The 25th Montane Grand Traverse endurance race in Colorado, USA, has concluded after seeing unprecedented weather conditions in the build up to the event, with snow falling every week since Thanksgiving and Crested Butte surpassing 300 inches of snow just days before the race.
The male category saw Logan Greydanus and Adam Loomis, both members of the US ski mo team, emerge victorious with a time of 6 hours 45 minutes, over 50 minutes ahead of Jon Brown and Jacob Dewey in second place with a time of 7 hours 36 minutes.
The female category was won by Kristin Layne of the US ski mo team, and Stevie Kremer, who attended the world trail running championships, with a time of 8 hours 20 minutes. Lindsay Plant and Camilla Locker claimed second place, crossing the line 1 hour 20 minutes later with a time of 9 hours 40 minutes.
The Co-Ed category saw the team of Brad LaRochelle and Nikki LaRochelle, both members of the US ski mo team, claim the crown with a time of 7 hours 58 minutes, over 2 hours and 20 minutes ahead of Emma Wood and Sam Wood in second place with a time of 10 hours 23 minutes.
The backcountry race is seen as a US ski bucket list event, and sees participants navigate through a mountain as a pair, using a collection of ski mo skills and travelling fast and light to traverse a mountain pass whilst uphill skiing. To complete the event, racers must have strong ski ability in a variety of disciplines, including downhill Alpine ski skills, as well as cross country.
Spanning 40 miles of high alpine terrain, the race sees participants starting in the small town of Crested Butte before racing to the resort of Aspen, on a challenging journey that climbs over 6,800 vertical feet and crosses the Elk Mountain range. To ensure competitor safety, racers must have a partner, carry mandatory gear, and begin the race at midnight when avalanche hazard is decreased.
Speaking on the event, #TeamMontane athlete, Brandon Johanns, commented: “The event saw beautiful, warm weather with good visibility, and despite my headlamp dying we made it out alive and thriving. Both my teammate and I wore the Montane Phase Nano, which provided ample protection from any wind and snow, with the sunshine meaning that I even unzipped it at times!”
Montane’s Marketing Executive, International Lead, Charlotte Guinan, said: “After the huge success of The Grand Traverse in 2022, in what was Montane’s first year sponsoring this iconic event, we knew this year’s event would be no different.
“This event is the ultimate in point-to-point competitions, with the skimo format really testing participants to their limit across two hugely intense days in challenging conditions. This is what makes it such an exciting race to be involved in, and, following on from the recent success of the Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra and Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra, is a race that Montane is delighted to be associated with, as we continue to encourage adventurers to journey into the unknown, to feel truly alive.”
In 2015, The Grand Traverse expanded its race offering to include a mountain run and a biking race. The three events now form a tri-race series, creating ‘The Grand Traverse Triple Crown’, Colorado’s preeminent multi-sport, multi-season endurance challenge, of which Montane is the headline sponsor for each. The tri-race can be completed as individual events or as part of the wider Triple Crown series.
More information on The Grand Traverse can be found here: https://montane.com/pages/grand-traverse.
Header image: #TeamMontane athletes on their way up to Star Pass at Sunrise. Credit: Eric Phillips