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Vertfest

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Vertfest is returning to Alpental on February 14 and 15, 2015!

As the second stop on what has become a four stage Vertfest Tour including stops at Mt Bachelor, OR, Snow King, WY, and Brighton, UT, the 8th annual Vertfest at Alpental is brought to you by the Northwest Avalanche Center, Subaru, Outdoor Research, Alpental and Pro Guiding Service.

From humble beginnings as the original Vertfest, Vertfest Alpental has grown from a small randonee race with 50 participants to a successful weekend event and concert with over 400+ attendees involved in races, clinics, demos and the legendary Saturday après ski party.  We hope you will join us for what has become the largest backcountry skiing and riding festival in the Northwest, and possibly the Universe!

Schedule

Saturday, February 14
9:00: Vendor Village opens. Free demos from Outdoor Research, Scarpa, La Sportiva, Voile, Osprey, Dynafit and more.  Sign-up at the NWAC tent.
9 am - 12 pm: Morning Clinics
9:00am - 4:00pm: All day Seminars
1 pm- 4 pm: Afternoon Clinics
3 pm: Demo gear returns due, Vendor Village closes, live music, party, and beer
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Sunday, February 15
7:30 am: Racer Check-in / Day-of Registration
9:00am: Vendor Village opens. Free demos from Outdoor Research, Scarpa, La Sportiva, Voile, Osprey, Dynafit and more.  Sign-up at the NWAC tent.
9 am: Racer Meeting
10 am: Race start
2:30pm: Last racers cleared from course
3:00pm: Demo gear return, Vendor Village closes, award ceremony, raffle and beer

 

Registration

Registration will be available soon.

Race Categories and Route Descriptions

The Alpental Vertfest race is a challenging! While you don’t need to be super human, you should be an advanced skier and have some experience using skins. With the exception of the Rookie Rally, all race categories ski on advanced/black diamond terrain, and, depending on conditions, may involve steep boot packing on the ascent. 
  • Elite (2 laps): This is the race that put Vertfest on the map!  You don’t need a skin suit (though there will be some on the course) but you better be in shape.  The first lap goes to the top of chair 2 and back down to the base. The second lap ventures into the Alpental backcountry and tops out at Piss Pass. Racer times typically range from 2 to 3 hours.  You will have earned your beer if you take this on!
  • Recreational (1 lap): The Rec race mirrors the Elite race, but only for the first lap. This is for the mere mortals among us. You can race it or just come out and join the fun. Costumes are encouraged!  Times typically range from 1–2.5 hours, with a few stragglers usually coming in at around 3 hours.  
  • Heavy Mettle (200+ lbs w/o gear – 1 lap): Same as the recreational course. We give the Clydesdales a break.
  • Splitboard (1 lap): Same as the recreational course. Splitboarding is hard on the uphill than being on those skinny rando skis, so we keep it to one lap. However, the hardcore splitboarders are welcome to join the Elite race!
  • Rookie Rally (short lap): New this year, the inaugural Rookie Rally is for those just getting into ski touring. You will skin from the finish line of the main course to the top of the Bernard lift and back down. Estimated race time is 30 minutes. This is beginner terrain and the goal is to have fun and get a feel for skinning. Don’t have backcountry gear? You can demo it at the Vendor Village!

Clinic Descriptions

Half-day clinics
9 am - 12 pm: Morning Clinics
1 pm - 4 pm: Afternoon Clinics
 
Cost $40
Coed Steep Skiing
  • Presented by Pro Guiding
  • Learn to ski the steeps, navigate steep terrain, and boost your confidence to ski steep lines here in the Cascades and beyond.
  • For: Advanced skiers
  • Maximum 6 participants
Women’s Steep Skiing
  • Presented by Pro Guiding
  • Learn to ski the steeps, navigate steep terrain, and boost your confidence to ski steep lines here in the Cascades and beyond.
  • For: Advanced skiers
  • Maximum of 6 participants
Intermediate Backcountry Ski Touring Techniques
  • Presented by Pro Guiding
  • Ever wonder how experienced backcountry skiers make touring look so effortless? This clinic will teach you the tricks to become more efficient when skinning uphill and making transitions back to ski mode…so you can enjoy the downhill even more.
  • For: Intermediate and above alpine skiers with some backcountry experience
  • Maximum of 8 participants
Full-day clinics
9:00am – 4:00pm
Cost $80 (season pass or lift ticket required)
Introduction to Backcountry Skiing
  • Presented by Pro Guiding
  • For those itching to leave the lifts and enter the backcountry, this clinic will teach you the basics of backcountry ski travel. We will embark on a short tour into the Alpental backcountry and discuss the necessary equipment, training and techniques needed to travel safely in the backcountry.
  • For: Intermediate and above alpine skiers with little or no backcountry experience.
  • Maximum 8 participants
Introduction to Split Boarding
  • Presented by Chair 2 Boardsports and Voile
  • For those itching to leave the lifts and enter the backcountry, this clinic will teach you the basics of backcountry splitboard travel. We will embark on a short tour into the Alpental backcountry and discuss the necessary equipment, training and techniques needed to splitboard safely in the backcountry.
  • For: Intermediate and above snowboarders with little or no backcountry experience.
  • Maximum of 8 participants
Advanced Ski and Snowboard Mountaineering
  • Presented by Pro Guiding
  • Are you an experienced backcountry skier or splitboarder ready to take the next step into more technical terrain? This clinic will cover the basics of ski/snowboard mountaineering, including the use of crampons, setting anchors, and basic rope work.
  • For: Advanced skiers and snowboarders with experience in the backcountry.
  • Maximum 6 participants
Avalanche Risk Evaluation
  • Presented by NWAC/Scott Schell
  • Learn to make the right observations at the right time; a key component for better decision making, giving you more time to enjoy a day out.
  • For: Intermediate and above skiers and snowboarders with little avalanche training.
  • Maximum of 8 participants
Ski Photography
  • Presented by Stephen Matera Photography (www.materaphoto.com)
  • Learn the nuances of capturing better ski and snowboard photos in our amazing mountains and deepen your understanding of winter photography. Participants must provide their own camera and gear.
  • For: Intermediate and above skiers and snowboarders
  • Maximum of 8 participants

FAQ

What equipment do I need to participate in the race?
You must wear a helmet and carry a beacon, shovel and probe.
 
What equipment do I need to participate in a clinic?
Equipment will vary depending on the clinic. If you are taking an introductory clinic and need backcountry touring equipment, you may be able to demo it at Vertfest.
 
Can I demo gear if I am not taking a clinic or racing?
Yes – anyone is welcome to demo gear at Vertfest.
 
Why do I need to buy a lift ticket?
The Summit at Snoqualmie dedicates a great deal of staff time to Vertfest.  Your discounted ticket helps to defray some of those costs.
 
Isn’t Vertfest just a randonee race?
No!  Vertfest is a full weekend festival involving equipment demos, clinics and après ski festivities.
 
Why do I need to show up at registration (early)?
You need to pick up your race number and attend the pre-race meeting.

 

Sponsors TBD

More information

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