Grace Staberg just broke the North American record for most vertical feet climbed in 24 hours as she skied up and down Copper Mountain in Colorado — she’s only 19 years old.
On April 26, 2021, at 9:00 AM, Staberg began her trek up the mountain on skis covered with a grippy skin. She completed the trip more than 21 times in one day, climbing over 56,153 vertical feet in 24 hours. Rea Kolbl, from Boulder, set the previous record for skinning up mountains, climbing 55,045 feet in the Buttermilk ski area on March 13. Staberg just missed snagging the world record from Italy’s Martina Valmassoi, who climbed 57,890 feet in the Dolomites mountain range on March 22.
“This was my first time ever doing an event through the entirety of the night and frankly, the first time ever doing something, anything, for 24 hours,” she told The Colorado Sun. “I just really love training, and I really love skiing, and I really love going out for long days when I can enjoy the mountains and enjoy my time on skis.
Uphill skiing is called skinning. It is possible due to adhesive strips that cover the skis that provide grips for when going uphill. Skinning is a sport that has been gaining popularity in North America recently.
Staberg just graduated from Summit County High School this past school year. Still, she’s become internationally known for ski mountaineering after winning the Wasatch Powder Keg vertical race and the Power of Four 50K in 2019. She’s since ranked fourth in the International Ski Mountaineering Federation’s World Cup.