by Than Acuff
Tell your friends, tell your family, hell, tell your enemies, the Al Johnson Memorial Uphill/Downhill Telemark Race is celebrating its 49th year on Sunday, March 19. And while the supply of telemark gear may be dwindling, it is out there, you may just have to dig around for it.
When COVID hit, the race was moved to Snodgrass, but it returned to the resort last year and while race day was Saturday, causing some confusion, it is back on the Lord’s Day, Sunday, this year at 1 p.m.
The only change this year is the tag team portion. After years and years… and years of little interest in the tag team race, it has been abandoned so everyone will have the pleasure of climbing up 600 feet along the Schofield Road before dropping down 1,200 feet through the North Face terrain finishing with the last climb out of the Last Steep to the finish line. Which, by the way, is stuffed and skiing great. Point being, if there’s ever a year to do the AJ, this is the year.
The good news is, CBMR is committed to maintaining the magic of the event with a plethora of prizes coming from Helly Hansen for both racers and costumers as well as a complimentary gift bag just for signing up. In addition, the Alpineer, the longest supporter of the Al Johnson race, has thrown in additional prizes from Flylow and Stio.
It’s $40 to race and all proceeds go to the Crested Butte Avalanche Center. Registration is currently open online on Eventbrite, just search for the Al Johnson Race. Or, in true Al Johnson Race tradition, there will be registration open the day of the race during bib pick up 9-11 a.m. at the Adventure Center in Mountaineer Square.
No Epic Pass? CBMR will have $55 lift tickets for anyone who wishes to partake in the majesty of the AJ but does not have an Epic Pass.
The after-race party will be held at Butte 66 from 3-5 p.m. with music from DJ Red and the awards ceremony starts at 4 p.m.
Climb up, ski down, party and take home a prize all while raising money for the Crested Butte Avalanche Center.
Ask yourself WWAJD?