Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Vertfest 2015 - Sportiva Clinics with NMS

Vertfest is coming once again to Alpental on February 14th and 15th, 2015. The program has been changed from the past with clinics now taking place first, on Saturday the 14th, and the randonee race taking place on Sunday, the 15th. Vertfest 2015 - Alpental February 14-15, 2015

Vertfest Race Start - The forecast calls for pain
Sportiva Clinics at Vertfest 2015
In conjunction with Sportiva, John & Olivia Race will be offering two full-day clinics on Saturday from 9 am - 4 pm.  Cost is $80 with all proceeds going to the Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC). We teach similar courses at the Northwest Mountain School for $235 so this is a great chance to get a good deal in instruction.

Introduction to Backcountry Skiing
  • Presented by La Sportiva/Northwest Mountain School
  • For those itching to leave the lifts and enter the backcountry, this clinic will teach you the basics of backcountry ski travel. We will embark on a short tour into the Alpental backcountry and discuss the necessary equipment, training and techniques needed to travel safely in the backcountry.
  • For: Intermediate and above alpine skiers with little or no backcountry experience.
  • Maximum 8 participants
Advanced Ski and Snowboard Mountaineering
  • Presented by La Sportiva/Northwest Mountain School
  • Are you an experienced backcountry skier or splitboarder ready to take the next step into more technical terrain? This clinic will cover the basics of ski/snowboard mountaineering, including the use of crampons, setting anchors, and basic rope work.
  • For: Advanced skiers and snowboarders with experience in the backcountry.
  • Maximum 6 participants
There are a ton of other great clinics in both half and full-day formats:
Half-day Vertfest 2015 clinics - Saturday February 14th, 2015
9 am - 12 pm: Morning Clinics
1 pm - 4 pm: Afternoon Clinics
Cost: $40
Coed Steep Skiing
  • Presented by Scarpa/Chris Davenport
  • Learn to ski the steeps, navigate steep terrain, and boost your confidence to ski steep lines here in the Cascades and beyond.
  • For: Advanced skiers
  • Maximum 6 participants
Women’s Steep Skiing
  • Presented by Pro Guiding
  • Learn to ski the steeps, navigate steep terrain, and boost your confidence to ski steep lines here in the Cascades and beyond.
  • For: Advanced skiers
  • Maximum of 6 participants
Intermediate Backcountry Ski Touring Techniques
  • Presented by Pro Guiding
  • Ever wonder how experienced backcountry skiers make touring look so effortless? This clinic will teach you the tricks to become more efficient when skinning uphill and making transitions back to ski mode…so you can enjoy the downhill even more.
  • For: Intermediate and above alpine skiers with some backcountry experience
  • Maximum of 8 participants
Introduction to Split Boarding
  • Presented by Chair 2 Boardsports and Voile
  • For those itching to leave the lifts and enter the backcountry, this clinic will teach you the basics of backcountry splitboard travel. We will embark on a short tour into the Alpental backcountry and discuss the necessary equipment, training and techniques needed to splitboard safely in the backcountry.
  • For: Intermediate and above snowboarders with little or no backcountry experience.
  • Maximum of 8 participants

Full-day Vertfest 2015 clinics - Saturday February 14th, 2015

9 am – 4 pm
Cost: $80 (season pass or lift ticket required)
Avalanche Risk Evaluation
  • Presented by Ortovox/NWAC - Scott Schell
  • Learn to make the right observations at the right time; a key component for better decision making, giving you more time to enjoy a day out.
  • For: Intermediate and above skiers and snowboarders with little avalanche training.
  • Maximum of 8 participants
Ski Photography
  • Presented by TBD
  • Learn the nuances of capturing better ski and snowboard photos in our amazing mountains and deepen your understanding of winter photography. Participants must provide their own camera and gear.
  • For: Intermediate and above skiers and snowboarders
  • Maximum of 8 participants
Happy Skiers following 2014 Vertfest
2015 Vertfest Race Schedule - Sunday February 15th, 2015
7:30 am: Racer Check-in / Day-of Registration
9 am: Vendor Village opens. Free demos from Outdoor Research, Scarpa,
La Sportiva, Voile, Osprey, Dynafit and more.  Sign-up at the NWAC tent.
9 am: Racer Meeting
10 am: Race start
2:30 pm: Last racers cleared from course
3 pm: Demo gear return, Vendor Village closes, award ceremony, raffle and beer
Olivia ready to race.

John & Olivia usually do the race and encourage you to participate.  What has always been great about this event is that it attracts some incredibly strong folks, but has a very relaxed, PNW feel.  It is not about winning, but more about giving it all you have and hopefully not collapsing into a heap short of the finish line.  You gotta be able to ski black diamond terrain in whatever conditions the weather presents, and should be able to skin with some proficiency. Beyond that we are always psyched to see the elite crew cheering folks on as they cruise to the finish while many of us are still battling uphill. If you are worried about your skiing or skinning ability check out the Rookie Rally.

video

About the Northwest Mountain School.  
The Northwest Mountain School is owned and operated by IFMGA guides John & Olivia Race.  We are based in Leavenworth, WA and sponsored by Sportiva. We run a variety of backcountry ski programs near Stevens Pass, WA as well as AIARE Level 1 and AIARE Level 2 avalanche courses. 

Stevens Pass Backcountry Programs