Posted on April 13 2016
The Annual Sopris Sprint
The 2016 Sopris Sprint will meet at 5am 4/30 weather permitting. Email email@example.com for info.
There maybe no bigger vertical relief from town to summit in as short a distance as from Carbondale to the Peak of Mount Sopris. Carbondale lies toward the far end of the Roaring Fork Valley at just 6170 feet while Mount Sopris looms over town a mere 8 miles to the summit as the crow flies. This has inspired an awesome human powered link up to cover the distance and incredible vertical gain.
The name Sopris Sprint is both alliterative and ironic. In fact, until the recent tech binding craze allowed for far lighter gear summit Sopris in the winter used to be a two day event. With faster gear and fitter athletes, Sopris has become a morning event even if it is a long one. Some of the fastest times from the Dinkle lake trailhead to the summit on skis were sub 2 hours. This got us thinking... "How fast could someone do the whole mountain human powered from shop door to shop door?
In 2014 we gathered a group of 20 friends together to full on assault the mountain. Although this was not a sanctioned race you have to be moving pretty fast to get to the summit by mandatory cutoff time of noon (being on the summit anytime after 12 is risky on a warm spring day for fear of wet slides). Local ski mountaineering racers and defending National Champions John Gaston and Max Taam set the pace in full on race mode. John returned to the intersection of highway 133 and Prince Creek Road, the start and finish of the race, in an incredible 3 hours and 23 minutes with Max just 10 minutes behind him.
Don't forget your glob stopper for spring mountaineering days
After that the next handful of athletes sped to the top to regroup and ski down to their bikes together. The majority of participants waited for each other on the summit for photo ops and celebrations and skied and descended together.
Shop owners Doug and Randy with employee Meg on the Summit
John Gaston flying down the descent
Transitioning back to bikes after the ski
In 2015 both the original date and the following weather weekend were snowed out. When Sopris gets over 10 inches of snow just days before it becomes far to dangerous to place dozen of people in one of the largest avalanche features in the valley.
In the pre Slow Groovin days Randy would hold down the Grill.