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Mountaineering race on tap Saturday at Brighton

Published March 7, 2014 9:19 am

Competition • Wasatch Powder Keg challenges Nordic skiers' endurance, speed.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Skiers from around the world are expected to compete Saturday in the 11th annual Wasatch Powder Keg race at Brighton Resort.

The mountaineering race requires competitors to ski up and down various aspects of the Big Cottonwood Canyon resort, starting at 7:30 a.m. at the base of Mt. Millicent.

Elite and heavy-metal division racers will cover about 11.5 miles in six climbs that add up to 6,500 vertical feet. The course goes up Clayton Peak, over to Prescott Peak, down to the base, back up to a point high on Mt. Millicent and then down to the finish line near Millie's Chalet.

Recreational division skiers follow a shorter, less-demanding route, but still go 6.6 miles and gain about 3,500 vertical feet in four climbs.

Started in 2003 by big-mountain skier Andrew McLean, Butch Adams and Colleen Nipkow, the event kicks off Friday with a sprint race at the base of Millicent. It concludes Sunday with a 7.5-mile team race.

After originating at Alta, Brighton has been the race's home since 2010. Beneficiaries of accompanying fund-raising efforts include the Utah Avalanche Center, International Ski Mountaineering Federation and its affiliates in the U.S. and Canada.

Voile is the event's title sponsor. Outdoor Research and Vertfest are secondary sponsors, along with Brighton.

Mike Gorrell