Running to High Camp
Hundreds of competitive runners and leisure hikers alike will share the leg-burning and lung-straining route to the top of Squaw Valley USA during the 27th annual Squaw Valley Mountain Run on Saturday.
Proceeds from the fundraising event are split between Tahoe Forest Hospital’s Cancer Program and Auburn Ski Club’s Nordic Programs.
Starting at 9 a.m., participants will hit the trail at the 6,200-foot base of the resort, climbing 2,000 feet in 3.6 miles to High Camp at 8,200 feet. Once crossing the finish, they’ll be greeted with awards, a raffle, music, refreshments and beer.
When all said and done, a free cable car ride will whisk participants back to the base area.
Those who enter in the event have the option to test their endurance by running up the slopes or take on a more relaxed pace by hiking or Nordic walking ” or hiking with poles.
For many, it’s all about the competition, and this year will prove as competitive as ever with a number of high-quality athletes, both locally and from out of the area, entered.
Last year, U.C. Davis runner Patrick Parsel, 21, was the overall winner, completing the course in 29 minutes and 13 seconds. He placed ahead of Bill Raitter (30:27), Scott Peterson (31:20) and Peter Fain of Truckee, who finished in 32:30, respectively.
Local runner Kimball Pier, 49, placed first among women last year in 37:56 ” her third Mountain Run win. Sarah Raitter was the second woman in 38:38 and Emma Garrard third in 39:13.
This year Salomon is awarding a pair of Salomon XA Pro 3D to the top three men and women finishers.
All participants in the run/hike and flower hike will be entered in the raffle for prizes. Awards for the uphill competitors will be given for the top three places in five-year age categories.
The less energetic may let the cable car take care of the 2,000-foot elevation gain by participating in the three-mile flower walk, which takes place on easy, rolling terrain. Early cable cars and special rates for participants will be provided on race day.