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Test your mountain skills during Shedhorn Skimo at Big Sky Resort

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By Derek Lennon EBS Contributor

Lone Mountain is known for technical skiing and big mountain terrain. People from around the world flock to Big Sky Resort to test their skiing and riding ability on the steep slopes accessed by the Lone Peak Tram, but if you really want to test your skills, you need to sign up to race in the third annual Shedhorn Skimo.

The race will be held on Saturday, March 18, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Big Sky Resort. This technical ski mountaineering race is organized by the COSMIC Ski Mountaineering Series and attracts some of the top skimo athletes from across the country. This race is designed to test mountaineering, skiing and endurance skill sets.

The 2015 first-place female finisher Michela Adrian braves the gusty winds on top of Lone Mountain.

The 2015 first-place female finisher Michela Adrian braves the gusty winds on top of Lone Mountain.

After the race’s debut in 2015, the Shedhorn Skimo race has quickly gained popularity. This year there will be two possible courses depending on conditions. The course will cover 16 to 18 miles with 8600 to 9500 feet of elevation gain at altitudes ranging from 7200 to 11,166 feet. During the race, athletes will test their skills via:

– Alpine climbs over exposure
– Knife-edge ridge climbs
– Steep bootpacks on 50-plus degree terrain
– Four alpine ski descents in big mountain terrain

The Shedhorn Skimo race is no joke, this is the real deal. Do you have what it takes to compete? Register today at and give this technical ski mountaineering race a try. Double check that you have all of the necessary gear before you register—a gear list can be found at the end of this article.

If you’re not ready to compete, that’s not a problem. Spectators are welcome to come and are encouraged to hoot and holler while supporting these athletes as they compete on one rowdy skimo course.

Required gear for the Shedhorn Skimo 2017:

– Skis: Minimum length for women:150 cm; men:160 cm
– Bindings: Toe and heel pieces must be same brand
– Poles
– Skins: At least one pair
– Three upper body layers, one layer must be a wind proof layer
– One lower body layer
– Beacon: Conforms to standard EN 300718, 457kHz frequency
– Shovel: No snow claws, minimum length 50 cm
– Probe: Minimum 240 cm (no probe poles)
– Helmet: Must meet UIAA 106 or CE EN 12492 standards
– Gloves
– Pack
– Eye protection
– Ice axe: Tentatively required
– Crampons: Tentatively required; must conform to UIAA standard 153 with at least 10 spikes
– Whippet: Tentatively required

Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains of the world. He is based in Big Sky, Montana, where he lives with his wife Mia and two dogs.

A version of this story was originally published on the Visit Big Sky blog at Read more interesting content about the area on Visit Big Sky’s blog at

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