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The Al Johnson Telemark Race 2019
Photo credit to the CBAC (Crested Butte Avalanche Center) website.
About The Event:
This unique event is loosely based on the efforts of those early pioneers of ski racing. The event includes 200 men and women participants, who begin the race near the top of Mt. Crested Butte, which is about 660 vertical feet to the top of a ridge, then plunges 1,200 feet down double-black diamond steeps, which is an extreme skiing terrain. As the race continues, there will only be one control point at the top of the uphill section. After passing through this marker, the racers will have a choice on which route to take to reach the finish gate, which is located at the bottom on the “Last Steep”.
The race is for individuals or tag-teams, and spectators can enjoy the race by access to the venue by an intermediate run. What makes the event a little challenging is the fact that it must be raced on free-heel telemark equipment. The rules state that each contestant must finish with both skis and poles, regardless if in pristine condition or broken.
A great thing about this race is the fact that majority of the racers have a chance to dress up in really fun costumes; and of course, at the end of the race, prizes will be given for best times, best costumes, and best fall.
The 2019 Event:
The 45th Annual Al Johnson Uphill/ Downhill Telemark Race will be held on March 24, 2019, 12 pm through 7 pm, and will honor the roots of skiing in Crested Butte, and benefit the Crested Butte Avalanche Center.
This is truly a great event with a cause, as it helps the Crested Butte Avalanche Center raise money to keep avalanche forecasting going all winter long. Keeping the community aware and safe is the Avalanche Center’s priority.
Click on the Al Johnson Telemark Race 2018, to learn about this event last year.
Homage to Al Johnson:
This 45-year-old event is named after a snow-shoeing mail carrier from Crystal, Colorado. In the late 1800’s, Al Johnson was a brave and dedicated mail carrier who traveled along different mining communities in the Crested Butte area. He navigated along 18 miles, in extreme weather conditions and hostile terrain, while carrying 40 pounds of mail on his back each way, every week.
He was very well known for his courage on skis and held himself to the principle that “the mail must go through.” It was there, in Crystal, where Al made his mark. He was a general store proprietor and Postmaster, and eventually became an owner of valuable mining claims. He was indeed widely respected for his business savvy skills, his outgoing personality, and above all, how he was fearless. In 1886, in total darkness, he snow-shoed his way along the deadly Crystal River Canyon and other treacherous areas to assist those in need and to enlist people to help.
For more information regarding the Al Johnson Telemark Race or Mt. Crested Butte, or if you are interested in buying or selling real estate here, feel free to reach out to me. We are here to help! I can be reached at Heather@TheHeatherWoodwardTeam.com or at (970) 596-1394.