John Gaston took first place in winning back-to-back Championships, taking first place in the US Ski Mountaineering National Championship, at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and the USSMA Grand Targhee Classic.
Jan. 12, Aspen Daily news reports, "Gaston’s wins assured him a spot on the eight-member U.S. National Team, which will go on to compete in the International Ski Mountaineering Federation (ISMF) World Championship in Pelvoux, France this February."
The US Ski Mountaineering National Championship, is a two-and-half-hour race. Gaston, 25, faced blustery weather conditions on race day, temperature at minus18 degrees. The course included five climbs and five descents for a total gain of about 8,000 vertical feet.
Gaston was behind during the first two ascents. He fared better at gaining vertical feet on boot packed trails in the third ascent, where Gaston jumped into second place.
He then took the lead, which he held until the last climb. Gaston came across the finish line at 2:30:09, which earned him his first national championship medal.