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The Heathen Challenge

Sun February 25, 2024 Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 US Directions


Elite Division Skimo

8:30AM MST - 3:00PM MST

Rec Division Skimo

8:30AM MST - 3:00PM MST


10901 County Road 117
Glenwood Springs, CO US 81601


**Reminder registration closes at 4pm Saturday the 24th**

The longest continuously run Colorado ski mountaineering race is back for 2024! The race takes place at the beautiful Sunlight Mountain Resort and is sponsored by Cripple Creek Backcountry. Come join the skimo community and push your limits moving through the mountains!

As always the Heathen strives to incorporate as much backcountry skiing and skinning as possible. Whether you are a seasoned race veteran or a newcomer to the sport we promise that the Heathen will not disappoint. Come out to test your skills in skinning, transitions and ripping downhill on skinny ski's!

The Elite Race

The Elite division race will cover approximately 11 miles and 5500ft of quad busting skinning, skiing and boot packing. This division is for seasoned racers, backcountry skiers and all you other type A crazies out there. 

The Rec Race

The Rec division race will cover approximately 6 miles and 2000ft of skinning, skiing and boot packing. This division is a great race for anyone trying to break into the sport or just looking to get out there and get some fitness. Do not be fooled, this race will still test the weekend warrior to the max. 

**Both courses change year to year depending on snow conditions, course improvement and other factors. This means mileage and vertical gain change as well. The provided course maps are just for general reference**

Bib Pick Up

Bib pick up will be from 5-7pm at Cripple Creek Backcountry in Carbondale on Saturday evening and the morning of the race starting at 7:00am in the main Sunlight Lodge.

General Rules and Information:

The race director reserves the right to delay the start, alter the course or cancel the race based on snow, weather and safety conditions.
Racers are required to abide by all directives of the race staff and course marshals.
The race will take place on an operational ski area and all racers are required to comply with any directions or directives of the ski area staff.
Racers are to give the right of way to the customers of the ski area, failure to do so will result in an immediate DQ.
On uphill portions, racers are to stay in the established skin track or within 5 feet of the course markings. On the downhill, racers are required to stay within 30 feet of course markings.
Transitions must occur within 20 feet of transition point.
Racers agree to possible equipment check before race and at the finish line.
All racers regardless of category will have a ski retention device that can include brakes or a leash.
No lightweight Nordic gear is allowed in either category.
Helmets are required to be worn during the ENTIRETY of the race. (These can be bike, ski, climbing or ski mountaineering specific helmets).
If you opt not to finish the race you MUST check in at a course marshal or at the finish area. Otherwise we will be out there looking for you.
Racers should be prepared for variable weather including but not limited to snow, high winds and cold temperatures.

Race Contact Info

If you have any questions about this race, click the button below.


Elite Race Map with Rec Splits

This is the standard Elite Race Map with the rec splits. Green are uphills, red are downhills and purple are the rec splits and elite finish. Booters are marked with yellow markers. Please do not use this map for exact navigation. The race course will change slightly from year to year depending on weather and snow conditions.


Race Participant Survey

Please complete the following survey to help us better understand your race experience.

Did you participate in the race?

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