Join the First Annual Castle Peak Uphill Challenge!

Ready to get your sweat on? Join Tahoe Mountain Sports for the first annual Castle Peak Uphill Challenge, sponsored by Black Diamond, Weston, Camp-USA and Snowline.

Challenge yourself to hike our uphill route to the top of Castle Peak via whatever human-powered method gets you going. You can use backcountry skis, splitboards, skimo skis, footwear traction devices, snowshoes, etc. How you get to the top doesn’t matter, just have fun!

Jump to:

Splitboarder hiking to Castle Peak.
Annie Koch Photography


  • This challenge runs January 22 – February 22, 2021. Complete the route on your schedule, anytime within those dates.
  • Track your one-way activity with a Garmin watch or another activity tracking device. You’ll need to upload a picture of your route and time to get credit. Don’t have a watch? Stop by Tahoe Mountain Sports and shop our selection of Garmin watches and handheld GPS units.
  • Start your watch with one hand on the beacon check sign, at the beginning of the trailhead (about 100 yards past the gate). Don’t forget to do a beacon check before heading out!
  • End at the top of the north ridge shoulder, just below the rocky summit. Make sure to use our waypoint to find the finish point.
  • Submit your activity route and time using this google form. Want us to count your activity? Don’t forget to include a screenshot of your route!
  • All times are one-way, sign to summit.
  • Finishers with their best time under 70 minutes will be grouped into the Elite Class. Finishers with a best time of 70 minutes or more will be grouped into the Sport Class.

Need gear? Check out our winter rental fleet and reserve a pair of snowshoes, backcountry skis, or skimo skis.

Trail run up to Castle Peak
Annie Koch Photography


Everyone who completes the uphill route wins a prize. If you make it from the start waypoint at the trailhead to the end waypoint at the top of Castle Peak, you’ll earn yourself a tasty, refreshing Alibi Ale Works beer on us!

Here’s how to get your free Alibi Ale Works beer:

  1. Submit your Castle Peak Uphill Challenge activity to this google form.
  2. Stop by Tahoe Mountain Sports during business hours (10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m. -6 p.m. Friday-Sunday) to get your beer card.
  3. Get over to Alibi Ale Works – Truckee Public House and turn in your beer card for one free beer or nonalcoholic beverage.

Loved your hike and want to do it again? Want to try to beat your best time? Go for it and get another free beer! We’ll hook you up with one beer per week as long as you submit a valid entry (see rules above) each week.

The fastest splitboarder will win a Weston 157 Switchback Splitboard, a $700 retail value!

The top three men and women finishers the Elite Class will win the following prizes:

  • 1st place: $150 value Sponsor Prize Pack
  • 2nd place: $100 value Sponsor Prize Pack
  • 3rd place: $50 value Sponsor Prize Pack

Three men and women finishers in the Sport Class be chosen at random to win sponsor prize packs ranging in value from $50-$150.

Castle Peak Route and Description

Hike any way to the top, the fastest times win! Join our Strava club for a map of the route or keep reading for a brief overview.

Start the Castle Peak Uphill Challenge at the beacon check sign.
Annie Koch Photography

START YOUR WATCH at the beacon sign at the beginning of the trail. Here are the starting coordinates: N 39.341760° W 120.348294° *Test your beacon and do a partner check here!

Follow the winter trail to Castle Pass and begin the ascent to the summit.

Start your watch for the Castle Peak Uphill Challenge
Annie Koch Photography

STOP YOUR WATCH at N 39.3667°, W 120.3525° on the shoulder of the north ridge, just below the rocky Castle Peak Summit.

Castle Peak trail map.


Competition closed! View the list of results.


Fastest splitboarder – Chris Koppl

Top 3 Men & Women finishers in the Elite Class

1st Place – Peter Fain and Krissi Polentz

2nd Place – Robert Schwartz and Helen Mino Faukner

3rd Place – Jeff Brandt and Katherine MacLachlan

Six randomly selected winners in the Sport Class

Lance Ward, Noelle Patterson, Joshua Matzke, Ryan Hunt, Laura Paneno, Casey Strong

Pick up your prizes at the shop!

Backcountry Trail Etiquette

Do a beacon check before you ski.
Annie Koch Photography

Castle Peak Parking Beta

Park at the Donner Summit SNO-PARK to access the Castle Peak Trailhead. You’ll need a SNO-PARK permit to park, otherwise, you could end up with a ticket. Buy your daily or season parking pass at Tahoe Mountain Sports.

2021 Parking Update: US Forest Service personnel have started to staff the Donner Summit SNO-PARK on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. During this time, parking capacity will be capped at 100 cars and vehicles must display a valid SNO-PARK permit to enter. If you plan to ski on the weekends, get there early and make sure to display a SNO-PARK permit on your dash!

Terms and Conditions

  • Any human-powered activity goes: snowshoeing, skiing, splitboarding, running, skimo, etc.
  • You must fill out the google form correctly and include a screenshot of your tracked activity route to get credit for your time.
  • Contest dates are January 22nd – February 22nd. Be sure to complete your activity and upload the details to the google form within those dates.
  • Your beer card can only be picked up in-store at Tahoe Mountain Sports.
  • The Castle Peak Uphill Challenge is at your own risk.
  • Questions? All inquiries should be directed to Siobhan Kenney, Tahoe Mountain Sports Marketing Director, 406-450-2753.

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