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It has been a long time – at least 10 years – since I’ve gone downhill skiing. Last fall, one of my goals was to downhill ski at least two times in the upcoming season.

 

One down, one to go.

 

Yesterday, my friend Michele Stumbaugh and I went to Copper Mountain. I have to say the snow gods must have been conspiring to encourage me to continue Alpine skiing because the conditions were absolutely perfect. It was a sunny day, no wind and some locals we rode the chairlift with said they haven’t had this much snow since 1982.

 

I did a really bad job of taking photos, mostly because while riding the lift I had a phobia of dropping my cell phone. You might wonder why I didn’t take a photo at the top of the lift and that’s a reasonable question. The short answer is focus.

 

I was so focused on proper unloading, steering my skis in the right direction and avoiding crashes with small children that taking photos was the last thing on my mind. The only photo taken was in the parking lot.

 

 

Gale-Copper-Mtn.gif

 

I got a new Giro helmet for Christmas and yesterday was the inaugural outing. Before the trip I was somewhat concerned that I’d find a helmet annoying; but I have to admit it was really comfortable. Once I had it on, I never gave it a second thought.

 

Eyeballing the skiing and boarding crowd, I was surprised how many people wear helmets these days. I was expecting around 50 percent, but if yesterday's group was a reasonable sample size I’d guess the number to be closer to 90 percent.

 

I could go on and on about the number of things that have changed in the sport of skiing the last 10 years, but one thing remains the same and that’s the stunning beauty of the Colorado mountains.

 

I promise, more photos next time…

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Back in August, I wrote a column that asked if the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race was becoming the next Ironman phenomena. It looks like that story is one step closer to reality.

 

Traditionally a lottery pick, with the entry deadline coming up on Monday, January 31, race organizers have added three qualifying events to help riders enter by performance rather than luck. The currently unnamed qualifying events will be held in California, Colorado and a Northeast location. Each event will have 100 qualifying slots, totaling 300 riders out of a 1500-rider field. (website paste below)

 

Singletrack.com notes that “The three qualifying races will expand to an eight-race series by 2013 with additional races added in Texas, the Southwest, Midwest, Southeast and an additional California event.”

 

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From the Leadville Trail 100 race website FAQ section:

 

Is there a limit on the number of participants in the race?

Yes, here are the caps for each race:

The Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race has a limit of 1,500 cyclists.

The Leadville Trail 100 Run has a limit of 750 runners.

The Leadville Trail Marathon has a limit of 1,000 runners.

The Leadville Trail Heavy Half Marathon has a limit of 500 runners.

The Silver Rush 50 Mountain Bike Race has a limit of 1,000 cyclists.

The Silver Rush 50 Trail Run has a limit of 750 runners.

The Leadville Trail 10K Run will have a limit of 500 runners.

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