General FAQs

Q. What is the difference between Elite and Heavy Metal

Anyone with a combined single ski/binding weight of 1,450 gram (51 ounces) or less must race the race division.  An example of this gear is Ski Trab Free Rando Lite skis with Dynafit Low Tech Lite bindings. 

Q. What categories/divisions are there?

  • Awards will be given for 1st through 3rd places in the following categories for Saturday’s Race
    •  Men’s Elite
    •  Women’s Elite
    •  Men’s Heavy Metal (normal backcountry ski gear – AT, Tele, Splitboard)
    •  Women’s Heavy Metal (normal backcountry ski gear – AT, Tele, Splitboard)
    • Men’s Recreation
    • Women’s Recreation
    • Boy’s Cadet Division (15-17)
    • Girl’s Cadet Division (15-17)
    • Viking Boy’s Division (14 and under)
    • Viking Girl’s Division (14 and under)
    • Additional Awards for Saturday’s race
      • Men’s Race Masters Winner (45+ for either Elite or Heavy Metal category)
      • Women’s Race Masters Winner (45+ for either Elite or Heavy Metal category)
      • Powder Whore award: completing the race division on the heaviest gear
      • Prize for King of the Hill – the first male and female to the top of the first climb that also finish the race
  • Awards will be given for 1st through 3rd places in the following categories for Friday and Sunday’s Race
    • Men’s Race
    • Women’s Race
  • An overall Men’s and Women’s Triple Crown award will be provide for the fastest 3-race combined time

There are no age group awards

Q. What gear is required?

We will be following ISMF rules this year for mandatory gear.  A complete gear list can be found here.

This is a self-supported race.  All of the above equipment must be carried by the racer throughout the entire race.  Equipment inspections will occur prior to race start and may also occur at checkpoints.

Q. What are the race rules?

Please review the complete set of race rules.

  • Helmets are required by everyone (ALL Divisions) and must be worn at all times (helmets must be climbing or ski rated, no bike helmets allowed).
  • Skis must be securely attached to the backpack in 2 locations for the start and boot pack sections.
  • You must follow the marked course at all times.
  • No littering.
  • The existing rules still apply (skis, skins, beacon, shovel, pass through all check points).
  • Be a good sport.

Q. What kind of ski gear is allowed?

  • For ALL Divisions, any backcountry ski gear (telemark, alpine touring, or split-boards) is allowed. 
  • Nordic equipment and snowshoes are not allowed.
  • Skins are required
  • The Elite and Heavy Metal Divisions will have long sections of steep, mixed terrain up to a Double Black Diamond rated run in a resort and may include moguls, variable snow, and natural obstacles.

Q. How much is the entry fee?

The entry fees are: See registration page for race fees

A portion of all race proceeds goes to the Utah Avalanche Center to help promote a safe backcountry.

Q. How long will the race take?

Friday: depending on the format, the race will last from 5-40 minutes (depending on if it is sprint or king of the hill)

Saturday: Expected times are from 2 to 5 hours.  There will be a cut-off time at a pre-determined course checkpoint to ensure all racers are done within 5 hours.

Sunday: Expected times are from 3 to 5 hours.  There will be a cut-off time at a pre-determined course checkpoint to ensure all racers are done within 5 hours.

Q. What if it is a storm day or high avalanche danger day?

The race will be held on a modified course if conditions require it.

Q. Where do I park my car?

All racers must park at the Brighton Store.  There will be a shuttle to take racers the 1/4th mile to Milly Chalet.

Please try to carpool!!!

Q. Do I have to buy a lift ticket to go through the resort?

No, you do not need a lift ticket for the race, but you do need to follow the Skiers Responsibility Code at all times when you are in the resort boundaries.

We will be offering discounted Brighton Lift Tickets for yourself or your family that are valid Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

We will be offering single ride tickets on the Milli Express lift if your friends and family want to watch the race from the top of the lift.  Spectators will not be allowed to boot up Mt Millicent due to the limited space available on the summit.

Q. How will I know where to go?

The course will be marked by flagging and bamboo at all regular intervals.  All crucial points will be well marked.  All checkpoints will be well marked.

It is the racer’s responsibility to study the course and course maps and be familiar with the terrain.

Q. What kind of avalanche hazards does the course have?

The course is generally well protected by either being in-bounds at the resort or following safe travel protocols.

There are 4 areas that have more avalanche exposure than the rest of the course.  The Snow Safety Director will determine which (if any) of these areas need to be modified based on avalanche conditions the day before the race.

Q. Where is the awards ceremony and post-race party?

The awards ceremony and post-race party will be held at Milly Chalet (see schedule for times). 

The BBQ is free for all racers.  Family and friends can purchase BBQ items from Milly Chalet.

Q. What is the elevation and distance I can expect to travel?

See the Race Schedule and Course page

Q. Will there be any aid or water stations?

No, there will be no aid stations. This is a fully self-supported race.

You must carry all of the food you need for the 2-5 hours with you.  You cannot pick up food you drop before the race. 

Q. Can I have outside help or pacers?

No, you must start with all the gear you require and finish with all the gear you start with. 

Q. What if I need transportation from the airport to my hotel?

Contact Canyon Transportation at 801-255-1841, use Super Shuttle, or a taxi.

The Salt Lake City International Airport has all of the major car rental companies.

Q. What if I need transportation to the race start?

You should have no problem organizing a car pool at the pre-race meeting or post to the Wasatch Powder Keg Facebook Page.

You can also contact Canyon Transportation (801-255-1841) or call a taxi

Q. What are the lodging options?

  • Lodging at Brighton
  • Lodging at Solitude
  • Lodging at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon
  • Additional lodging close to Big Cottonwood Canyon
    • Days Inn South: 7251 South 300 West, Midvale, UT; 801-566-6677
    • Best Western Executive Inn: 280 West 7200 South, Midvale, UT; 801-566-4141
    • Candlewood Suites: 6990 South Park Center Drive, Midvale UT; 801-567-0111
    • Crystal Inn: 818 East Winchester Street, Murray, UT; 801-685-9300
    • Homewood Suites: 844 East North Union Avenue, Midvale, UT; 801-561-5999
    • Intown Suites: 151 West 7200 South, Midvale, UT; 801-567-0312
    • Motel 6: 7263 South Catalpa; Midvale, UT; 801-561-0058
    • Studio 6 Suites: 975 East 6600 South; Midvale, UT; 801-685-2102