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Vertfest 2016

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Vertfest is a multi-stop mountain festival dedicated to raising the level of backcountry stoke in the Northwest, improving backcountry skills and increasing avalanche awareness. From its humble beginnings 8 years ago as a small randonee race with 50 participants at the Alpental ski area, Vertfest has grown to what this year is a two-stop tour involving races, demos, clinics and festivities at both Alpental and Mt Bachelor. We hope you will join us at one or both events for what promises to be a highlight of your winter.

Vertfest Bachelor 2016 | February 6 | Details Here

Vertfest Alpental 2016 | February 13 - 14

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Jump to: Schedule I Registration I Race Categories I FAQ I Sponsors


Schedule

Saturday, February 13
9 am: Vendor Village opens. Free demos from our sponsors.  Sign-up at the NWAC tent.
9 am - 12 pm: Morning Clinics
9 am - 4 pm: All day Seminars
1 pm- 4 pm: Afternoon Clinics
3 pm: Live music, party, and beer
4 pm: Demo gear returns due, Vendor Village closes

Sunday, February 14
7:30 am: Racer Check-in / Day-of Registration
9 am: Vendor Village opens. Free demos from our sponsors.  Sign-up at the NWAC tent.
9 am: Racer Meeting
10 am: Race start
2:30 pm: Last racers cleared from course
3 pm: Award ceremony, raffle and beer
4 pm: Demo gear returns due, Vendor Village closes


Register Here


Race Categories and Route Descriptions

The Alpental Vertfest race is 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 harder 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/Team Sprint (short lap): New this year, the inaugural Rookie Rally / Team Sprint is for those new to the sport and those who don’t want to go it alone.  Grab a partner and stick together as you race from the base of Alpental to the top of the Sessel lift and back.  Teams must finish the race together, so don’t get spread out on the course!  Rookies don’t have backcountry gear? You can demo it at the Vendor Village!
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Clinics

Half-day clinics
9 am - 12 pm: Morning Clinics
1 pm - 4 pm: Afternoon Clinics
Cost: $40
 
Coed Steep Skiing
  • Morning Instructor: Northwest Freeride Programs / Wayne Grevey
  • Afternoon Instructor: Andy Devore
  • 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
  • Morning Instructor: Kate Hourihan
  • Afternoon Instructor: Northwest Freeride Programs / Rachel Delecour
  • 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 Northwest Mountain School
  • 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

Introduction to Split Boarding

  • Presented by Chair 2 Board Sports
  • 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


Full-day clinics

9 am – 4 pm
Cost: $80 (season pass or lift ticket required)
 
Introduction to Backcountry Skiing
  • Presented by Northwest Mountain School
  • 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
Advanced Ski and Snowboard Mountaineering
  • Presented by Backcountry Adventure Guides / Matt Schonwald
  • 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 Northwest Avalanche Center / 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 
  • 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:

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