a little easier for our crew. They make sure the hut is nice and warm and that there’s plenty of food and drink to recharge our batteries.”

As cellphone service allows, Paragon Guides and participants will post updates from the trail throughout the six-day journey to Paragon Guides’ Facebook page:


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