Pinkham Notch, NH— With mild temperatures and partly sunny skies, this year's Ski, Shoe, and Fatbike to the Clouds on Sunday, February 28th was a highlight for many racers who have been shuttered by COVID pandemic cancellations.
Local participant Kevin Tilton noted appreciation for "an event that was safe but made it feel like we're heading in the direction of normalcy."
With several protocols in place to keep racers distant, including chip timing and a staggered start, this event is symbolic to the staff and volunteers of the Mt. Washington Auto Road and Great Glen Trails, as it was the last one held in 2020.
Pent up demand for racing is evident, however, with a record and sold-out field of 250 registrants: 30 Nordic skiers, 88 snowshoers, and 132 fatbikers.
The race also had perhaps a couple of it's youngest participants, Enzo Giampaolo, 12 years old, and Nicholas Ring, 13 years old. Both raced in the Nordic division and put up impressive times of 1 hour 6 minutes and 1 hour 3 seconds, respectively. These are without a doubt names to watch in the coming years.
Mt. Washington not only inspires athleticism and competition, but also love—two fatbikers got engaged right after the finish. Race organizers wish the happy couple congratulations and many years of returns together.
During its 25-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. Race organizers at Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center added separate snowshoe and fatbike categories to the race in the past decade, which have proven to both increase the number of racers in the field, as well as the unique character of the race.
The growing popularity of fatbiking and snowshoe racing has also inspired the changed format of the historic Tuckerman Inferno race, organized by the Friends of Tuckerman Ravine which will be held at Great Glen Trails on March 20th. Registrants from the Ski, Shoe, and Fatbike to the Clouds could easily form a team to test their meddle again on the Northeast's highest peak.
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 Adam Glueck with a blazing time of 50 minutes 41 seconds, winning the men’s ski division. Anya Bogdanets held onto her first place title with another win in this year's race and a time of 1 hour 9 minutes. Kudos to all the racers who battled the Mountain and finished, but particularly to the winners of each division:
Women’s Nordic Emily Carty (Sweden, ME) 1:04:31
Men’s Nordic Adam Glueck (Hanover, NH) 50:41
Women’s Fatbike Anya Bogdanets (Lisbon, NH) 1:09:07
Men’s Fatbike Andy Gould (Concord, NH) 53:25
Women’s Snowshoe Jennifer Mortimer (Bedford, NH) 1:12:04
Men’s Snowshoe Jacob Wormald (Goffstown, NH) 1:03:17
Full results are posted on the Millennium Running website.
Racers can browse and purchase official event photos on Joe Viger’s website.
A big “thank you” goes out to all the event volunteers and sponsors, all of whom have helped make this annual event such a success. For 2021, those sponsors include the Glen House Hotel, Dion Snowshoes, Moat Mountain Brewing Company, Ski the Whites, Hannaford, Friends of Tuckerman Ravine, and the Mount Washington Observatory.
More race details and information on the Great Glen Trails website: https://greatglentrails.com/ski-shoe-fatbike
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.
Photo credits to Joe Viger