Aspen hosted 343 snowshoers for a nighttime uphill snowshoe race, called the Summit For Life. It was the fourth year for the event, which started at the base of Ajax. The snowshoers, ages 12 to over 70, climbed 3,267 feet over 2.5 miles from the base of Aspen Mountain to the Sundeck Restaurant up top. The race started in the early evening, after the lifts closed. Top racer Rickey Gates took 44 minutes to finish.
The weekend of events was to celebrate life, and support awareness and education or organ and tissue donation. All benefits went to the Chris Klug Foundation. Olympic snowboarder Chris Klug founded the nonprofit organization in 2004. He is a liver transplant recipient, who is dedicated to promoting lifesaving donations and improving the quality of life for donors, donor families, organ transplant candidates, and recipients.
"With more than 100,000 people currently on the national transplant waiting list, we feel that a fun and educational event like Summit for Life will help us move towards our goal of ‘Eliminating the Wait,'" said Morgan Ilika, who heads up the Foundation.
Race participants were committed to raising money in pledges. The event raised about $100,000 for the program.