An Eastern Idaho man has taken the men's top prize at the U.S. Ski Mountaineering National Championships, held in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Luke Nelson, 31, of Pocatello won the competition last weekend at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, tucked into the Tetons. Ski mountaineering has military origins and combines the sports of backcountry skiing, Telemark and Alpine skiing, with competitors needing to speed across many different types of terrain, including rock, ice, deep powder and multi-peak ascents. In addition to their traditional equipment, skiiers are required to carry a pack that must include an ice axe or shovel and wind shell.
Nelson told the Idaho State Journal that he can now say he's the fastest ski mountaineer in America. He works as a physician assistant at Idaho Sport and Spine in Pocatello.