Greg Johnson: The Grand Traverse |

Greg Johnson: The Grand Traverse

Greg is an outdoor enthusiast and often enjoys exploring in and around Steamboat Springs for biking
John F. Russell

— For the last 18 years men and women have been lining up at the bottom of Crested Butte Ski Resort at midnight for the chance to trek over 40 miles up and down the Elk Mountain Range to the bottom of Aspen Ski Resort. The Grand Traverse ski mountaineering race consists of teams of two gaining upward of 7,800 feet of elevation over Death, Star and Taylor Pass, topping out at 12,033 feet.

The race is steeped in history with the racers following in the foot steps of former mail carriers from the 1880s. With the motto of, “The mail must go through,” legend Al Johnson delivered mail to the mining towns around Crested Butte on skis as big as 14 feet long and 4 inches wide.

Although the gear has changed the spirt of the racers have not. Steamboat locals Kellen Baker and Ryan Connolly made their second straight trip down to Crested Butte to take part in the race this year. Kellen took some time to sit down with me and go over the race, how he trained and much more.

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