What’s In Your … Pack for Power of Four
The Audi Power of Four Ski Mountaineering race is a true test of endurance for participants, as they compete in teams of two skiing up, skiing down and traversing in between all four area mountains in Aspen-Snowmass. Competitors start in the early hours of the morning in Snowmass Village and finish the race at the base of Aspen Mountain in Gondola Plaza.
While there are two aid stations along the route, according to the course information found on AspenSnowmass.com, “this is largely a self-sufficient race.” So in addition to the mandatory race gear all participants must carry with them (beacon, shovel, probe, helmet, backpack, windshell and a buff/neck gaiter), what else do these incredible athletes carry with them?
Seasoned racer Elsa Lapeze is competing in this year’s Power of Four with teammate Ian Grimes. It is Lapeze’s fourth time participating in the grueling ski mountaineering race and she’s been training the majority of the winter for the event.
Last year, Lapeze’s co-ed team finished first in the power of two in 5:22:19, and in 2016 her and her teammate earned third place in the women’s sport division, finishing in 7:21:16.
Seeing as she’s no stranger to the race, it’s no surprise that she’s got what to pack dialed in, and everything she carries during the 24-mile race has a specific purpose. Here’s what she’s got in her backpack for the 2019 Power of Four:
According to the rules of the race, and to keep participants safe, everyone competing must carry with them a beacon, shovel, probe, helmet, windshell and buff.
Lapeze and Grimes will be skinning up, skiing down and traversing in between Snowmass, Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands (including Highland Bowl) and Aspen Mountain, therefore skins, ski goggles and gloves are necessary accessories.
Racers are outputting an enormous amount of energy during the Power of Four, and everyone has their tried-and-true snacks that help keep them going without weighing them (or their packs) down. Lapeze relies on Twix, Honey Stinger organic energy gel and hard candy from Kinder.
Rounding out the gear in her pack is a watch to keep track of pace and timing — racers in the Power of Four must make it to the top of the Congo Trail off Aspen Highlands, where the course makes its final descent toward Aspen Mountain, by 1 p.m. in order to avoid being cut off and prevented from finishing the race — two water bottles and a tow rope so Lapeze and Grimes can help each other throughout the race and stay within 10 seconds of each other on the uphill per race rules.
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Painter Annie Decamp met the Denver-based artist Michael Dowling at a show a few years ago, and asked if he would mentor her.