Whitefish Whiteout

Ski mountaineering race at 8 a.m. Jan. 17 at Whitefish Mountain Resort on Big Mountain

The uphill-ski-traffic friendly Whitefish Mountain Resort will host its 7th annual Whitefish Whiteout ski mountaineering race at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 17, when droves of hypoxia-induced skiers and split-boarders will charge up a series of four mountain ascents totaling 4,800 feet of climbing.

The Whitefish Whiteout is a race in the European Randonee tradition. Competitors will skin up the slopes of Big Mountain, remove their skins and descend the most challenging terrain that conditions permit, vying for the win.

There are three levels of competition – a single ascent, a short course and a long course.

The Whitefish Whiteout is open to anyone who wants to enter any of the categories. Some people take more than three hours to complete the race, while the 2010 winner ascended to the top of the mountain via Toni Matt in 28 minutes to win the 600-meter vertical dash and take home the $50 cash purse.

Last year, hometown favorite Ben Parsons fended off stiff competition from a clutch of strong athletes from north of the border when he won the long course in 1:26.57. Parsons will be charging hard on Saturday, and spectators are welcome.

For event details, visit skiwhitefish.com.