The race course is professionally designed and managed by ALL SPORTS EVENTS.

Day One starts with a run/hike on a mountain path in Shelburne, NH. After a brief climb through typical camps found in Maine and New Hampshire, racers travel on trails and footpaths through old woods as gradual grassy slopes give way to steeper, more rocky footing. The path goes from double track to single track, and then ascends up to Mt. Cabot, approximately 1500', with some beautiful views. Continuing on, racers face more rocky, narrow, and steep up-and-down trails to the summit of Mt. Ingalls at 2242'. Open rocky areas provide amazing views of the White Mountains and Mt. Washington. Racers then backtrack slightly. JV teams will head to the canoe launch a short way down the road to pick up their 16'-17' canoes for an 11-mile paddle to Gilead, Maine. Varsity teams will continue to climb to the base of Middle and First Mountains before summiting Mount Crag at 1412'. Varsity will then continue down to the road to the Androscoggin River to board their canoes. The river is generally mellow aside from a few riffles and is considered a ‘float’ river. This means that all levels of paddlers, including complete novices, will be able to paddle without prior training. Wildlife, such as bald eagles, are often seen on the river -- so balance the need for speed with taking in all that the river has to offer.




All competitors begin the race at the point on the map marked with a green dot. The red line traces the Varsity Course, while the blue line traces the JV Course. The end of hike/start of canoe section is marked.

Day Two begins near Twin Bridges, Maine, with a trail through logging roads before going into the woods. Teams navigate tight trails with names like Catch’em and Monkey Brook (even enjoying some bushwhacking!), travel old logging roads, and then enter wider trails and ski runs in Sunday River, Maine. From there, teams trek on an open but steep work road across the Sunday River mountain range peaks where the views are stunning. About halfway through the mountain trails, the JV team will descend back towards the Grand Summit Hotel. At this point, the Varsity course will continue on to ‘bag’ peaks including Barker, Locke, and Whitecap, eventually navigating a steep descent toward the Grand Summit. Both courses will encounter surprise challenges as they slope toward the finish line. Expect a day with lots of elevation for both courses, and terrain that includes loose gravel service roads, overgrown trails, and single and double track trails.




All competitors begin the race at the point on the map marked with a green dot. The red line traces the Varsity Course, while the blue line traces the JV Course.


Each competitor must carry a number of mandatory items on his/her person at all times as a minimum safety standard while on the course.

Competitors will encounter checkpoints along the course where race officials may check for mandatory gear. Race officials will issue time penalties for missing items.

The following lists outline the required equipment. These lists do not constitute a complete inventory of gear that a competitor should carry. The lists may be subject to change. Participants will be notified of any changes to the mandatory gear requirements in advance of the event.

Each person is responsible for carrying his or her own appropriate equipment and clothing for the climate, conditions and activities. SCI will provide Fueling Bags each morning, but you may choose to bring additional food. You should bring at least 100 oz. of water up the mountain with you each day.


(One set per individual participant)

  • Waterproof jacket (this is determined by looking inside the jacket at the seams. If they are not “sealed” then the jacket does not meet the waterproof standard. Most GORE-TEX® jackets have taped seams)

  • Whistle (very useful if team gets separated inadvertently)

  • Emergency blanket (lightweight, Mylar-type material, thermal)

  • Headlamp or flashlight (not on cell phone)

  • Wool or synthetic cap (this should NOT be cotton – takes longer to dry if it gets wet)

  • Capacity to carry a minimum of one liter of water

(One set per team)

  • Antibacterial ointment

  • Small assortment of band-aids

  • 3” ace bandage

  • 6 doses of anti-inflammatory medication (e.g. Ibuprofen)

  • 6 doses of antihistamine medication (e.g. Benadryl)

  • Tweezers

  • Sunscreen

  • Pocket knife

  • Epinephrine for those with anaphylactic reactions (venom allergies, etc.)

SUGGESTED (not required)
Paddling portion

  • Dry bag for all gear (Ziploc bags will work)

  • Neoprene gloves

  • Hydration pack

  • Extra pair of lightweight shoes (to wear in the canoe)

General items

  • Visor

  • Sunglasses with retention strap

  • Extra socks

  • Anti-blister lubricant (e.g. Hydropel)

  • Easy to eat and access snacks


SCI takes your safety seriously. Race officials will conduct an on-site safety briefing during the Mandatory Race Meeting at the 2017 SCI Mountain Challenge Kick-Off Dinner on Thursday evening.

Each team is required to carry an SCI Mountain Challenge-issued tracker at all times while on the course (SCI will provide this before the race). The tracker automatically communicates with race headquarters every 10 minutes with the precise GPS location of the team. It also contains a “help” button should the team require assistance. In addition, trail runners, placed strategically at checkpoints on the mountain each day, will provide assistance to competitors if needed.

SCI Mountain Challenge race organizers employ a team of medical professionals (EMT and First Responders) for support and emergency purposes on location. While in Maine, any serious extractions or injuries may require the assistance of the Maine Fish and Game Department. SCI will maintain a written safety plan, specific to the 2017 SCI Mountain Challenge, on file with the race management team. It includes an overview of the route and identification of risks. The plan spells out contingencies for everything from inclement weather, to accidents, to extractions on the course.

Additionally, each team member must carry a number of mandatory items at all times while on the course as a minimum safety standard. Competitors will encounter checkpoints along the course where race officials will check for the mandatory equipment. Please see the MANDATORY GEAR section for additional information.


The 2017 SCI Mountain Challenge is a physically demanding event. We hope you will view your participation as a chance to push yourself, focus on your strengths and feel a great sense of accomplishment when you cross the finish line!

Although there are some ideal minimum standards for fitness, individual perseverance and determination may overcome physical ability in many instances.

How you train is up to you – below we have provided a link to detailed, month-by-month training suggestions designed for competitors at three different fitness levels. Of course, hiking uneven terrain prior to the race is the best preparation for the land-based sections of the 2017 SCI Mountain Challenge, but we know that this option isn’t available for all of our competitors!

If you choose to follow your own training schedule, below are some goals to keep in mind in the lead-up to the event:

Improvement in cardio fitness: choose any type of aerobic exercises that will raise your heart rate, get you moving and leave you sweating by the time you’re done. For example, brisk walking, running, cycling, swimming, circuit training, rowing, aerobics, stair climbing, etc. are just a few activities that will improve your endurance.

Aim for a minimum of two 30-minute cardio sessions per week, building the intensity of your workouts monthly, and keeping the date of the 2017 SCI Mountain Challenge in mind.

Improvement in strength and stamina: strength-building exercises like lifting weights or body weight exercises (push-ups, sit-ups, etc.) will gradually build stamina in your upper body which will help with the paddling element of the course.

Also, don’t forget to:

  • Break in the hiking boots or trail sneakers that you plan on wearing in advance of the event. No one wants blisters!

  • Train with your teammates to figure out how to make your team as efficient as possible. If you are different sizes or fitness abilities, split up the load of your backpacks proportionally to the size(s) of the team members to help balance things out.

  • Test any new equipment you will be bringing with you on the course (such as day packs, hydration packs and trekking poles).



SCI is proud to showcase the sponsors of the 2017 SCI Mountain Challenge.

Fueling Bag Sponsor

Lead Event Sponsor

Peak Sponsor

Event Bag Sponsor

Peak Sponsor

Finish Line Sponsor

Finish Line Sponsor


SCI is proud to showcase the donors of the 2017 SCI Mountain Challenge.

Bold Coast Coffee

All Ways

Maine Made

Sweetser’s Orchard

The Maine Office
of Tourism

Ski Maine

Sunday River


All Sports Events