Welcome to SKIFEST 2014!

Events | Equipment List | Ability Level | Registration


The Mountaineer in Keene Valley, NY will host the twelfth annual Adirondack Backcountry Ski Festival the weekend of March 1 & 2, 2014. Backcountry skiing means skiing on natural snow in natural terrain, and combines all of the elements of touring, climbing and downhill skiing into a real winter mountaineering experience. We are excited to host SCARPA athlete Chris Davenport – one of the world’s most accomplished big mountain skiers – at this year’s Backcountry Skifest! Among his many ski mountaineering achievements, in 2007 Chris became the first person to ski all fifty-four of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks in less than one year. Don’t miss what is sure to be a memorable presentation by Chris at the Keene Central School Saturday evening!

Cloudsplitter Mountain Guides in Keene Valley will lead guided tours for several ability levels on Saturday and Sunday, and Chuck Boyd will teach an Introduction to Avalanche Safety and Awareness course on Saturday, with a fieldwork component on Sunday. Advance registration for all guided tours and instructional clinics is required.

Demos and mini clinics will be held at Otis Mountain in Elizabethtown on Saturday. Otis Mountain is a private ski area that offers a great venue for testing out the latest skis and boots as well as clinics on skinning, telemark skiing, splitboarding and more. Mini-clinics and equipment demos will be free of charge, and no registration is required. Just show up ready to ski! The mini-clinics and demos take place from 10am to 3pm. Otis Mountain is located off of Route 9 in Elizabethtown, just a 15 minute drive from Keene Valley.

  • NEW THIS YEAR @ OTIS - Local guide and backcountry splitboarder Will Roth will host a free Intro to Splitboarding clinic with splitboard demos from Voilé!
  • ALSO NEW @ OTIS - Green Goddess Natural Foods will be on site all day with soup, grilled wraps, hot coffee, hot chocolate and baked goods available for purchase! 

Directions to Otis Mountain: Follow Route 73 South toward the Adirondack Northway (Route 87) past Chapel Pond. Turn left onto Route 9 at the three-way intersection (Dysfunction Junction). After approximately 8 miles, turn right onto Lobdell Road.  Directions are also available via Google Maps.

We are incredibly lucky to have such a great group of local and guest guides for this event who are willing to come out and share their depth of experience and knowledge with other skiers.

Major sponsors for this year’s event include SCARPA, Backcountry Magazine and Dynafit. Additional sponsors Black Diamond, Julbo, Madshus, Mammut, Marmot, Outdoor Research, Primaloft, Scarpa and Voilé help make the event happen as well as provide demo gear for participants to try free of charge. The Skifest is a benefit event, with proceeds supporting the New York State Ski Education Foundation’s Nordic racing programs and the Adirondack Ski Touring Council, stewards of the Adirondack Park’s backcountry ski trail system, including the famous Jackrabbit Trail.  New this year, we are encouraging participants to bring a non-perishable donation for the Keene Food Pantry to Saturday’s presentation with Chris Davenport! 


Mike Kaz enjoying fresh powder in the Adirondack backcountry