Day 1,322 – and counting |

Day 1,322 – and counting

Devon O'NeilSummit County correspondentAspen, CO Colorado
** ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, AUG 19-20 ** Skier Rainer Hertrich skis down the slopes of Mount Hood above Timberline Lodge near Government Camp, Ore., Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2006. Hertrich set a new Guinness World Record for 1,000 consecutive days of skiing when he barreled down Oregon's Timberline Ski area on July 27, 2006, and there's no sign the ultimate ski bum plans to stop. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Rainer Hertrich has headed north again to continue his world-record streak of skiing every day since Nov. 1, 2003.That’s 1,321 days as of Wednesday, for anyone keeping track.

The Copper Mountain resident and longtime groomer at the resort set out for Oregon’s Mount Hood on Friday, where he’ll groom the slopes at Timberline Ski Area for a number of international race teams. Eventually, if all goes as planned, Hertrich will follow his route of the past three years right around Labor Day and head to South America, before finally returning for the Colorado winter once there’s enough snow to ski here.It’s an adventure in spontaneity for Hertrich, as always.

“Since I can’t miss a day,” wrote the 46-year-old freeheeler in a recent e-mail explaining his latest itinerary, “I stopped by Snowbird, Utah. They will let you up the gondola with your skis, you sign a release understanding that there is no ski patrol, and with a lot of caution, away you go.”That was after he spent a few days last week hiking and skiing in Rocky Mountain National Park. He followed that spell with a run at Loveland Pass, then one at Copper on Friday, then he packed up his things and left town for the summer.He passed 43 million vertical feet on his third run Saturday at Snowbird, and on Sunday he took one run at Snowbird then hiked over to Alta, where he ended up downclimbing much of a patchy descent after he took a wrong turn.

On Monday, Hertrich did a 390-vertical-foot run near Alta’s base then hopped on his BMW motorcycle and rode 450 miles to Tamarack, Idaho. There, he skied approximately 420 vertical feet on Tuesday – 82 turns, “although I lost count when I started taking my skis off and stepping over logs to link the snow,” he said.He rode his bike to Oregon soon after, arriving at Mt. Hood and skiing his first day at Timberline on Wednesday. He said it was “hold on to your chair” windy at Mt. Hood, but he still skied long enough to log 25,000 vert for the day.Sitting outside Charlie’s Bar – “a good old ski bar” – in the town of Government Camp, Hertrich expounded on his current situation via cell phone.

“I just set up camp. My camp spot is melted, except for all around it,” he said. “You walk five feet in either direction, there’s a big snow bank.”Same camp spot,” he confirmed. “Top secret.”As for work, he was off Wednesday but then embarks on an eight-day stretch without a day off.

“I do have a job; they gave me a whole 50-cent raise, which won’t even cover my cost of fuel to get here,” he said, obviously displeased with the treatment. “But I do get to ski.”

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