While summer sports tend to dominate the racing scene in Salida, it’s a year-round wonderland. clip into your alpine skis for downhill racing at Monarch, snap into your cross country skis for the Cosmic competitive cross-country ski series, and strap on your snowshoes for snow runs throughout the winter. And when you’re done with all that, pick yourself up a sled dog or 10, and sign up for some skijoring or sled-dog races. Here’s a few races to look out for if you like rosy cheeks and icicles in your beard.
The Town Challenge Ski Race Series – The Town Challenge Ski Race Series is a series of team slalom races that run January through March at Monarch Ski Area just down the road from Salida. The races feature races for all ages and abilities, including telemark, A-league skiing, B-league skiing, snowboard, masters divisions, and super seniors. Compete in individual events, or as a team with other racing enthusiasts.
Monarch Mountain Race the Divide – Part of the Cosmic series mountaineering competitive ski racing series, the Monarch Mountain Race the Divide is a grueling cross country ski race over the continental divide in the middle of winter, covering miles of challenging terrain and over 3,000 feet of elevation gain on Monarch Mountain. And if you’re into that kind of thing and want to more Cosmic Series fun, the Wolf Creek Rando and the Griggs Orthopedic Ski Mountaineering Ski Race are over the hills and through the woods in the neighboring San Luis Valley.
Christmas Mountain Run – If you can’t get enough trail running in during the summer, there are a number of snow runs in the area, most sponsored by the Chaffee County Running Club. The Christmas Mountain Run in mid-December is one of our favorites.
The Dryland Mush – Okay, so it doesn’t technically take place on dog sleds, but it does feature sled dogs. The Dryland Mush in Buena Vista is held in November each year and features teams of dogs participating in cart races as well as modified skijoring (a single dog or two pulling a contestant on skis – or in this case, a bicycle since it’s a dryland event).