Summit for Life uphill tonight
The Aspen Times
Yes, Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley will be going up again today with the eight annual Aspen Summit for Life at Aspen Mountain.
The night uphill races at Ajax will benefit the Chris Klug Foundation, a cause dedicated to promoting lifesaving organ and tissue donation.
Klug, a longtime Aspen resident, is an Olympic bronze medalist in snowboard racing and a liver transplant recipient. His foundation was established to increase awareness of organ and tissue donation.
The benefit uphill tradition in Aspen will start with the recreational racers, who will take off from the base of Aspen Mountain at 5 p.m. today.
Using headlamps, they will make their way to the finish at the Sundeck Restaurant — that’s 2.5 miles up and 3,267 feet up.
The competitive division will start at 6 p.m. with the top finishers likely to summit Ajax 45-50 minutes later.
The uphillers can use a variety of means for traction to get up the hill, including spikes, stabilizers, skins, etc.
The uphill races today, which featured an individual entry fee as well as fundraising pledges, are part of the eighth annual Summit for Life benefit weekend in Aspen. The program included a dinner and party at the Sky Hotel on Friday night.
A special Ride for Life benefit option is available tonight for those who want to pass on the uphill climb but enjoy the postrace feast, prepared by the Little Nell.
According to the summitforlife.kintera.org website, the course starts up Little Nell, then goes on to Bingo Slot, Spar Gulch and Deer Park, and finally up Silver Bell to reach the Sundeck.
Temperatures at the start are expected to be in low teens to single digits with an 80 percent chance of snow through the evening and night.
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In a move unusual in today’s West, private land in the Crystal Valley opened in July to free public use by mountain bikers, hikers and trail runners. Coal Basin Ranch opened a 5-mile trail network in mid-July that is open to the public at no cost.