The Legend of the
It was February of 1997 when I had my first and only encounter with the Screamin' Snowman. It was a glorious winter morning. Though the air was a crisp 25 degrees, the strong mountain sun made it feel like 60! And as I walked away from my van at the Jenny Creek Trailhead, I foolishly left behind most of my emergency clothing and gear. The crystal blue skies told nothing of the nasty conditions that would blow in that afternoon.
I had been climbing for several hours and had exhausted most of my food when I finally broke through the trees. I was excited to finally get above treeline and gaze at the familiar Indian Peaks ridgeline in wintertime, but my excitement was short-lived. The snow covered Continental Divide was buried beneath a wall of clouds, but I was more concerned with the fierce wind which had created near white-out conditions.
It was apparent that some very bad weather was pushing in, so I immediately turned back and began retracing my footsteps through the forest. Within minutes, however, the wind had completely erased my tracks and by one o'clock the storm had engulfed me.
I wandered aimlessly for hours, growing more and more fatigued - and with no food or water, I was finally forced to sit down. The warm morning sun had set hours before, and like the snow, the temperature continued to drop.
I was too tired to walk, and try as I might, I could not keep my eyes open. Just as my lids closed for what I could only believe would be the final time, I heard a Yeti-like shriek in the distance. At any other time, I would have bolted up and run for cover, but instead I just drifted off to sleep.
When I awoke, I was warm all over. I must be dead, I thought - but no, I was in the back of my van - covered in a blanket. It was still dark, but the snow had stopped falling and a million stars filled the sky. I stepped out of my van to look for any clues that might tell me how I had gotten back to safety. All I could find was a very unusual set of tracks that had plowed through the snow.
Then I heard it again! The shriek! I hopped into my van and drove back to Boulder.
The next day, my research began - and what I discovered was even more shocking than my experience on the mountain. I discovered that the Native Americans who first inhabited the mountains above Boulder told tales of a band of evil snow-people who lived in the forest above Eldora.
The blood curdling scream of the snow-people was later documented by the first miners who settled the town of Nederland. The miners reported finding their mines destroyed each morning after hearing the scream of the snowman. They reported finding no footprints in the snow - in fact, the only clues left behind were curious paths plowed through the snow leading back into the forest.
Even the burliest mountain men were afraid to track the fearsome beast, and as yet the Screamin' Snowman has never been captured.
Encounters with the Screamin' Snowman tapered off following the winter of 1920, and his legend was virtually forgotten in the decades since. Why he chose to come to my rescue is still a mystery.
Come join us for a 5K or 10K run through the hills above Eldora as we search for the elusive Screamin' Snowman. You will be challenged by a healthy mix of singletrack, groomed trails, and fresh powder as you explore the habitat of the most feared winter creature in North America!
The Screamin' Snowman celebrates eleven years of exciting snowshoe racing on the Front Range this winter. The race will continue to follow its traditional mix of groomed trails, packed singletrack, and exhilarating back-country - a course many describe as the best snowshoe course in Colorado. Eldora Mountain Resort took over the coordination of the event in 2008, and continues to provide an awesome morning of snowshoeing without the I-70 drive!
Location & Start Time
The Screamin' Snowman Snowshoe Race will take place at the Nordic Center at the Eldora Ski Area just a short scenic drive west of Boulder. The first wave will start at 9:45 a.m. There will be two starting waves - one for the 10K Run and a second for the 5K Run (9:50 a.m.)
Registration for the 5K and 10K Snowshoe Events is now open!
CHRISTY SPORTS, PRANA, PASTA JAY'S, SPRUCE CONFECTIONS, JAMBA JUICE, MCGUCKINS
Free Loaner Snowshoes
Crescent Moon Snowshoes will be providing a limited number of loaner snowshoes for the event. If you don't already own a pair, please check the box on the entry form to reserve a pair for the race. You will need to present a photo ID or credit card to pick up the snowshoes on race day. Your card will be returned when you return the snowshoes - easy!
Both 5K and 10K routes are a challenging mix of singletrack, groomed ski trails, and fresh powder. SkiPix will be on course to catch all of the action!!! Race photos will be available at www.skipix.com following the race!
We would love to see more young snowshoers take on the challenge of the Screamin' Snowman. 5K Awards will be presented to participants age 19 and under in three different divisions: 12 & Under, 13-15, and 16-19. The 10K will offer awards to youth in a single 19 & under division.
Awards & Raffle
Awards will be presented to the first-place overall male and female finishers in the 5K and 10K runs. Awards will also be presented to the top-3 male and female youth finishers in the 5K age 12 & Under, 13-15, and 16-19, and to the top-3 finishers in the 10K age 19 and under. The top-3 finishers in each of the following adult divisions will also receive awards in both the 5K and 10K: 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, 80-89. A participants age is based on his/her age on race day.
All event activities will take place at the Eldora Nordic Center, located 30 minutes west of Boulder, Colorado. From Denver, Take Hwy. 36 west to Boulder. Turn left on Canyon Blvd. (across from the Crossroads Mall) and drive west to Nederland, where signs will direct you to the ski area. From North, Take I-25 south to Hwy 119 (Longmont). Follow 119 through Boulder - it will become Boulder Canyon on the west side of town. Continue west to Nederland, where signs will direct you to the ski area. From Idaho Springs and West, Take the left exit off I-70 shortly past the tunnel east of Idaho Springs. Take Hwy 6 to Hwy 119 and continue through Black Hawk to Nederland. Signs will direct you to the Eldora Ski Area.
Need More Information?
email us at Nordic@eldora.com or call the Eldora Nordic Center at 303-440-8700, then push "#267". NOTE: The Eldora Nordic Center will not be staffed until after November 1st.