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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 nearly 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 whoever 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 schedule here.

Do I have to pre-register?

We welcome everyone to do so!  While you’re here on our website you’ll save yourself some time on raceday when you arrive at Racer Registration to only have to pick up your race bib! but We’re happy to have you sign up on-site that morning as well. Just scroll up to the schedule page and we’ll get you everything you need!

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 raffles (benefiting a VC charity of choice), prize drawings, 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 of those people had already qualified at one of our previous races, the fourth-place finisher (and lower, if applicable) also earns a spot in the end-of-season finals.


Is it competitive?

Sure, it’s a race. But it’s a casual competition. It’s great for 1st 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.

  • 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

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