Jagged Edge Team: Elk Mountain Traverse

Jagged Edge Team: Elk Mountain Traverse

Win or, what the heck, just finish, we are talking seriously gnarly.

Jon Miler & Erik Dalton at the Traverse

Jon Miler & Erik Dalton at the Traverse

The Elk Mountain Traverse is an extraordinary 40-mile backcountry ski race between the towns of Crested Butte and Aspen, CO., where it finishes in gondola plaza. Starting at midnight from Crested Butte, often in sub-zero temperatures, racers traverse Colorado’s spectacular Elk Mountains. The course is based on the mail routes of the 1880’s, connecting the two towns.

In this extreme endurance event, racers will climb more than 7,800 vertical feet and navigate in a self-supported backcountry race that tests them physically and mentally. To maintain safety in the backcountry, racers compete in teams of two and are required to carry mandatory gear. Held annually since 1998, the Traverse has earned a reputation as a true test of toughness for elite local, national, and international athletes.

And Jagged Edge owner, long-time local Eric Dalton and store manager/mountaineer Jon Miller completed the course in style.

“We finished in 12 hrs and 36 min for 110th place out of 200 teams,” said Erik.


dalton 1

Traveling that far on ski gear requires the right equipment, much of which was developed in Europe of the past decade with the growing popularity of events like the Traverse.

“Ski-touring specific skis, boots and bindings are a must, as they enable efficient travel over varied terrain,” continued Erik, just in case you are thinking, well, next year. “Required equipment included an emergency shelter, avalanche beacon, shovel, probe, stove, and fuel, repair and first aid kits, extra clothing, headlamps, and enough food and water to travel the course unsupported. And of course a backpack to squeeze it all into.”

Which happens to be Jagged Edge staple.

You go guys.


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