Power of Four set for March 1 | AspenTimes.com

Power of Four set for March 1

The Power of Four Ski Mountaineering Race — one of the most challenging events in Aspen/Snowmass — is back and will test the endurance of athletes as they race in teams of two across all four area mountains. The course covers approximately 25 miles and more than 12,000 vertical feet of climbs. A two-mountain category is also an option, covering ground on Aspen Highlands and Aspen Mountain.

The race will start at 6 a.m. on March 1 in Snowmass Base Village and will continue into the afternoon, when athletes will finish at the base of Aspen Mountain.

New this year, the race will offer a $5,000 prize purse — the largest in North America — split evenly between men and women. The first-place team will take home $1,500, second place will go home with $700, and third place will take $300.

Teams start in Snowmass Village and skin up to the top of Elk Camp. Then racers traverse from Elk Camp to West Buttermilk, where they will ski down to the bottom of Tiehack. From there, athletes will cross the bridge by the Aspen Recreation Center and head to Aspen Highlands Village. From there, skiers will skin to the summit of Highland Bowl and ski down to Castle Creek Road via the Congo Trail off of the Grand Reverse. Teams will then cross Castle Creek and head up Midnight Mine Road until they reach the Sundeck. In the final descent of the race, athletes will ski down Aspen Mountain, ending at Gondola Plaza.

There also will be a half race starting at 8 a.m. following the same course on Aspen Highlands and Aspen Mountain, finishing on Gondola Plaza. This race is perfect for recreational uphillers looking for a new challenge.

There will be four categories of racers: veterans, men, women and coed. Only the men's and women's categories are prize eligible. Coed and veteran categories are for time comparison only. Coed teams will be grouped into the men's category for prize purposes. Alpine touring gear, telemark gear or snowboard splitboard gear is required.

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Registration is open at http://www.aspen snowmass.com/poweroffour. Registration is $225 per team before Jan. 5.

Volunteers are still needed for the event. To volunteer, contact Brendan Collins at bcollins2@aspen snowmass.com.