Aspen/Snowmass, Colo., March 1, 2014 – The Power of Four Ski Mountaineering Race, one of the most challenging events in Aspen/Snowmass - tested athletes’ endurance as they raced in teams of two across all four area mountains in the sport division and across two mountains in the recreational division this Saturday, March 1.  Local athletes John Gaston and Max Taam won the race and conquered the four mountains in 5 hours and 20 minutes.

"Some great powder skiing on all four mountains today was a great reward for the challenging climbs,” says Max Taam of racing with John Gaston, both members of the US National Ski Mountaineering team. “It was great to be able to defend our title for the second year in a row on our home mountain.”

This year’s race posed the challenge of variable conditions. Due to high winds and freezing temperatures, racer safety was assessed.  As the morning progressed conditions declined. The Highland Bowl became an optional route at one point in the morning and was eventually closed to the racers. This created some unexpected discrepancies in time and finishes, varying race distances will be considered in final results.

The day was a feat of strength for many including two sets of 16-year-old high school students from the Roaring Fork Valley that completed the Power of Four race. A female team, Julia Budsey and Sophia Padden and a male team of Nick Sweeney and Graham Houtsma were elated to cross the finish line after covering all four mountains.

 Sport Division Men's Overall Results:1st – John Gaston and Max Taam – Time of 5 hours, 20 minutes and fifty six seconds (5:20:56)
2nd – Scott Simons & Marshall Thomson – 5:33:08
3rd – Bryan Wickenhauser & Brian Smith – 5:38:14 

Sport Division Women's Overall Results:1st – Sari Anderson & Stevie Kremer – 6:29:23
2nd – Lyndsay Meyer & Janelle Smiley – 6:12:30
3rd – Sara Kadlec & Lindsay Plant – 6:22:58

For complete updated results check the following link:

Photos: Photos for editorial use can be viewed and downloaded here: credit: Jeremy Swanson

For more information about the event visit:

Aspen Skiing Company operates the four mountains in the Aspen/Snowmass area - Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk - as well as the award-winning Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen/Snowmass. The area offers unparalleled nightlife and off-slope activities as well. Aspen/Snowmass is accessible by two of the most convenient airports in the mountains – Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) (3 miles from Aspen) and Eagle County Airport (EGE) (70 miles from Aspen). For more information on Aspen Skiing Company, please call 800-525-6200 or 970-925-1220, or visit the company’s website at