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2017 Ski, Shoe & Fatbike to the Clouds: North America’s Toughest 10K Proved To Be This Winter’s Stand-Out Event

Written By Crispin Battles, Marketing Director
Mt. Washington Auto Road & Great Glen Trails

Pinkham Notch, NH — Since the Mt. Washington Auto Road first opened in 1861, it has been a proving ground for all types of adventurers. Throughout the years, many have secured their place in the history of the Auto Road, be it with a fastest time, or a landmark ascent.

History was made again with the 2017 Ski, Shoe & Fatbike to the Clouds. Held in cold, blue-sky conditions on March 5, it marked the first time that fatbikers have joined this annual winter event. First held in 1996 as Ski to the Clouds, it quickly proved to be a new and unique challenge for Nordic skiers, and at that time was held entirely on the Auto Road. In later years it was modified to increase the race distance to 10 kilometers, utilizing the Great Glen Trails Nordic system for the first four kilometers, before beginning the steep ascent up the Mt. Washington Auto Road. The race finishes just before the halfway point of the Auto Road at about 3,800 feet.

In 2013, a separate snowshoe category was added to entice snowshoe racers to take up the challenge, and was so successful that in 2014 the event was renamed as Ski & Shoe to the Clouds. In 2016, a new fatbike category was added, which quickly became the largest group of racers, but was sadly cancelled due to lack of snow.

Mother Nature was kind to us this year, and the 2017 event was attended by 120 racers in three disciplines–18 Nordic skiers, 33 snowshoers, and 69 fatbikers. Whether on skis, snowshoes or fatbikes, the race lived up to its reputation as North America’s Toughest 10K, testing the racers as only Mount Washington can.

The fastest time was posted by veteran racer Tristan Williams, with a blazing time of just 48 minutes 37 seconds, winning the men’s Nordic division. Tristan was closely followed by fatbiker Jeremiah Macrae-Hawkins, winning the men’s fatbike division with a time of 50 minutes 37 seconds–the second fastest time on course. Kudos to all the racers who battled the Mountain and finished, but particularly to the winners of each division:

Men’s Nordic Tristan Williams 48:37
Women’s Nordic Meredith Pietrow 1:01:42
Men’s Snowshoe Andrew Drummond 51:49
Women’s Snowshoe Hilary McCloy 1:05:56
Men’s Fatbike Jeremiah Macrae-Hawkins 50:37
Women’s Fatbike Renee Bousquet 1:12:26

A heartfelt “thank you” goes out to all the event sponsors, who have helped make this annual event such a success. For 2017, those sponsors included Dion Snowshoes, Stan & Dan Sports, Polartec, Littleton Chevrolet, Hannaford, and the Old Village Bakery.

44TH Geschmossel Classic Nordic Ski Race at Bretton Woods

The 44th Annual Geschmossel Classic Nordic Ski Race will take place on the Ammonoosuc trail network at the Bretton Woods Nordic Center on Monday, January 16th, 2017. The race, originally staged in the winter of 1972-73, is one of New England’s oldest citizens’ races. Originally a 6-kilometer race on terrain groomed by a homemade track sled pulled by a rope from a grooming machine, the Geschmossel Race is currently a 15-kilometer classical style Nordic ski race and is part of the ZAK Cup Series.

The schedule for the race is as follows:

Monday, January 16, 2017

  • 8:00am – 10:00am
    Registration
    Bretton Woods Nordic Center
  • 10:00am – 11:00am
    Bill Koch League (BKL) Fun Event Registration
    Bretton Woods Nordic Center
  • 11:00am
    Mass Start
    Bretton Woods Nordic Ski Area
  • 12:00pm
    Bill Koch League (BKL) Fun Event Start
    Bretton Woods Nordic Ski Area
  • 1:00pm – 2:30pm
    Awards Ceremony
    Bretton Woods Nordic Center

Registration costs are $20 per person under the age of 23 and $30 per person over the age of 23 if you register before 5:00pm on January 15, 2017. Those who wish to register after this time can expect to pay $35 per person under the age of 23 and $50 per person over the age of 23. In addition to event entry, the registration fee includes:

  • Trail Pass for the day of the event
  • Awards celebration following the race
  • Pre-registered skiers may ski at the Bretton Woods Nordic Center for $15 a day from Jan. 2 – Jan. 15

Please call the Bretton Woods Nordic Center at 603.278.3322 for more information. To register online, please visit this page by January 15th, 2017. Day-of registration is available but at a higher cost.

The Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce wishes you luck in the race, but with winter fun in the Mt. Washington Valley, we’re all winners! For more information on winter fun in the Mt. Washington Valley, visit the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce website or call Visitor Services at 800-367-3364.