The Aspen Challenges

This summer I completed two “short” UltraHurt courses in the Aspen area for people to try out. To make things interesting, adidas Outdoor and Giant Bycicles USA have donated a number of prizes for those who wish to attempt one (or both). All you must do to win a prize is complete one of the two Aspen courses and post your time against the two Strava segments below. Be sure you read carefully the Important Details and see the list of Prizes (TBA) at the bottom of this page. Here are the two eligible courses:


1) Mt. Elbert From Aspen

On August 7th I established a pace time of 4:37:06 for the Mt. Elbert from Aspen course. The bike route begins at the intersection of Hwy 82 and Roaring Fork Road at the edge of Aspen here and follows the road over Independence Pass to the Black Cloud trail head just before Twin Lakes near the Mt. Elbert Lodge here. (The trail head is a bit tricky to find.) The run/hike segment then follows the Black Cloud Trail from the parking area to the summit of Mt. Elbert. The trail is fairly obvious until the reaching the crest of the ridge near Mt. Cosgriff, but then becomes intermittent. From here turn left and stay on top of the ridge crest, following the indistinct trail over many sub-peaks until your reach the highest point on the summit.

Here is the complete Strava Segment and Leaderboard for Mt. Albert from Aspen:


2) Cathedral Lake from Aspen

This is the shortest UltraHurt event so far and can be completed by most people in a few hours- but it’s still a big day for some! The course begins just outside of Aspen at the bottom of Castle Creek Rd under the bridge after the traffic circle- as seen here. The course ends at the waters edge of Cathedral Lake. You can transition from bike to run/hike at the start of the dirt road leading up to the Cathedral Lakes trail head- or or be bold and ride your bike up the dirt road to the parking lot. Just be sure to start your GPS timing device(s) well before passing under the bridge and keep it running (nonstop) until after reaching the lake- your time will automatically post against the segment on Strava after you upload it as a continuous file. Be sure to read the Important Details section below. 

Here’s the full Strava Segment and Leaderboard for Aspen to Cathedral Lakes:


 Important Details:

  1. For your time to post against the Strava Segment Leaderboard above, you must upload a BIKE activity file from your device and you must follow all roads and trails closely, as marked on the segment map. Slight deviations on the trail are usually ok, but try not to get too far away from the segment course as mapped on Strava or your effort may not post. If you upload a RUN activity file instead of a BIKE activity file on Strava it will not post your effort on this segment page. Until Strava allows multi-sport features, uploading a single BIKE file is the only way to keep continuous timing against this Strava segment.
  2. I recommend starting your GPS timing device well before reaching the start point and leaving it on well after reaching the summit. Once you pass over the complete length of the course, Strava will automatically calculate and post your time against the segment. Two timing devices per person are recommended- but be aware that battery life can be an issue!
  3. Be clear in your Strava Activity ride title if your activity was completed with a partner, in a group, or if you drafted another bike for any amount of time. Both solo and group efforts are excellent challenges to attempt- but be honest and compete fairly.







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