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Ski Mountaineering


With North America's largest prize purse, the Ski Mountaineering comp has a mass start, then progresses up the front-side and Back Bowls of Vail Mountain for the ultimate winter test. As part of the Colorado Ski Mountaineering Cup (COSMIC), athletes skin, ski and bootpack on a challenging alpine course while passing a series of checkpoints. (Elite and Advanced categories are required to carry avalanche gear.) Originally designed to test soldiers' fortitude, ski mountaineering is truly an ultimate mountain challenge.

Ultimate Mountain Challenge

Part of the Winter Ultimate Mountain Challenge. Are you tough enough?


2013 Skimo Map Screen Shot

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Get Details

February 9, 2013

7:30am - (Start (All categories))

Vail Mountain
Lionshead/Gondola Yard



Citizens & Advanced:

$45 through Feb 3rd : $50 starting Feb 4th


$60 through Feb 3rd : $65 starting Feb 4th

All comps at the Games have limited capacity and will fill up quickly. Late or on-site registrations may not receive SWAG.


Men & Womens
Citizens: 3,000 ft. of vertical: Eagles Nest/Top of 2/Mid-Vail/Golden Peak
Advanced: 4,500 ft. Eagles Nest/Sun Down/Rasputin's Revenge/Golden Peak
Elite: 6,500ft. Eagles Nest/Sun Down/Blue Sky/ Rasputin's Revenge/Golden Peak

*Vertical is an estimate; course may be changed at any time due to weather or snow conditions.


PRIZE Money For Elite Category Only:
Total Prize Purse - $5,000

Men and Women Equal Prize List:
1st -  $1,000
2nd -  $400
3rd - $350
4th -  $300
5th -  $250
6th -  $200

Advanced & Citizens Men and Women Categories:

1st - Eddie Bauer Coat
2nd - Eddie Bauer Coat
3rd - Eddie Bauer Coat

* Organizers reserve the right to change/alter these prizes



There will be a gear check on the starting line at 7:15. Racer's warm-up clothing may be left at the start area, all will be transported to the finish.

There will be an optional athlete meeting held at the Lionshead Welcome Center. The Welcome Center is located in the south west corner of the Lionshead parking structure on the first floor. This meeting will take place the night before the event - Friday, February 8th, 2013 @ 5pm. The athlete meeting is highly recommended for all Ski Mountaineering athletes especially those of whom have never competed before.

All athletes, even those pre-registering on-line must sign liability and release waivers when checking in to receive their number.  We advise all athletes check in for their event the day prior to competing or at least two (2) hours prior to the start of their competition.  Event Registration is in the Grand View Room at the Southwest corner of the Lionshead Parking Structure.

All athletes must be present at check in to receive their number.  Numbers will NOT be given to friends, coaches or family members.

Organizers will not be responsible for incomplete, lost, or misdirected registrations or for registrations not received for any reason, including, without limitation, failure or malfunction of any communications network or equipment or computer software or hardware.


ELITE COURSE: If the combined weight of your skis/bindings/skins/boots is above 18 lbs. it is unlikely you will make the cut-off time to complete the course. Tech bindings (Dynafit, Sportiva, Ski Trab or similar) are highly recommended along with mixed or 100% mohair skins due to the distance and low angle skin tracks. The estimated fastest time for the winner of the race is 3:15. Descents are expert level and include ungroomed, steep slopes with backcountry conditions.
ADVANCED COURSE: Suitable for fit racers with gear weighing more than 18 lbs, or racers looking for a slightly shorter day than the Elite course. Descents are expert level and include ungroomed, steep slopes with backcountry conditions.
CITIZENS COURSE: Appropriate for all types and weights of backcountry ski & splitboard gear, descents include steep ungroomed runs.

There will be a hard cut-off time of 1:00pm for both the Advanced and Elite categories at the Aid Station on lower Silk Road. Any athletes arriving after 1:00pm will be directed to use lift service. There is an additional cutoff time in the elite category located before the Blue Sky ascent at 10:30am. Those falling significantly behind "mid-pack" will be moved ahead on the course (not do the Blue Sky loop) and do the Advanced course. The race will officially be over at 4:00pm. Any racers remaining on course after 4:00 will be DNF. All athletes must follow the instructions of Ski Patrol and Marshals in regards to cutoffs and course closures.

All categories will start in the Lionshead base area at the gondola corral. All Categories finish at Gold Peak. Racers will be sent out in one mass start but grouped in category on the start line.

Normal Mountain Operations: Each racer must keep in mind that Vail Mt. is open to guests as usual. Thus, racers will encounter skier traffic moving the opposite direction of racers while on-course.

Racer safety: For the safety of every racer, each athlete is required to notify the closest marshal of any injury or racer in need of assistance.

No nordic, NNN or similar "nordic touring" gear will be allowed, only full metal edged AT or telemark gear. Split-boards are only allowed to race in the citizens category.

This is a self-sustained race with two aid stations. The Advanced category's aid station will be positioned on Silk Road next to the exit of Pete's Stash and the Elite's will be at the top of Belle's Camp. Water and energy goo/bars will be available.

Course marking: Racers must use any set skin tracks and be within 20 ft. of markings when ascending. Racers must be within 50ft of any markings while descending.

Citizens category mandatory gear: helmet and skins. 

Advanced/Elite category mandatory gear: beacon, shovel, probe, backpack, helmet, skins, windbreaker, hydration system/bottles.

Finish: the final run for all categories is a GS course. Racers must complete every gate; a 30-second time penalty will be assigned for a missed gate, racers cannot take a time penalty and advance in placing with any missed gates.

General Rules and Information
DIRECTIONS TO START LINE: Please park in the Lions Head Parking Structure. The start of the race will be held near the Gondola.

ATHLETE ELIGIBILITY: The competition is open to all interested athletes regardless of state and/or country of residency.  Competitors who are under the age of 18 must register with a parent or legal guardian. Competitors must be able to attend all scheduled events.  Athletes will be required to provide all their own equipment.  Further, athletes must abide by all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations during their participation in the Winter Mountain Games®.

PARTICIPATION: Athletes agree to be bound by these Official Rules and all decisions of Organizers. Organizers reserve the right to disqualify any persons found tampering with, or otherwise abusing, any aspect of the competition as solely determined by Organizers.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION: Organizers will appoint judges and the decision of those judges will be final.  There will be no review of scoring / timing even with the presence of TV cameras.  Disputes with Organizers and/or appointed judges will result in disqualification of that athlete.

RESERVATION OF RIGHTS: Organizers reserve the right to disqualify any athlete for any reason, including, without limitation, acting in an unsafe, unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner and/or with intent to intimidate, threaten or harass, or harm another person.  All decisions with respect to the disqualification of an athlete shall be made by Organizers and/or appointed judges.  Failure to comply with any term or condition of these Official Rules may result in an athlete's disqualification and the forfeiture of his/her interest in any prize. Organizers reserve the right to amend these Official Rules at any time in its sole discretion, and athletes shall have no recourse for any such changes or for any failure (whether inadvertent or otherwise) by Organizers to follow the stated rules.  In the event that the competition is canceled prior to the completion of the final event, no prizes will be awarded.  Any refunds are at the organizer's discretion.   Athletes will not be otherwise compensated for any costs or expenses associated with their participation in the competition.

ORGANIZERS: The Winter Mountain Games® will be organized and produced by staff and contractors hired from and by the Vail Valley Foundation.  The decisions of Organizers regarding the selection and elimination of athletes, the selection of finalists and winners, and the production and administration of Winter Mountain Games® related events, and all other aspects of the event, shall be final and binding in all respects. Organizers will not be responsible for typographical, printing or other inadvertent errors in these Official Rules or in other materials relating to the event.

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Event Schedule | Winter 2013
Vail valley foundation 970-777-2015 | 90 Benchmark Road Suite 300, Avon, CO 81620
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