Uphill skiing, skinning, alpine touring (AT), splitboarding, SkiMo—whatever you might call it, uphill travel is arguably the fastest growing offshoot of the sport of skiing. Thanks to more versatile skis, boots and bindings, more and more skiers and riders are forging their own path on the mountain to access bigger, better lines.
Learn more: Best Backcountry Gear
Red Bull and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, two brands closely tuned in to the fun meter when it comes to skiing and inventing new on-hill shenanigans, are backing the rise of alpine touring with a brand-new event for uphilling enthusiasts. The all-new Red Bull Raid is a two-part, human-powered competition centered around both physical fitness and downhill skiing prowess.
On April 13, 2019, 60 skiers and splitboarders across four categories (men’s ski, men’s splitboard, women’s ski, and women’s splitboard) will start at the base of Silverado at Squaw Valley, tour up a line of their choice, then ski or snowboard down in the same gear they used on the uphill portion. A maximum of 200 points will be awarded to participants—100 for the climb, and 100 for the descent. The first athlete to ascend the pitch will claim the full 100 points, and each position following will be awarded an incremental deduction of one point. The downhill portion is scored similarly to a freeride event, where a panel of three judges decides on scores based on style, line, and control.
Red Bull defines the Raid as a fusion of backcountry, big mountain riding, style and line selection that will ultimately crown the best overall winter athletes in the Sierras.
Read more about big mountain skiing competitions
For Red Bull, it made sense to team up with Squaw—home of Shane “Saucerboy” McConkey, the Gaffney Brothers, and the birthplace of G.N.A.R.—to host the new event.
Competitors are being chosen on a first-come, first-serve basis, so if you’re planning on competing, hurry to register online—there’s no day-of registration. If earning your turns is not really your thing, this event still promises to be quite the spectacle, so join in on the festivities by spectating at the bottom of the course, then join the party on the KT Sundeck for the award ceremony later in the day. See you there?