(Boulder, Colo.) â€“La Sportiva North America is proud to support some of the country's best ski mountaineers. Sari Anderson, Janelle Smiley and Luke Nelson have all stood atop at least one podium this season and the team is looking forward to more success heading into this weekend's Winter Teva Mountain Games presented by Eddie Bauer.
On the women's side, 2011 Colorado Ski Mountaineering Cup (COSMIC) series winner Sari Anderson continued her success with a victory at the United States Ski Mountaineering Championships, held January 7, 2012 in Jackson, Wyo. That race proved to be a double podium for La Sportiva as Luke Nelson also scored a victory in the men's race.
Just two weeks later in Crested Butte at the 2012 International Ski Mountaineering Federation North American Championship race, Janelle Smiley demonstrated both her climbing prowess and her skiing ability with a victory on a very technical course. Anderson finished second overall in that race, and Nelson finished second among North American men.
â€œThe team has had a great season so far,â€ states Anderson. â€œLuke has proven to be the guy to beat among American men and Janelle and I have had fun pushing one another. Of course, it doesn't hurt that our set up of Stratos boots, RSR skis and bindings is the lightest gear available. We all feel very fortunate to be supported by a brand that is helping to grow the sport of ski mountaineering in the U.S.â€
At this weekend's Teva Mountain Games, the Eddie Bauer Ski Mountaineering competition will take place on Vail Mountain and boasts a $5,000 prize purse, the largest ever presented at a U.S. Ski Mountaineering Association-sanctioned race. The race also includes almost 10,000 feet of vertical climbing and is expected to take the top racers almost five hours to complete.
â€œKeeping in line with Vail's reputation as a world-renowned ski destination, we designed a challenging course with the kind of distance, vertical, ski terrain and prize money that rival the prestigious European skimo races,â€ says Pete Swenson, director of the U.S. Ski Mountaineering Association and specialist for the Mountain Games.
Following the Teva Mountain Games, the La Sportiva team will focus on the remainder of the COSMIC race schedule including Race the Divide at Monarch Mountain, the Aspen Power of Four race and the Five Peaks race in Breckenridge.
More information about all of the he La Sportiva ski mountaineering athletes their progress throughout the season is available at: http://www.sportiva.com/ambassadors/athletes/skiing.