As the winter storms roll-in one after another, they set a snowy stage for an epic year skinny-ski showdown in America’s highest city – Leadville, Colorado. So make sure to secure your place at the start-line and register today for the The Leadville Loppet.
A local favorite and fast becoming a must-do regionally, this high-altitude Nordic ski race began in 2003 and serves as the primary fundraiser for Leadville’s historic Mineral Belt Trail (MBT). It is a fun, sometimes cold compeition with a course that travels through through a rolling, forested trail network behind Colorado Mountain College (CMC) campus in Leadville. The longer races include time on the MBT, where climbs and descends await along abandoned rail grades left over from Leadville’s mining era. It’s a one-of-a-kind course which is usually laden (and groomed) with fresh snow, something you can generally depend on at 10,200 feet! Tradition at the Leadville Loppet also calls for a colorful display in costume, barrel fires, music, and dozens of homemade soup–the most famous of which, hot blueberry.
Registration is currently open online for both classic and freestyle 44K, 22K, & 10K distances, plus 5K and 1K fun races, for which costumes are strongly encouraged! There’s something for everyone, at every level of Nordic skiing. In addition, skiers will be able to utilize results from either the 22 or 44 km race for improving their wave placement for the American Birkebeiner!
The day of winter competition and family fun culminates with the awards ceremony in the Climax Molybdenum Leadership Center starting at noon. A true community gathering as neighbors, friends and competitors warm up with three tables-full of homemade soups and Leadville trivia.
The Leadville Loppet usually hosts a free wax clinic provided by Tim Hill of Alpine Ski & Sport the night before the race on Saturdayin the Cloud City Ski Hut at Dutch Henri Hill, located off Highway 24 south of town. For race info and registration: LINK.