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Billed as the “Top of the Rockies”, Leadville, Colorado is known for four-season recreation, the arts, and its mining heritage. A spirit of fierce (but friendly) competition in all manner of unusual sports persists there today; a natural outgrowth of rugged pioneers living at the city’s 10,152′ elevation.

Many people know about Leadville’s summertime competitions, notably Boom Days and the International Leadville Pack Burro Race. Winter season is equally as much fun and the Winter Race Series returns in January with the first of many events running through April.

According to a recent press release, the winter season kicks off with “three major events [designed] to keep athletes competing outdoors, enjoying trails, and doing what they love most.”

Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series Runs Through April

Race Logo courtesy of Cloud City Wheelers, a chapter of International Mountain Bicycling Association (IBMA)

The series is open to all cyclists, regardless of skill level or experience. The Winter Bike Series will feature a variety of courses, from scenic rides through the city to challenging climbs in the hills.

Each individual race in the Leadville Winter Bike Series costs $25 to compete or $100 to compete in all five. There’s still time to get in shape for the  the first race, the singletrack Colorado Cup, which is slated for 9:00 a.m. Saturday, January 21st.

All proceeds will go to the Cloud City Wheelers, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing access to cycling for people of all ages and abilities, and building and maintaining year-round trails in Lake County. The complete schedule is here.

Registration Now Open for 20th Annual Leadville Loppet

What’s a Loppet?

According to organizers, the Leadville Loppet is an annual event that celebrates winter sports and encourages the whole community to come out and enjoy the Mineral Belt Trail. Leadville locals and visitors gather to have fun, ski in costumes, share stories, and savor the race’s legendary post-race potluck.

On Saturday, February 25, 2023, the 20th Annual Leadville Loppet will be held at the Mineral Belt Trail in Leadville, Colorado. Everyone from first-time winter sport enthusiasts to experienced skiers will find something that appeals, involving  classic or freestyle Nordic skiing.

Participants can choose from a 1K Kids Funski, 5K (costume ski), 10K, 22K (Birkebeiner qualifier), or 44K race (Birkebeiner qualifier). All distances will start and finish at the Colorado Mountain College Leadville Campus at 901 South Hwy.24, Leadville, CO.

All proceeds from the Leadville Loppet help support the care and maintenance of the city’s historic Mineral Belt Trail, which is an 11.6-mile, all-season, non-motorized, ADA-accessible loop. Register now as advanced online registrations are encouraged and “late registrations” kick in on Feb. 1. Visit mineralbeltrail.com for details and to register.

75th Annual Leadville Ski Joring & Crystal Carnival Weekend Returns

You’re asked to save the dates of March 4-5, 2023 for one of the most unusual events of the season. Its 75th anniversary promises to be even more special.

Ski Joring in Leadville, Colorado. Image courtesy Mark LaRowe Photography

For the uninitiated, Ski Joring is a centuries-old snow sport in which a skier is pulled by a horse and rider through a course of jumps. This exciting event will be free to watch, with amazing photo and video opportunities.

The Crystal Carnival will also be held throughout the weekend, featuring live music, a market street of local vendors, delicious food, and a beer garden.

For more information on the Leadville Ski Joring & Crystal Carnival Weekend, please visit Leadville Skijoring 

Editor note: While there’s nothing like being there in person, an Ark Valley Voice photo essay of last year’s event may whet your appetite to attend

Featured image: Announcing the start of the Leadville Loppet Nordic ski race which benefits the Mineral Belt Trail. Photo courtesy Mineral Belt Trail.com