Do You Go Outside in Winter? Are You a Member of the American Avalanche Association? You Should Be!

March 2015
The American Avalanche Association promotes and supports professionalism and excellence in avalanche safety, education, and research in the United States.
Hello AAA Members & Friends,
Well, spring seems to have sprung here in the Tetons… or maybe winter never fully came? While I am hoping for a little more powder this season, I’ll be honest and say I’m not holding my breath. We shall see what the next month or two bring.
In part, we hope this e-newsletter provides you with some useful information and reminds you about all that the AAA does for YOU as we pursue our mission! This is certainly a two-way street; we highly value active engagement and demonstrated commitment to our organization and the industry from our members. We also recognize that it’s easy to forget or overlook all the ways that you benefit from being a member of the AAA.
So, here are some reminders… The Avalanche Review, support of regional professional development events, leadership in revising avalanche education in the U.S. to benefit professionals and recreationists, work to expand special deals and offers for members from our industry supporters, the annual AAA AVPRO course, research grant opportunities for academics and practitioners, access to a valuable online resource for avalanche info across the country (, and occasional chances to win cool stuff as you help support the AAA in various ways. Please remember these things when we next request your engagement with the AAA and the avalanche industry as a whole… and be willing to step up to help us.
Read on for more details on some of the latest happenings at the AAA, and of course, be in touch if you have thoughts, feedback, questions, or ideas to share. Happy Spring!Jaime Musnicki, AAA Executive Director
aaa or (307) 699.2049
On safari w/ Mom in South Africa, March 2015. Didn’t miss much in terms of winter!
Education Committee News
And The Winners Are…
AVPRO 2015 – Breckenridge, CO.
IMG_2966.JPGAVPRO Coordinator Dallas Glass once again organized a high caliber AVPRO training this winter, which he instructed along with Patty Morrison (Northwest) and Andy Lapkass (Rockies) during the final days of February and start of March down in Breckenridge, CO. The course was full with 18 students – heavy CO representation, as well as AK and the Northwest! Student outcomes were high, and the feedback passed along by students, instructors, and guests has been overwhelmingly positive. Dallas is already working on plans for next season’s AVPRO, so stay tuned for info on location and dates.
A huge thank you to Dallas, Patty, Andy, the CAIC, Tom Murphy, Dale Atkins, Copper Mountain, Breckenridge Resort, and all the students who contributed to an excellent AVPRO course this season!Pro/Rec Education Proposal Feedback
Don’t forget – March 31st is the deadline for submitting your thoughts and input on the current iteration of the AAA Pro/Rec Education Proposal. a3educationcommittee.
In addition to collating and integrating your feedback on the proposal in the coming months, the next big step in the project will be an inaugural AvTech Trainers’ Workshop. This three-day event will be hosted by the AAA and facilitated by Colin Zacharias at Snowbird, UT during the final weekend of April. The workshop roster of participants for this first go-around consists of key professionals from across the industry – educators, forecasters, highway folks, guides, and patrollers. This group will work together striving for consistency in the proposed AvTech course and refining the details of the core curriculum.

AAA Begins Work w/ The Outlaw Partners of Big Sky, MT

The AAA recently selected The Outlaw Partners, a branding and marketing firm located in Big Sky, MT, to help us in honing our message as we look to expand our ability to positively impact the snow and avalanche industry. Look for some exciting visual changes and increased efforts at building our network of members and industry connections in the coming months. Our ultimate goal in doing all this is to improve our ability to serve our members and to help create and support productive change within the avalanche community in the U.S.

AAA Supports Project Zero

Project%20Zero.jpgThis winter the AAA Governing Board decided to offer support to Project Zero as they work to reduce avalanche fatalities and promote a responsible backcountry experience. Here’s an update on recent Project Zero accomplishments from Project Zero Project Manager Rachel Reich:
“After a successful launch of Backcountry Starts Here at SIA in January, I’m excited to say we’ve seen great buy-in over the past few months and have had good exposure with the IFSA Jr Freeskiing tour – educating up and coming riders on backcountry safety in partnership with BCA and SASS Global Travel. Look for us at Silverton Splitfest this spring as well, which takes place in Silverton, CO April 9th – 12th. As we move into next year – we’re working on the best events to be involved with and how to be creative with activation to reach out to riders and local communities. We’re bringing on Dakine as a partner and it looks like the AAI will be joining us as well. It’s pretty neat in my mind to see all these organizations working together. We’re also working with Dynafit to create a summer Symposium over summer OR to keep the conversation going. Lots of exciting things on the horizon, so stay tuned and keep in touch at”


Remember those raffles the AAA was running this fall and early winter?? Donate to the AAA or apply for membership and be entered to win one of a number of AAA Patagonia puffy jackets? Well, real people actually won these things and were psyched. Check out their photos in their new jackets and little bit about why they support the AAA…Screen%20shot%202015-03-18%20at%202.11.47%20PM.pngKeith Rousch, Durango, CO – Lifetime Member & 2014 Donor.
Keith writes: “I donate to the AAA because it is the only resource in the country that provides information on research, education, professional development and industry news within the avalanche community.”

Larson%20AAA%20jacket.JPGEric Larson, Hydrologist, Bozeman, MT – Member Affiliate applicant.
Eric writes: “I am applying for membership with AAA for a couple reasons. My passion for skiing is an easy excuse. I want to know what’s happening with avalanche research so I can make better decisions in the field. Also, working as a Hydrologist for the USDA-NRCS Snow Survey Program I look at Montana and Wyoming snowpack data daily, and I would like to become more connected with the snow science community so I can provide better support to users of SNOTEL data.”

Liz%20Meder%20AAA%20Jacket.jpgLiz Riggs-Meder, Mom & AIARE Online Programs Project Manager, Seattle, WA – Member Affiliate applicant.
Liz writes: “I’m applying for membership with the AAA because The Avalanche Review is a rich resource on avalanche research and programs across the country. Reading incident reviews and articles on risk management behavior helps inform what I do as an avalanche educator and curriculum designer.”

Van%20AAA%20jacket.JPGVan Roberts, Grand Targhee Ski Patrol & Mt Rainier Climbing Ranger, Ashford, WA – Professional applicant.
Van writes: “As snow safety industry workers and avid backcountry users, we need an organization dedicated to pursuing knowledge in the avalanche field and advocating for us on important issues. The AAA is that organization. I applied for a professional membership to gain access to the knowledge and community provided by this organization.”

Rob%20AAA%20jacket.jpgRob Faisant, Portola Valley, CA – Pro Member & 2014 Donor.
Rob writes: “I enjoy donating when able because I see the AAA as extremely well-managed and as making very wise use of funds to encourage strategic research for avalanche science and safety.”

The Avalanche Review Update
Upcoming TAR Submission Deadlines.
As we wrap up winter 2014/15, the final issue of TAR this season is about to head to the press. Start checking your mailbox that first week of April for TAR 33.4.
Submission deadlines for the next volume of TAR are as follows:
TAR 34.1 – August 1st
TAR 34.2 – October 15th
TAR 34.3 – December 15th
TAR 34.4 – February 15thNew Benefit for Pro Members: Promotive Account Access!

Professional Members, look for an email coming soon with more details on how to create your NEW Promotive account to start saving on gear and equipment.
NOT a Pro member yet?? Check out whether you qualify for Pro status with the AAA, then consider applying to start receiving these and other benefits!

TAR to Receive Facelift This Summer.
After many decades of newsprint, The Avalanche Review will be undergoing a bit of a facelift this summer. Lynne Wolfe, TAR Editor, McKenzie Long, Graphic Designer for TAR, and the entire AAA are excited to work on these changes over the summer. We plan to unveil a newly re-designed version of our beloved trade journal for the Autumn 2015 issue. If the anticipation of a re-designed TAR doesn’t help you make it through those long, sunny, dog-days of summer, I don’t know what will!

Reminder: AAA Professional Development Workshop Grants

Grant applications for events during the 2015/16 season are due March 31st. For more information on this opportunity and how to apply, visit the AAA website.

Another Bike Book Coming from Carlton Reid about Cycling after the 60’s. A follow up to Roads Were Not Built for Cars


First two stretch goals added

Thanks to 206 backers – as of this second on 27th Feb – my project is £897 over the funding target. This means I am now locked in to researching and writing Bike Boom. However, the campaign is still live and there’s another 17 days available for people to bag rewards. With more funds I can add more stuff – such as new features for the digital versions of the book. But I’m going to start with doubling the pagination of the colour plate section.That is, if I reach £10,000. This, in Kickstarter parlance, is a STRETCH GOAL.Such goals add value for both the existing pledgers and those thinking of jumping on in.

If I reach £15,000 in pledges I’ll produce a poster, for all except the first two levels, featuring a huge number of people on bicycles with a headline calling for more cycling facilities to be provided in order to cater for the growing demand.

If you have other ideas for possible stretch goals please let me know.



History of PRCA and Founder is Stepping Down


PRCA Members: Past and Present
Dear Friends and Colleagues,As the New Year begins to unfold, I desire to issue you all a letter outlining some significant changes at the PRCA. Additional information regarding the status of the PRCA American National Safety Standard for our industry is also contained within. These are complex topics and I have attempted to explain the information to the best of my knowledge. I also realize it has been some time since you have received an update from the PRCA, so much of this may be slightly overwhelming. However, I wanted to connect once most of the “dust” settled and a more clear future was certain.Regarding a recent change in leadership of the PRCA:

After many years of leadership, I have decided to step down as President of the PRCA Board of Directors. My reasons are multi-fold, starting with the term limits our Board Members observe via the PRCA by-laws. The by-laws outline term limits and the number of continuous terms one may serve. After severing on the Board for most of my allowed term limits, it seemed an appropriate time for me to step down and begin observing my formal leave, before being eligible to serve once again. Having achieved adoption of the ANSI American National Standard and having all ACCT appeals contesting the standard being denied by ANSI, this appears now to be a closing chapter. This timing, in conjunction with my own growing businesses, I thought now was a calmer time for the PRCA and a good time to transition leadership. I wish to thank my fellow board members and all the membership for their support over the past years. I have created many new and lastly friendships as President, which has enriched me both professionally and personally.

Interesting Tenure:

As you may recall, in 2003, the PRCA was co-founded by myself, Joel Cryer and Wesley Hunter. My motivation being that my installation company had been denied objective affiliation and representation by the ACCT for years. At the time, the industry insurance policy was directly tied to the successful completion of an ACCT peer review process, as told by a leading insurance industry professional and self-aware by anyone in the industry. Since my company had been repeatedly denied access to this review process since 2000, the logical conclusion was to create an alternative medium, to gain insurance, and stay competitive in business.

Many have incorrectly portrayed that the prompt to create the PRCA was nothing more than a personal grudge or sour grapes; a score for me to settle with ACCT. Certainly there was a level of frustration of being kept from the industry by ACCT leadership and letters from their attorney, but moreover, the drive to stay in business was the primary purpose. To be able to exercise my right of free speech and call for change in the current industry associations was another.

Instead of sitting by, doing nothing, and loosing what I had gone to college to study and the business we had created, I desired to take matters into my own hands and create a solution; no longer buying into what I perceived as the problem. Therefore, without support from the current industry establishment, we sought out a competitive insurance carrier to provide insurance for builders not part of the standard normative of the time.

In 2002, successful adoption of a new insurance program had been secured. In concert with hundreds of hours, searching for original sources for materials and installation practices for ropes courses, predating the March 1994 ACCT standard and AEE Best Practices, the first original standards where produced. At this time I must note, there was not even a PRCA. The PRCA was created per the request of the insurance carrier, that a governing body needed to oversee the standard. Thus the new association was to be founded; Professional Ropes Course Association in 2003. This was the primary purpose for creating the PRCA in 2003.

Concurrently during this timeframe, my firm was hired to install, what we believed to be the first advertised and commercial zipline tour in Hawaii in 2002. Arguably, other canopy tours may have predated in the United States, but they were not being named or marketed as such. We quickly learned that any previous standard available in the industry was incomplete as we addressed longer, tighter, higher, and faster ziplines, with increased cable diameters, new product, and increased cycle usage.

In early 2005, we became aware of a new company that was beginning to get into the zipline tour industry. They had already been in business, yet we had not heard of them installing ziplines and now they were installing a competitive zipline tour to one my firm was installing just a mere 20 miles away; such a small world. This was the beginning of double cable, hand braking tours in the United States as we knew it. This seemed to follow the Costa Rica style of installation. This created new information and “styles” not previously addressed in the PRCA 2003 standard or by the previous five tours we had already installed in Hawaii and Alaska. This was also a critical time as States began to examine regulation of ropes challenge courses.

Seeing the writing on the wall, I approached the PRCA Board of Directors at the time with the idea of becoming ANSI Accredited Standards Developer. No other one else in our industry had achieved such accreditation. I presented the argument that we could develop one industry standard via the ANSI process or we may have 50 different state regulations to have to sort through as we conducted business. A single source document was the logical choice. Following board approval, we set out on a lengthy process to become compliant with ANSI Essential Requirements. On December 3, 2005, the PRCA became the first ANSI Accredited Standards Developer in the ropes challenge course industry.

I could go off here into many different tangents as the ACCT began appealing the ANSI Accreditation of the PRCA, the PRCA published a new standard for the first public review, and the insurance market was starting to recognize the PRCA, along with state regulators and attorney’s that were bringing litigation in certain court cases. Add in public comments, business of my own, and the birth of my third son; yes, it was a busy time indeed.

I’m proud that under my leadership, all in our industry have had benefits. I’m proud that in the face of steep odds, the PRCA was founded, conferences were planned, early newsletters where developed, insurance programs became more available, a website was developed, the PRCA was first to develop a conference specific website, and now our industry has an ANSI/PRCA American National Standard. These are just some of the accomplishments during my privilege of service. In addition and outside the PRCA, I am proud to have been a co-founder of a Rotary Club group in my hometown, provided free facilitator training to over 200 ropes course professionals, served on the Board of Trustees of the Wilderness Education Association, was guest speaker at a Beloit College on Entrepreneurship (a very respected liberal arts university), and was recipient of the Frank Lupton Service Award from WEA and Distinguished Alumni from Western Illinois University. This made for a very busy tenure, all while earning my million mile medallion on Delta and a million miles in vehicle travel.

So this is not a goodbye, but a mere changing of the leadership. As part of this process, the PRCA has developed an Advisory Board for which I am now Chairman. My role, as with other Advisory Board Members is to provide service to the association through historical knowledge, consult in areas of expertise, and aid the PRCA in association functions.

The current PRCA BOD is now comprised of:

Jim Willis, President

Mike Barker, Vice President

Scott Jordan, Secretary

Tom Rapine, Treasure

Carrie Taylor

Jack Kerns

Dave Prowitz

Regarding the status of the PRCA/ANSI American National Standard:

The PRCA/ANSI American National Standard (ANS) continues to stand as the American National Standard for our industry.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved the new ANS on March 3, 2014. An appeal to revoke approval of the ANS was brought by the ACCT to the ANSI Board of Standards Review (BSR). On August 7, 2014, all of ACCT’s arguments were presented in an appeal hearing, before a 7-member BSR appeal panel. During the hearing the PRCA presented evidence to refute the ACCT’s arguments.

The end result is: The ANSI BSR denied all of ACCT’s arguments resulting in denial of ACCT’s appeal. And, as of September 5, 2014, all possibility of future appeals are forfeit.

The BSR’s written judgment states that:

· “PRCA did indeed Fully Comply with the 2006 ANSI ExSC Appeals Decision”

· “PRCA Complied with the ANSI Essential Requirements”

· “PRCA Complied with its Own Accredited Procedures”

· “PRCA appropriately engaged in outreach efforts in satisfaction of the balance requirements contained in the Essential Requirements” (this pertains to balance requirements on the consensus body for establishing safety standards – the BSR affirmed that the new ANS meets the requirements to be recognized as an American National Safety Standard)

Conclusion (entire, taken from the BSR’s announcement):

“The BSR finds that ACCT has not provided sufficient or compelling evidence to warrant the withdrawal of the approval of PRCA 1.0-.3-2014 as an American National Standard. While PRCA’s standards development process necessitated corrective actions prior to the BSR’s final decision to approve, those actions were taken to the satisfaction of the BSR and we believe that due process was afforded ACCT and other participants.

Accordingly, in light of the written evidence and oral testimony presented by all parties and based on the specific discussions set forth earlier in this decision, the ANSI BSR denies the appeal and finds that its prior decision to approve PRCA 1.0-.3-2014 as an ANS was appropriate. As a result, PRCA 1.0-.3-2014 remains an approved American National Standard.”

Therefore, it is the ANSI BSR’s judgment that the ANSI/PRCA 1.1-3-2014 Ropes Challenge Course Installation, Operation & Training Standards continues to stand as the American National Safety Standard for our industry.

For those who are interested in such things, you can find the ANSI BSR’s announcement, including the appeal panel’s entire judgment, on the PRCA website.

Now that there is an ANSI/ PRCA ANS, according to ANSI’s Essential Requirements, as we understand the spirit, intent, and comments from ANSI staff, there can be no duplicative or conflicting standard adopted as an ANSI ANS. This is a point of heated debate, but in short, any content that the ANSI / PRCA ANS covers today, cannot be duplicated by any other association; including but not limited to the ACCT or ASTM. This is why joint standards and efforts moving forward as what I believe to be a critical next step.

As such, the PRCA has continues to reach out to these other associations and attempt a joint standard, merging the best of all sources into a single source document. In the meantime, many states are now in receipt of the ANSI/ PRCA ANS and are in review, looking to adopt and reference the ANSI/PRCA ANS. Many states are falling upon current regulations which read, in part, “…acceptable standards by the ACCT or equivalent.” The ANSI/PRCA ANS is now the equivalent and more!

In closing, “Thank You” again for the opportunity to serve as the past President of the PRCA BOD. I look forward to staying busy and continue to be available to serve as required. Feel free to reach out to the current BOD if you wish to serve on new initiatives such as committee groups, special interest services, or other ways to support YOUR Association!


Steve Gustafson



New Cycling Book: Fast After 50 Shows Athletes That Age Is Just a Number

fa50 72dpi 300pw str

fa50 72dpi 300pw str

Fast After 50 Shows Athletes That Age Is Just a Number-and Race Results Are the Only Numbers That Count

The baby boomers aren’t giving up, and coach Joe Friel isn’t giving up on them. Friel’s groundbreaking new book, Fast After 50, is for every endurance athlete who wants to stay fast for years to come. For runners, cyclists, triathletes, swimmers, and cross-country skiers, getting older doesn’t have to mean getting slower. Drawing from the most current research on aging and sports performance, Joe Friel-America’s leading endurance sports coach-shows how athletes can stay fast and extend their racing careers. Fast After 50 is now available in bookstores; bike, tri, and running shops; and online. The e-book edition will release this spring. Preview the book at

In Fast After 50, Friel offers a smart approach for athletes to ward off the effects of age. Friel shows athletes how to extend their racing careers for decades-and race to win. Fast After 50 presents guidelines for high-intensity workouts, focused strength training, recovery, crosstraining, and nutrition for high performance. Friel shows:

* How the body’s response to training changes with age, how to adapt your training plan, and how to avoid overtraining
* How to shed body fat and regain muscle density
* How to create a progressive plan for training, rest, recovery, and competition
* Workout guidelines, field tests, and intensity measurement.

In Fast After 50, Joe Friel shows athletes that age is just a number-and race results are the only numbers that count. Includes contributions from: Mark Allen, Gale Bernhardt, Amby Burfoot, Dr. Larry Creswell, John Howard, Dr. Tim Noakes, Ned Overend, Dr. John Post, Dr. Andrew Pruitt, and Lisa Rainsberger.

Fast After 50: How to Race Strong for the Rest of Your Life Joe Friel Paperback with illustrations throughout. | 7″ x 9″, 336 pp., $21.95, 9781937715267

Joe Friel is the best-selling author of The Triathlete’s Training Bible, The Cyclist’s Training Bible, Going Long, Your Best Triathlon, and Your First Triathlon. His TrainingBible Coaching franchise is one of the most successful and respected in endurance sports. Joe has trained endurance athletes since 1980, including national champions, world championship contenders, and Olympic athletes in triathlon, duathlon, road cycling, and mountain biking. He is an elite-certified USA Triathlon and USA Cycling coach and holds a master’s degree in exercise science. He conducts training and racing seminars around the world and provides consulting services for corporations in the fitness industry. He has also been active in business as the founder of Ultrafit, an association of coaching businesses; TrainingPeaks, a web-based software company; and TrainingBible Coaching.

Colorado making new rules for operating Zip Lines & Rope Courses. Meeting February 6 to find out


Stakeholder Meeting Notice


Proposed Regulation Updates

The Division of Oil and Public Safety (OPS) intends to begin a permanent rule change process for the Amusement Rides and Devices regulations with the purpose of:

  • Adding language for the regulation of trampoline parks;
  • Improving current language in regulations regarding zip line and challenge course operations;
  • Discussing the possibility of adding language for patron responsibility;
  • Clarifying language for reportable injuries; and
  • Updating and/or including applicable standards and definitions, namely:
  • Adopting new standards from American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F2970-13 (Standard Practice for Design, Manufacture, Installation, Operation, Maintenance, Inspection and Major Modification of Trampoline Courts); and
  • Updating the regulations to reflect the adoption of current ASTM standards.

The draft of the proposed rule changes will be available to download from our website after December 30, 2014.

Stakeholder Meeting Invitation

OPS will begin holding stakeholder meetings to discuss these proposed changes on February 6, 2015, at 1:30 pm in Conference Room 5C at the CDLE offices (633 17th Street, Denver, Colorado 80202).

If you plan to attend the meeting:

  • Please RSVP by sending an email to mailto:cdle_amusements; include your organization’s name and your contact information in your email.
  • When you arrive for the meeting, please check in on the 2nd floor, and then you will be directed to the 5th floor conference room.

If you cannot attend the meeting, we encourage you to submit feedback to Scott Narreau at mailto:scott.narreau or 303-318-8495.

UIAA Ice Climbing Competition set to Begin


Contact: office
Tel: +41 (0) 31 370 1828


More than 200 athletes from 30 countries to compete in six countries

10 December 2014, BERN, Switzerland
: Climbers from across the world will descend on Bozeman, Montana (U.S.A) starting on 11 December 2014 to launch the 2015 UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup Tour.

The Bozeman competition is the first of six events that are held in the U.S.A., Cheongsong (Korea), Saas Fee (Switzerland), Rabenstein (Italy), Champagny-en-Vanoise (France) and Kirov, Russia where the tour concludes on 8 March 2015.

About 200 male and female athletes from 30 nations are expected to compete in the various events throughout the tour.

The competition format includes Speed and Lead (Difficulty) challenges. In Speed, competitors climb up an artificial ice wall in the fastest time. The Lead competition is where athletes are judged on their ability to climb a difficult route in the best time.

World Cup winners are announced at each stage of the tour, and an overall winner is declared at the end.

The 2015 tour will include the bi-annual UIAA World Championships. The Lead competition takes place during in Rabenstein while the Speed takes place in Kirov.

There will be live-streaming for the tour on the competition website accompanied by live results. You can also stay up to date with the tour through the new ice climbing Twitter account, the main UIAA Twitter account and Facebook.

The calendar for the 2014-2015 season is:

  • Bozeman (U.S.A) – UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup: 11 – 14 Dec, 2014
  • Cheongsong (Korea) – UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup: 10 – 11 Jan, 2015
  • UIAA World Youth Ice Climbing Championships (Switzerland): 17 – 18 Jan, 2015
  • Saas Fee (Switzerland) – UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup: 23 – 24 Jan, 2015
  • Rabenstein (Italy) – World Cup & World Championships (Lead): 30 Jan – 01 Feb, 2015
  • Champagny-en-Vanoise(France) – UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup: 05 – 07 Feb, 2015
  • Kirov (Russia) – World Cup & World Championships (Speed): 06 – 08 Mar, 2015

For more information and media please visit iceclimbing

About the UIAA – International Climbing and Climbing Federation

The UIAA was founded in 1932 and has a global presence on five continents with 80 member associations in 50 countries representing 3 million people. The organization’s mission is to promote the growth and protection of climbing and mountaineering worldwide, advance safe and ethical mountain practices and promote responsible access, culture and environmental protection. The UIAA is recognised by the International Olympic Committee for climbing and mountaineering.

UIAA | Monbijoustrasse 61 Postfach CH-3000 | Bern | Switzerland

USA ProChallenge Host Cities for 2015 Announced. Different cities, Going to be a slightly Different Race. Cool!

Host Cities Announced for 2015 USA Pro Challenge

Fans Can Help Shape the Route for America’s Most Difficult Professional Cycling Race

Colorado’s largest sporting event is back for 2015, and today race officials unveiled seven of the host cities that will be highlighted as starts and finishes for the 2015 USA Pro Challenge. Taking place Aug. 17-23, the race will feature several dramatic changes for 2015, including a new overall start in beautiful Steamboat Springs, new host communities Arapahoe Basin and Copper Mountain and a challenging individual time trial course in in the scenic town of Breckenridge. And with six of the seven stages set, organizers are looking to fans to help determine the location of Stage 6.

“The start and finish cities for the 2015 USA Pro Challenge are going to create some unique challenges for the riders while also showcasing some of Colorado’s most beautiful regions to our worldwide audience,” said Rick Schaden, owner of the USA Pro Challenge. “We are always humbled by the amount of interest we receive from cities across the state that want to host the race and we feel confident that the partners we’ve selected this year will help us continue to raise the bar for professional cycling in America.”

After drawing more than 1 million fans each year and generating $130 million in economic impact to the State of Colorado in 2014 alone, the USA Pro Challenge will make its return with an overall start in Steamboat Springs. Over the course of seven days of intensely competitive racing, the world’s best riders will return to iconic Colorado cities that have been key parts of the race in previous years, such as Aspen and Denver.

In a mix of new and prior host cities, the stages of the 2015 USA Pro Challenge include:

  • Stage 1: Monday, Aug. 17 – Steamboat Springs Circuit Race
  • Stage 2: Tuesday, Aug. 18 – Steamboat Springs to Arapahoe Basin
  • Stage 3: Wednesday, Aug. 19 – Copper Mountain Resort to Aspen
  • Stage 4: Thursday, Aug. 20 – Aspen to Breckenridge
  • Stage 5: Friday, Aug. 21 – Breckenridge Individual Time Trial
  • Stage 6: Saturday, Aug. 22 – ???
  • Stage 7: Sunday, Aug. 23 – Golden to Denver

Last year, fans weighed in on the final stage and ultimately determined a route that took the riders from Boulder, through Golden and finished in Downtown Denver. Due to overwhelming fan interest and support, organizers are again letting people have a say in the course. Fans will be able to help shape the race by logging on to before 11:59 p.m. MT December 12, and giving their opinion on what part of the state Stage 6 should visit.

“Last year we turned to our dedicated fans to help determine the route for the final stage of the Pro Challenge,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the USA Pro Challenge. “The enthusiasm and valuable opinions that we received convinced us that we should look to our supporters again for their input on the 2015 race. We know our fans are passionate about the sport and we’re looking forward to hearing where they want Stage 6 to go.”

A new overall start for the Pro Challenge, Steamboat Springs, with a population of just more than 12,000, should see that number at least double on race day. Located just west of the Continental Divide and Rabbit Ears Pass, Steamboat is the perfect location to kick off the race and showcase Colorado’s unique scenic beauty. And as the Colorado city that has produced more Olympians than any other, the riders should feel right at home.

In one of the most significant changes to the 2015 route, Breckenridge will host the individual time trial. Located 9,600 ft. above sea level, this course will test the riders with challenging, hilly terrain. With these additions combined with new host cities Arapahoe Basin and Copper Mountain Resort, the 2015 course will create dramatic moments for the riders and fans.

Known for lung-searing altitudes and intense climbs through the Colorado Rockies, the race is the largest spectator event in the history of the state. The 2014 USA Pro Challenge saw part-time Aspen resident Tejay van Garderen of BMC Racing Team take the overall win for the second year in a row this past August in Denver.

“I am so happy to hear the USA Pro Challenge is going through Aspen again,” said van Garderen. “It is always great to be able to race in front of my family and close friends. Of course, I am curious to see the route they will pick and I am expecting it to be the most challenging route yet.”

Additional details regarding the exact start and finish locations of the 2015 race, as well as the specific, detailed route will be announced in the spring.


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