Irwin Cat Skiing, located just outside of Irwin, Colorado will be the venue for the Irwin/LaSportiva Ski Mountaineering race on December 8th, 2012. Located just miles from Crested Butte above the old mining townsite of Irwin in the Ruby range of the Elk Mountains, the opening event of the COSMIC (Colorado Ski Mountaineering Cup) Series will showcase the fastest backcountry ski racers in North America. The start of the race will be at nearly 10,400 feet and take racers to the top of Scarp Ridge at 12,100 feet three separate times for a total of over 5000 feet of elevation change in the course of the 10-plus mile race. This isolated venue can only be accessed by snowcat or snowmobile in the winter months, creating a truly unique backcountry experience for a racers and spectators alike.
â€œWe are excited to host the 3rd annual Irwin/LaSportiva Skimo event,â€ says Billy Rankin, Irwin’s Risk Manager & Snow Safety Director. â€œWith our unique geographic location and micro-climate that delivers 600 inches of snow per year, we are able to host this race in early December. Our remote setting requires unique considerations for the race but the Irwin Snow Safety and Guide team fully evaluates stability and mitigates avalanche hazard, if necessary, to provide an exciting off-piste race.â€
The COSMIC series also welcomes La Sportiva as its new title sponsor for 2012. La Sportiva is supporting the growth of ski mountaineering in North America by creating a presence at the start/finish area that creates both an authentic athlete experience for racers and a welcoming environment for spectators to enjoy the race. La Sportiva will also provide on-snow product demos that allow the public to try out top ski mountaineering equipment for themselves.
"LaSportiva is proud to partner with the COSMIC series starting with the first race at Irwin,â€ says La Sportiva president Jonathan Lantz. â€œIrwin shows off what the ski mountaineering scene is all about. With a gorgeous mountain setting, a tough course, and top athletes from all over the country chasing the podium, there's no question that skimo is alive and well in North America.â€
Additional race and venue information is available at http://www.irwincolorado.com/winter#/experience/cs-irwin and athletes can register for the event at http://www.zapevent.com/listactivities.aspx?eventid=2945.