We’re gearing up for the 2021 Vertical Challenge season! This will be a season like never before, but we’re committed to making it as fun (and safe) as we possibly can. With that in mind, we’ve put together some information to help you get a feel for how we’ll do things.
We should mention that some of this is subject to change as we adjust to new circumstances and official policies. What’s not subject to change is our commitment to giving your family an amazing experience through racing and so much more.
We will do temperature checks on each crew member before we depart on the morning of an event. Crew members who are sick won’t participate in any case. We are also requiring our crew to get COVID-19 tests the week before events.
We will add sanitizer stations along the sampling village and in registration as part of our setup, and the resorts will have them as well.
You’re probably pretty used to this by now, but all crew and participants will wear masks in any situation where we need to be within six feet of anybody else. We’ll adhere to any resort-specific policies in this area, too.
One of our areas of focus at the Vertical Challenge has always been mentoring young people. We know kids won’t always remember to social distance or keep their masks in place because, you know, they’re kids. Our crew members will try to be allies of parents in this area and gently remind the youngsters with a smile and a gesture.
We know they may want to socialize and talk excitedly about their runs and such. One idea we’ve had for allowing them to do so is to suggest they instead post about it to social media in a respectful manner and with their parents’ permissions.
At all events, remember to dress appropriately to be outside more than usual and don’t forget your face covering!
We always like it when you pre-register for our events online at ski-vc.com (and you can do so now at the 2021 Schedule Page) but this year it’s vital. We’ll work with NASTAR again this season for registration. We’re currently in the process of getting the individual events set up with them and will send links as soon as we have it all in place.
We want to remind you to buy your lift tickets in advance, too. Keep in mind that resorts may have to limit their capacities, so having yours secured before the VC date could be crucial to your participation.
Where feasible, we will have a limited on-site registration set up outside on raceday, though we may not be able to do that at every resort depending on policies in place for that particular location. We will carefully sanitize items like clipboards and pens after each use. But pre-registration is still strongly advised.
Here’s our current schedule with links to buy your lift tickets:
* Sunday, February 7, 2021 – Pats Peak, NH
* Saturday, February 20, 2021 – Lost Valley, ME
* Saturday, February 27, 2021 – Nashoba Valley, MA
* Saturday, March 6, 2021 – Berkshire East, MA
* Sunday, March 7, 2021 – Catamount, MA
* Saturday, April 10, 2021 – Jay Peak, VT (Finals)
* TBD – Jiminy Peak, MA
We have some incredible partners who continue to support the Vertical Challenge this season, including bubly, Chevy, Xfinity, and Shred Dog. They’ll still be a major part of the experience with prizes, contests, sampling, and more.
We’ll allow for distancing when setting up tents. We also have special procedures in place so you can get a product sample without having to make physical contact with our crew. We’ll use signage and QR codes for registration for contests and such, so bring your mobile devices!
Games and Activities
We still want to have fun with kids, and one advantage we have is that we are outdoors and often have large spaces in which we can operate.
We’ll use games that will be contactless and socially distanced or involve only immediate family members (musical chairs is a good example of a game we’d do with only family members competing against each other). So if you think you can beat Dad at musical chairs (and we bet you can), be prepared for some intra-family competition!
We have new remote-controlled cars we’ll race this year, which will make for some socially distanced fun. We’re excited about those!
Top of the Hill
When you’re getting ready to race, tip-to-tail spacing (basically keeping the full length of your skis or snowboard between you and the next person in line) is a good guideline for maintaining proper social distancing. We’ll keep queued competitors six feet apart in any case and have two lines of people where space permits.
No contact will be made between crew and competitors unless there is a wreck. If there is a wreck, the crew will try to talk the kids through it, helping physically only as a last resort.
We won’t be able to do the awards ceremonies as we typically have, due in part to government regulations. So we won’t be awarding our normal prizes – any swag awarded will be for activities in the sampling village. But we still want to congratulate you on your gnarly run, so we’ve come up with this system to keep folks outside and free from congregating in large groups.
- We’ll post the day’s results on the resort window in two separate areas.
- Winners will grab their own medals from containers we have placed outside the lodge. Each medal will be in its own plastic bag and placed in one of three bins (gold/silver/bronze).
- Winners will be asked to take a photo of themselves with the medal and share it with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you prefer to just post it to social media, use the hashtag #skivc so we can find it and like it!
- The week after each event. we will livestream a virtual awards ceremony from our headquarters so we can properly shout out to you! If you’ve sent or alerted us to your photos, you might be selected as the photo of the week and be recognized on the broadcast!
One other note – last year was our first one working with NASTAR. They do their medals and categories a little differently than we do. This year, we are going to align our race categories with theirs, but we’ll still do medals the same way we’ve always done them.
We unfortunately won’t be able to do raffles this year to benefit our charitable partners. Instead, we’re going to request you submit donations through the Cynthia’s Challenge website. We are still working to see if we can put together some sort of in-season fundraiser for the charity.
We’ll also put a bin on the registration table for Make-A-Wish donations by check.