Friday, September 13, 2024 | 10:00 AM START

The Rut VK is one of the most dramatic and challenging vertical races in the country. Runners will begin in the Big Sky Resort base area at an elevation of 7,534 ft and finish on the summit of Lone Peak at 11,166ft. It is ALL uphill gaining 3,632 ft. of elevation in 2.8 miles!

The first half of the course takes the most direct route to the summit heading up the ski runs known as Huntley Hollow and Calamity Jane to the top of the Swiftcurrent lift and the base of Bonbecrusher ridge.

The second half of the race along Bone Crusher Ridge and Alto Ridge to the summit is EXTREMELY STEEP AND TECHNICAL with sections of exposure and potential rockfall hazards. We will have safety personnel along the ridge keeping an eye out for runners and assessing any objective hazards, but the responsibility falls on you the race participant to be aware of your surroundings and other runners. This is a true mountain course and participants must be comfortable in steep and exposed terrain to participate in this event!

OnX Backcountry VK Map


Course Cut-offs

For the safety of our volunteers and Big Sky Resort employees on the mountain, we will have two cutoffs for the Lone Peak VK.

  • Cutoff #1: 1-hour cutoff at the top of the Swiftcurrent chair before runners head up onto Bonecrusher and Alto Ridge to the summit of Lone Peak. The top of the Swfitcurrent chair is approximately 1.7 miles from the start.
  • Cutoff #2: 90-minute cutoff for the top of Bone Crusher Ridge which is the first pitch of the alpine section.
  • The overall race course cutoff is 2.5 hours

Finish Line Aid Station

There will be an aid station with refreshments at the finish line staffed with energetic volunteers. The aid station is cupless so please pack a drinking vessel in your drop bag.


  • All VK finishers will receive a unique finishers award.
  • Awards for top three in each age group (Under 20, 20-29,30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+)
  • Podium ceremony with awards designed by a local artist for our top three overall men, women, and non-binary athletes.
  • Finally, we have a Jorts Division and will award custom denim vests to the fastest man, woman and non-binary athlete to summit lone peak in cutoff jeans! To enter into the jorts division, wear jorts.

Cash prizes for the top 3 overall men and women of the VK!

  • First: $1000
  • Second: $500
  • Third: $250

Drop Bags

At packet pickup, we will provide you with a drop bag which you must use if you choose to have a drop bag at all. VK drop bags must be dropped off near the start line before 9:45 AM. We will take them up to the summit to greet you when you finish the VK. Having a layer for the top as well as a drinking vessel for our finish line cupless aid station is a great idea.

Course Markings (Green Pin Flags)

This is not an orienteering race. The race organizers will do everything they can to have the course marked well for race participants on the day of the event. Off-trail sections of the course will be marked in a way that race participants should be able to see from each course marking to the next to help guide them along the course. Course markings will be green pin flags.


Please be prepared for any type of weather. Though the weather in Big Sky is relatively mild and stable in mid-September historically we are still in the mountains and conditions can quickly change. This is a challenging run on challenging terrain and the race organizers reserve the right to stop the race at any time should they deem the course unsafe due to weather.

VK Fine Print

  • Pacers and dogs: Not allowed.
  • Trekking poles: Allowed
  • Headphones: highly discouraged due to areas with rockfall hazards and potential wildlife hazards along the trail.
  • Crewing: Not allowed
  • Speakers: Out of respect for others, please do not use speakers for music that other people can hear. Not everyone loves your music.
  • Course Changes: Due to the mountainous and technical nature of this course, race organizers may choose to make course changes on race day due to severe weather with the race participants’ safety in mind.
  • Learn about all out Rut Rules here.

Rut Registration Policy

  • There will be no deferrals, credits, transfers to other runners, or waitlists for any Rut race. No exceptions.
  • Rut Runners who must drop out due to unforeseen circumstances may do so by June 1st and will receive a 50% refund.
  • Rut Runners in some races may also move down in distance. This must be done no later than August 15th.
  • For example, the 50K can move to the 28K, 21K, or 11K, but not the VK.  The 28K can move to the 21K, or 11K, but not the 50K or VK. The 21K can move to the 11K, but not the 50K, 28K, or VK. The VK can move to the 11K only. The 11K cannot transfer to another event. A transfer in distance will be charged a $5 processing fee.
  • Pregnancy deferral policy - If you become pregnant, or adopt a child, after registering for a Rut race and cannot participate you are able to defer your race entry for up to 2 years. To defer, you must contact the Rut Registration Director (registration@runtherut.com) no later than 30 days prior to race day.  
  • Questions? Check out our Rut Registration FAQ's page.

Thank you to our generous Rut partners!

The North Face logo
Sapphire Physical Therapy logo
Big Sky Resort logo
YETI logo
Black Roasting Coffee Co. logo
Darn Tough logo
Currex Insole logo

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