Olympic Recognition - What Does It Mean?

By now, we are hoping that most everyone has heard that news that the International Olympic Committee officially granted provisional recognition to the ISMF on 11 April. Here is the news release and a great video.  What does this actually mean?  Provisional recognition means that the IOC will be evaluating the ISMF and ISMF events over the next 2 years.  After 2 years, a final decision will be made as to whether or not ski mountaineering racing will be a part of the 2022 Olympics.

What will happen over the next 2 years.

  • We will be required to abide the Olympic charter
  • We will be observed by the IOC and they will make recommendations on the ISMF organization and events
  • The IOC will make sure that the ISMF and all related events are living up to the proposal we submitted to the IOC
  • There will most likely be a focus on growth of ISMF events in North America since there are currently only 3 ISMF races

We are hoping that this will allow both the US and Canadian programs to get more closely aligned with the ISMF.  Over the next 2 months we expect to learn more details of the ISMF 2 year plan.  As we learn these details, we will communicate them via blog posts.

Power of Four Ski Mountaineering Race is set for March 1, 2014

Registration is Now Open for Teams of Two to Race Across All Four (Or Two) Mountains in Aspen/Snowmass 

Aspen/Snowmass, Colo., December 9, 2013 – The Power of Four Ski Mountaineering Race – one of the most challenging events in Aspen/Snowmass – is back and will test the endurance of athletes as they race in teams of two across all four area mountains.  The course covers approximately 25 miles and more than 12,000 vertical feet of climbs.  A two mountain category is also an option, covering ground on Aspen Highlands and Aspen Mountain.

The race is on Saturday, March 1, 2014 starting at 6 a.m. in Snowmass Base Village and will continue into the afternoon where athletes will finish at the base of Aspen Mountain.  The summer version of this race tested mountain bikers as they raced up and down all four mountains or two mountains in one day.

New this year, the race will offer a $5,000 prize purse - largest in North America - split evenly between men and women. The first place team will take home $1,500, second place will go home with $700 and third place takes $300.

Sport Race Course:

Teams will start in Snowmass Village and skin up to the top of Elk Camp.  Then racers will traverse from Elk Camp to West Buttermilk.  Once at West Buttermilk, racers will ski down to the bottom of Tiehack.  From there, athletes will cross the bridge by the Aspen Recreation Center and head to Aspen Highlands Village.  From there skiers will skin to the summit of the Highland Bowl and ski down to Castle Creek Road via the Congo Trail off of the Grand Reverse. Teams will then cross Castle Creek and head up Midnight Mine Road until they reach The Sundeck.  In the final descent of the race, athletes will ski down Aspen Mountain, ending in Gondola Plaza.

Recreational Race Course:

There will also be a half race starting at 8 a.m. following the same course on Aspen Highlands and Aspen Mountain, finishing on Gondola Plaza.  This race is perfect for recreational uphillers looking for a new challenge.

More Details:

There will be four categories of racers: Vets, Men, Women and Coed teams.  Only the Men and Women categories are prize eligible, Coed and Vet categories are for time comparison only.  Coed teams will be grouped into the Men's category for prize purposes. Alpine Touring (AT) gear, Telemark gear or snowboard Splitboard gear is required. 

Registration is now open at www.aspensnowmass.com/poweroffour.  Registration is $225 per team if registered before January 5, 2014.

Call for Volunteers:

Volunteers are still needed for the event. Those interested in volunteering should contact Brendan Collins at [email protected].

Photos for online editorial use: www.flickr.com/photos/aspensnowmass/sets/72157629154622972/

For more information on the race series and maps of the course, please visit www.aspensnowmass.com/poweroffour or call 970/925-1220.


Aspen Skiing Company operates the four mountains in the Aspen/Snowmass area - Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk - as well as the award-winning Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen/Snowmass. The area offers unparalleled nightlife and off-slope activities as well. Aspen/Snowmass is accessible by two of the most convenient airports in the mountains – Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) (3 miles from Aspen) and Eagle County Airport (EGE) (70 miles from Aspen). For more information on Aspen Skiing Company, please call 800-525-6200 or 970-925-1220, or visit the company’s website at www.aspensnowmass.com.

Updated 2013-2013 USSMA Race Rules

With there being 3 ISMF sanctioned races in the US this year, we wanted to ensure that everyone was aware of the ISMF rules and of some changes that occurred this year.  The full list of ISMF rules is very detailed.  We recommend that all serious racers review these rules and make sure you are familiar with them.  The official rules are on the ISMF site.

Here are the key rule changes for the 2013-2014 season:

  • Reduced equipment is allows for Sprints, Relay’s, and Vertical races.  See page 10 of the official rules.
  • Boots/bindings must all be locked on all red-flagged portions of the course
  • You can hold your poles while locking/unlocking bindings
  • You can lock/unlock boots while entering the transition area
  • Broken skis/poles can be swapped out anywhere on the course

Here are the key rules that you should be aware of:

  • Uphill is marked with Green, Downhill with Red, Booting sections with Yellow 
  • You must ascend with skins
  • You must descend with boots locked and locked into the ski
  • Skis must be attached to a pack in 2 attachment points for all booters
  • Skins must be fully tucked into suit/jacket prior to leaving the transition area
  • All transitions must occur entirely within the marked transition zone
  • Poles must be flat on the ground during all transitions (skiing to skinning, skinning to skiing, skinning to booting, booting to skinning).  
  • Race and checkpoint officials can require racers to put on jackets at any time

Here is some additional useful information about gear and penalties.  This is a condensed version of the official rules, so please refer to the official rules as the source of truth.  

Required Gear





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