Project Grand Traverse

Two working schlubs attempt to conquer one of North America’s most difficult backcountry ski races.
Project GT Tout

At the crack of midnight on Friday, March 28, Skiing editors Sam Bass and Kevin Luby will set out on a long and painful slog through the Colorado backcountry. Along with a couple hundred other participants, they’ll climb 7,800 feet and ski 40 miles through the Elk Mountains between Crested Butte and Aspen in a race called the Elk Mountain Grand Traverse. Sam, who is 38 and has been with Skiing for 10 years, and Kevin, a 27-year-old, four-year Skiing vet will be racing on different teams. Though finishing is the ultimate goal, pride and side bets will be on the line as the wily veteran and the young punk square off for this long walk on skis.

In the coming weeks, Skiing will follow their experiences as they train for the Elk Mountain Grand Traverse. The Project GT blog will be a firsthand account of how two Front Range desk jockeys with little experience in randonnée racing, and beer consumption habits that simply can’t be good for training, find the time and motivation to prepare for this grueling race. Hopefully it inspires you to get out of your comfort zone and do some exploring of your own.

Stay tuned on these channels for more on Project GT:


Left to right: Skiing's Editor-in-Chief Sam Bass and Senior Editor Kevin Luby

Image placeholder title
Image placeholder title
Image placeholder title


Elk Mountain Grand Traverse | Photo: Kevin Krill

Elk Mountain Grand Traverse: The Slog

America’s toughest backcountry ski race starts at midnight in Crested Butte, Colorado, and charges 40 miles north through the rugged heart of the Rocky Mountains to Aspen. When two desk jockeys, coworkers at this magazine, sign up on competing teams, an epic game of one-upmanship unfolds.