• Friday, October 1, 2021

  • 11AM Start

  • 5.1km/3.2 miles

  • 900m/2900' vertical gain


VK Overview 


Please note exact course changes slightly each year due to snow conditions. 

The VK covers some of Squaw Valley’s most iconic terrain in a short, steep, and physically demanding sprint. From the valley floor, runners will ascend over 2,900 feet in a mere 3.2 miles to the summit of near 8,885-foot Squaw Peak.


The course begins as a dispersed mass start, ascends steep and technical off-trail talus, and finishes on an exposed ridge. The ridge to 8,885-foot Squaw Peak includes a bolted handline and the infamous Stairway to Heaven ladder. The Vertical Kilometer course will contain steep slabs of rock, potential snow slopes, scree and exposure. Come prepared!

Aid Stations


There are no aid stations for the VK. Runners will be treated to refreshments and cold adult beverages from our friends at Sierra Nevada in the vendor village.



Trekking poles are allowed and encouraged, although they must be carried the entire length of the route. Headphones are allowed as well but are HIGHLY discouraged due to the extreme nature of the course.


Traction devices such as MicroSpikes are allowed and race organizers will have hand lines installed where needed due to snow patches and/or steep talus. Please come prepared for a serious run in a mountainous environment and bring your desired personal needs in order to stay comfortable. We are strongly encouraging each runner to carry at least 12oz. of water.

Drop Bags

Even though it's mid summer, the weather at 9,000-feet on the Sierra Crest can be markedly different than the start line on the valley floor. As such, we offer to have your drop bag ready at High Camp and recommend you stuff it with a warm hat, light puffy, gloves and any other items that will make you  comfortable.

Drop bags MUST be left at registration by no later than 830am on Friday, June 21st. If you register on the day of the event you cannot utilize this offer.  

The price for the Vertical Kilometer is $65.

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OCTober 1-3, 2021

52K • 26K • 11K • VK• kids race



Brendan Madigan, Co-Race Director/Founder

Ethan Veneklasen, Co-Race Director/Elite Athlete Coordinator

Geoff Quine, Co-Race Director/Aid Station Coordinator

Sean Flanagan, Volunteer Coordinator

© 2018 Alpenglow Mountain Racing LLC