7:30AM: Registration begins, 11AM-1PM: Race course is open, 2:30PM: Vertical Victory Party and Awards, 3:30PM: Event Concludes
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.

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+.

How often do you hold races?

We race Saturdays from December through March, with a number of other days mixed in. Check our schedule here.

Do I have to pre-register?

You can if you want, and you’ll save yourself some time on race-day by doing so on this website, but you don’t have to. We’re happy to sign you up that morning. Just stroll up to the VC desk 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.

We also have an adaptive division. So whoever you are and whatever you like to do, we welcome you.

Is it competitive?

Sure, it’s a race. But it’s a casual competition. We have slopes for people of different ability levels and we keep the whole atmosphere upbeat and laid-back.

Is it free?

Yep, 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


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