Pinkham Notch, NH— During its 24-year history, Ski, Shoe & Fatbike to the Clouds has grown to become one of New Hampshire’s most iconic winter sporting events. First held in 1997 as Ski to the Clouds, the race quickly became regarded as North America’s Toughest 10K—due primarily to the fact that the final 6 kilometers climbs over 2,200 vertical feet up the Mt. Washington Auto Road.
In recent years, the race organizers at Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center have added separate snowshoe and fatbike categories to the race, which have proven to both increase the number of racers in the field, as well as the unique character of the race. For 2020, the event was filled to capacity, growing to a record 200 registered racers—9 Nordic skiers, 73 snowshoers, and 118 fatbikers. Mother Nature blessed them with firm great conditions and sunny skies, but the racers faced the strong winds that Mount Washington is so famous for.
As the clock struck 10:00 AM, Great Glen’s signature cannon boomed to signal the mass start of the Nordic skiers—and again 5 minutes later for the fatbikers, and finally 5 minutes after that for the snowshoers. The first four kilometers of the course winds through Great Glen Trails, before starting its steep ascent up the Mt. Washington Auto Road. At that point the racers have just one final hill to climb—but for many, it will be one of the most physically demanding climbs of their lives.
Whether on skis, snowshoes or fatbikes, this year’s race lived up to its reputation, testing the athletes as only Mount Washington can. The fastest time was posted by Lou Bregou with a blazing time of just 45 minutes 26 seconds, winning the men’s fatbike division, and setting the fastest time ever for the category. Lou narrowly beat veteran racer Logan Kasper (46:58) who had won the event, and the fatbike division, for the past two years. Both were closely followed by fellow fatbiker Eric Follen (49:18) who placed second in the 2019 race. Kudos to all the racers who battled the Mountain and finished, but particularly to the winners of each division:
Men’s Nordic Alain Turgeon 1:08:08
Women’s Nordic Rachel Zafren 1:10:59
Men’s Snowshoe Jim Boule 1:01:05
Women’s Snowshoe Ellen Beth 1:13:13
Men’s Fatbike Lou Bregou 45:26
Women’s Fatbike Anya Bogdanets 1:01:54
Full results can be found HERE.
Racers can browse and purchase official event photos on Joe Viger’s website.
A heartfelt “thank you” goes out to all the event volunteers and sponsors, all of whom have helped make this annual event such a success. For 2020, those sponsors include Dion Snowshoes, Moat Mountain Brewing Company, Hannaford, Fuller’s Sugarhouse, The Glen House Hotel, and the Mount Washington Observatory.
The family-owned Mount Washington Summit Road Company was formed in 1859, and completed the road to the summit of Mount Washington in 1861. The Mt. Washington Carriage Road, now called the Mt. Washington Auto Road, has the long-held distinction of being America’s oldest man-made attraction. Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center, opened in 1994, is one of New Hampshire’s premier Nordic ski areas, with 45 kilometers of trails for skiing, snowshoeing and fatbiking. During the summer months, the Outdoor Center focuses on human-powered outdoor activities including kayaking, biking, hiking and trail running.