26K BROKEN ARROW SKYRACE
Sunday, October 3, 2021
25.32km/15.73 miles (one loop)
1510m/5000' vertical gain & loss
Please note that exact course changes slightly each year due to snow conditions.
The Broken Arrow 26K covers a world-class loop that showcases some of Squaw Valley's most famous terrain. From the valley floor at 6200 feet, runners will ascend nearly 5,000 feet as they circumnavigate the heralded terrain of North America's most rugged and extreme ski resort. The course is characterized by a plethora of vertical gain over a technical and physically demanding landscape that is mostly above treeline.
Along the way, runners will be treated to numerous iconic California trail running landmarks. These include Emigrant Pass (elevation 8750 feet), made famous by the Western States 100 Endurance Run, the jagged terrain of KT-22, unrivaled views into Granite Chief Wilderness and a the famous Stairway to Heaven ladder, featured on the cover of UltraRunning Magazine!
The price for the 26k is $115.
The course for the Broken Arrow 26k starts from the European arch in front of Coffeebar in the heart of the Squaw Valley Village. After the start gun runners head through the Village and east up single track trails along the Western States trail toward CA Highway 89. This relatively smooth 3.25 mile section may be the fastest and most runnable section of the course.
The course stays in the woods and turns back westward for ~2.6 miles, climbing ~1200 ft. along more single track trails and beautiful two-track ski area access roads to the top of Snow King. Runners then travel back down a ~1 mile steep ~730 ft. descent to the Easy Street aid station below KT-22. At this point runners are 6 miles into the race. The north facing parts of Snow King may still have some areas of snow on the descent into Easy Street.
Out of the Easy Street aid station, runners climb up the KT-22 road for about 1.4 miles and ~1150 ft. There will assuredly be snow on the upper half of this climb. From the top of KT-22 ski lift the course follows a two-track trail down along the ridge. The views here are stunning as they stretch out over the Granite Chief Wilderness to the west and Squaw Valley to the east.
After descending the ridge from the KT-22 ski lift runners traverse for one mile and 1,000 feet of vertical gain along a mix of open single track across the saddle between KT-22 and Squaw Peak. At this point is one of the more challenging and spectacular climbs on the course as runners ascend up steep trails to the top of the Headwall lift. At this point, the climb scrambles up the ridge line between the top of the Headwall Lift and the top of Squaw Peak. It is here that the course traverses an exposed rocky ridge to the "Stairway to Heaven" ladder. It has craggy views and steep drop offs on either side. It represents one of the most iconic sections of running/scrambling in the entire race and is the high point of the race at approximately 9,000-feet.
Runners then descend and traverse about 1200 ft. in ~ 2.5 miles from the top of Squaw Peak down into Shirley Basin. Along the way, runners will pass through the Siberia Aid Station at mile 8.85. The Shirley Canyon sections is always the the snowiest section of the course. From the bottom of Shirley Basin the runners climb another snowy ~550 vertical ft. in about .9 miles back up to the High Camp Aid Station at mile 11.75. From High Camp, racers descend back down the Thunder Mountain single track to the finish line at the KT Sun Deck.