Uphill battle | AspenTimes.com

Uphill battle

Aspen Times Staff

Aspen, CO ColoradoASPEN Are you one of those people looking for a challenge? Do you feel like skiing endless steeps and bumps don’t provide enough of an adrenaline rush? Do you look at area mountains and think to yourself, “Hey, I’d like to hike up that?” Then Aspen Highlands in early January may be the place for you.The mountain will host the Highlands Uphill starting at 6:45 a.m. Jan. 6. Competitors will fight gravity and fatigue as they make their way from the base to the Merry-Go-Round. In between, a commanding combination of steep pitches and mellow plateaus await. Participants first will climb Jerome to Upper Jerome, head across Park Avenue and to the Golden Barrel. From there, they will climb Nugget to Prospector, hit Wine Ridge then the Grand Traverse before crossing the finish. The course covers more than 1,900 leg-burning vertical feet. Enduro racers will start at 6:45 a.m., and recreational participants will follow at 7 a.m. Last year’s enduro winner, Silt’s Bernie Boettcher, completed the course in 55 minutes, 26.66 seconds.Those interested in the challenge can visit http://www.aspenrecreation.com, or contact Sandy Doebler (920-5140 or sandrad@ci.aspen.co.us). Preregistration is $25; race-day registration is $35. Interested parties can register online, by phone or in person at both the Aspen Recreation Center and Red Brick Recreation Center.The Jan. 6 event is one of two uphills remaining on Aspen’s winter recreation calendar. America’s Uphill will take place March 17 on Aspen Mountain. Competitors will climb Little Nell to the Bell Mountain chair, then head up Bingo Slot and Spar Gulch to the base of the Ajax Express lift. They will next have to contend with a steep upper maze of trails before finishing at the Sundeck. The course covers 3,267 vertical feet.More information about America’s Uphill is available at aspenrecreation.com.