It’s called the Audi Power of Four Ski Mountaineering Race. It might just be the most grueling and physically demanding test of endurance any athlete could face. On Saturday, February 27, athletes from around the globe gathered in Aspen to compete across 24 miles of terrain that included more than 10,000 vertical feet of climb, and for the fourth consecutive year, local champions John Gaston and Max Taam, took home top honors in the Men’s Sport Division. This year, however, they did it in a record-setting fashion with a time of 4:40:18. In the women’s division, Carbondale residents Lindsay Plant and Stevie Kremer, defended their 2015 title by beating the competition with a time of 5:45:09.
Modeled after the Power of Four summer series races that feature a combination of biking and running that test athlete’s skill and endurance, the Audi Power of Four Ski Mountaineering Race requires athletes to race in teams of two through all of Aspen’s four area mountains. The race kicked off in Snowmass Village at 6:15 am, and from there, athletes had to traverse to West Buttermilk, skin up Aspen Highlands (including Highland Bowl), ski down the back of Aspen Mountain on the Congo Trail, then skin up Midnight Mine Road and ski down the front of Aspen Mountain to the finish line at Gondola Plaza.
“No other course includes so much climbing,” Taam said. “It’s the longest and most difficult course in the U.S.”
In addition to the men’s and women’s fields, the race featured a co-ed and a vet division (where participants’ ages had to add up to at least 100), and also included the same divisions competing in a two-mountain recreation race. Aspen Snowmass and the City of Aspen also hosted a Power of Four Uphilling Demo Festival in conjunction with the race that allowed the public to try their hand at uphilling and test out the latest in gear innovations.
For detailed results and more information about the Power of Four Race – or to get a jump start on the competition for next year – visit www.aspensnowmass.com.
Men’s Sport Division
1st—John Gaston and Max Taam—4:40:18
2nd—Paul Hamilton and Scott Simmons—4:54:13
3rd—Mike Foote and Rob Krar—5:02:40
Women’s Sport Division
1st—Lindsay Plant and Stevie Kremer—5:45:09
2nd—Sarah Kadlec and Lyndsay Meyer—6:11:16
3rd—Joy Olson and Elsa Lapeze—7:21:16
Coed Sport Division
1st—Kristi Knecht and Brian Tinder—5:51:01
2nd—Jaime Brede and Joe Howdyshell—6:32:12
3rd—Timothy Zander and Kate Zander—6:55:26
Vet Sport Division (ages add to 100+)
1st—Pete Fox and Martin Le Roux—8:49:49
Men’s Recreation Division
1st—John-Mark Piampiano and Britt Ruegger—4:34:56
2nd— Nick Hobson and Garrett Fitzgerald—7:43:21
Women’s Recreation Division
1st—Emily Selonick and Michelle Fitzgerald—5:38:51
2nd—Colby Ricci and Sunny Corrigan—5:52:07
3rd—Kaitlyn Foster and Vida Dillard—6:47:47
Coed Recreation Division
1st—John Hughes and Jess Portness—4:56:08
2nd—James Logan and Mary Logan—7:02:01
3rd—Stefanie Kamm and Kyle Wilcox—7:23:04
Vet Recreation Division (ages add to 100+)
1st—Rodger Gurrentz and Doug Rovira—8:34:18