This route retraces the fabled Grand Traverse ski race across the Elk Mountain Range! Dual Sport division offers multi-sport athletes the opportunity to run from Crested Butte to Aspen on Saturday, then retrace their route by racing the GT Mountain Bike back to Crested Butte on Sunday!
Crested Butte to Star Pass
The race start will take place on the 200 block of Elk Avenue in Downtown Crested Butte (in front of the Post Office). Departing easterly down Elk Ave, competitors will encounter dirt within .5 miles of the start when they meet the McCormic Ranch subdivision road. In another .3 mi., racers will join Tony's Trail
, embarking on 3 miles of singletrack trail connecting to the Upper Upper Loop
(FS-435.1). This section poses a technical 200 climb, followed by a 400 descent to the trails junction with County Road 738 (L-Turn). The race will remain on this dirt surfaced road for 2.2 miles, resuming singletrack at the junction with Trail 408 (R-Turn), also known as the Canal Trail
(1st water crossing of the course ).
Mildly ascending for 2.3 miles racers will encounter their second wet stream crossing at Brush Creek, which promptly delivers them to AID #1 (Full Aid Mile 8.5). The course briefly continues on a narrowly sketched singletrack through the Death Pass escarpment. Racers will remain on the East Brush Creek jeep road (FS 738.2B), crossing Middle Brush Creek (3rd. wet crossing).
Racers must be vigilant NOT to diverge onto FS 738 (L-Turn) along this route - DON'T go towards Pearl Pass!
Forest Service road 738.2B eventually becomes TR 400, further ascending to one more wet crossing over East Brush Creek, leading racers shortly thereafter to AID #2 (Limited Aid Mile 14.5)
Departing AID #2 racers will switch back up onto a climbing traverse, roughly 1 mile to the top of Star Pass (12,336).
Beyond the summit, a gradual singletrack descent connects to Taylor Pass Divide Road
(FS 761.A). This primitive doubletrack road skirts the eastern slopes of Taylor peak, exponentially gaining altitude until attaining Taylor flats where the route continues a gentle ascent to the broad summit of Taylor Pass and AID #3 (Full Aid Mile 22).
Star Pass to Aspen
From AID #3 gradual climbing continues, mixed with an intervening descent before once more climbing to the routes second highest elevation point at 12,306. From here the course begins its incremental drop in elevation, joining Richmond Ridge Road
, leading racers onto Aid #4 (Limited Aid Mile 27). From this second to last aid station, racers will be subjected to a 7 mile rolling traverse out Richmond Ridge Road
, delivering them to Aid #5 (Full Aid Mile 34) at the top of Ajax Mountain!
Entering the Aspen Mountain boundary, racers will embark upon a 3,200-foot elevation loss over 5 miles. The descent will utilize the following singletrack within the Aspen Mountain trail network: East Rim > Power of One > Summer Road > Little Nell. Nearing the bottom of the mountain and the base of a prominent "trustle" gondola tower, Little Nell trail intersects Ajax Trail
(City of Aspen Trails).
Look for flagging leading you to make a hard RIGHT TURN, proceed through the access point on a wood fence on to the Ajax Trail
. This trail will lead racers to the finish line at Ajax Park in less than 0.25 miles.
: All information is subject to change. For the safety of racers and volunteers, weather or other environmental conditions may require a change in the race start time or location, the official course, or race rules or may lead to cancellation. The registration fee is non-refundable.
The Grand Traverse operates under a Special Use Permit on the Gunnison and White River National Forest.