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Vertfest 2017

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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 9 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 2017 | February 11 | Link - Details Here

Vertfest Alpental 2017 | February 18 and 19 | File - Race Results Here

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


Schedule

Saturday, February 18
8 am: Vendor Village opens. Free demos from our sponsors.  Sign-up at the NWAC tent.
8:00 - 8:45: Clinic Registration
9 am - 12 pm: Morning Clinics
9 am - 4 pm: All day Seminars
10:00 - 11:30: Avalanche Awareness Talk by Scott Schell, NWAC ED
11:30-12:30: SheJumps Panel 
1 pm- 4 pm: Afternoon Clinics
3 pm: Live music, party, and beer
4 pm: Demo gear returns due, Vendor Village closes

Sunday, February 19
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


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**IMPORTANT TICKET INFORMATION**
Racers with an Alpental Seasons pass: Purchase a "Race" ticket for $45

Racers without an Alpental Pass: Purchase a "Race w/o Summit Season pass" for $75

Participation in Clinics: Purchase a "Day Vertfest Lift Ticket" or "2 Day Vertfest Ticket" if you do not have a seasons pass AND the clinic you want to participate in. 

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!

Clinic Descriptions 

Clinics offer an array of workshops designed to include everyone from those who have never been on skins to the experienced backcountry enthusiast. If you don't have a Alpental seasons pass, you must purchase a day or weekend pass to Alpental through Brown Paper Tickets. 
 
1/2 Day Clinics 
 
  • Steep Skiing Technique - 9:00am -12:00pm
    Instructor/Location: Martin Volken/Alpental back bowls 
    Pre-requisites/Required Gear: Comfort skiing black diamond runs; beacon, shovel and probe.
    Description: Learn to ski the steeps, navigate steep terrain, and boost your confidence to ski the burliest lines here in the Cascades and beyond.
     
  • Steep Skiing Technique - 1:00pm - 4:00pm 
    Instructor/Location: Kate Hourihan
    Pre-requisites/Required Gear: Comfort skiing black diamond runs
    Description: Learn to ski the steeps, navigate steep terrain, and boost your confidence to ski the burliest lines here in the Cascades and beyond.
     
  • Companion Rescue Workshop - 9:00am -12:00pm
    Instructor/Location: Backcountry Adventure Guides/ Beachon park; lower Phantom
    Pre-requisites/Required Gear: Beacon, shovel, probe; snow boots or ski boots; layers for the weather.
    Description: Are your rescue skills tuned up? Practice and refine your companion rescue response, from scene safety to strategic shoveling.
     
  • Companion Rescue Workshop - 1:00pm - 4:00pm
    Instructor/Location: Backcountry Adventure Guides/ Beachon park; lower Phantom
    Pre-requisites/Required Gear: Beacon, shovel, probe, snow or ski boots; layers for the weather. 
    Description: Are your rescue skills tuned up? Practice and refine your companion rescue response, from scene safety to strategic shoveling.
     
  • Backcountry Self-rescue - 9:00am - 12:00pm
    Instructor/Location: Heiko Stopsack
    Pre-requisites/required gear: Bring your typical backcountry touring pack and any emergency gear you may carry that could be useful for improvising a sled or stabilizing a patient.  
    Description: Prepare for what comes after companion rescue; in this clinic you will learn and practice techniques for improvised patient care and transport in the winter backcountry.
     
  • Backcountry Self-rescue - 1:00pm - 4:00pm
    Instructor/Location: Heiko Stopsack
    Pre-requisites/required gear: Bring your typical backcountry touring pack and any emergency gear you may carry that could be useful for improvising a sled or stabilizing a patient. 
    Description: Prepare for what comes after companion rescue; in this clinic you will learn and practice techniques for improvised patient care and transport in the winter backcountry.
Full Day Clinics 
 
  • Introduction to Ski/Splitboard Touring 9:00am-3:00pm
    Instructor/Location: Matt Schonwald, Alpental backcountry
    Pre-requisites/required gear: Beacon, shovel, probe, skins, layers for the weather, lunch.
    Description: 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 in to the Alpental backcountry and discuss the necessary equipment, training and techniques needed to travel safely in the backcountry.

 

  • Intro to Ski/Splitboard Mountaineering- 9:00am - 3:00pm 
    Instructor/Location: Matt Hartman 
    Pre-requisites/required gear: Touring gear, beacon, shovel, probe, harness, layers for the weather, locking carabiner, crampons and axe if you have them, and lunch!
    Description: Are you comfortable touring in a variety of terrain, but interested in adding tools and techniques to go further? This clinic introduces the essential transitions and tools of ski mountaineering: ski carry strategies, ice axe and crampon use, and introductory rope maneuvers, including rappels. Presented by Northwest Mountain School.
     
  • Women's Backcountry Clinic  9:00am - 3:00pm 
    In partnership with SheJumps 
    Instructor/Location: Laura Le Blanc
    Pre-requisites/required gear: Beacon, shovel, probe, skins, layers for the weather, lunch. 
    Description: 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 in to the Alpental backcountry and discuss the necessary equipment, training and techniques needed to travel safely in the backcountry.
     

 

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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.
 
Can I practice skinning uphill in the resort prior to race day? 
Yes, you can practice during hours of operation but Alpental ski patrol asks that you contact patrol dispatch (guest services or the bottom of Armstrong Express can help you contact patrol) before traveling uphill. 

 

Sponsors:

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