Mt. Crested Butte, CO Feb. 10, 2004 (PR) -- The Life-Link/Dynafit Randonnee Rally Series returns for the second year to Crested Butte Mountain on Saturday, February 14.
This year the Rally Series is being run by the United States Ski Mountaineering Association (USSMA), a non-profit organization established to help grow the sport of ski mountaineering. The USSMA also contributes to the safety of the sport by donating to the local avalanche forecasting centers and local search and rescue teams from race proceeds. Last year Life-Link/Dynafit donated approximately $300 to the Crested Butte Avalanche Center.
Prize money will be awarded to the men's and women's winners of each race and to the overall winners in the men's and women's race divisions. There will also be prizes for the winners of both the race and recreational divisions as well as raffle prizes for all competitors donated by the sponsors of the race series.
This race series provides a venue for the gathering of the local backcountry ski and snowboard community. "We are fortunate to have the opportunity to host such a great event again. The involvement and enthusiasm from our community last year was overwhelming. We have the terrain and courses to challenge the top racers competing in the rally's point racing series in addition to those wanting to take part recreationally for the fun and unique experience the rally offers," said Gina Kroft, marketing communications for Crested Butte Mountain.
The Rally is a ski mountaineering competition where entrants are required to follow a course up, down and across Crested Butte's legendary "Extreme Limits." The route, which will be similar to last year's, is designed to test the athlete's alpine touring skills, endurance and equipment. Modeled after the popular races in Europe, a randonnee rally starts on foot, with the competitors running to clip into their skis, which may or may not already have skins on them. The athlete is required to wear a beacon and carry a pack that includes a shovel, probe and his or her own food and water. There is no support along the course.
Racers climb to the first gate, where they remove their skins and ski down to the second. At that point, they put their skins back on and climb back up to the third gate. This continues on for ten gates and totals approximately 5,000 vertical feet of climbing in two hours by those in the racing division (3,500 feet over an hours time for those entered in the recreational division).
Crested Butte is the second stop of five in the series that kicked off January 10 at Whistler, British Columbia. The series will then move to Alpine Meadows at Lake Tahoe, Calif. on February 28 and Alpental at Snoqualmie Pass, Wash. on March 6 before finishing up with the North American Championships in Jackson, Wyo. on March 28. The series has grown from a one-race competition held at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in March, 2000, into the five race series it is today.
"Crested Butte is known for great backcountry skiing and also for the great athletes who live there. The course was spectacular last year and a challenging venue for the competitors. We are excited to return to Crested Butte, said John Scott, Executive Vice-President of Life-Link International.
Sponsoring the series are Marmot, Petzl, Mountain Hardwear, Suunto, Couloir Magazine, Backcountry Magazine, Off Piste Magazine, Buff Headwear, Clif Bar, Arc'teryx, Cloudveil, Adventure Medical Kits, Crazy Creek, Honey Stinger, Croakies, Daggers Sunglasses and Pro Ski Service.
Please go to www.life-link.com for race and registration information or call Claire Desgouttes at (800) 443-8620, ext. 104, or Claire@life-link.com. Registration forms are available at the Crested Butte Nordic Center and the Troutfitter in the Town of Crested Butte. Cash and check only will be accepted at the Nordic Center.
Registration will also be available during the welcome reception from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Mountain Conference Center, (former Rafters), located at the ski area base on Friday, February 13. An awards party and pasta buffet will also be held at the Mountain Conference Center from 3:00 PM — 7:00 PM following the conclusion of the competition.
The race was a huge success last year partly due to the great volunteers that helped with the transitions along the course. Volunteers will be compensated with a lift ticket for one day of skiing on the mountain for contributing three hours of work. If you are interested in volunteering for the event, please call H Baumm at (970) 349-4183, firstname.lastname@example.org or Amy Martin at (970) 349-0889.