COSMIC Announces Eleven Years of Competitive Ski Mountaineering in the Rockies and Beyond

Publish date:

Each race is designed for all levels with the idea to bring out the best in each participant.

Boulder, Co - October 20,2017


The COSMIC Series is the leading ski mountaineering organization in North America. The race series was established by United States Ski Mountaineering Association member Pete Swenson to promote ski mountaineering racing in the United States. Now entering its eleventh season with the most races, and with the support of the leading brands in the snow sports industry, the long anticipated USSMA sanctioned sixteen race series, will commence on November 18th with the Wolf Creek Rando Race and end with the grand finale on April 7th, with Cody’s Challenge.

“It was kind of a ‘right place at the right time thing,” said Pete Swenson who started the series in 2007. “You see a need, and you realize: ‘I’m a person who can help fill that need.’ There weren’t that many other Americans who had raced in Europe or knew much about randonee. It wasn’t hard to decide to jump in and decide to help move the sport along in the states.”

Call it Randonee, ski mountaineering or skimo, it’s a Euro tradition that is making its mark in North America. Ski mountaineering is one of the few winter sports that has recorded growth few years. The USSMA is aiming to make skimo an Olympic sport by the 2022 Beijing games.

“Ski mountaineering racing is an exciting mix of technical downhill skiing, skinning (ascending), route finding, ridge running, a healthy dose of suffering, and just maybe some good turns on the way down,” said Joe Risi, race director of the series and event manager at SCARPA. “It seems there is also always a cold beer waiting at the end.”

Speaking of the beer that you will likely find at the end of the race, “Upslope is a huge supporter of active, outdoor lifestyles and has been a partner of Cosmic since 2009,” says Henry Wood, Marketing director at Upslope Brewery. “Uphill skiing is baked in our DNA and its been a real thrill to watch the sport of skimo grow over the past several years. Joe Risi’s dedication to this race series is inspiring and has taken Cosmic to the next level.”

Each venue is different. Some of the courses are extremely remote and difficult with no-fall zones like Wolf Creek, Taos, and Big Sky but there are also introductory races like Sunlight, Powderhorn, and Copper/SIA. Even Eldora, the once taboo ski area for skinning, has a race in the mix.

"Eldora is excited to support the growing sport of uphill skiing—both recreational fitness skiing and skimo racing," says Sam Bass, marketing director at Colorado's Eldora ski area. "We're thrilled to host the first COSMIC National Cup race and to support the sport from youth-development to elite-racing levels. With Boulder County's enthusiasm for endurance sports, Eldora is uniquely positioned to become the national epicenter of human-powered skiing."

We look forward to seeing you on the snow!

Wolf Creek Rando Race

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Eldora Indian Peaks Revenge * 2 DAY NATIONAL CUP RACE *

Fri, Dec 1, 2017 6:00pm (Vertical)

Sat, Dec 2, 2017 (Individual) 9am (Sprint) 6:00pm

Irwin Guides Rando Race

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Griggs Orthopedics Ski Mountaineering Race at Crested Butte

Fri, Dec 15, 2017 4:30pm (Vertical)

Sat, Dec 16, 2017 9:30am (Individual)

The Grand Mesa Grind at Powderhorn

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Sunlight Mountain Heathen Challenge

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Griggs Orthopedic Skimo Camp

Thu, Jan 18, 2018 Sun, Jan 21, 2018

SIA/Outdoor Retailer @ Copper Mt. Uphill/Downhill

Monday, January 29, 2018

US NATIONALS - Ski Santa Fe Fireball Rando Race

Fri, Feb 2, 2018 4:30pm (Vertical)

Sat, Feb 3, 2018 (Individual)

US NATIONALS - Taos Ski Valley Rio Hondo Rando Raid

Sat, Feb 3, 2018 5 (Sprint)

Sun, Feb 4, 2018 (Teams)

Peter Inglis Fund - Tellurando Race

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Monarch Mountain Race the Divide

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Audi Power of Four Ski Mountaineering Race

Saturday, March 3, 2018

The Five Peaks, Breckenridge

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Shedhorn Skimo Race at Big Sky Resort

Saturday, March 17, 2018

2018 Cody’s Challenge

Saturday, April 7, 2018

2017 / 2018 Sponsors Include

STRAFE Outerwear


Upslope Brewing Company

Cripple Creek Backcountry

La Sportiva




Darn Tough Socks

Mountain Khakis

Discrete Apparel

Hagan Ski Mountaineering





Competitive ski mountaineering races in the Rocky Mountains sanctioned by the United States Ski Mountaineering Association. @cosmicskimo



The Ski Boot Revolution

Should a ski touring boot be oriented more for the ascent or the descent? As of Winter 2018-19, this basic ski touring question will finally be a thing of the past because DYNAFIT has eliminated the question of “either-or.” Now, it is simply both. Boulder, CO - November 9,2017 more