Feb 18, 2024 at 7:00 AM

Vail Mountain Winter Uphill

Lionshead Circle

Vail CO, 81657


Event Facebook page

Entry Fee $25
(Lowest or Early Registration)

Entry Fee 2 $50
(Highest or Late Registration)

Prize Money: no


  • 2.5M

Type: Hill Climb

Participant Limit: 300

Course Map: Download Map

Starting Elevation: 8120

High Point: 10346

Percent of the course on un-paved trails: 100%

First Year of the Event: 2008

Men's Record: Rickey Gates, 2009

Masters Men Record: Bernie Boettcher, 2008

Women's Record: Brandy Erholtz, 2009

Masters Women Record: Anita Ortiz, 2008


Register HERE.

Preregistration & Bib Pickup: Alpine Wine & Spirits.Inside the West Vail City Market. Saturday, Feb. 19, 4-6 p.m. Online registration closes at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Race Day Bib Pickup and Registration: Lionshead Ticket Office (everyone will need to sign a Vail Resorts Waiver)

Bag Drop: We are happy to take any extra clothing up to the top of the mountain for you. Please drop your gear at the gondola building at our gear drop area.

Categories: Splitboard, Ski and Non-Ski

The annual Vail Mountain Winter Uphill Race returns on Sunday, Feb. 20, as skiers, snowboarders and winter runners tackle 2,200 vertical feet of groomed trails to reach Eagle’s Nest at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola in Lionshead. This event is ideal for competitors and non-competitors featuring categories for each, and honors the memory of Vail local Lyndon Ellefson who was instrumental in starting the U.S. men’s mountain running program, with some of the entry fees supporting the U.S. Mountain Running Team.

For the past twelve years, the Vail Mountain Uphill has proven to be a challenging midwinter competition for some, and a fun, non-competitive community hike for others. It presents an opportunity to support a worthy organization, while also paying tribute to Ellefson, a trailblazer in the sport of mountain running who lost his life in a 1998 accident near the Matterhorn while training for a mountain race in Italy. Ellefson was the foreman for the Lionshead Gondola. Ellen Miller, along with fellow mountain runner and Vail local Hooker Lowe, started the race in 2008 to spread their passion for mountain running and uphill skiing (skinning) and to pay homage to Ellefson.

“The Vail Mountain Winter Uphill is a meaningful event for our community. We started it in the memory of Lyndon Ellefson and it has always been a fundraiser and a tribute to the US Mountain Running Team, of which Lyndon was a pioneer. This is a fun hike up Vail Mountain for people of all ages and abilities. I am thrilled that Vail Rec is operating the event this year!,” said Miller, Vail Mountain Uphill founder.

Miller, who coaches athletes year-round primarily through the Vail Vitality Center and also serves as the women’s team manager for the U.S. Mountain Running Team, reminds participants that this is not a snowshoe race.

“Most folks wear running shoes with stabilizers and some wear skis,” said Miller. “If it snows a lot participants might wear snowshoes, but I don’t see too many at this race unless we see a lot of snow the night prior to the race start.”

The event begins at 7 a.m. in the Lionshead base area, adjacent to the Eagle Bahn Gondola. Categories include ski, splitboard and non-ski options and prizes will be awarded by overall place and category by gender age group, including juniors 19 and under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and 70+.

Following the race, Vail Resorts and US Foods will be providing breakfast at Eagle’s Nest for all event participants.


Race event photo
Race event photo
Race event photo


Past Event Dates

Held on Feb 18, 2024

Held on Feb 19, 2023

Held on Feb 20, 2022

Held on Feb 16, 2020

Held on Feb 17, 2019

Held on Feb 18, 2018

Held on Feb 19, 2017

Held on Feb 21, 2016

Held on Feb 22, 2015

Held on Feb 22, 2014

Held on Feb 10, 2013

Held on Feb 12, 2012

Held on Feb 19, 2011

Held on Feb 20, 2010

Held on Feb 21, 2009

Held on Feb 23, 2008

Event Results

View 2022 Results

View 2020 Results

View 2019 Results

View 2018 Results

View 2017 Results