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Big Snow Year, Course Change for 4th annual north face vertical challenge competition at alyeska resort
February 1, 2012 (Girdwood, Alaska) – In its fourth year, Alyeska Resort’s North Face Vertical Challenge will feature a new course this winter. This friendly “competition” is scheduled for Friday, February 24, 2012. An endurance race event at heart, the North Face Vertical Challenge offers all disciplines (alpine, telemark skiers, snowboarders) an opportunity to “lap the tram” and log as many vertical feet on Alyeska Resort’s infamous North Face between the hours of 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. as physically possible.
The 2012 North Face Vertical Challenge route takes a fresh approach with a new big-mountain course. Same as previous years, the entry gate at the top of the venue will be positioned just uphill of the Upper Tram Terminal portal. As the competitors head down the North Face, they will stay to the left and descend thru an area called Tram Pocket. Competitors will pass under the tram tower and race towards Small Dawgs near West Line. At this point, they will enter the North Star gate and continue through steep gladed terrain in the Northwest Passage area which the resort developed two winters ago. This path results in 2,000 vertical feet of off-piste terrain with a final exit near the groomed trails of the Refinery Terrain Park where with the aerial tram in sight, competitors will get a chance to regroup before charging another lap.
“With fantastic conditions this winter and a strong repeat class of competitors, it was time to raise the bar and update the course,” said Brian Burnett, Mountain Services Manager and race founder. “The strongest athletes will snap off about 40 runs during the eight hour challenge. That’s over 80,000 vertical feet in a day.”
Competitors will ride the Alyeska Aerial tram starting at 9:00 A.M. and enter the specially designated event gate. They will be able to use the patrol line to reload the tram and accumulate laps until 5:00 P.M. Top finishers in the race in their respective categories will win a variety of winter-themed prizes as well as bragging rights. Registration for the race is open and available at the Tram Ticket Office at Alyeska Resort between 9:30 A.M. and open until 5:30 P.M. Sunday to Wednesday, and until 8:30 P.M. on Thursday to Saturday during night-skiing. The North Face Challenge is limited to the first 50 registrants and competitor spots sell out annually. Proceeds from the North Face Vertical Challenge will benefit Alyeska Resort’s Ski Patrol Avalanche Dog Program.
Following the awards ceremony on Friday night at the Sitzmark, Pato Banton will take the stage at 10:00 P.M for a Reggae themed party. Pato Banton is scheduled to play Thursday to Saturday night, February 23-25, 2012. Tickets for the shows are $10 in advanced and $15 day of show, and can be purchased online, at any Alyeska Ticket Office and over the phone at 907-754-2275. All Sitzmark shows are 21 and over.
To register for the North Face Vertical Challenge and to learn more about the activities throughout the weekend festival, please visit www.AlyeskaResort.com.