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Alyeska Resort’s North Face Vertical Challenge Climbathon has participants climbing “Denali in a Day”


September 12, 2011 (Girdwood, AK) - The fourth annual Alyeska Resort Climbathon took place September 10, 2011on the North Face hiking trail.  This vertical challenge event inspired participants to make as many laps as possible up the North Face hiking trail in a ten hour time frame.  106 mountain runners and hikers registered for the 9 A.M. start at the Tram Base.  The event consisted of a 2,000 vertical foot climb up the 2.2 mile trail to the top terminal of the Alyeska Aerial Tram.  Once at the top, participants got a tram ride back to the valley floor where they repeated the climb until completely exhausted or satisfied with their vertical accomplishments.

“Trail conditions were excellent this year,” says Brian Burnett, Alyeska Service Manager and event coordinator, “The trail tread is durable, the footing is pretty good with a couple of “slip n slide” sections to keep things interesting, the weather was pretty much perfect for running as it was almost 60 degrees under partly cloudy skies and the bugs were non existent!”

This year’s participation more than doubled the 2010 events 51 participants to 106 men, women, boys and girls ranging in age from seven to 74. Fitness levels also varied from beginning hiker to experienced mountain runners.

Each lap completed was named after a prominent mountain with a peak elevation equaling the amount of vertical feet climbed by participants. The prestigious “Denali in a Day” requires 20,320 vertical feet of climbing. Equaling ten laps plus an additional push up the Mighty Mite switch back, this title requires an extra 320 feet of vertical elevation on the tenth lap. The 2011 event had eleven men and women achieving “Denali in a Day”, and another six men exceeded beyond that summit.

The men’s division was lead by first time participant Erik Johnson with twelve laps equaling 24,000 vertical feet. Coming in just after Erik was Matt Novakovich, finishing the day in second with 12 laps as well.  Andrew Kulmatski took third place with his efforts of eleven laps equaling 22,000 vertical feet gained.

The 2011 Climbathon was the first year women achieved “Denali in a Day”.  Five women achieved ten laps plus the additional push up the Mighty Mite switchbacks on their tenth lap to claim the title.  Abby Rideout led the women’s field, followed by Shawn McTaggart in second and Karen Williams taking third.

Family participation was also up from the 2010 Climbathon. Combined family lap totals for the six teams ranged from twelve to twenty two. Family teams ranged from two family members to six members which made for a great Saturday outing. Family teams organized themselves as husband and wife duo, parents and children, or generational from grandparents and grandchildren.


About Alyeska

Alyeska Resort is Alaska’s premier year‐round destination featuring The Hotel Alyeska, an award‐winning 304 room full‐service property. Located just 40 miles from Anchorage and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Alyeska Resort is your base camp for summer and winter excursions. Alyeska Resort stands out during ski season with 650” of average snowfall annually and the longest‐continuous double black diamond ski run in North America. Learn more about the resort and plan your Alaskan adventure at www.AlyeskaResort.com or 800.880.3880.

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