Mother of All Ascensions uphill race returns to Snowmass on Tuesday

The Mother of All Ascensions uphill race returns to Snowmass on Tuesday. Costumes aren't required, but are certainly allowed.
Nick Tininenko/courtesy photo |

The popular Mother of All Ascensions uphill race returns for its 26th running on Tuesday. The event features 2,073 vertical feet of climbing in less than two miles from the base of Fanny Hill to Gwyn’s High Alpine Restaurant at Snowmass Ski Area.

The race is put on by Andrew Bielecki, a Canadian citizen who organized the race for 14 years from abroad after being deported.

“I love this valley and the community. If it wasn’t for the support I got here, I don’t know if I would be here,” Bielecki said. “I feel really psyched to be back, smiling from ear to ear doing something I love to do.”

About five years ago in Canada, Bielecki’s girlfriend died. Organizing the Aspen race gave him a necessary distraction from the ordeal, which also is why he partnered with the Aspen Hope Center a year ago. Part of the registration fees will be donated to the local organization, which helps people going through emotional distress.

The race begins at 7 a.m. on what is Fat Tuesday, and all forms of non-motorized uphilling are allowed, such as snowshoes, skis or if you dare, a pogo stick.

“You can use pogo sticks if you want. I don’t think it’s very effective,” Bielecki said with a laugh.

The event has long been known for its generous goodie bag, which essentially covers the cost of the $30 pre-registration fee, and for its top-notch post-race raffle, which Bielecki said includes more than $15,000 worth of prizes.

Early bib number and goodie bag pickup takes place today from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Snowmass Base Village conference center. Racers can still pre-register at this time.

There will be event check-in and day-of registration beginning at 5:45 a.m. on Tuesday at the conference center. Race day sign-up fees are $40.

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