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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Uphill ski race at 49 Degrees North scheduled for Feb. 26

A backcountry skier heads into the wilderness area near Mt. Baker Ski Area.  (John Nelson/courtesy)

An uphill ski race is scheduled for Feb. 26 at 49 Degrees North.

The race, which is organized and sponsored by Rambleraven Gear Traders, will feature single -lap, 3- and 6-hour courses in addition to a relay race.

Known as Skimo racing (short for ski mountaineering) the goal of the 3- and 6-hour races is to complete as many laps as possible.

Mark Schneider, owner of Rambleraven, said since opening his shop he’s seen a need for an event like this.

“It became apparent that there is a growing group of people that the majority of their touring is recreational laps at Mount Spokane,” he said.

In fact, uphill skiing in which users put nylon “skins” on the bottom of their skis that allow them to travel uphill, is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the ski industry. Sales of uphill-style bindings have risen, even as overall ski and snowboard participation has dropped.

The race will also feature demo gear from Rambleraven suppliers, including Black Diamond, Voile and Elan.

Races start at 9 a.m. and participants in the 3-mile, 6-mile and relay races must register ahead of time.

The uphill course will start at the resort’s main lodge and follow Portal to Silver Ridge to the Summit. Skiers may then descend via whichever route they choose. The uphill course is 2.3 miles long with a vertical gain of 1,860 feet.

The cost is $70 for a solo lap, $100 for the 3- or 6-hour race and $200 for the 6-hour relay race.

Early registrants will receive a discount.

There will be gear prizes, Schneider said. Any profit from the event will be donated to The Spokane Mountaineers and the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center.

“We’re formatting it in such a way that there is something for everyone,” he said.

To register, visit