Here's one way to see Colorado's iconic Gothic Mountain: circumnavigate it. On February 21, skiers in the ninth annual Gothic Mountain Tour will traverse a 22-mile route from Crested Butte around the peak.
Despite its lung- and thigh-busting challenges, this backcountry skimo race will dish out rewarding views and nice descents. Plus, with a relatively mild 4,939-foot elevation gain, it's a nice tune-up for tougher skimo races, such as the Grand Traverse. Most importantly, lycra is not required.
See the beta on the race below. Click here to register before the Feb. 20th deadline; registration is online only and there will be no day-of sign up available.
Saturday, Feb. 21
> 6 a.m. start
> 22 miles, from Town Ranch Trailhead to finish at Magic Meadows Yurt, with a 9 a.m. cutoff time at the Gothic Townsite. See course profile with elevation here.
> This is a backcountry race through known avalanche terrain. Beacon, shovel, probe, and skins are required; there'll be a mandatory beacon check on race morning.
> Mandatory bib pick-up is on Friday, Feb. 20 from 5 to 8 p.m., so plan on arriving in Crested Butte before then.