Local ski mountaineering racers are competing at the world championships in Italy and finishing with some of the strongest results for American skiers in the sport’s history.
The U.S. women’s team of Aspen-native Jessie Young and Janelle Smiley from Jackson, WY, took 4th Sunday, the best finish ever for a team from North America. Roaring Fork Valley locals Lindsay Plant and Annie Gonzales competed on teams that placed 8th and 12th.
Young, who placed 13th, was the top American woman in Friday’s individual race.
The Aspen duo Max Taam and John Gaston finished the team’s race as the top Americans in 11th place, and Gaston, 15th, finished with another North American best-ever in the men’s individual race.
The backcountry races consist of technical climbs and ski descents. Racers will compete in a sprint race Tuesday and a vertical climb on Wednesday.