23 October, 2009

A Shift In 24 Hour Races

Long challenging endurance events are very needed here in North America. With the possible loss of the "24 Hours of Sunlight," becoming a 12 hour event rather than the full 24 hours, North America is starting to fall off the map for vertical racing.  The 24 Hours of Sunlight, in Glenwood Springs Colorado, has always been covered by big blog names like Lou Dawson (Wildsnow), Andrew McLean (Straightchuter), among others.  A race just to participate in and test how much vertical you can push out is fantastic. 

24 Hours events such as the Gastein 24 Hour Race in Austria proves how important these races are in pushing the ski touring communities limits.  Last year, both the men's and women's world records for most vertical ski toured in a 24 hour period was broken.  Ekkehard Dorschlag pumped out 18,288m (60,350ft), and Anne Marie Gross 12,700m (41,910ft), blowing the Eric Sullivans 24 Hours of Sunlight and World record out of the water which was 15,565m (51,068ft). 

With a 12 hour race in place of a 24 hour race, how is North America expected to keep up with the Europeans?  We need either the Sunlight Race to stay a true 24 hours, and for other resorts or race organizors to step up to the plate, keeping North America on the map for hard long endurance events.  Racing is important and races like these are great showcases for the sport, and without them the sport will have less publicity, and advance at a slower rate.


  1. I agree with you completly Alex. I think if people knew just how straightforward it is to put on a race(all you need is of time), there'd be twice as many going in Canada..... maybe next year they'll do a 24hr race at Mt Revelstoke....nudge nudge Colvin.

  2. We tried to get one going last year here on the Coast. But the resorts we approached were not into it, they didn't like the idea at all. We even tried to do it on Crown Land and that didn't pan out. I think the Interior and Rockies are the best for true skiing spirit. Revelstoke will be amazing for a 24 hour venue.