I won't pretend to know anything about mountaineering racing. It looks challenging. For those of you that are into it, the "Grand Mesa Grind" hits Powderhorn this Saturday.

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COSMIC, The Colorado Ski Mountaineer Cup is the force behind the race.  The "Grand Mesa Grind" is part of a series of competitive ski mountaineering racing events in the Rocky Mountains and beyond.

Ray Michaels

Powderhorn has raised the stakes for this year's competition. They stuck to the same backcountry style and feel but added a boot pack climb up Sudden Death. That sounds tough. As in years past, competitors climbed in the woods on skin tracks and winded through Powderhorn's picturesque boulder fields.

The course is a 4,000 vertical climb. It starts in front of the Sunset Lodge, heads west to ascend Bear Claw, descended Upper T-Bird/Hooker, ascended Hooligan/Mushroom Farm/Mud Slide, traversed and ascended above Sven’s Bend to the Patrol Hut, and descends Wonderbump/Cannonball to the finish. Wow! I'm tired just thinking about it. There is no way I could do this thing. It takes skill and training. Props to those of you that are taking to the mountain this weekend. Good luck!

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