Ski Mountaineering Rally Race at Kirkwood Mountain

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February 27, 2006

Kirkwood, CA, (Kirkwood Press Release)—Advanced backcountry skiers and riders will test their limits in the ultimate ski tour of the season at the Marmot Six Summit Peak Pursuit & Backcountry Festival scheduled for March 11-12 at Kirkwood Mountain Resort. The Marmot Six Summit Peak Pursuit is part of the Mountain Hardwear/Life-Link/Dynafit Ski Mountaineering Rally Race Series, which just this season expanded to seven races and now includes Kirkwood Mountain Resort.

"We are pleased to announce the addition of two venues to this year's race calendar - Kirkwood Mountain Resort, California and Sugarbush Resort/Mad River Glen, Vermont," stated John Scott, Executive Director of the United States Ski Mountaineering Association. "Kirkwood will make it two races in the Sierra for the race series, and the awesome terrain that Kirkwood has will really challenge our competitors."

On March 11, participants will race up and down the mountain at Kirkwood on some of the best snow and most difficult terrain the Sierra offers, as they set out to bag the six peaks that punctuate Kirkwood's ridgeline. Each event will feature a race and a recreational division for both men and women. At Kirkwood, the race division competitors trek a nine-mile course, gaining approximately 5,758 feet and descending roughly 5,762 feet; the race takes about two hours. The recreational division covers six miles, and competitors climb approximately 3,450 feet and descend about 3,461 feet; the race takes about one hour. Racers must ascend by use of climbing skins or boot packing.

"Kirkwood is pleased to be a host site for the 2006 Ski Mountaineering Rally Race Series this season; it's an honor, says Chris Eckert, Kirkwood's Event Manager. "Bagging all six of the peaks that surround Kirkwood will be quite a challenge, and we're sure the athletes will love Kirkwood's unique terrain - steep and fast - and natural beauty.[pagebreak]The Ski Mountaineering Rally Race Series is a series of ski mountaineering races held at some of the premier resorts in North America. The race series tests competitors' endurance, equipment and skiing skills while skinning up and skiing down some of the toughest terrain that these resorts and their surrounding mountains have to offer. This year, the race series begins with the Arcteryx Randonnee Rally at Whistler Blackcomb, Canada January 7, then onto the Sugarbush Resort/Mad River Glen, Vermont Race February 5, the Crested Butte, Colorado February 11, the Outdoor Research Rally at Alpental Washington February 25, the June Mountain Race, California March 4, followed by the Marmot Race at Kirkwood Mountain Resort March 11 and culminating in the American Cup Race in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on March 25.

New this year, there are eight races in which competitors in the racing division can accumulate points towards the overall race series championship, the seven races in the Mountain Hardwear/Life-Link/Dynafit and the Black Diamond Powder Keg Race in Salt Lake City, Utah March 18. Also new this year, only the best five race finishes of a possible eight races will be used to comprise series point totals. The only race that is mandatory is the Americas Cup Race in Jackson Hole, Wyoming March 25.

All races will follow the point system with the exception of the Americas Cup in Jackson Hole; the Americas Cup finishers will receive double the points of all the other races. Points will be totaled at the end of the Americas Cup and the winner of the Mountain Hardwear/Life-Link/Dynafit Ski Mountaineering Race Series will be crowned. More than $10,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded this year.

Proceeds from the race series go to benefit local avalanche forecasting centers and local search and rescue groups. Sponsors of the Series are Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, Arcteryx, Life-Link, Dynafit, Petzl, Couloir Magazine, Backcountry Magazine, Ibex, Off-Piste Magazine, Crazy-Creek, Suunto, Croakies, Clif Baar, Honey Stinger, Adventure Medical Kits, Buff Headwear, McNett Revivex, Pro Ski Service and Mammoth Mountaineering.

To register for the race, review the race courses or seek additional information about the Mountain Hardwear/Life-Link/Dynafit Ski Mountaineering Race Series visit or call 800-443-8620. Or, for specific information regarding the Marmot Race at Kirkwood Mountain Resort, or call 209-258-7206.