April seems to be race month at Arapahoe Basin. After hosting the Enduro, with its punishing amount of vertical, this Saturday, the Basin hosts the 8th annual Grind, an uphill/downhill race with two divisions and prize money in each.
In the Race Division, prizes are $500 for first, $250 for second, and $100 for third, with Marmot gear also given to the winners. In the Rec division, prizes are $150 for first, and Marmot gear for second and third. Prizes are given in both men's and women's categories.
The Race category is 4,500 feet of vertical total, and the Rec category is 2000 feet of vertical. Both categories start with the racers on foot, running to their skis, clipping in, then skinning uphill and racing back down. In the Rec race, participants travel up High Noon and Grizzly Road to the top of the Pallavicini lift, then along the Cornice Ridge to the Snow Plume Refuge, through the North Pole gate and up to the top of the North Pole, then down North Pole, up a small hill, then down Chisholm Trail through to Sundance and the base area.
The Race division follows the same trails up to the top of the Pali lift, then racers fly down Pali and out the Pali Wog, skin up to the Snow Plume Refuge, descent Montezuma Bowl, skin back up Zuma and over to the North Pole gate, up to the North Pole, down North Pole, traverse the East Wall to Willie's Wide, bootpack up Willie's, then ski down Willie's and out to the base area. This course is subject to change if conditions aren't up to it. All Race division entrants must carry a helmet, beacon, probe and shovel.
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The Race division starts at 8:30, and the Rec division starts at 9:30. You can pre-register at Active.com. Registration fee is $35.