Winter Wild Series - History

What is Winter Wild and how did it start?

The activity is called "uphilling" and it's adding a whole new dimension of fun and purpose to winter recreation. Uphilling is a hearty winter workout, where participants ascend a ski slope using either snowshoes, skis with climbing "skins" or hiking boots with special cleats. You might say it's an activity that's people-powered rather than machined-powered. For the Winter Wild series, participants go down the mountain the same way they went up - those on skis get to slide down the slopes.

The exercise benefits of uphilling are multi-fold. Though not for the faint of heart, enthusiasts have found it to be a positive way to get a vigorous cardiovascular and leg muscle workout. As an added benefit, participants of the Winter Wild series enjoy the breathtaking beauty of sunrises atop majestic mountains, in some of New England's most beautiful winter settings.

Uphilling, as a winter sport, is not new. There are numerous competitive uphilling events that take place nationally, but they generally exclude all but the most serious athletes, due to gear or ability constraints.

The Winter Wild concept excels, because we have taken the original concept of uphilling, and have created a regional series of events that are designed to be accessible to a wide range of people. Winter Wild allows all forms of uphilling "equipment" ranging from simple sneakers and snow boots, to full "skins" skis, and specialized Randonee boots. There is a category and age group for anyone who can ambulate, ranging from those who are just out for a "romp in the snow" to serious racers. The Winter Wild series consisted of seven separate events, increasing in length and difficulty, from 2.5 miles to 6 miles. It provides motivation for individuals to exercise between events, to improve their strength and stamina.

Winter Wild Series - Rules

Rules to participate

Whatever you wear up the hill is what you descend with... For example if you snowshoe up you will snowshoe down... so you would be listed in the open class.

There is one exception to this rule and that is if you would like to use a snowboard you may carry it on your back up the hill and then snowboard down and you will be listed in the Heavy Metal Category. You can not leave anything stashed anywhere on the mountain! Whatever you go up with you must return with to the start line.

If you use poles up the hill then you have to go down the hill with your poles.

Helmets are highly recommended especially if you are skiing! Ski helmet or a bike helmet will work. Its for your safety!!

No sleds or blades will be allowed!

Acceptable devices are: XC Skis, Randonee or Telemark Skis, snowboard, snowshoes, Micro-spikes or stabalizers... just plain running shoes.


Open Category (Micro-spikes, running shoes, yaxtrax, etc)


Track Skis (lightweight skating/diagonal gear)

Heavy Metal/ Telemark (alpine skis, randonee bindings, plastic boots/ full metal edged skis with a 3-pin or cable binding)

All categories above include a Challenged Athlete Division

The "All Mountain" Challenge. We are challenging running clubs/ teams to a dual so to speak. When you register for any WW event make sure that you identify your club/ team so we can track points from participants to crown the "King of the Mountain" at the end of the series. Team scores will consist of the cumulative Top 3 overall scores for each race in the series. Bragging rights on the line!

Age Groups

Male & Female 14 & under (Free), 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+

Racing Age

Age group will be determined by your age on May 1st, of the racing season. We need to fix a firm age for the season so people will not race at one age in January and at a different age in March if they have a birthday in between. For example: if you are currently 29 on January 1, but will turn 30 on May 1, you will race in the 30-39 division the entire season.


All finishers will receive points. If you do not finish or participate in an event, you will receive 0 points for that event. Points will be distributed as follows: 1st 100, 2nd 90, 3rd 82, 4th 75, 5th 69, 6th 63, 7th 58, 8th 53, 9th 49, 10th 45, 11th 41, 12th 37, 13th 34, 14th 31, 15th 28, All other finishers 25.

Tie Breakers

Ties in point standings will be settled by:

1. Head to Head competition (order of most recent race that both/all competed)

2. Highest placing athlete at final event.

3. Athlete who participated in highest number of events.

Series Championship

Champions will be recognized during the awards ceremony at the final event of the season.

USSMA: Policies on uphilling