Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Baldy Hill Climb returns Saturday

Sign up by Thursday for climb, bike

     Delayed two weeks from its originally scheduled date of Sept. 28 because of Challenge Lift maintenance work, the 35th annual Baldy Hill Climb is ready to roll Saturday, Oct. 12.

     It looks like the weather will continue to be cool, with some chance of moisture.

     Final sign-up deadline is Thursday, Oct. 10 at 5 p.m. for the event presented by the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF). Entry fee for the running, hiking and mountain bike challenge is $30 per person. There is no race day registration.

     Pre-register at or in person at The Elephant’s Perch, Backwoods Mountain Sports in Ketchum, or Sturtevants in Ketchum and Hailey.

     The SVSEF is promoting the Baldy Hill Climb as “One Big Mountain, 5 Awesome Events.” Offered are $100 cash prizes as incentives for those clocking course records in the running, mountain bike and “Cheeso Double” (bike and hike) divisions.

     Here are the events:

     · The traditional 1.86-mile Warm Springs hike to the summit rises 3,140 vertical feet from the Warm Springs ski run bridge—elevation 5,880 feet—to the top of Baldy—elevation 9,020 feet. The recreational (hiking) class starts at 10 a.m. and the racing class begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 12.

     · A free children’s event called “Kinderclimb” for kids ages 11-and-younger begins at 9:30 a.m. at the base of Warm Springs. The course measures 300 vertical feet up Warm Springs. Everyone gets a ribbon.

     · Mountain bikers will ride the Cold Springs Perimeter Trail with a start from St. Luke’s Hospital at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. You must finish the mountain bike race to the summit by 10:30 a.m. if you are signed up for the “Cheeso Double,” named for the late SVSEF ski coach Craig “Cheeso” Kjesbo.

     This is so bikers can download on the ski lift to make the 11 a.m. start of the ascent. Race organizers will transport a bag from the start of the bike to the start of the hike for you.

     Awards start at 12:30 p.m. at Apple’s Bar & Grill, Warm Springs. Participants receive a t-shirt, access to the summit aid station, lift service from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. if the weather is okay (download only, no bikes) and entry to the awards party.

     Sponsors are Sturtevants, Sun Valley Resort, Apple’s Bar & Grill, Perry’s Restaurant, Elephant’s Perch, Backwoods, Chums/Beyond Coastal, Sun Summit, Durance Cycleworks, Lefty’s, Smith Optics and Johnny G’s Subshack.

     Last year there were 181 entries—81 hikers, 82 racers and 43 bikers.

     Top ascent finishers were Miles Fink-Debray 36:09 and Lucy Garrec 44:50. Top hikers were Gretel Kearney 52:27 and Mike Wolter 52:52. Mountain bike winners were Dave Harrison 1.08:49 and Rebecca Rusch 1.15:23. “Cheeso Double” winners were Whit Albright 1.54:47 and Rusch 2.04:40.

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