Aspen women finish 6th in team race at World Ski Mountaineering Championships

Aspen’s Jessie Young is heading to a ski mountaineering race earlier this year in Jackson Hole.
Joe Risi/Courtesy Photo |

Jessie Young of Aspen and Lindsay Plant of Carbondale joined forces to finish 6th in the two-member team competition at the International Ski Mountaineering World Championships, which ended Thursday in Verbier, Switzerland.

Max Taam and John Gaston, both of Aspen, finished 15th in the men’s team race. Their previous record at the World Championships was 10th.

Young and Plant had never raced together in a team race.

The race featured 2,200 meters of climbing for men and 2,000 meters of climbing for women as well as steep, rocky descents, according to a posting on the US Ski Mountaineering Association website. The climbs mingle with the descents.

The third descent was particularly icy and rocky, according to the association’s website. “This course was not for the faint of heart or those who were not very strong skiers,” the association reported. “It was on this descent that John Gaston broke his boot in two. It only baffled him briefly and he continued to hit over 1,200 meters of descents with just one working boot. There aren’t many runners who could have accomplished that.

In the individual men’s race, Gaston placed 27th out of 91 starters. In the women’s race, Plant finished 20th while Young finished 23rd out of 140 starters.

In the vertical race, informally known as King of the Hill, Plant finished 14th, according to the association’s website. Young was part of a three-woman relay team that placed fifth out of seven teams.