Ridgway Girls beat Sergant 30-25 this afternoon in Durango. See our Tweets live during the action at @ocplaindealer Photo by Bill Tiedje Read more...
|OURAY COUNTY Sneffels Challenge returning to hut system||| Print ||
Once on the Dallas Trail, skiers will head east, passing aid stations at the Blue Lakes Hut, Ridgway Hut and Burn Hut, all of which are maintained by San Juan Hut Systems.
While in years past the Sneffels Half Loop event finished on Miller Mesa, this year's race will continue east on the Dallas Trail for a hair-raising 3000-foot descent to the end of Dallas Trail, outside of Ouray.
After a 1.9 mile trek down County Road 17 into the City of Ouray itself, the race will conclude with a victory lap around the park.
The course will have a total ascent of 5,600 feet and an approximate descent of 5,000 feet.
"The whole concept was to use the huts as a support system," said Joe Ryan, founder and owner of the San Juan Hut Systems.
Ryan said contestants in the three previous Sneffels Half Loop events used a variety of ski equipment from "toothpicks and tennis shoes" (older wooden Nordic ski gear) to modern randonee ski racing gear with metal edges and lightweight Dynafit bindings.
Ridgway resident and former Sneffels Half Loop contestant Sara Ballantyne said top finishers in 2003 used older lightweight cross country ski gear, but by 2012 the top places were secured by those utilizing the newest and best randonee ski set-ups.
"The thing that makes this race different from others is the course itself," said Ballantyne. "It's a tour across the north face of the Sneffels Range."
Ballantyne recalled great views of Mt. Sneffels and the "Big Ugly" (a demanding climb up to the Ridgway Hut) during the Sneffels Half Loop, adding the course had more emphasis on horizontal mileage than other area ski mountaineering courses such as the "Grand Traverse" from Crested Butte to Aspen.
With the City of Ouray as well as the Ouray County Road and Bridge Department giving the go-ahead for the race and necessary snow berm construction, Ryan is hopeful the pending permit application with the USFS Ouray Ranger District will be approved.
For more information, contact San Juan Hut Systems, Inc., at 970-626-3033 or visit www.sanjuanhuts.com.
|RIDGWAY GIRLS WIN!!|
AT DURANGO RIGHT NOW:
Ridgway Girls beat Sergent 30-25 in Durango Friday afternoon to advance in State tournament.
UPDATE: Ridgway takes the lead as Leta McNatt drills a 3-pointer. 21-19. The crowd goes wild!
UPDATE: Grace Benasutti of Ridgway sinks two from the three point line. 30-25 Ridgway lead.
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