50KM PLAN B – COURSE ALTERNATIVE IN THE EVENT OF EXTREME WEATHER
September in Montana often brings the first winter snowstorms and blizzards to the high peaks. Or, a long Indian summer extending into September can also mean major electrical storms in alpine environments. The Rut 50km course (as planned) is on a high peak (11,160 feet), and on extremely exposed alpine terrain.
In the event that a major snowstorm or dangerous electrical storm hit Lone Peak on race day, the race directors reserve the right to alter the 50km course to keep runners safe. The Headwaters Ridge and Lone Peak sections of the original course are simply too exposed and technical to be safe for runners or safety personnel in the event of a major storm on race day. The “Plan B” course would remain approximately 50% true to the original course. The change would be that the course would stay off the high exposed ridgelines and not go to the summit of Lone Peak.
Plan B Course Description:
Though we haven’t GPS’d the thing, you can expect it to be a few miles shorter than 50K, and also have around 7,000 ft elevation gain. Giver or take a bit.
The first 12.1 miles of the alternative course would remain the same as the original course (Soul Hole-Tango-Challenger service road-Moonlight-Ullery’s Lake loop-Madison Connector-Madison Village-Moonlight Loop trail-Elkhorn trail).
Once reaching the top of the Elkhorn trail, where you intersect with the service road, head left and down the road. This road will connect back onto the Challenger service road. Head right following Fast Lane downhill and underneath the Challenger ski lift line back onto Big Sky Resort property.Go until the junction of Fast Lane and the Cairn’s Way single track mountain bike trail.Take a right at the junction onto the Cairns Way trail. Head uphill on Cairns Way trail until you connect onto the North Access dirt road.Continue uphill on this road until the junction with the Morning Star dirt road.Take a right onto Morning Star and continue uphill to the base of the Lone Peak tram and the Tram Dock Aid Station. Head back downhill along the Morning Star dirt road to the junction of Morning Star and the North Access double track.At the junction, turn right and head uphill on the North Access road.
Continue up the North Access road past the Swiftcurrent lift, heading south. You will now be running on the Duck Walk service road, heading south towards the top of Shedhorn ski lift. Once at the top of Shedhorn, you will do a steep off-trail descent through a rocky boulder field through Rockville Bowl, then hang a sharp right (again, off trail section – follow course markings!) and head back up a short steep climb (up the “screaming left” ski run).This will take you through rocky terrain to the top of the Dakota lift. Once you reach the top of Dakota, descend the Dakota road to the bottom of Dakota lift. You are now back on the original race course for the remainder of the race (see 50km detailed course description).