In April, Backcountry Magazine contributor Ben Brashear covered the first successful completion of the Hardrock 100 race route on skis. The 100-mile route through southwestern Colorado’s San Juan Mountains is more commonly known as a summertime endurance run. But ultrarunners Jason Schlarb and Paul Hamilton, along with skimo racer Scott Simmons and videographer Noah Howell, decided to attempt this mountainous loop on skis.
And just this past week, Schlarb-Wolf Productions released the video shot and edited by Noah Howell documenting the team’s journey up 34,000 feet of elevation gain around Silverton, Colo., where the route both begins and ends.
In the video, Howell captures the determination that was needed by all of the team members to make the mid March trek over 13 passes above 12,000 feet. In the film, Schlarb, Hamilton and Simmons explain that they hoped for success but didn’t take it for granted that they would complete the wintertime attempt.
The difficulty of the undertaking is made clear when the team encounters variable snow conditions and river crossings within the first hour of their journey. But despite breakable crust and cold feet, the crew soldiers on and completes their goal, arriving back in Silverton at 9:00 p.m. on the fourth day of their trip.
The film also focuses on skimo as a sport—a fast, stripped down version of backcountry skiing that allowed Schlarb and team to move through wintery terrain quickly and efficiently. But while the team’s gear may have contributed in part to this feat, skiing 100 miles of the San Juan Mountain range in four days is something most would never dream of attempting, let alone finishing.
To find out more about the film, visit vimeo.com/schlarbwolf.