2020 Date TBD
Presented in partnership with:
Alpental, Summit of Snoqualmie


THE Pacific Northwest classic.  Vertfest has been fueling the randonee stoke out of Alpental since its inception 13 years ago.  Since then, it has grown into a true legendary race you can set your sights on.

Race options include a Race Distance, Recreation Distance, and a Heavy Mettle category within each. For more information, see the Course section.

The race will descend some double black diamond and off-piste runs, so race participants need to be comfortable navigating this terrain.  Depending on conditions, the course might have a steep bootpack as well.

Part of the tradition of Vertfest is racing in ridiculous costumes, so let your inner fruit flow and dress in a banana suit, neon onesie, or anything else crazy! Best dressed gets a prize, of course!

Vertfest Costumes.jpg


Due to the recent high rate of melt out in the past few weeks, we’ve had to readjust from our usual ascent route for the Recreation first loop. The second Pro ascent loop will remain the same. Both loops will top out at Knoll 1 and share the same descent route. It’s still a fantastic course and will provide a new type of scenery to those of you who have been racing Vertfest for a few years now! Below is a picture of the new route and course description.

Recreational Distance
The Rec race will start from Chair 3 and head straight up Sessel and run through Snakedance. There is one short section in Snakedance that is a bit tricky for a beginner skinner, so we will have an alternate bootpack set if you would prefer to take skis off to ascend. The loop will summit at the top of Knoll 1, where racers will transition and ski through Lower International back to Sessel and the finish. Costumes and heckling the Race folks are encouraged!

Race Distance
The first lap is the same as the Recreation lap. Race distance participants will transition to skinning for lap two next to the finish, and then head out the Gala Gate outside the resort boundary. Racers will be following the resort boundary up, cliffs to your right and ski boundary on your left. The loop will rejoin with the Rec loop again and shortly thereafter top out at Knoll 1 again. Same descent route back to the finish and beer!

Heavy Mettle Category
For those who only have their daily ski touring setup and no lightweight race setup, do not fret. You can still see how you stack up against other races using gear with a similar weight to your own with the Heavy Mettle category in each distance. To qualify for the Heavy Mettle Division, you must be using either “frame bindings” (Marker Tour, Salomon Guardian, Fritschi Freeride, etc), tele skis, or a splitboard.

Vertfest-Map Alternate Course.jpg


7:30am - 8:30am Check In at Denny Lodge (north lodge)
9:00am Mandatory Pre-race Meeting at Alpental Lodge (south lodge)
9:45am Mandatory Beacon Check at Start Line
10:00am  Race Begins
12:30pm Cutoff to Start Second Lap
2:30pm Race Course Closes
3:00pm Awards Ceremony, Raffle, and Beer

Required Gear

-Helmet must be worn the entire race (skimo, skiing, climbing, or bike helmets allowed)
-Avalanche beacon, shovel, and probe (Race and Rec both)
-Eye protection
-Skis or snowboard with metal edges and retention system, minimum length 160cm for men, 150cm for women for skis.
-Climbing skins
-Pack that can carry skis
-Windproof upper body layer
-Water bladder or bottle

Race Entry Fees:
Regular Registration: $50
Late Registration (after March 24rd, 2019): $60
If available, day of registration: $70
$10 discount for Recreational Distance
Registration closes Friday, April 5th at noon

All participants receive a Vertfest 2019 tshirt.

All racers are required to have an Alpental lift ticket. If you do not have a season’s pass, Alpental is offering a discounted lift ticket of $40 ($45 Race Day). Select the option to purchase the discounted ticket during registration. Tickets will be handed out during check in race morning.


All demos are free and first come, first serve. Show up early if you want to plan on snagging a pair, but have a backup set. This is a great way to test out some lighter gear before a big purchase! Dynafit will be bringing out the gear listed here:

Dynafit Offering.jpg

Gear Check

Want to have some dry clothes to put on after the race so you aren’t shivering while drinking a cold beer? Bring a few extra layers in a bag and check them with our gear check table in the vendor village.

driving directions

Alpental is located at Snoqualmie Pass on I-90, about one mile north of the interstate.

From the West
Take I-90 exit 52
Turn left onto State Route 906 at end of off-ramp
Continue under I-90 overpass
Continue right onto Erste Strasse/Alpental Access Rd and follow for 1.1 miles
Take a left into the parking lot just below the main lodges.

From the East
Take I-90 Exit 53
Turn left and pass under I-90
Take a right at the stop sign onto State Route 906
Follow SR 906 for ~0.7 miles
Continue right onto Erste Strasse/Alpental Access Rd and follow for 1.1 miles
Take a left into the parking lot just below the main lodges.


general rules

The race staff reserves the right to delay, alter, or cancel the start based on snow, weather, and safety conditions.

Race takes place at an operational ski resort.  All racers will yield to resort guests and adhere to the skier Responsibility Code.  Racers will comply with any directions issued by the ski area staff or race officials.

Racers are required to stay within 5' of the established skin track on the uphill portions.  During downhill portions, racers will stay with 30' of course markings.

Transitions must occur within the marked off transition area.

Racers agree to equipment checks before, during, and after the event.

If opt to not finish the race, you MUST check in with the timing staff to know you've left the course.  Otherwise we will begin calling your emergency contacts and worrying them!

Any transgression of a rule will result in a time penalty or DQ at the discretion of the race staff.

Racers should be prepared for variable weather including but not limited to snow, high winds and cold temperatures as well as rain and above freezing temperatures. A second pair of backup skins is not a bad idea if they wet out.