HILL AIR FORCE BASE -- A team of Hill Fighter pilots is going vertical, albeit on the ground instead of in the air, ¬to help local youths.
Capt. Pete Johnson, Capt. Jason Clugston, Maj. Tim Cole and Capt. Derek Cole -- all fighter pilots from Hill Air Force Base's 421st Fighter Squadron -- will be competing in the fourth annual Bob Aamodt Inc. Vertical Challenge at the Snowbasin ski resort March 1.
The event is sponsored by Farmington resident and financial consultant Bob Aamodt.
Patrolling all of Snowbasin's 3,000 skiable acres, teams ski and snowboard to complete all the required runs in the allotted time while collecting markers.
Once the trails are skied and the markers found, the teams will have covered more than 100,000 vertical feet for the day.
Although it's a little different from their usual vertical acrobatics in F-16 fighter jets, the Hill team seems confident.
"We're all pretty big into skiing," said Johnson. "So we feel pretty good about our chances."
Johnson said this will be his team's first time competing in the event, but they have already devised a strategy to win it.
"I'll just say this," Johnson said of his team's strategy. "We are given a lunch voucher to have a break and eat some lunch, but we don't plan on using it until the six hours is up. We aren't stopping."
Johnson said his team has put in some extra hours on the mountain this year to prepare for the event.
"Six hours isn't all that long of a day," he said. "But with us not stopping at all, it might be a little grueling."
All entry fees and donations from the event will go to Scoutreach, an officially recognized charity arm of the Boy Scouts of America.
Scoutreach aids such local youth groups as Youth Impact, The Boys and Girls Club of Weber and Davis Counties and the YMCA.
"It will be fantastic to have members of the Air Force up on the hill with us," Aamodt said. "We're glad they can donate their time to help these children."
Andrea Abbott, one of the event's organizers, said approximately 30 teams of four have signed up to participate in the competition.
Teams can register up until the day of the event.
For more information on how to participate or make a donation, visit www.bobsverticalchallenge.org.