Summit High School senior wins the vertical youth race at the French ski mountaineering cup

Grace Staberg and Jeremiah Vaille faced cold temperatures on Tuesday November 26 at the Arapahoe Basin ski area after competing in the second edition of the Rise and Shine Rando race.
Liz Copan / [email protected]

ARAPAHOE BASIN SKI AREA – Summit High School senior Grace Staberg didn’t take long to find the top step of the podium as she lived and trained in Europe this winter to compete in competitions high level ski mountaineering.

Staberg won his age group’s vertical race last weekend and finished second in the sprint race at the Coupe de France National Ski Mountaineering Championships.

“Happy to start my (European) racing season with a vertical, because I love myself like a good old victim and I am delighted to be on the top step of the podium,” Staberg wrote on her Instagram account.

Staberg is spending the winter in Europe with Sierra Anderson, a member of the senior national team of the Summit County association and the US Ski Mountaineering Association, and Laetitia Roux, French ski mountaineering legend. Roux is helping train the two American ski mountaineers ahead of this weekend’s inaugural International Ski Mountaineering Federation World Cup in Aussois, France.

Anderson competed in the sprint last weekend, but did not advance to the finals.

“I felt strong and clean until my little mishap at the top which cost me the final,” Anderson posted on his Instagram page. “I’m still putting together my new kit, but I’m happy to have a training race under my command to prepare for the inaugural World Cup next week. I love sprinting because I learn something new every time and running neck and neck against all these fast women is a real pleasure!

Rando course in basin A results

Back in the United States, the Arapahoe Basin ski area hosted its third and fourth Rise and Shine Rando ski mountaineering races of the season last week and Tuesday morning.

Jill Seager won both women’s races, finishing last week’s 2,400-foot elevation gain course in 54 minutes and 5 seconds, over 15 minutes ahead of second place Julia Dixon (1:09:29).

Last Tuesday’s race saw skiers ascend to Black Mountain Lodge mid-mountain before descending High Noon to the base area. From there, skiers walked up the steeper Ramrod Trail to Grizzly Road and past the top of Pallavicini Lift before continuing onto Cornice Run to patrol headquarters for an indoor finish at Snow Plume Refuge.

This Tuesday, Seager finished the course in 49 minutes and 24 seconds, more than three minutes ahead of runner-up Christina Ward (01:02:45). The course required riders to climb above Half Moon Glade before making the transition and descending West Gully to the vacant lot and down to Upper Sundance. The skiers then returned to the skinning to go up Grizzly Road to the summit of Pallavicini before continuing on the Cornice Run to the Snow Plume Refuge.

On the men’s side, Rory Kelly won last week’s race with a time of 41:58, just under two minutes ahead of second Jason Kilgore (43:47). On Tuesday, Davide Giardini won with a time of 41:19, just three seconds behind runner-up Peter Inis (41:22).

The next Rise and Shine race is scheduled for Tuesday, January 7 at 7 a.m. For more information and to register, visit

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