Uphillers, get ready to BASH your legs, lungs
Uphillers will have a new shot at bragging rights with this winters debut of the BASH race series on the four Aspen/Snowmass ski mountains.One male and one female competitor will be crowned the BASH champs, based on their cumulative time in individual races up the slopes of all four ski areas.BASH, of course, stands for Buttermilk-Aspen-Snowmass-Highlands. The races wont take place in that order, but HBSA isnt nearly as catchy an acronym, notes Nancy Lesley, special events coordinator for the citys Parks and Recreation Department.The recreation department, along with Carmichael Training Systems, is organizing the series. It will combine several already existing uphill challenges and bring back an uphill race at Highlands to create an overall leg- and lung-busting competition. The first race of the series, on Jan. 10, is the Highlands Uphill, revived by the city so that competitors dont have to tackle the one existing race option at Highlands. The daunting Inferno competition demands a hike up the Highland Bowl ridge to the 12,392-foot summit, where skiers and boarders then snap on their hardware and descend the bowl to the finish line.Thats really hard-core, Lesley said. We didnt think it was fair to make participants risk a tumble down the bowl.The Highland Uphill will offer the enduro division, with a 6:30 a.m. start, and a route that climbs from the base of the ski area to the top of the Olympic Bowl, then down the double-black Deception to Upper Robinsons and the finish line at the Merry-Go-Round. Racers must use track skis, telemark or randonee equipment, or snowshoes.Competitors who choose the recreation division will start at 7 a.m. and make their way from the base up to the Merry-Go-Round. Any type of hardware is permitted, or racers can hike up in boots or shoes.There is no entry fee for the BASH series, but there is a $25 preregistration fee for the Highlands Uphill (its $35 the day of the race).Next in the series is the annual One From the Heart charity uphill at Buttermilk on Feb. 15 and then the traditional Mother of All Ascensions event on Fat Tuesday (Feb. 24) at Snowmass.The final leg of the BASH series is Americas Uphill, a grueling hike up Aspen Mountain from the base at Little Nell to the Sundeck, on March 20.Anyone can complete in any individual race without signing on for the series. BASH competitors times in each race will be added up; the lowest cumulative time in the male and female divisions will determine the winners.The prize package for the champs is still in the works, but each will receive a training series from Carmichael Training Systems Performance Center, located at the Aspen Club & Spa, Lesley said.In addition, Carmichael will offer a free series of programs on power training in conjunction with the BASH series. The lectures begin with Weight Training for Endurance Athletes on Jan. 7, followed by Peak Performance and Mental Toughness on Feb. 4, High End Endurance Training on Feb. 18, and Get the Nutritional Edge on March 3.The lectures are open to the general public. Each will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. in the cafe at the Aspen Club.Log on at http://www.aspenrecreation.com for more information on the power training series or the Highlands Uphill.
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