2024 Sandia Snowshoe Classic

Results at: Sandia Snowshoe Classic 2024

The snow was great, the weather was perfect, NMDOT did a wonderful job clearing the highway, and a great time was enjoyed by all 153 racers as well as several dozen volunteers from FOSM and other organizations. Congratulations to all who made it happen. Everyone with a job did it well.

You can read Race Director Mike Madden’s final report here.

Enjoy the day again if you were there or for the first time vicariously through the videos and hundreds of great photos below.

Click to watch an 8-minute video summary of event. Contributions from Ashley Boggs, Susan Gregory, Steve Roholt, Ray Iturralde, Paul Karas, Dan Benton, Jamey Browning, Stefan Martin, and Cliff Giles.

We didn’t have real-time coverage by local media this year, but both KOB 4 and KOAT 7 ran short features after the event using materials supplied by FOSM.

Click to watch a short feature KOB 4 ran on Saturday evening and Sunday morning. (Sorry about the embedded closed captions.)
Click to watch the short feature KOAT 7 ran on Monday evening. View on KOAT website here.

Pre-race Activities

FOSM members who planned and organized the event were: Mike Madden, FOSM President and Snowshoe Race Director; Joe Beman, FOSM member; Jeff Young, FOSM member; Jamey Browning, FOSM board member; Silke Bletzer, FOSM Secretary. Jamey led a team of 13 course marshals stationed througout the course to keep racers on the right trail. They teamed with the Monday trail maintenance crew to sweep the course on the Monday before the event. A complete list of volunteers is available here.

Cibola Search and Rescue volunteers stationed themselves throughout the course in case their medical assistance was needed. Seven students and two faculty from Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School provided help with parking and PA announcements.

Pre-event coverage of the Snowshoe Classic by local media was great. KOB 4 interviewed 2023 winners Michelle Hummel and Karl Walczak on January 9. The Albuquerque Journal ran an almost full-page feature article about the event on Sunday January 14. Click on an image below to access these features.

Click to watch KOB 4 interview 2023 winners Michelle Hummel and Karl Walczak. Congratulations to Karl and Michelle for again being winners 2024!
Click to read Albuquerque Journal article.

Race Director Mike Madden reported that the 175 spots were filled on Christmas Day, a new early record for the event, and 153 people actually participated. (Despite the great weather and $40 fee, twenty-two people opted to skip the wonderful event.) Parking was at a premium with 153 participants, but carpooling and a great group of parking attendants overcame the problem. Mike’s message of thanks to the troops can be read here.

Course Marshal Photos

Hundreds of great photos were taken by course marshals Paul Karas, Dan Benton, Jamey Browning, Susan Gregory, and Stefan Martin. The photos in the galleries below are arranged in chronological order so racers can trace their progress around the course using the map below. Some provide times the photos were taken either in file names or meta data. The race began at 11:00 AM.

Gallery photos were downsized to a maximum dimension of 1920 pixels to conserve space on the website server. In cases where this resulted in a significant reduction, a link is provided to a folder where the full-size files can be found and downloaded.

Course Marshal Position 3 (0.45 miles)

Thanks to Paul Karas for these 144 great photos. Paul was course marshal at position 3, at the intersection of South Crest and lower Switchback Trails. The first racer appeared at his position at 11:03:44 AM (Batch 1 in the photos below). Photos of other racers can be found in Batch 2 (11:06:03-11:08:50), Batch 3 (11:08:53-11:10:34), Batch 4 (11:10:36-11:12:19), Batch 5 (11:12:36-11:15:59), Batch 6 (11:16:03-11:21:53), and Batch 7 (11:22:24-11:24:10).

Paul’s full-size photos can be downloaded here.

Course Marshal Position 4 (0.58 miles)

Thanks to Dan Benton for 86 great photos. Dan was course marshal at position 4, at the turnaround from South Crest Trail to the Kiwanis Meadow Trail.

Course Marshal Position 5 (0.67 miles)

Thanks to Jamey Browning for 62 great photographs. Jamey, who led the crew of course marshals, was at position 5 making sure that racers didn’t make a wrong turn off Kiwanis Meadow Trail.

Jamey’s full-size photos can be downloaded here.

Course Marshal Position 7 (0.82 miles)

Thanks to Susan Gregory for 114 great photographs. Susan was at position 7, where she made sure that the racers made a 180-degree turn on the Tram access road. Times for her photos begin at 11:06 for the first racer (Batch 1). The other photo batches begin at: Batch 2 – 11:11; Batch 3 – 11:15; Batch 4 – 11:18; and Batch 5 – 11:22. The last racer passed Susan’s station at 11:25.

Course Marshal Position 9 (1.01 miles)

Thanks to Stefan Martin for 249 great photographs. Stefan was course marshal at position 9, where the course begins going back uphill on Switchback Trail. The first racer appeared at his position at 11:08:01 AM (Batch 2 in the photos below). Photos of other racers can be found in Batch 3 (11:11:50-11:13:53), Batch 4 (11:13:53-11:16:33), Batch 5 (11:16:33-11:18:23), Batch 6 (11:18:23-11:21:26), Batch 7 (11:21:31-11:24:23), Batch 8 (11:24:56-11:28:16), and Batch 9 (11:28:29-11:40:32).

Stefan also took lots of photos of activities before the race (Batches 1 and 2) and after the race (Batches 9, 10, 11, and 12).

Stefan’s full-size photos can be downloaded here.

Other Photos and Video

Thanks to FOSM members Silke Bletzer, Ray Iturralde, and Cliff Giles for the photos below. One shows former race director Lou Romero with a vintage pair of snowshoes that he used early in his Forest Service career. Another shows Lou with his niece who was atop Mt. Kilimanjaro the week before. One photo shows the four men who have served as race director since the inception of the Snowshoe Classic in 2001.

A photo shows Silke and her registration team ready for business. Another photo taken by Silke shows a registrant celebrating her birthday on race day. If you listen carefully during the video of the start of the race, you can hear her excitely telling her friends about having her photo taken at the registration table.

Cibola SAR volunteers; Photo credit: Ashley Boggs
Click to watch Ashley’s video of the start of the race (0:36).

Cibola Search & Rescue volunteers played a major role in this and the previous Snowshoe Classic event by being available to provide first-aid assistance throughout the course, and their services were called upon Saturday to help one exhausted racer off the course.

Ashley Boggs from Cibola SAR graciously provided photos and video from the day. Higher-resolution versions of her photos can be downloaded here.

for recent winter pictures from the mountain see: Sandia Mountains Winter Scenes