Sunlight Patrol hosts Defiance Challenge on Friday
Ever wondered how much vertical you could ski in a day?
Friday, March 6, will be an excellent day to find out. The chairlifts at Sunlight Mountain Resort will run from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., a solid 10 hours. The occasion is the fourth annual Defiance Challenge, which dares participants to ski as many laps as possible on Sunlight’s advanced and expert trails.
“It’s all black-diamond or double diamond runs, with some steep, open bowl skiing and some tight glade skiing,” said Sunlight patroller and event coordinator Mike Baumli.
Hosted by the Sunlight Ski Patrol, the Challenge is open to expert skiers and riders ages 6 and up, and Baumli says roughly half the participants are under the age of 18. Some of these minors pair up with friends, and others ski with a parent. Overall participation has grown over the years, from 11 teams in 2012 to 21 in 2013 and 25 in 2014.
Defiance Challenge is a competition but not exactly a race. At the sound of a bomb on the double-diamond East Ridge, teams of two individuals sprint 50 yards up the hill, fetch their skis or snowboards and catch the Segundo chair for their first lap. From there, it’s a matter of how many laps each team can complete in 10 hours.
Registration costs $150 per team. The fee includes a post-event party and fish fry, an event hat and T-shirt. Let Them Roar will provide live music, along with Corn Bred Fed and The El Jehellions, and the bar will be open.
Registration is open at sunlightskipatrol.com (click on the Defiance Challenge link) till midnight Wednesday, March 4. Last-minute registrations will be accepted at the door on Friday, with a credit card, check or cash, beginning at 6 a.m. in the Lodge at Sunlight.
Proceeds from the Challenge are split between the Patrol and the families of fallen patrollers. This year, half of the money raised will go to the family of former Copper Mountain ski patroller Rocky Scott Miles.
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Garfield County counted five new deaths attributed to COVID-19 over the past six weeks, even as the county’s vaccination rate continues to go up.