I knew it was just a matter of time before the men’s and women’s world records for ski climbing in a 24-hour period would be taken from American soil. Unfortunately, I think it just happened a couple weeks ago at the Gastein 24-Hour Ski-Touring Race in Austria. Held on Feb 27/28, Ekkehard Dörschlag (Austria) broke the 60,000′ barrier for the men and Anne Marie Gross (Italy) pushed the women’s record over 40,000′. I think the record will be pushed even higher in the next few years. How much vertical can the most skilled and fastest rando racers climb on skis in a 24 hour period? My guess is that it’s close to 70K’ for the men and over 50K’ for the women. What do you think?
Ekkehard Dörschlag – 18,288M – 60,350′
Anne Marie Gross – 12,700M – 41,910′
The good thing is, with a little help from the guys that put on the 24 Hours of Sunlight Race, I think there is hope that we can bring this record back to the US where it belongs. For those of you that know the course at Sunlight, you know that the uphill part of the race ends with a long flat section where few vertical feet are gained…but the clock still ticks. I think if this section was removed, allowing racers to recycle their laps quicker, participants would be better able to maximize their vertical. Let’s hope this is a consideration in future races.