Voilé and Powder Keg to host 2014 Ski Mountaineering North American Championships and Vertfest

This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Calling all WildSnowers. This sounds so excellent, thought we’d get the word out here for the few of you that don’t get the invite. If Lisa and I can attend we’ll let you all know so we can meet some of our readers.

Following from press release

“Voilé and the Wasatch Powder Keg are excited to announce that not only will they be hosting this year’s North American Ski Mountaineering Championships, but will also be partnering with the Utah Avalanche Center and Outdoor Research to bring the Vertfest to Utah for 2014.

The 12th annual Wasatch Powder Keg backcountry race will be held on March 7, 8, and 9 at Brighton Ski Resort. A test of speed, strength, and endurance for any backcountry skier, the 2014 Powder Keg will once again feature 3 different races, allowing racers to have the option of doing any individual race or all 3 races. The Powder Keg will also be hosting the North American Ski Mountaineering Championships, meaning that each race will crown a North American Champion for each of the 3 races.

The Keg starts off Friday afternoon with the sprint race, the ultimate test of a racer’s speed while climbing (~300 vertical feet). All racers race singly, with the top 12 qualifying for the semi-finals, held ‘ski-cross’ style (6 racers at a time). The top 6 from the semi-finals will compete in the finals to determine the overall winner. With categories for both men and women, head-to-head competition, and the entire race taking place within view of Milly Chalet, the Sprint Race is sure to be a nail biter.

Saturday is the traditional Powder Keg Individual Race. The Elite and Heavy Metal divisions will cover 11 miles with 5 climbs for a little over 6,000’ of punishment, while the Recreational division will cover 6.5 miles with 4 climbs for 3,500’ of vert. Any racer with a ski/binding weight of 1,450g (51 oz.) or less must race the Race division.

Sunday will be the Technical Teams Race (teams of 2). The course will have 6 climbs and over 9,000’ of climbing. The highlight of the course will be the fixed ropes climbing up and traversing Mt Millicent. Racers will be required to work as a team to complete the course and incorporate mountaineering skills to ascend and traverse the roped section.

On Friday, food will be available at the Milly Chalet between the Sprint Race and pre-race meeting. A barbecue, awards ceremony, and raffle will follow the Saturday and Sunday races at the Milly Chalet. For more details visit www.wasatchpowderkeg.com.

Vertfest will feature
· 2 days of free gear demos
· Half- and full-day clinics on topics such as steep skiing, splitboarding, efficient backcountry travel techniques, mountaineering skills for backcountry riders, ski photography, and avalanche travel and rescue skills

Both days will feature an award ceremony and opportunity drawing, while Saturday will also feature a live band and outdoor barbecue.”


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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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Backcountry skiing is a dangerous sport. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions or templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow its owners and contributors of any liability for use of said items for backcountry skiing or any other use.

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