The Cosmic series, a ski mountaineering organization in North America, has officially kicked off eleven years of skimo. On December 1-2, racers from all over the world arrived in the Front Range of Colorado to race in a two-day format at Eldora Mountain Resort. This National Cup Race, called the Indian Peaks Rally, hosted over 100 racers over the course of two days.

On Friday, December 1 at 5 p.m. was the Vertical Challenge Race (bottom to highest point on Eldora). John Gaston, owner of Strafe Outerwear and America’s top ranked ski mountaineering racer, had the fastest time with a 13-minute assent of Eldora. The average time was 18 minutes. Fastest female racer was Martina Valmassoi, member of the Italian Ski Mountaineering National Team, with a 16-minute climb time.

Saturday, December 2 saw two races, the Individual Race – Traditional format 2,500 to 4,000 foot vert ski-mountaineering race. After the Individual race, spectators gathered to watch racers participate in a Sprint Race – Sprint-style short race on a single run.

Demos from Dynafit were available to the public throughout the day, and Upslope Brewery ensured everyone was well hydrated.

“It was a great way to start the season,” said Gaston. “You never know how those first races are going to go, so it was nice to get a little confidence boost before the World Cup starts in January and know that the things are on the right track. Joe (Cosmic) and Sam (Eldora) really put together a great event considering what they had to work with. It’s been a lean early season for Colorado but they still managed to come up with a fun and challenging course that had a bit of everything. I think it’s great to see the level of stoke and participation on the Front Range for this growing sport and commend Eldora for their effort and commitment to hosting a truly competitive event despite the tough conditions.”

Professional athlete Martina Valmassoi from Cadore, Italy was the overall female winner. “For my first experience racing in the U.S., it has been exciting. Despite the lack of snow, the organizers put down a challenging and fun course. I’m obviously satisfied to have won but even more to enter into this wonderful community.”

A full list of results can be found HERE.

Photo by Doug Treiber Photography, courtesy Cosmic