What happens when two recreational backcountry skiers join the sea of spandex-clad skimo racers on the 40-mile journey between Crested Butte and Aspen? It may not be pretty, but we’re ready to throw ourselves into some Type III fun to support a good cause.
Lily and Max will ski the Elk Mountain Grand Traverse in March of 2020 - a 40-mile ski mountaineering race from Crested Butte to Aspen - to raise money for Coombs Outdoors, a nonprofit in Jackson, Wyoming that provides opportunities for outdoor recreation for kids from low-income families.
As writers and photographers in the outdoor industry, we see this as a great opportunity for storytelling, both with our story as recreational freeride skiers embarking on their first skimo race as well as the cause that we are supporting. Our goal is to raise $6000 for Coombs Outdoors, to help underprivileged kids gain access to the sport that has set the course of our lives. One season of skiing costs $500 per child, so this amount will give 12 children the chance to ski next season.
We both feel incredibly lucky to have been introduced to skiing at a young age and look forward to the opportunity to help pass this along to those with fewer means.
What is the Grand Traverse?
It's a skimo race through the Elk Mountains between Crested Butte and Aspen on March 29, 2020. The race begins at midnight in Crested Butte and covers roughly 40 miles and 6,800 vertical feet to end in Aspen.
What is Coombs Outdoors?
Coombs Outdoors is a nonprofit in Jackson, Wyoming that provides opportunities for outdoor recreation for kids from low-income families in Teton County. Coombs Outdoors works primarily with the Latino workforce in Jackson that experiences socioeconomic and cultural barriers to outdoor sports.
Who are Lily and Max?
Lily Krass and Max Ritter are both ski journalists based in Jackson, Wyoming. They are preparing to ski the Grand Traverse in March of 2020 to challenge themselves as well as raise money to help underprivileged kids get the chance to experience the joy of skiing that has defined their own lives. You might recognize Max from his work at Teton Gravity Research as a senior staff writer and photographer and as a freelance writer in the outdoor space. Lily is a full-time freelance journalist and copywriter who works for outlets like Powder, Freeskier, Elevation Outdoors, and SKI Magazine. She also helps Coombs Outdoors with marketing and communications.