The countdown is on for the 36th annual Baldy Hill Climb sponsored by the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation.
It will be Saturday, Sept. 27. Final sign-up deadline is Thursday, Sept. 25. Entry fee for the running, hiking and mountain bike challenge is $30 per person. There is no race day registration accepted.
Pre-register by Sept. 25 at imathlete.com (by 11:59 p.m.) or in person by 6 p.m. that day at The Elephant’s Perch, Backwoods Mountain Sports and Sturtevants in Ketchum, or at the SVSEF office located at the bottom of Warm Springs.
The SVSEF promotes 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, Sept. 27.
· The free children’s “Kinderclimb” for ages 11-and-younger begins at 9:30 a.m. at the base of Warm Springs. The course is 300 vertical feet up Warm Springs and takes probably seven to eight minutes. Everyone gets a ribbon.
· There are two options for mountain bike riders.
They are the Baldy Bike Hill Climb and the “Cheeso Double.” Both begin at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 27 at St. Luke’s Hospital. Race course is the Cold Springs mountain bike trail featuring an elevation gain of 2,600 vertical feet over nine miles.
“Cheeso Double” participants complete the biking portion and then compete in the racing class. The event is named for the late SVSEF ski coach Craig “Cheeso” Kjesbo.
You must finish the mountain bike race to the summit by 10:30 a.m. if you’re signed up for the “Cheeso Double.” That’s so bikers can download on the 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.
The awards party starts at 12:30 p.m. at the summit.
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, Salomon, Apple’s Bar & Grill, Perry’s Restaurant, Elephant’s Perch, Backwoods, Sun Summit, Durance Cycleworks, Lefty’s and Johnny G’s Subshack.
Last year there were 135 finishers—73 hikers, 62 racers and 23 bikers.
Top ascent finishers were Miles Fink-Debray 36:41 and Jena Greaser 48:08. Top hikers were Davina Walker 52:02 and Cole Newcomb 50:11.
Mountain bike winners were Richard Feldman 1.03:37 and Brooke Hovey 1.16:08. “Cheeso Double” winners last October were Feldman 1.46:25 and Hovey 2.04:38.
Course records in the racing class are held by Michael Tobin (35:11 in 1989) and Morgan Arritola (39:53 in 2010).
Richard Feldman’s time of 1:03.37 last year is the best biking time overall. Brooke Hovey’s time of 1:13.53 in 2012 is the women’s benchmark.
“Cheeso Double” record holders, both doing it in 2012, were Michael Tobin 1.41:53 and Brooke Hovey 2.02:34.
The BHC is a fundraiser for the SVSEF Nordic Team and fine fall tradition in the Wood River Valley. For details, please contact race organizer Rick Kapala at 726-3899.