The Elk Mountains Grand Traverse is a forty mile backcountry ski race from Crested Butte to Aspen, Colorado. Skiers must be prepared for all weather conditions and types of skiing. Although the race starts at midnight (headlamps required), the ending is a breezy inbounds groomer at Aspen (in the daylight).
Team Crested Butte has been training for races all season, but the Grand Traverse is the big one. In Episode 5, Bryan Wickenhauser gets up high with a view to go over the route. In summary, the route goes something like this: start in the town of Crested Butte on a groomed road to the pump house, followed by a stream crossing at East River, a hillside contour with skins on, Death Pass, several more stream crossings, Friends Hut, Star Pass, Taylor Pass, Barnard Hut, and then approximately three hours to the finish line.
Mental and physical preparation for such a long race is challenging and deciding what to pack is too! In Episode 5 of Team Crested Butte, Jari Kirkland and Jon Brown give away the secrets of what they pack and how they pack it. Only the essentials make the cut.