The Colorado Ski Mountaineering Cup (COSMIC) series of backcountry skiing races is a happening deal for this winter. Organized by hard working race champion Pete Swenson, the series has five races scheduled so far:
Jan. 13 – Sunlight
Jan. 20 – Snowmass
March 3 – Loveland
April 21 – Silverton
April 28 – A-Basin
I got a call a few days ago from journalist Devon O’Neil, who was writing an article about the series for the Summit Daily News and needed (or so he thought) a few of my rambling quotes. I’m more a fan of rando racing than a participant, but I did share with him about being beat up in a couple of races, especially the 24 Hours of Sunlight. Prior to Pete getting the COSMIC series together, Colorado’s rando races were a scattershot deal, now there is rhyme and reason to things.
Aspen has had a strong series of winter uphill races for quite a few years, with one race including a short downhill so thus qualifying as somewhat of a randonee race. I’ve always been disappointed that the Aspen races didn’t include more of a downhill component — perhaps COSMIC will inspire some changes in that area.
The A-Basin Grind has become a popular uphill as well, good to see it included in the series. I’m assuming it’ll have a strong downhill component so it’s a full on rando race. Cool to see Silverton included, they’ve got the terrain for the real deal.
In all, ski mountaineering racing is terrific for backcountry skiing. It’s a fun pursuit in of itself, and helps the sport though equipment and technique development. The Dawson family wishes the best for the new COSMIC series, and thanks Pete!