Letter
by Vouter van Tiel
Speaking of the 2007 race

Hi Jan,

In ten years of participating I think I have seen everything the Traverse can dish out. From minus 50 with windchill to wind free and cooking hot sun. I have felt like my skin was going to roast despite the sunscreen and I also have had the thought "If I stop now and get in my pack I may never get going again and just sit down and die here - is the race really still on in this super cold storming white out?" Yes it was. This is no ordinary race and there is no doubt that it requires conscientious preparation. If I had any advice for newcomers, I'd say: "Do not underestimate this race!" It is not necessarily super difficult terrain, but the conditions can make it extremely tough. Make sure you have the right gear (light but complete), pack it in the right order, that you have used it many times, that you have gone as much distance as possible, be ready and do not forget to ask experienced racers what works. The end sometimes feels like it never comes.
No matter what it is a long night that turns to day. But to come into Aspen every year is a pilgrimage that marks the change from winter to spring. It is really worth making it!

Wouter

 
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10th Annual Elk Mountains Grand Traverse!
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