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Home of the Vertical Challenge

A safe and fun event for the whole family

You already know how rewarding it can be to participate in winter sports with your family.

The Vertical Challenge

The Vertical Challenge is a series of free casual ski and snowboard races held at ski resorts throughout the northeast during each winter season. Skiers and snowboarders are divided by gender and age to compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals in each category. In addition to the races, attendees enjoy a festival element, featuring snowy activities for all ages, plus prizes given away throughout a fun day at the mountain.

We’ll let you in on a secret: our crew members have as much fun at the events as you do. When you participate in the VC, your family becomes part of ours.

Over our 30 years of operation, we’ve made it a priority to make a difference in the lives of our attendees. We mentor our crew and they, in turn, mentor our young participants. They help an eight-year-old overcome trepidation about her first ski race; They show a child how he can help other kids through school fundraisers; They adopt families, often forming bonds that last well beyond the day at the slopes. Multiple generations have made the VC an influential part of their lives.


Our Mission Statement

The Vertical Challenge is dedicated to making a difference in children’s lives by creating a positive environment and outstanding event experience in which organizers can serve as mentors to participants and their families. 

Core Values: 

• Positive, fun and engaging experience for fans.

• Find ways to make a difference in children’s lives.

• Act ethically and morally.

• Deliver results for our ski areas and sponsors.

Join us!

Can I participate if I’m . . .

Yes! Sorry to interrupt, but we have age categories for everyone in both skiing and snowboarding, from boys and girls under six to men and women age 76+. We also have an adaptive category, everyone is included! So whomever you are and whatever you like to do, we welcome you.

How often do you hold races?

We race on most Saturdays and Sundays from January through March, with a number of other days mixed in. Check our list of tour stops at the schedule tab above. We usually finalize it in November or December.

Do I have to pre-register?

We always like it when you pre-register for our events online at, but in recent years it has become especially vital. Where feasible, we will have a limited on-site registration set up outside on raceday, though we may not be able to do that at every resort depending on policies in place for that particular location. But pre-registration is still strongly advised.

girl with medals

If I win, do I get a prize?

Yes, we award gold, silver, and bronze medals across genders and age groups. Plus we have contests and free samples of cool stuff.

How can I make the finals?

The top three finishers in each category qualify at every tour stop. If one (or more) of those podium finishers previously qualified at another tour stop, the fourth-place (or even fifth- or sixth-) finisher gets in.


Is it competitive?

Sure, it’s a race. But it’s a casual competition. It’s great for first-time racers, as well as others who raced in years past! We have categories for people of different ability levels and we keep the whole atmosphere upbeat and laid-back. To benefit racers who may also want to compete in non-VC events, we have partnered with NASTAR. All the points you earn at a VC race will count toward their ranking system!

Is it free? What does it cost to enter?

It’s free! All you need to participate is a resort lift ticket for the day! Our awesome sponsors pay all the costs.

Ski Vertical Stories

  • I wanted to say thank you for putting on such a great family friendly race series. Including the finals, our family has made five races this year.

    Chris Mapel
  • Thank you, guys. Great job. Traveling to your events really strengthens me and Olivia’s bond. And that’s the best thing I get out of it. Thank you.

    Robert Schug
  • You guys all did amazing job at Jay Peak Finals. My boys had a great time and were very sad when it was time to come home

    Scott Devaney
  • Over the past three seasons we have not only become friends with the “crew,” but have made many new friends throughout the Northeast.

    Jeff Rudert
  • Silence. I am sure this is as close to flying one can get. This is my happy place, the place where I feel strong, free, and content. (read more)

    Christian Y
  • Thank you so much for what you do. I truly believe without the experience you gave my son his first year of skiing and helping him, he NEVER would have gotten into racing. You are an absolute GEM.

    VC parent from Butternut
  • Thanks so much for organizing such a fun race ! We all had a blast this past weekend at Jay (Peak)!!


    Bikiran Goswami
  • Thank you for your time and all you do. I love your event!


    Hugh Johnson
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