Leadville crosscountry ski race benefits the Mineral Belt Trail
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Although it’s been a low-snow winter in parts of Colorado, crosscountry skiers in Leadville say the trails are fine condition for the ninth annual edition of the Leadville Loppet.
The long-distance, high-altitude event is a fundraiser for the Mineral Belt Trail, one of Lake County’s recreational jewels. Volunteer info is online here. Events include the marathon 44k, a middle-distance 22k, a 10k sprint and 5k fun race. Registtration info for the race is online here.
The race will be preceded by a waxing clinic sponsored by Swix at 6 p.m. Friday at the Cloud City Ski Club hut. Bring your gear, this is a hands on clinic. The ski hut is located at the base of Dutch Henry Tubing Hill right off of Hwy 24. Check out a slideshow from last year’s race here.
The race course meanders through rolling forested terrain in CMC’s Timberline Trail network and leads racers to the Mineral Belt. From there they climb and descend abandoned rail grades left from Leadville’s historic mining era, and return to CMC for the finish. The race is followed by soup and an awards banquet in the new Climax Molybdenum Leadership building at Colorado Mountain College.
The Leadville Loppet was started by a handful of volunteers in 2003 under the auspices of an event management class taught by Paul Rauske at Colorado Mountain College.
The initial focus of the race was to raise funds and showcase the new Mineral Belt Trail and to utilize the race as a fundraising opportunity.
The 11.6-mile Mineral Belt Trail is an 11.6 was dedicated in 2000 as an all-season, non-motorized ADA-accessible route with numerous trailheads and access points. ABout six miles of the trail meanders through the historic Leadville Mining District with unsurpassed views of the Sawatch and Mosquito ranges.
The trail is designed for bicycles, walkers, wheelchairs, strollers, in-line skaters and long-boarders. Wintertime enthusiasts will find the trail snowcat-groomed, affording freestyle and classic Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and winter biking.
- Check out the Leadville Chamber of Commerce Here.
- Or, check out the online Leadville Visitor Guide Here.