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Ski Mountaineering America’s Cup

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The first America’s Cup of ski mountaineering sent racers up and down Jackson Hole resort last weekend in a grueling test of fitness and skiing ability. Pete Swenson of Boulder, Colorado, finished the 6,100-vertical-foot climb and 4,000-foot descent in just over 2 hours for the men’s victory, less than 3 minutes ahead of second-place Cary Smith of Jackson Hole. The women’s race was even closer, as Jeannie Wall of Bozeman, Utah, out-dueled Monique Merrill of Breckenridge, Colorado, by less than 2 minutes. The uphill section of the course climbed up the famed Corbett’s Couloir at Jackson Hole, finishing on a vertical ladder that breached the cornice.

The Mountain Hardwear Life-Link/Dynafit Ski Mountaineering America’s Cup was the seventh and final race in the 2006 Randonee Rally series, which spanned North America. Swenson was the series winner for the men, while Karen Kingsley of Ophir, Colorado, took the series for the women.

America’s Cup – March 25

Men

1. Pete Swenson, Boulder, CO 2. Cary Smith, Jackson Hole, WY 3. Chris Kroger, Jackson Hole, WY 4. Ethan Passant, Crested Butte, CO 5. Steve Romeo, Jackson Hole, WY

Women

1. Jeannie Wall, Bozeman, MT 2. Monique Merrill, Breckenridge, CO 3. Karen Kingsley, Ophir, CO 4. Cortney Kitchen, Wilson, WY 5. Polly Samuels-McLean, Park City, UTComment on this story