AN EPIC MTB RIDE THE LENGTH OF VT | NEW FITNESS TRACKERS |
KING OF THE SCALERS NEW ENGLAND’S OUTDOOR MAGAZINE
SPORTS SEPTEMBER 2015
Quiet Trails, Secret Campsites
SAVE ON SEASON PASSES
VERMONT'S MOST INSPIRING ATHLETE
Summer & Fall
On Vermont’s Highest Peak
GONDOLA SKYRIDE • TWO GOLF COURSES • AUTO TOLL ROAD NEW ZIP TOUR ADVENTURE & TREETOP ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES With shopping, dining, luxurious lodging, spa, a performing arts center and so much more, Stowe Mountain Resort is the perfect year-round destination. Visit stowe.com or call 800-253-3000.
SPORTS NEW ENGLAND’S OUTDOOR MAGAZINE
PUBLISHER Angelo Lynn C firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR Lisa Lynn C email@example.com STAFF WRITER Evan Johnson C firstname.lastname@example.org ART DIRECTION & PRODUCTION Shawn Braley C email@example.com ADVERTISING MANAGER Christy Lynn C firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING SALES Greg Meulemans C email@example.com | (802) 366-0689 Dave Honeywell | (802) 583-4653 C firstname.lastname@example.org GEAR & BEER EDITORS Sue Halpern, Bill McKibben C editor@vtsports. com MEDICAL ADVISORY BOARD Dr. Nathan Endres, Dr. David Lisle, Dr. James Slauterbeck —University of Vermont College of Medicine; Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation
Join the leader of the pack, Kelly Brush Davisson, in Middlebury on Sept. 12 for her annual fundraiser, the Kelly Brush Century Ride.
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Kelly Fletcher, Jeremiah Johnson, Nancy Griswold, Thorin Magbie and Brian Mohr EDITORIAL AND PRODUCTION OFFICE Vermont Sports | 58 Maple Street Middlebury, Vt. 05753 | 802-388-4944
SECRET CAMPSITES, QUIET TRAILS
We welcome unsolicited material but cannot guarantee its safe return. Materials submitted will become property of Vermont Sports. Vermont Sports is independently owned and operated by Addison Press Inc., 58 Maple Street, Middlebury, Vt. 05753. It is published 10 times per year. Established in 1990.
5 THE START Vermont's Top Athletes Are...? 7 SPEAK UP Welcome, Leaf Peepers! 14 NEWS
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Get away from it all at a few of our favorite secluded campsites and trails—places you can bike or paddle to. P. 9
Tour de Farms, King of
6 WAYS TO SAVE ON A SEASON PASS Ski Vermont and out West now with one season pass. P. 12
the Scalers, RASTA's New Trails
15 HEALTH & NUTRITION Kids and Weights; Probiotics for Pros?
AFTER THE FALL
Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
Ten years after her accident, Kelly Brush Davisson is changing
other lives. Meet one of Vermont's most inspiring athletes. P. 16
The Green Mountain Club
The Best of Brattleboro
27 READER ATHLETE
Ultra Champion Aliza Lapierre
GEAR & BEER Heart Rate Monitors; Foley Bros.
34 ENDGAME What Dad Didn't Teach Me
Thanks to the work of a group of locals, Mount Ascutney is open again for biking, skiing and riding. P. 18
VOTE FOR VERMONT'S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR!
ON THE COVER: Here's one of Brian Mohr's favorite secret campsites. For more, turn to page 9. Cover photo by Brian Mohr
XVT ON THE VBR
Visit VTSports.com by Nov. 1 to nominate or vote
This past August, Calvin Decker rode the length of Vermont on
Athletes of the Year. Winners will be announced
mountain bike trails in just 38 hours. Here's his story. P. 23
for the people you think should be Vermont's in our December issue.
WHO ARE VERMONT'S ATHLETE'S OF THE YEAR? “I love Vermont because of her hills and valleys, her scenery and invigorating climate, but most of all because of her indomitable people. They are a race of pioneers who have almost beggared themselves to serve others.” —Calvin Coolidge
alvin Coolidge gave this speech in Bennington in September 1928, a year after the great flood of 1927 devastated much of the state. He could have also given it today, four years after Tropical Storm Irene. Coolidge’s words still ring true. They are true of the many people who have rebuilt the farms, homes and towns that were washed out during Irene. They are true of so many of our civil servants and our Washington delegation. And they are true of athletes like Kelly Brush. In the 10 years since Brush crashed during a ski race, she has gone on to raise millions of dollars to help others facing spinal cord injuries. As her husband Zeke
Davisson says in "After the Fall," p. 16, “I don’t think I ever once heard Kelly say ‘why me?’” Instead, she helped to set up the Kelly Brush Foundation and to build the Kelly Brush Century Ride, which takes place on September 12 in Middlebury, into one of the most successful fundraising rides in Vermont. Brush is, in my eyes, perhaps the most inspiring athlete in Vermont. But our state has no shortage of other top athletes who show incredible courage. As we went to press with this issue, the Women’s Sports Foundation announced the top 10 finalists for its Sportswoman of the Year awards. On the list of individual athletes are several past winners, including tennis great Serena Williams and gymnastics world champion Simone Biles. And on the list of 10 are two Vermonters: 2015 World Cup Halfpipe snowboard champion Kelly Clark from Dover, Vt. and 2015 World Cup freestyle skiing champion Hannah Kearney, of Norwich, Vt. The winners will be announced at a gala dinner in New York on
October 20 and we will keep you updated on Facebook and Twitter. The fact that two of the 10 top women athletes in the world this year are Vermonters speaks volumes about our state. And it has inspired us to create our own Vermont Athletes of the Year awards. From now until Nov. 1 we will be taking nominations at VTSports.com and then asking you to vote for the men and women you think should be on our list. Tell us about the Vermont athletes of all ages who inspire you and have achieved remarkable accomplishments in the past 12 months. Choosing won’t be easy. Already, I can think of contenders we have profiled, such as international Skyrace champion and Burlington’s Queen City Marathon winner Kasie Enman, World Cup mountain biker Lea Davison, or record-breaking World Masters athlete Flo Meiler, age 81. For men, there’s snowboard star Jake Blauvelt, pro cyclist Ted King, National Collegiate cycling champ Brendan Rhim and ski racer Drew Duffy who came from behind to win the Super-G at the U.S. Na-
tionals this past spring. Selecting winners should not be just about counting up podium finishes. We hope you will consider other achievements by people such as Calvin Decker, 23, who this past August rode the length of Vermont by mountain bike off-road in just 38 hours. His story is on page 22. Send your nominations to editor@ vtsports.com. We’ll post the finalists at VTSports.com and then ask for your votes. —Lisa Lynn, Editor
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WELCOME THE LEAF PEEPERS BE A BRAND AMBASSADOR FOR THE STATE THAT IS NOW OFFICIALLY TOPS FOR FOLIAGE. By Megan Smith
The hills at Stowe's Trapp Family Lodge are alive this month with mountain biking, foliage, Trapp's new brewery... and leaf peepers. Photo byVermontVacation.com/Stephen Goodhue
t won’t be long before we start to ex- brand of beauty with leaf peepers. It can perience the unmistakable signs of fall: be frustrating: You might find yourself cerulean skies with a hint of crispness behind a slow-moving bus on a crowded in the air, the sweet smell of cider doughRoute 100, or encounter unfamiliar faces nuts, the swish of fallen leaves beneath our on your “secret” mountain bike single feet on favorite hiking trails … and parktrack. Once-empty hiking trails are suding lots filled with a rainbow of out-ofdenly full of out-of-towners. Instead of state license plates. being angry or annoyed, remember this: There is a reason tourism in Vermont genthe world travels to our erates more than $1.8 doorstep this time of billion in visitor spendHave a comment about this year: our fall foliage is ing and supports more column or a commentary famous. In fact, this year than 30,000 jobs. of your own? Speak Up the Vermont Department We are a friendly state welcomes your feedback of Tourism and Marketand in fact, Burlington and opinions. Visit www. ing launched a “World’s was just named one of vtsports.com to share your Best Foliage” campaign, the top 10 friendliest thoughts. Or to propose complete with all the cities in the country by a subject for Speak Up, reasons we have to back Condé Nast Traveler. email email@example.com. up such an audacious Fall is the perfect time to claim. Nowhere else can show visitors how much you find brilliant reds, so: Instead of simply toldazzling oranges, and golden yellows, all erating the peepers, let’s welcome them framed by a working landscape of villages with open arms and a smile. Let’s show and bucolic meadows. What we have is them the magic of our state parks, and unique, and everyone seems to know it. the hidden gems of our thriving arts scene. So for the brief six weeks we call Point them to an overlooked lookout, a leaf season, we must share our particular quiet trail or a country store—and con-
sider yourself a brand ambassador. Leaf peepers make a significant contribution to our state’s economy. Fall accounts for $460 million in tourism spending, which is just over 25% of the state’s annual total. The boost to our state economy allows Vermont businesses to invest in infrastructure that visitors and Vermonters alike can enjoy. Jay Peak Resort is building a 15,000 square-foot recreation center that will include a 145-seat cinema, 16 climbing walls and a ropes course. The new summer center at Killington Resort includes increased lift service for mountain biking, an alpine mountain coaster and a Skyride. Stowe Mountain Resort recently introduced a zipline that reaches speeds up to 60 mph. These are just a few of the attractions and improvements that are made possible by having a state that embraces its tourists. In terms of economic development, a visit to Vermont can be the first step on the road to a long term commitment. Visitors often turn into second home-owners or full-time residents. Stories abound about the person who came to Vermont to ski,
and ended up bringing a business. We need to recognize the power of what can happen when we introduce newcomers to our beautiful state through tourism. This year, the state’s official tourism website (www.VermontVacation.com) will feature weekly foliage reports, “best bet” driving routes, maps and a foliage forecaster. We will send weekly emails about upcoming events, and encourage people to share their #WorldsBestFoliage photos. Fall is an extraordinarily brilliant and brief window of time in our state. Let’s welcome it, and everyone who wants to enjoy it with us. An avid skier and hiker, Megan McKenna Smith is the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Tourism. Before her appointment, she was a state representative and owner and innkeeper at the Vermont Inn in Mendon.
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Cooler Weather, Great Scenery, No Bugs!
Fall is the BEST TIME TO RIDE!
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BE YOU AGAIN. THE RIGHT SPORTS MEDICINE PHYSICIAN CAN HELP. Our physicians provide comprehensive sports medicine care, no matter how complex the injury. Patients receive a course of treatment that’s ideally suited for them, built around the most advanced options available— whether operative, non-operative or a combination of both. So, if you live in the Burlington area, make an appointment with The University of Vermont Health Network’s sports medicine specialists at UVM Medical Center. To make an appointment, call (802) 847-2663. UVMHealth.org/MedCenterSports
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SEPTEMBER 2015 8/26/15 10:17 AM
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
QUIET TRAILS, SECRET CAMPSITES
fter spending a collective 14 months of our lives cycling and camping through some of the most remote regions of the planet, my wife Emily and I have grown to love bicycle camping. We enjoy it more than any other form of travel. And if you like to eat, there’s no better way to work up a tremendous appetite than to pedal a bike loaded with everything needed to camp, comfortably, cook and stay dry. Ultimately, combining the hard-earned mobility of cycling with the freedom and simplicity of camping makes for nearly non-stop adventure, and you will sleep like a baby, no matter where you are. With Vermont’s bounty of trails and back roads, refreshing lakes, friendly villages and scenic vistas, we are in the midst of a bicycle-camping paradise. While there are dozens of state parks that offer campsites to the passing cyclist, here are several areas of the state that are especially well suited for bicycle camping off the beaten path. Use these spots as a base for several days of cycling in the region, or treat them as stops on a multi-day tour. —Story and photo by Brian Mohr/Ember Photo
in what you carry out. The area north of Searsburg, along Forest Road 71 (to the Kelley Stand road), as well as Forest Road 341 (which continues north to Kendall Farm Road near Stratton), is a relatively quiet and a peaceful region of our state to pedal through and camp for a night or two. Moose sightings are common in this area, there are numerous streams and small ponds to keep you refreshed, and evidence of older farms and settlements. www.fs.usda.gov/main/greenmountain/ home
Moosalamoo’s Silver Lake The Moosalamoo National Recreation Area is a gem in the heart of the Green Mountains. The lake itself is quiet and pristine, surrounded by miles of hiking trails and wilderness land managed by the Green Mountain National Forest. There are fifteen primitive campsites on the east side of the lake, each featuring a picnic table and fire ring. The sites are accessible only by bicycle or foot, with the gravel Silver Lake Trail/Service Road offering the easiest access by bicycle. Fresh water needs to be carried in or filtered from the lake or streams. If you go with mountain bikes, don’t miss the beautiful and challenging Leicester HollowChandler Ridge trail loop (approx 14 miles), which you can ride right from your lakeside camp on Silver Lake. www.moosalamoo.org
Groton State Forest Trails East of Montpelier, in the heart of Vermont’s lake country, Groton State Forest is dotted with multi-use trails and roads that connect the many lakes and beautiful vistas. Primitive camping is allowed throughout the state forest, making this an ideal base for exploring, or as a stop on a longer through-tour. Follow a trail or road into a quiet area of the forest, push your bike at least 200 feet into the woods, set up your tent and take advantage of the solitude that bikes and camping provide. Several developed campsites are also options at most of the larger lakes here. The Cross Vermont Trail also passes through the Groton State Forest, following an old railroad bed. vtstateparks.com
Green Mountain National Forest In the southern half of Vermont’s Green Mountain National Forest, east of Bennington and Manchester, cyclists can explore dozens of miles of quiet and gently rolling dirt roads and logging roads. Cycling and wild camping (meaning set up a tent anywhere that’s not marked as closed), is permitted throughout most of the areas traversed by forest roads. Carry
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Mountain Run & MTB Challenge 26 miles
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2015 Skills Certification Courses Hulbert Outdoor Center, Fairlee, VT
Wilderness First Aid / CPR
Wilderness EMT Module
Optional: American Heart Association CPR (Heartsaver) Cost: $45
Cost: $260 (meals, lodging, course materials) $200 commuter (lunch, course materials)
April 11-12 • May 30-31 • November 21-22
Wilderness First Responder
Cost: $615 (meals, lodging, course materials) $500 commuter (lunch, course materials)
EMT WILD Day
Cost: $150 (lunch, course materials) December 12
May be used as first half of a WEMT bridge course with SOLO. Cost: $925 (meals, lodging, course, materials) $740 commuter (lunch, course materials)
ACA Canoe Instructor Certifications
April 11-18 • May 18-25 • December 14-21
Level 1 and 2 (2 day training): Cost: $390 (meals, lodging) $310 commuter (lunch)
Wilderness First Responder Review (Recertification)
Cost: $290 (meals, lodging, course, materials) $240 commuter (lunch, course materials) $45 CPR Re-certification May 16-17 • November 21-22
Levels 1, 2, and 3 (3 day training): Cost: $475 (meals, lodging) $380 commuter (lunch)
Oktoberfest! A weekend of fun, Oct. 3-4 Saturday: Singletrack Shootdown Biathlon Race & Clinic, 9am Run or mountain bike and shoot - all ages and abilities!
Henley on Hosmer, Afternoon
Olde England meets New! Test yourself on Big Hosmer.
Oktoberfest Local Dinner
Beer! Schnitzel! Sausages of all varieties! A local feast from our VT Fresh Network Dining Hall.
Sunday: Checkpoint Challenge, 9:30am
4 person team obstacle course racing.
Full details online
May 30-June 1 • June 5-7 ** 10% Military Discount is available for all of our Skills Certification courses
For more information or to register, please contact Lynn Daly at 802-333-3405 or check our website http://tinyurl.com/HOC-2015-Skills
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.craftsbury.com | 802.586.7767
THE GREAT OUTDOORS: STATE PARKS
A PLACE TO PADDLE TO
WITH A HANDFUL OF REMOTE CAMPSITES ACCESSIBLE ONLY BY WATER, GREEN RIVER RESERVOIR MAY BE THE BEST-KEPT SECRET IN THE STATE.
With the longest undeveloped coastline in the state, more than 10 islands and 28 remote campsites, Green River Reservoir is a gem not to be missed. Photo by Thorin Magbie
t’s September. The state is crawling with leaf peepers. But you are a local, you know where to go to avoid the crowds, right? Well…. that’s why we are going to let you in on one of our favorite secret spots. In Hyde Park, just north of Morrisville, Green River Reservoir State Park is 5,113 acres of forests, rivers and wetlands. At its heart is the Green River Reservoir with 19 miles of undeveloped shoreline, the longest stretch of undeveloped shoreline in the state. A century ago, this area, often called “Lost Nation,” was home to extensive logging and five or more mills operated here, using wood dams for power. Eventually, the land became the property of the Morrisville Water and Light Department and the forests grew back. In 1999, the state purchased the 5,113 acres with an eye toward maintaining its pristine nature and beauty. So far, that’s worked, and if you go, we beg you to keep it beautiful, quiet and clean. The area remains hard to find and uncrowded. To get there, you have to travel 1.3 miles up a narrow dirt road and once the small parking lot fills up, you have to come back another day, limiting the numbers. Even better, the only way to get to the 28 campsites tucked onto its shores is to paddle. The area is designated as a “quiet” lake: Only motorized boats with engines under 5 hp are allowed. Also, no RVs, no car camping, no weddings and company picnics here. Of course, that means facilities are limited, all camping is carry-in, carry-out and you have to reserve a site. But those are small prices to pay for privacy, right? For more information, visit vtstateparks.com.
Reserve a Remote Campsite With just 28 remote campsites perched on the quiet shores the competition to book is tough. Some campsites book out 11 months ahead, but you can always check to see if there are cancellations by calling 802-
The reservoir is deemed a "quiet" park, meaning no motors over 5 hp. And the only way to a campsite is by boat. Photo by Jeremiah Johns
888-1349. You will need your own boat to reach them as some are a mile from the put-in at the south end of the reservoir. Campsites vary in size and the park likes to limit groups to 8 or less (though there is one group site that can take 12). There are composting toilets but all other waste must be carried out. Most sites and fire rings too but camp stoves are encouraged.
Explore the Islands and Ponds There are 10 larger islands in the reservoir, some with campsites on them and others with day-use picnic spots. Launch a canoe and paddle among them. Swim in the deep clear waters and then warm up on a warm rock on the shore. At this time of year, the surrounding forests of beech, red maple, sugar maple and yellow birch should be forming a kaleidoscope of color. Loons are common here and in the spring use many of the islands for nesting
sites so be careful not to disturb them. Don’t be surprised to hear beavers slap their tails on the water or to see a moose drinking on the far side of the reservoir. With few trails and much of the surrounding land undisturbed, you may also see an elusive fisher cat, ruffed grouse, bald eagles and other wildlife. If you bring a fishing rod, you stand a chance of catching small-mouth bass, yellow perch or, in the streams, brook trout. There are also a number of small ponds nearby, if you are up for a portage.
Make a Beer Run The park is half way between Morrisville and Craftsbury and close to some of the state’s best brewers, including Morrisville’s Lost Nation and Rock Art. Visit those breweries (Lost Nation also serves tasty sandwiches and specials) or head to the Bee’s Knees for exceptional, farmfresh fare and live music. —L.L.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS At Jay Peak, a Judge Pass lets you ski Burke as well. Photo courtesy Jay Peak Resort
NEW WAYS TO
SAVE ON SEASON PASSES
THIS YEAR’S SEASON PASS DEALS ARE BETTER THAN EVER WITH BONUS OPTIONS TO GET FREE DAYS AT SOME OF THE BEST RESORTS IN NEW ENGLAND, NORTH AMERICA AND EVEN CHILE.
By Lisa Lynn
emember when buying a season pass was easy? The only choices you had to make were which mountain you wanted to ski and whether you wanted a sevenday pass or a midweek pass. No longer. The good news? This season there are more season pass deals and more ways to combine resort passes than ever. Many 2015/16 passes not only let you ski your favorite Vermont resorts and but also give you days at some killer Western ski areas (such as Crested Butte, Steamboat or Jackson Hole) with one season pass. The bad news, you may have to hire H&R Block to figure out which is the best deal for you. So we tried to make it simpler here. Keep in mind that many of these passes come with additional discounts, such as a certain percent off at resort retail shops, Nordic ski area privieges and more. It’s worth it to read the fine print on all the passes as often much of it is in your favor. (See the attached chart for prices and options and visit the resort web sites to find out more.) Here are the best new season pass deals and how to get the most out of them. Keep in mind early season rate deadlines are coming up fast and in some cases, the number of passes sold are limited.
1. Ski around. If you have always dreamed you could ski the best mountains in North America on one pass, dream no more: It’s come to be. Hallelujah! The Mountain Collective Pass just added Stowe, Vt. (the only eastern resort) and Taos, N.M., to its all-star lineup of resorts such as Jackson Hole, Wyo., Snowbird and Alta, Utah; Mammoth and Squaw, Calif.; and Canada’s Whistler/ Blackcomb and Lake Louise. For $399, the pass gets you two days of skiing at each resort and 50 percent off additional days at that resort. And if you are really
into chasing winter, it is also good at Thredbo, in New South Wales, Australia, Valle Nevado in Chile and Japan’s Hakuba Valley. There are no black out dates but sales are limited. Another sweet option: if you buy a Stowe Seven or Seven-Plus pass, you automatically get 50 percent off lift tickets at any of the other Mountain Collective resort. If you plan to ski around New England and want to head out west as well, the Multi Alpine Experience (M.A.X.) pass lets you ski up to five days at each of 22 mountains across the U.S. and Canada. In New England, the M.A.X. pass is good at Stratton, Killington and Pico in Vermont,
as well as Sugarloaf and Sunday River in Maine; Loon, N.H. and Mont Tremblant, in Quebec. Western resorts include Big Sky, Mont., and in Colorado, Winter Park and Steamboat. If you already have a season pass at Stratton or Killington, you can add on an adult M.A.X. pass for $249. Otherwise, the cost for an adult is $699, with no blackout days. This means you could, conceivably, travel the country and ski 110 days, at a cost per day of $6.35. Another good option, the Ultra Pass means unlimited, no-black-out-days skiing at Okemo, Vt., Mount Sunapee N.H. and Crested Butte, Colo., plus three days at Killington for $1,811.54 for an adult. If you don’t plan to go to Crested Butte, you can get the other benefits of the Ultra Pass with a Peak Pass for $1,419. If you are not planning on loading your gear on a plane but want to explore the east, the Nor’easter Pass includes unlimited skiing at Mount Snow as well as at New Hampshire’s Attitash, Wildcat and Crotched Mountain and Big Boulder and Jack Frost in Pennsylvania.
2. Two mountains for the price of one. A number of Vermont resorts are offering discounts on a dual-mountain pass. For about $100 more than you would spend on a Jay Peak season pass, a Judge Pass lets you ski both Jay Peak and Q Burke. Killington’s season pass includes skiing at Pico. College students have until November 4 to get a $359 Threesome
Pass to Sugarbush (Mt. Ellen and Lincoln Peak) and Mad River Glen. If you are between 18-26, the Double Down will give you access all season to Stratton and Mount Snow for just $379, as well as $40 mid-week buddy tickets. Bromley also has a deal with Jiminy Peak that gives Bromley season pass holders half price tickets midweek at the Massachusetts resort.
3. Black out and save. Nearly every Vermont resort offers midweek passes at up to half off the regular pass price. Then there are the “black out” season passes that still let you ski weekends but keep you off the slopes when they are most likely to be crowded. Killington’s Blackout Pass, for instance, cuts out 17 days (a week at Christmas, mid-January and mid-February) but gives you a pass for just $879 versus the full $1,269. Stowe’s Seven pass blacks out Christmas Week and President's Day weekend but costs $174 less than the Seven Plus unrestricted pass. If you can live without skiing Saturdays and blacked-out days, Okemo’s Sunday Plus pass is $666.74 and includes skiing at Mount Sunapee and five days at Crested Butte, Colo. At Bolton Valley, if you forego Saturday skiing you can get a season pass for $469. And if you just want to ski just on Sundays, Stratton’s Sunday Pass is $319 (subject to blackout days).
Mountain Season Pass Bolton Bromley Cochran's Ski Area Jay Peak Killington/Pico Mad River Glen Magic Mountain Middlebury Snow Bowl Mount Snow Northeast Slopes Okemo Pico Q Burke Smugglers Notch Stowe Stratton Sugarbush Suicide Six
7-Day Black Senior Under 30 Early Out (ages vary) (or 26)
21-Sep 15-Oct N/A 12-Oct 15-Oct 15-Oct N/A 30-Nov 12-Oct N/A 12-Oct 15-Oct 12-Oct 31-Oct 1-Nov 31-Oct 16-Sep N/A
579 975 N/A 779 1269 771 500 1179 1339 439 749 609 1788 969 1399
weekdays at Jiminy Peak
389 589 220
Judge Pass M.A.X Pass: Threesome Pass
Noreaster Pass, Double Down
229-499 229 399
889 229 419 359 563
159 499 689 819 421
105 779 829
799 339 479 70 896 769 749
Multi-Resort Pass (see Web Site story for details)
599 329 349
Ultra and Peak Pass See Killington Pass Judge Pass Mountain Collective M.A.X Pass, Double Down Threesome Pass
boltonvalley.com jaypeakresort.com cochranskiarea.com jaypeakresort.com killington.com madriverglen.com magicmtn.com middleburysnowbowl.com mountsnow.com northeastslopes.org okemo.com picomountain.com skiburke.com smuggs.com stowe.com stratton.com sugarbush.com suicide6.com
This year's season pass deals are the best we've seen in a decade. Prices are above and the bennies, such as free skiing at big Western resorts, are pretty amazing.
4. Go small and win big. Say you are learning to ski, or teaching young kids. You may not need 2,500 vertical feet and umpteen peaks to have a great time. Places like Bolton Valley, Cochran’s, the Middlebury Snow Bowl and Suicide Six may not have the infrastructure of the larger resorts, but they almost never have crowds and on busy weekends, you can often still find powder stashes in the woods. Best, season pass prices are about half what the larger mountains charge. An added benefit, both Cochran’s and Bolton offer night skiing and Bolton’s night racing league is a blast. The other options to ski just one side of the larger, adjacent ski areas. Pico’s season pass, for instance, is a lot less than the Killington/Pico combined pass. Sugarbush offers a Mount Ellen-only pass that’s less than half the cost of the fullresort pass. Smuggler’s Notch has a Morse Mountain pass that is also about half off its full season pass.
5. Take advantage of your age. If you are an adult age 30 to 60, you may be S.O.L. If not, there is a deal for you. To start with, if your kids are under 6 years old they can ski for free (or for very little) at many resorts. This year, Sugarbush extends free skiing to all kids under 12 whose parents buy a seven-day pass. Fifth graders—Vermonters and visitors alike— can get a coupon book of free lift tickets with a Ski Vermont Fifth Grade Passport (www.skivermont.com). The catch: to use the coupons an adult has to buy a ticket and there are blackout days. If you are planning to ski with kids, or even as a couple, look into the various family passes. Each resort has slightly different options. Stratton, for instance, offers a $200 discount on the second adult in the family who buys a season pass. Vermont has 23 colleges and universities and college students probably get
the sweetest deals around, with season passes that start as low as $229 (Jay Peak, Smuggler’s Notch) and rarely go above $400. At many areas, college students can also lock in their passes as late as November, a few weeks after the early bird passes go off sale. College students also get access to more mountains, thanks to the Double Down pass, Sugarbush’s and Mad River Glen's Threesome Pass and Okemo’s 4.0 College Pass, which gives access to Mt. Sunapee and Killington too. Resorts have also recognized that millennials who are still paying off college debt could use a break and are eager to woo this cohort before they start having families of their own. If you are under 30, you can take advantage of special passes (under $700) at many of the major resorts and if you are under 26, can use the Double Down Pass for both Stratton and Mount Snow. Resorts also want to keep “senior” skiers, which, at most resorts, means those over 65. This year Jay Peak lowers its definition of a “senior” skier to 60 and Sugarbush drops its “senior” status from 75 to 65. Many resorts offer graduated prices that go down as you age. At Killington, if you are over 80 you can get a “super senior” pass for $80. At Smuggler’s Notch, “seniors” start at age 70 but they only pay $70 for a season pass (or $20 if you bought before September 7). At Bolton, if you are over 75, a season pass is $49. See, there are some advantages to getting older.
As we went to press, many of the Buy Smuggler’s Notch’s Bash Badge ($119 early season rate) and each day ticket af- day ticket prices were not yet available. ter is only $30. Stowe’s Evolution card Resorts would rather have you lock in a guarantees you always get the lowest rate season pass before you can calculate if which with fluctuating day ticket prices it’s worth it. Chances are, if you don’t get a season’s pass you’ll be less likely can be a real boon. It also lets you buy online and bypass the ticket booth. Stratton to hit the slopes on those days when offers pre-season ticket sales at bargain the drizzle in town was powder on the prices. For instance, during an August sale mountain. If you don't want to experiMECHANICAL 11.11.14 you could have bought three "anytime" ence FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), we CP2764_Coldpruf Sepia Woods say “go for it” and buy that pass now. tickets for $165. The Stratton X2 card 4C also comes pre-loaded with a free day. Garage Branding
We KEEP YOU COMFORTABLE EVEN when it gets way up into the teens
6. Calculate day ticket costs. The biggest conundrum each season is trying to decide if you will ski enough days to make a season’s pass worth it. If you ski more than 15 days, at most resorts a season’s pass will pay for itself. That said, ski resorts do offer a number of ways to save on day tickets.
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THE GREAT OUTDOORS:NEWS Vt. During the fall of 2013, RASTA member Zac Freeman approached Paul Kendall, Sharon Rives and the New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF) to see if they would be interested in working together to create backcountry skiing glades on the 1,547acre Braintree Mountain Forest (BMF) property that Kendall and Rives had recently donated to NEFF. In the fall of 2014, over 35 RASTA volunteers spent a weekend cutting RASTA’s first BC glade off the north face of Skidoo Mountain. The new glade drops 1,000 feet in elevation and ends at the Bell Gates Cabin. Over the past year, more glading has been done. “Our plan is to continue building on the success of the first glade by creating what could become one of Vermont’s largest maintained backcountry zones. We experienced some growing pains last winter as parking was a big issue and needs to be resolved. The old cabin at the foot of Skidoo Mountain is perfectly located to serve day use and overnight BC skiers. It needs some fixing up and a new wood stove. Once completed it will comfortably sleep eight,” says Greg Maino, of the Catamount Trail Association, which is working with RASTA and the Vermont Backcountry Alliance. So skiers, wax your skis and pony up. Isn’t a season of backcountry freshies worth at least the price of a day ticket?
Bolton Valley’s King of the Scalers Are Sturgeon Resurgin’? Sturgeon, the prehistoric fish many believe gave rise to the myth of Lake Champlain’s alleged sea monster, Champ, may be coming back. This summer, for the first time since 2002, the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife “sampled” sturgeon, collecting 17 endangered sturgeon, measuring 48 to 55 inches. Ten have been tagged and biologists will follow them over the next decade. “We’re hoping to be able to identify locations in the lake where sturgeon congregate so that future sampling can be done more effectively, allowing us to learn more about their movements in the lake and spawning tributaries,” fisheries program manager Chet MacKenzie said. The fish caught this summer were small fry: the lake sturgeon is Vermont’s largest fish with adults often growing to 3 to 5 feet in length and weighing in at 80 lbs. In fact, the largest on record in North America grew to 300 pounds and the oldest, 154 years old. Sturgeons are remarkable fish that fossil records show have changed little in the last 66 million years. Lake sturgeon, which were overfished extensively in North America, don’t mature sexually until they are 12 to 20 years old, making their populations even more vulnerable to depletion. They are considered endangered in Lake Champlain and there’s a $1000 penalty if you catch one and don’t release it. If you do see a sturgeon, you can report it to your local game warden or by calling 802-878-1564. Just double check first, though, to make sure it is not Champ.
Earn Your Braintree Turns This month, the Rochester Area Trails Alliance (RASTA) is hoping to raise $25,000 via an Indiegogo.com campaign to help develop backcountry glades, a parking lot and restore a cabin in the Braintree Mountain Forest in Braintree, near Randolph,
Want to try a new sport? This month you can compete in the King of the Scalers. According to race organizer Trevor Rushford, King of the Scalers is “a new cross-fit race that involves the world of remote control trucks, also known as RC’s, and running through the woods while navigating through a predetermined course. If you think using remote controlled trucks is just for kids, think again: Remote Controlled Car (more commonly known as RCC) racing has been growing since the 1970s with an international federation and on road and off-road competitions. The Bolton courses challenge offThe rules of this off-road race? You have to pass road competitors to go through a se- through a number of gates and you can't touch ries of gates and challenging terrain your vehicle. without getting stuck. Rushford describes competitors as ages 8 to 73. “King of the Scalers is unique because our average racer does little to no sports, and this course pushes the average Joe to his limits. KOS brings everyone together for friendly competition and has produced some awesome results and a following.” The average race lasts about 45 minutes and, says Rushford, “they race each other hard, endure style.” To learn more, visit radiocontrolledeastcoast.com.
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To schedule an appointment call (802) 763-8000 12 Shippee Lane, Sharon, VT | www.giffordmed.org
A Rideable Feast If you have never ridden in the Tour de Farms, Vermont’s oldest farm-to-farm ride this would be a year to do so. The 2015 Tour de Farms will start in Bristol on Saturday, September 26, and take cyclists on a gorgeous 37-mile tour of Bristol, Monkton, Hinesburg, New Haven and Starksboro. The Tour features eight food stops and 18 participating farms and restaurants providing samples of everything from cider to cheese to pesto. It ends with a Harvest Festival and live music on the Bristol town green. The long route (37 miles) includes 13 miles of gravel roads so wider tires are recommended. Early registration (before September 18) is $35 and after that, the price jumps to $55. The ride benefits the Addison County Relocalization Network (ACORN). www.acornvt.org
HEALTH & NUTRITION snatch, should not be performed until after puberty. This is correct, and this style of lifting should not be allowed until after puberty and then only with appropriate supervision. All myths aside, strength training is a great way to condition our youth and could help prevent injuries by building up an array of muscles, versus overusing certain ones that get developed by certain sports. Most of all, starting strength training early will teach kids healthy habits, a lesson that will stay with them as they mature.
way to strength train younger athletes as they develop better coordination.
Q: “IS IT SAFE FOR MY CHILD TO WEIGHT TRAIN?”
chool has started. School sports have started. And all of a sudden you find your kid in your basement using YOUR weights. What’s wrong with this picture? Aside from the fact that maybe he or she should have asked first, not much. I often get the question, is it safe for my kids to train with weights? The short answer is “yes.” A supervised strength training program is a safe and effective way for children to increase strength and performance. Many healthcare and fitness groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Sports Medicine, the American Orthopedics Society of Sports Medicine, and National Strength and Conditioning Association all support the safety and effectiveness of strength training in children.
Why should a kid use weights? There are many advantages to weight training at an early age. Studies have shown that children who strength train have increased bone density, more developed physique and improved physical performance. They also achieve higher self-esteem and improved lifestyle habits that carry on through adulthood. Without a doubt, exercise and sports are an important part of maturation. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that school age children are involved in 60 minutes of strenuous exercise each day and this can include weight training.
How do I know if my child is ready? Several factors determine when a child is ready to weight train, including a child’s physical, mental and social maturity. As soon as a kid is able to listen to instructors, follow directions and pass a medical exam, he or she can start using weights. There are, of course, some limitations: certain chronic illness/medical conditions, specific heart conditions, cancers, or Marfan’s syndrome (a syndrome defined by long fingers, unnaturally tall stature and heart abnormalities thought to be had by Abraham Lincoln) may preclude or limit a person’s strength trainings capabilities.
But someone told me it was bad for a kid…?
What should weight training include? Every training session should include at least a 10-minute warm-up and a 10-minute cool down period. It is important to recognize that new studies do not support traditional static stretching (such as a hurdlers stretch) before athletic events. Static stretching should be done at a different time because it has been shown to decrease muscle force production immediately after the stretch. Instead, prior to lifting get your child to try other dynamic aerobic activities that will induce sweating, such as a light jog or a combination of push-ups, sit-ups and jumping jacks.
How far should my child push? The program should be designed around lifting lighter weights, emphasizing higher numbers of repetitions and maintaining good form. A child must have demonstrated appropriate form before adding weights to the exercises. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics has made the statement that lifting the greatest weight for a single repetition should not be performed by children. Furthermore, children should work through a full range of joint motion and emphasize larger muscle groups (chest, legs or back rather than rotator cuff). As training progresses, the child can work smaller muscle groups. If a child experiences any joint pain or popping he or she should consult a doctor. Some muscle pain is perfectly normal after lifting.
What should my child’s exercise program include? A child’s program should include various modalities that include using free weights, weight machines and rubber resistance tubing. Some types of fixed weight machines create challenges for smaller children because the machines lever arms are made for larger adults. Free weights are appealing to the smaller athlete, but younger children may not have the coordination to stabilize the weight during certain lifts. Lifting free weights can lead to injury in younger children because some children may lack the coordination to stabilize certain lifting motions. Resistance band training is a very safe
Some parents are afraid to have their children lift weights because of unfounded or controversial information. First, it is true that growth plate injuries can occur with lifting. However, most injuries occur as a result of lifting heavy weights, executing lifts with poor form and performing excessive numbers of repetitions. Second, some still believe that boys cannot improve their strength until after puberty However, scientific evidence has demonstrated that children can improve strength by up to 50 percent after three months of a well-designed training program. The strength improvement of younger children comes first from neural adaptations (activation of muscles units, and improving muscle firing rate and pattern) and not from muscle hypertrophy (getting larger). As a boy approaches maturity, increase in muscle size occurs as a direct result of the sex hormone, testosterone.
Dr. James Slauterbeck played football at Arizona State and is still active in many sports, expecially cycling. He works with many young athletes as part of his practice as an orthopaedic surgeon in South Burlington and an Associate Professor of Orthopaedics in the Department of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation at the University of Vermont College of Medicine
Shouldn’t kids wait to do clean and jerk lifts? Lastly, people believe Olympic-style lifting, including the clean and jerk and
NUTRITION 101 CAN PROBIOTICS MAKE ME A PRO?
hat do yogurt, sauerkraut and kombucha all have in common? All three fermented foods have probiotics or “good” bacteria that some studies suggest can help with digestion, boost immunity and even alleviate the common cold. Increasingly, though, probiotics are being added to protein powders, energy bars and other foods and marketed to athletes as a way to improve performance. Will they help? One double blind study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2010, gave 20 healthy elite male distance runners either a placebo or a capsule containing Lactobacillus fermentum VRI-003. After four months, the athletes taking the probiotic reported less than half the number of days of respiratory symptoms (e.g. colds) than the control group. A 2011 study of 99 cyclists that was published in Nutrition Journal found those taking a probiotic (Lactobacillus fermentum) reported fewer colds and respiratory illnesses as well. In 2014, a metastudy (a study of all the studies) commissioned by the Irish Sports Council concluded that though the research is still limited, taking a probiotic could improve immunity in fatigued athletes, reduce the severity of GI disturbances and respiratory infection, and reduce the number of sick days in athletes training for endurance events. It found no evidence, however, of boosting performance. That said, before you shell out for supplements or rush for foods such as Kraft Live-Active Cheese Sticks (yup, cheese sticks fortified with probiotics) consider that there are more than 500 different types of probiotics and no one is quite sure which ones work, how they work or why. There’s no evidence that taking probiotic supplements is harmful, but the advice most nutritionists give: get your probiotics from foods that naturally contain them (such as low-fat yogurt or sauerkraut) as they also provide good nutrition.—L.L.
After the Fall
TEN YEARS AFTER A SKI ACCIDENT LEFT HER IN A WHEELCHAIR, KELLY BRUSH DAVISSON IS BACK SKIING, SURFING, CYCLING AND CHANGING OTHERS' LIVES. By Lisa Lynn
leven years ago, Kelly Brush was starting her sophomore year and doing dry land training with the Middlebury Ski Team. Ten years ago, Brush could no longer use her legs. That September 2006, about 25 members of the Middlebury Ski Team started a ride around Addison County in her honor. In the decade since, it has cascaded into one of the greatest charity rides in the state and highlighted what one determined woman can do for others. Growing up in Charlotte, Vt., Brush started racing at age 7, following a strong family tradition. Her mother, Mary Seaton Brush, had skied at Burke Mountain Academy and University of Vermont. She was
a World Cup ski racer and competed in the 1976 Innsbruck Olympics. Her dad, Charlie Brush, skied for Middlebury College and later coached skiing and football there. Her older sister, Lindsay, was on the Middlebury ski team. Kelly had just started dating another Middlebury ski racer, Zeke Davisson. Though she had also captained the Green Mountain Valley School soccer and lacrosse teams, skiing was Kelly’s life. Many Vermonters know the story that follows: That February, Kelly Brush’s life drastically changed. During the 2006 Williams College Winter Carnival at Jiminy Peak, Mass., Brush caught an edge, spun backwards and catapulted into a lift stanchion and then off the trail.
“Her helmet shattered and was blown off and she was barely conscious, her breathing was irregular,” remembers Zeke Davisson, who rushed to the scene. She had a collapsed lung, four broken ribs, a broken vertebrae in her back and a spinal fracture. “I don’t remember anything until I woke up from surgery in the ICU,” Brush recalls. “I had a tube down my throat and everyone was there. ‘You hurt your back,’ was all my dad said; ‘And we’re going to figure it out.’” Brush’s spinal cord injury left her paralyzed from the waist down, confining her to life in a wheelchair. But in 10 years, that’s not stopped her from cycling
(on a hand cycle), playing tennis, surfing (“it’s more like boogie-boarding but on a surfboard,” she says), sailing or skiing. In fact, this past spring she skied Tuckerman’s Ravine for the first time. “I honestly don’t think my life is very different than if I hadn’t had my accident,” she says, from her home in Maine. “I would not have started the foundation, but everything else, I just do. I’m working as a pediatric nurse practitioner. I still ski and bike. Zeke and I have a house and a dog.” That foundation, though, and the money raised through the Kelly Brush Ride has changed the lives of hundreds of others with spinal cord injuries.
After the accident, Middlebury College ski coach Forest Carey told the ski team members to each try to raise $1,000. "He said we’d do a century ride for Kelly in the fall,” Davisson remembers. “There were about 25 of us who rode 100 miles.” But instead of raising $25,000, the team raised $60,000. That initial money went to Brush to help pay for a hand cycle and sit-ski. Those cost about $12,000 and the funds were more than enough. “There’s still money in that fund,” Davisson says. A year later, Brush and her family set up the Kelly Brush Foundation and the Kelly Brush Ride drew hundreds of cyclists and raised more than $100,000. In the years since, the ride has regularly drawn 600 to 700 cyclists, including about two dozen hand cyclists who ride anywhere from 25 to 100 miles on the quiet roads that roll through the farmland of Addison County. Among them: Kelly Brush and Chris Waddell, another Middlebury College ski racer who suffered a spinal cord injury while freeskiing at the Middlebury Snow Bowl in the 1980s. Waddell has since gone on to win medals in both skiing and cycling in the Paralympics and, in 2011, became the first paraplegic to climb Kilimanjaro.
What You Can Do You can support the Kelly Brush Foundation by joining the Kelly Brush Century Ride on Sept. 12 out of Middlebury, Vt. On October 22, the foundation will also be hosting Inspire Vermont, a fundraising cocktail party with Kelly Brush and grant recipients at the South End Kitchen in Burlington. www.kellybrushfoundation.org.
After the accident, Brush spent a week in the ICU and then two months at the Craig Rehabilitation Hospital in Denver, Co. After six weeks, she tried a hand cycle. “That was the first time she felt the wind in her hair and she could feel like an athlete again,” Davisson recalls.
In the years since, Brush and her foundation have been working to restore that feeling to others. In 2012 she and Zeke were married and this past year Davisson left his job as an attorney to run the foundation. So far, the foundation has helped purchase more than 300 pieces of adaptive ski equipment. The recipients, who apply for a grant, are people like Kevin McDonald, a 41-year-old who fell from a deck while taking down decorations. This past winter, using a sit-ski, McDonald was able to ski with his son again at Killington for the first time since the accident. Another grant went to Greg Durso, a bank analyst from Long Island, who had a sledding accident. Durso used his handcyle to compete in Ironman Maryland. And then there is Amber Clark. While Brush was in the Craig rehab hospital, Clark was her roommate. “It was strange, she had the exact same injury as I did, at the exact same time and we were about the same age, but that was where the similarities ended,” Brush says. Clark, who was working at Subway at the time, had had an accident while tubing. After they left the hospital, the two stayed friends on Facebook but lost touch.
“One day Amber reached out to me on Facebook,” Brush says. “She had gained weight and was out of shape. She said the hardest part about her accident was not being able to ride with her sons.” Clark applied, and earned a grant that bought her a hand cycle. By riding it she has lost 45 pounds. "She said to me, ‘you know, I was always using my injury as an excuse. Now I see it doesn’t have to be,’” Brush says. And for Brush, it hasn’t. “I’ve never once heard Kelly say, ‘oh why me,’ or really dwell on it,” says Davisson. “My sister and Zeke have been my biggest allies,” Brush says. “They just push me and say, hey were going to find a way to do this—whether it’s surfing or skiing Tuckerman’s.” That attitude may be something Brush inherited. In 2013 her parents were snowcat skiing in Chatter Creek, B.C., when an avalanche buried her father. Charlie Brush was blue and not breathing when he was finally dug out and revived. He was back skiing the next day. “That was pretty surreal,” Kelly recalls. “It’s another reminder that life is pretty precious. And that sometimes we get second chances.”
Kelly Brush Davisson rockets through Addison County on her hand cycle. This year's Kelly Brush Century Ride is Sept. 12. Photo courtesy Kelly Brush Foundation
Comeback Mountain I
n 2010, Mount Ascutney shut down its lifts. Now, thanks to a group of locals, it is on its way to becoming one of Vermont's hottest destinations for mountain biking and back country skiing. By EVAN JOHNSON
n a part of Vermont known for gentle, rolling hills and pastures, the 3,130-foot high Mount Ascutney erupts out of the landscape like some kind of waking giant. Its steep slopes are a riot of green, tinged with autumn’s first reds and golds. Etched into its flanks are the outlines of ski trails. Time has not been kind to the defunct ski area. It has been five years since the bullwheels turned and the last remaining lift, a rusty double, sits idle in the hot air. Above the parking lot looms the scorched hulk of a former base lodge, which caught fire on
a frigid night last January. But on this August day, the parking lot is packed. Kegs of Long Trail are tapped and flowing, the meatballs at the food truck are ready and a golden retriever flaunts a stolen frisbee. It’s the kind of summer afternoon in West Windsor when everyone hopes to sneak out of work early to enjoy a ride in the woods. For the 400 mountain bikers arriving from seven states for the Eighth Annual Vermont Mountain Bike Festival, that’s precisely the plan. Tom Stuessy, president of the Vermont Mountain Biking Associa-
tion (VMBA), which organizes the annual festival, glances up at the hulking remains of the base lodge. The collapsing roof and shattered windows make for one hell of an eyesore, but he doesn’t mind. “It looks ugly, it’s awful, but it’s a sign of changing times,” he says. “There’s a network of multi-use trails here and they are going to be here forever," he contines. "It’s a special story.” Nearby, sitting on a folding camp chair in the shade, Tom Galloway from Mt. Holly, Vt. sips a Guinness and wrangles a friendly springer
spaniel pup named Pugsley (named after bike manufacturer Surly’s premier fatbike). Having ridden in the Vermont 50 for 14 of the 20 years the 50-mile cross country bike race has been held, Galloway has more than just a weekend warrior’s familiarity with the West Windsor area trails. “Ascutney’s like a mini-Burke,” he says. “We’ve got 45 miles of trails with some killer climbs and some sweet downhill.” And when the snow falls, the mountain presents a different kind of playground: “It’s got the steeps, it’s got easy-access and it’s close to
A monadnock that rises out of the Connecticut River Valley, Mount Ascutney has become a playground for hang gliders, mountain bikers and backcountry skiers .Photo by Fine Artist Nancy L. Griswold
home,” he adds. And soon, it may once again have a lift that runs. Comebacks are rare, but Mount Ascutney and the town of West Windsor and surrounding area are poised to pull one off.
A mountain’s town Glenn Seward has lived in the West Windsor area for 47 years and worked for 18 of them at Mount Ascutney Ski Resort, doing everything from mowing lawns to making and grooming snow to flipping burgers in the kitchen. “Everything that’s involved with running a
ski area,” he says. At one point, he was one of some 200 full- and part-time employees, many of who lived locally. For Seward and others, Ascutney was not just a ski area or a job: it was a cornerstone for the community. As West Windsor resident, telemark skier and trail builder Jim Lyall recalls, in a town of about 1,000 residents there were three spots people would go to meet. “You used to see your neighbors at the school, the post office and the ski area,” he says. “There used to always be something going on there.” Locals have been skiing the moun-
tain for as long as anyone can remember. In 1935, the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Windsor Outing Club cut the first trail down the face of the mountain. Development of the Ascutney ski trails occurred shortly after and a series of owners expanded the resort. Fans of Magic or Mad River Glen would recognize the old-school eastcoast style of trails like Touch N’ Go or Snowdance. The mountain’s unique forest composition also offered some 50 acres of glades through well-spaced hardwoods and dense spruce forests. The 1980s saw some $65 million in investments at the ski resort, but
soon the resort was mortgaged to the hilt. A group of investors called Summit Ventures Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection in 1990. New Yorkers Steve and Susan Plausteiner bought it for $1.1 million in 1993 and attempted to restart the resort the following winter. They were not successful and in 2010, Ascutney’s primary lender, New York investment bank MFW Associates, took possession. A liquidation followed and the chairlifts were sold. Meanwhile, the trails and base lodge sat empty. The loss of the resort sent ripples through the local economy. Seasonal
traffic dropped off and restaurants, inns and stores in the Upper Valley area closed. A handful of buyers inspected the defunct resort in hopes of reopening it, but the costs were prohibitively high—an estimated $10 million. Additionally, Ascutney’s lack of a ridgeline made it difficult for storm clouds to accumulate and drop snow. “Any buyer quickly came to the realization that it would take an inordinate sum of money to get it up and running in a reasonable fashion,” Seward recalls. Without a prospective buyer, the fate of the mountain and even the area was uncertain. MFW’s other options to recoup losses included subdividing the property and selling off real estate or leasing it to a logging operation. Aside from the blow to the economy, the closure threatened the culture and community. “There was a possibility that we could lose the school, the general store, and the post office as well as the ski area— things that really define a town,” says Lyall.
It takes a village. But as the resort declined, a group of mountain bikers began quietly developing a network of multi-use trails around the West Windsor area. Organized in 2006, the Sports Trails of the Ascutney Basin (STAB) served as a united voice for local cyclists and an organization that could work with local property owners. In 2011 Seward, at the time the chair of the West Windsor selectboard, approached STAB and its trail manager Jim Lyall with an idea to expand trails in the West Windsor area. Inspired by the success of other trail networks around the state, including East Burke’s Kingdom Trails, the plan was to establish the Mount Ascutney area as a similar destination. “Brownsville is a recreational community,” Seward says of the small village in West Windsor. “Given the fact that we had a highly respected trail system it only
A cyclist takes a turn on one of trails cut by The Sport Trails of the Ascutney Basin. Ascutney trails are drawing cyclists from around New England. Photos by Greg Maino
seemed appropriate that we use it to replace some of the visitors we had lost.” With permission from MFW and some financial support from the town, STAB began converting Nordic ski trails into mountain bike trails and improved signage. Even as the lifts were being sold off, locals continued to ride and ski the trails and hike its steeps in the winter. But while the agreement allowed STAB to expand the trails and use the defunct resort’s parking lot, it didn’t provide much room for long-term growth. As Lyall puts it, “It was hard to develop mountain biking and impossible to do anything with skiing under that situation.” That all changed when it was announced that the resort was about to go back on the market.
the community and the entire region.” Over the next year, the town and TPL developed a plan to buy the 469acre parcel and add it to the existing 1,112-acre town forest, which abuts the resort property. A conservation easement would then be placed over the expanded town forest to preserve it from development. Wanner says that placing a large easement over the area will ensure its protection and allow organizations like STAB and Mount Ascutney Outdoors to still develop recreational trails. “People can invest more time and money into parking lots, kiosks and trail signs— the permanent things that you don’t want to spend a lot of money on if there’s the possibility that your trail network could disappear in a year,” she says. “By permanently securing it you can really start to invest in marketing it and trying to attract folks on an annual basis.” At a special town meeting on October 14, 2014, West Windsor residents packed Story Memorial Hall to cast ballots on the proposed deal. It passed 254-79.
In 2013, Kate Wanner was on her way home for Thanksgiving when she got a phone call telling her the mountain, still owned by MFW, was about to come up for sale. A project manager for the Trust for Public Land (TPL), which works to preserve land for continued public enjoyment. Wanner recognized an opportunity. Yes, Ascutney had unquestionable recreational value, but it is also ecologically unique: the forests are an uncommon blend of species in the northeastern and Appalachian forests, including oak, pine, spruce and fir. “This seemed like a perfect spot,” she recalls. “Not only would we be protecting high ecological values, but also recreational, cultural and historical values of
Despite the overwhelming majority that supported the town’s move to buy the area, a handful of residents began challenging Seward, the selectboard chair, about his motives, saying that he personally stood to profit from the move. “It’s something you don’t see everyday and that raised some eyebrows,” Seward said of the discussion around buying the area. After moving to the area in 1978, Seward and his wife Shelley began buying parcels of property and currently own approximately 23 acres around Mount Ascutney. Seward, who is now retired, was the co-owner of a local construction company for 20 years. As an owner with property abutting
the Ascutney area, Seward says he was plagued with the allegations since the start of the project. The accusations became louder when he and his wife went before the town with a plan to establish a nonprofit that would oversee the skiing and trails in the town forest in conjunction with STAB. Even though the critics made up a small minority, Seward decided to remove himself from the discussion. He resigned from the town selectboard, where he had served as chairman for the past five years, stopped researching the non-
profit, dissolved a stewardship fund that would have managed the area and closed recreational trails on his property. In his March 23 resignation letter, Seward said his integrity and character had been questioned during the process. “It got to the point where it was not worth it to us anymore to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of our time and a considerable amount of money to do this when our motives were being questioned,” he says. “We felt it was best for us to step aside and let someone else take the lead.”
A new, non-profit resort.
While Seward stepped aside, the town and TPL moved forward to try to raise $905,000 to purchase the area. So far, TPL has secured $780,000 in grants and donations, the first $1,500 of which came from Burlington outfitter and online retailer Outdoor Gear Exchange as part of its OGE Charitable Grant Fund. The organization has received another $112,000 in individual donations and hopes to raise the remaining $23,000 by the end of September. If so, it can close on the deal by the end of 2015.
Picking up where the Sewards left off is volunteer Laura Farrell, who is setting up a new non-profit, Mount Ascutney Outdoors, to manage the ski trails. A retired distance runner, Farrell helped organize the Vermont 50 and the Vermont 100, two legendary long distance bike and running races that start and finish in West Windsor pastures. Farrell wants to see a community ski area with a similar operating structure to Cochran’s Ski Area in Richmond, where she works as an event coordinator, fundraiser and grant writer. STAB will manage the mountain bike trails. Starting this winter, Farrell and others hope to have a rope-tow running from the base area to what had been the mid-station near the top of the mountain. The current plan is to leave the uppermost third of the mountain open to backcountry skiing while the bottom two thirds of the mountain will be managed as a non-profit ski area. The uppermost portion of the mountain would be accessible to hikers willing to skin or hike. Portions of the expanded town forest would be maintained for dispersed backcountry skiing. “We want to get people excited again,” Farrell says. While tickets to ski resorts in the state can run near $100 for an adult and much more for the entire family, Farrell wants to keep lift tickets and passes to the revived Mount Ascutney much cheaper. “The goal is to make it a community ski area that will be affordable to anybody and everybody.” Her committee includes Jim Lyall, who will maintain the trails for skiing and biking and STAB has Act 250 approval to cut five more trails next year.
THE LITTLE MOUNTAIN THAT COULD A BRIEF HISTORY OF ASCUTNEY’S UPS AND DOWNS.
1935: The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Windsor Outing Club cut the first trail on Mount Ascutney, nearly 5,400 feet in length. It parallels what will become a summit road.
1946: Catherine “Kip” Cushman and a group
install two rope tows and several trails. The mountain is deemed a success and draws hundreds of skiers over the Christmas holiday.
1949: After a poor winter, Ascutney is bankrupt. Kip Cushman’s brother buys the area and turns it back over to his sister.
1957: John Howland buys the area and puts in a Tbar and snowmaking.
1963: Walter Paine buys the area in 1962. A new base lodge is built and a chairlift is added, allowing skiers access to the upper part of the mountain.
1983: After changing hands several times, the resort
A gem to treasure.
files for bankruptcy. Summit Ventures buys it
In the old ski area parking lot, the flow of traffic continues as the setting sun stretches shadows across the grass. In its second year at Ascutney, VMBA fest has nearly doubled in size. Sitting under the extendable awning of their Econoline 350 RV, Mark and Barbara Tucker enjoy the sunshine and some ice cream sandwiches with their two kids. The family drove from Sheffield, Vt. for the weekend and say the two-hour long drive was worth it. “Biking is a lifetime sport,” says Tucker. "You can start when you’re knee-high and keep riding when you’re 90. There are always people doing it or you can go out and do it by yourself. But the thing that brings people together are trails like this.” While everyone appreciates the outside traffic and notoriety VMBA has brought to Mount Ascutney, as VMBA president Stuessy says, “The most impressive thing that I’ve seen is the passion at the local level. Everybody recognizes what a gem they have here in their backyard.”
for $1.5 million and invests more than $65 million to build condos, add lifts and improve snowmaking.
1990: Summit Ventures Inc. files for bankruptcy protection.
1993: New Yorkers Steve and Susan Plausteiner buy Ascutney for $1.1 million and the following winter, relaunch the resort. 2002: Curt Warren sets a hang-gliding record for Ascutney by gliding from its summit 131.6 miles south to Connecticut, sealing the mountain’s reputation as a premiere launch site.
2006: Sports Trails of the Ascutney Basin (STAB) is founded with the idea of building recreational trails for skiing and mountain biking.
2008: Foreclosure proceedings start, with bids coming in to buy the lifts from Burke, Crotched Mountain and Pat’s Peak in New Hampshire.
2010: The Plausteiners' primary lender, New York investment bank MFW Associates takes possession of the resort. The mountain is closed for the season.
2011: STAB, in cooperation with the town and with the permission of MFW begins developing trails around the former resort. 2013: The Vermont Mountain Bike Association holds its annual gathering at Ascutney. The event is such a success, VMBA Fest returns in 2014 and by 2015 attracts more than 400 participants.
2013: That fall, The Trust for Public Land and the town of West Windsor begin to develop a plan to add the resort to the existing town forest.
2014: Residents cast ballots on the proposed deal. It passes 254-79. 2015: TPL secures $780,000 in grants and donations and hopes to close the deal by the end of the year. 2016: Skiing and riding may return to Mount Ascutney. SEPTEMBER 2015
STITCHING TOGETHER OUR STATE’S BEST SINGLETRACK AND WORST TRAILS, CALVIN DECKER RODE THE LENGTH OF VERMONT, 301 MILES, IN 38 HOURS By Calvin Decker
he alarm went off at 4:59 a.m. I got out of my sleeping bag and slipped into my bike shorts. Stars still filled the sky. The cool morning air was thick with fog but as I drove south from my campsite at Molly Stark State Park off Route 9, the first light crested the rolling hills. At the Massachusetts border, I went through a mental checklist: Bags in place, GPS on, SPOT beacon activated. I wanted to be rolling at 6:00. It was 5:58. Then, “Where are my gloves? DAMMIT, WHERE ARE MY GLOVES!” I yelled to myself. They were at home atop a stack of clean laundry. “I hate riding without gloves,” I muttered as I rolled out, barehanded, at 6:05. The crisp air chilled my bare hands; I was so mad at myself. “Snap out of negative thoughts. It’s a beautiful day, and you’re on your bike,” I told myself. But as soon as I cleared the first mile or so of pavement, I started into what would be my most enjoyable day of bikepacking in memory. Early miles ticked off quickly on winding forest service roads, often with a beautiful creek along side. A bit of grassy trail kept my feet wet, as morning dew had yet to evaporate. Ahead were 300 more miles of dirt roads, muddy paths and singletrack and 33,000 vertical feet of climbing before I would hit my destination: Canada. I’d been toying with the idea of riding the length of Vermont along the spine of the Green Mountains since I began bikepacking in 2013 and immediately I was hooked. At a talk on bikepacking in St. Albans, I had met Dave Tremblay, who has ridden the Tour Divide from Alberta, Canada, to the Mexican border, largely on trails near the Continental Divide. Tremblay and Dave Bluementhal had done extensive planning on creating a trans-Vermont route with other local riders. Working with Tom Stuessey from Vermont Mountain Biking Association, they created what is being called the Vermont Bikepacking Route (VBR), and formed the “Vermont Bikepackers” VMBA chapter. The route has seen little traffic thus far, and those who have done it have primarily ridden northbound from
Dave Tremblay and Dave Bluementhal did extensive planning to create the Vermont Bikepacking Route (VBR) with help from riders Will Blanchard and Mike Beganyi. Until Decker rode the route, George Lapierre held the record: riding the VBR border to border in an impressive 57 hours. Oh yeah, and on a single-speed.
A ski patroller at Pico, Calvin Decker started bikepacking in 2013. By 2014, he had ridden from Canada to Mexico, finishing second on the Tour Divide race. This past April he won Australia's 1000K Monaro Cloudride in 14 days. At 22, he was the youngest in the field.
Massachusetts to Canada. Having lived in central Vermont for the last few years, I had ridden the central part of the route extensively, and expected to be on similar terrain throughout. When it came to bike choice, I went full suspension, mostly for experimentation for future plans. The initial time to beat was set earlier this summer by George Lapierre, at an impressive 54 hours, on a rigid singlespeed! Rumors were that there was a lot of singletrack, tough double track, and
of steep pavement through the Stratton area. A road cyclist up ahead seemed to think he was god as he pedaled down the middle of the lane. As I passed, I educated him that “share the road” does not mean “own the road.” Respect gets respect, fella. I could feel him die a little on the inside as I pedaled away on my loaded full-suspension mountain bike and his 23c tires were stuck in slow. This paved bit led me out to just about mile 50. After that, the route began to mature into its true character with a rough snowmobile track leading into the mountains as late morning sun began to warm the world. At mile 70, I came to a surprise supply point I missed in planning, so I grabbed a Coke and Gatorade, to surpass the boredom of water if nothing else. The trails became steeper and rougher the farther north I went. I had yet to push my bike more than a few yards until the Plymouth area, where the trail and the stream became one and the same. I did not spend too much time distinguishing, but just pushed my bike up the shallowest part of the stream, past some folks panning for gold, until I broke out of the valley for a climb and descent into Bridgewater. But just as I let the spokes fly, my front wheel caught a wet log in mud, and I ejected as I watched my right hand and grip disappear about 10 inches into the slop. Bare hands, slimy grips, YUCK! I was now on my home turf. I enjoyed the familiar VASA trails between Bridgewater and Pittsfield and pedaled with a grin ear to ear. I could not maintain the 12 mph average I had ridden for the morning miles, but I did not expect to, and was glad to be ‘mountain’ biking!’ After a short bushwack from an abandoned class 4 into singletrack on Green Mountain Trails, the route climbs to the top of the trail system for a visit to Shrek’s Cabin. I was disappointed not to find the sign-in book, just a book of children’s poems I had already read while camping here on a previous trip. Just around 6:00 p.m., I began the fantastic descent into Pittsfield to get food for the night and next morning. More familiar terrain led me out of town, on a bit tougher route than I anticipated. As the sun set, I turned my lights on, more to be seen, than to see. I saw a moose cross the road a couple
rough class 4 roads. I expected my pace to be a bit slower than normal and was warned to be ready to push my bike on the hills and in the mud. Sticking to my guns, I planned to be finished within 48 hours, as I had only taken one day off of work, and wanted that day to get home and recover.
North to Moosalamoo I had enjoyable riding along the Harriman Reservoir Trail, and onto Forest Service roads which brought me to a bit
phone chimed loudly in the still night. The clock was ticking, and I must ride. I broke camp and forced in more turkey and chocolate chips. It was too early in the day to be having trouble eating real food. Wheels were rolling forward by 4:00 a.m., and I felt great.
Lincoln to Morrisville
Look Ma, no gloves! The one thing Decker forgot, he really missed (above). Top right, Shrek Cabin beckons. Photo by Calvin Decker hundred feet ahead of me on my way up Route 73. Atop Brandon Gap, it was nearly dark, so I plugged in my headlamp, preparing for the Moosalamoo National Recreation area. The singletrack climb on Chandler Ridge was the first mental crux I had prepared for. A blast of 5-hour Energy, and I was awake, climbing, pushing a bit, but mostly riding, loving life. I still don’t know why, but there were fireworks in seemingly every
direction that night, and I let my mind wander into imagining that they were celebrating my ride arriving at Silver Lake, my propsed first night camp spot. I am not sure if it was caffeine or excitement, but I had no desire to stop yet. Also realizing I didn’t want to attempt the entire route without sleep, I rode around the Goshen Reservoir and decided to sleep in Widow’s Clearing. The plan was to sleep about halfway up
the climb, to end warm, and start with a climb in the morning to warm up. At 11:40 p.m., I found a flat enough spot and rolled out my E-bivy and sleeping bag liner. I slipped in and forced myself to eat as much of the dry turkey sandwich as I could, but had more luck with the cookies my girlfriend Beth had made for me. I slept well, as the owls worked through the night. At 3:48 a.m., the most annoying ringtone on my
The Natural Turnpike, a dirt Forest Service road between Route 125 and Lincoln Gap Road, was a perfect early morning spin, and first light greeted me as I climbed Lincoln Gap, where the sunrise was full-on through the trees as I sped down the other side. This is where the singletrack REALLY started. The Warren/Sugarbush area led to Waitsfield. For most of the ride through the Mad River Valley I rode technical Vermont singletrack broken up with some roads. This was fantastic. Tough,
PACKING RIGHT AND LIGHT
to the back of my helmet. I decided to carry a Camelbak Mule for water capacity. Other accessories I packed included:
What to bring is always a toss-up, depending on the course, the proposed weather, and your motive. This was my first bikepacking route with a full-suspension bike. I recently purchased an Ibis Ripley that I named Ike. Without getting into mumbo jumbo tech talk, the Ripley is the most versatile bike I’ve ever ridden. Just about a week before riding the spine of the state, I was riding lift accessed downhill and jump trails on the same bike! When planning for the VBR, I did not think I’d be sleeping for more than a few hours one night. I first considered bringing just a space blanket, but I’m glad I decided to go one step heavier with the SOL E-Bivy and my usual Klymitt Pad. For clothing, I wore bike shorts, a jersey, and 5” wool socks, packing a Smartwool top, leg warmers, and my trusty Patagonia Super Cell shell. I knew I was going to be riding through the dark, so I ran a Shutter Precision dynamo to power a USB charger and my KLite lighting system. I used a cheap USB headlamp, powered from rechargeable USB cache batteries, and zip-tied a blinky red light
❏ Pump ❏ Tube, a good one, 'cause tiny pumps suck ❏ Patch kit ❏ Bike tool and chain tool ❏ Spare SPD cleat ❏ Chain/quick links ❏ Needle ❏ Fiber repair spoke ❏ Chain lube (tiny bottle) ❏ Zip ties ❏ Medical Tape And many thanks to my sponsors: Alpine Bike Works Lonewolf Cycling www.alpinebikeworks.com www.lonewolfcycling.com Nuclear Sunrise Stitchworks www.nukesunrise.com
Surefoot USA (Insoles) www.surefoot.com
The reward for navigating gnarly streambeds, the rocky steeps of Chandler Ridge and steep descents from Lincoln? Sweet, grassy singletrack. Photo by Calvin Decker. but fantastic. Many of the climbs had me either out of the saddle or out of the pedals, pushing. The descents had me whooping and loving life. THIS is what bikepacking is supposed to be! Dave Tremblay chased me down on his motorcycle just before the Waterbury tunnel under I-89 and we chatted a bit. I was starting to feel a bit tired when I hit a snag with the attendant in Little River State Park: Apparently it’s a fee area...and that slowed me down. The singletrack from Little River up through the Stowe Mountain Bike Club trails all began to blur together as I got a chance to ride miles and miles of trail I had always wanted to ride, but never had until now. I really was enjoying the ride, but I was struggling to stay
fueled, which led to some frustration. I couldn’t stomach protein. I was living off Twizzlers, Swedish Fish, and cookies. Just before the Cady Hill tower in Morrisville, someone who had been following my SPOT beacon blip on the Internet chased me down for a quick visit. It’s always rad to see people you don't know who are interested in what you’re doing. I was excited to know that this was the last of the singletrack, as I had fallen quite a bit behind my ideal pace.
A Sprint to the Border In Morrisville, I resupplied for the last stretch. I chugged a chocolate milk while I scanned for what I could eat: Lifesaver Gummies, yup. With 50 miles and about 5,000 vertical feet left, I pedaled onto
climby roads which would quickly degrade to rough and rocky paths. Not singletrack, but not much faster. Storm clouds began to build and thunder echoed through the valleys but I never got more than a sprinkle. I didn’t see anyone other than a few Jeepers buried in a mud pit deeper than their doors. They hooted and hollered as I picked my way around, never getting off the pedals. As I cleared some of the steepest, heavily traveled, dirt road I’ve ever seen, the storms seemed to part around me. The setting sun came below the clouds, and the light shining across the valley cast amazing shadows below the dark ceiling of passing storms. My new goal: watch the sunset with Beth. The orange glow was in full effect as I sprinted into
Newport for the bike path. “Calvin!” I heard a familiar voice shout. Missing the first entrance to the bike path, I looped around to a pedestrian bridge to say “Hi” and take a photo with the setting sun before I charged another six miles along Lake Memphremagog. At 8:02 p.m. I arrived at the Canadian Border, finishing in 37 hours 57 minutes. I backed off the border about a mile to avoid suspicion and was nearly eaten alive by mosquitoes as I waited for my pick up. Follow "Field Notes of a Partially Deranged, Yet Clinically Sane, Cyclist" at calvinrdecker.blogspot.com. This story also ran on Bikepackersmagazine.com.
THE BEST OF BRATTLEBORO
You don't need to wait for a block party to stop in Brattleboro on your way north or south. Here are five great reasons to stay. Photo by Kelly Fletcher
f you’re driving south on Interstate 91, Brattleboro is the last large town you pass on the way out of Vermont and the first one on the way back. With Marlboro College and The School for International Training nearby—and the five colleges in the Northampton-Amherst area of Massachusetts to the south—Brattleboro invites a blend of back-to-the-landers, students, young professionals, artists and adventure seekers. No wonder Brattleboro is home to a thriving arts scene, a growing number of local restaurants and shops and a culture that’s entirely its own. Southeastern Vermont’s largest city is a great starting point for a weekend playing in the Connecticut River, the neighboring mountains on both sides of the river, and four ski resorts within easy driving distance. —Evan Johnson
1. Hike to a View For an easy hike within walking distance of downtown, head across the river to New Hampshire for a hike up the looming Mount Wantastiquet. Park behind the old Wal-Mart directly across the river and hike two miles up a wide four-wheeler trail. At an elevation of 1,368 feet, the summit and nearby Miner’s Ledge offers stunning western views of the foliage of the Connecticut River Valley and looks down on downtown Brattleboro. You’ll be up and down in about three hours, in time for dinner and a movie at the classic Latchis Movie Theater. For an extended hike, continue on the trail to nearby Indian Pond and the 488-acre Madame Sherri Forest. The forest near Chesterfield, N.H., was the site of former resident Madame Antoinette Sherri’s massive estate, where her raucous parties gained local notoriety. On October 18, 1962, the house was destroyed by fire and the ruins have sat empty since. The foundation, chimneys and a grand stone staircase are still standing, making it an intriguing and certainly spooky discovery during a foliage hike. Other easy hikes include the Retreat trails, a network of 11 miles spreading all over town, used by everyone from local dog walkers to the high school cross country running team. Nearby Long
Trail hikes include Southern Vermont’s tallest peak, 3,936-foot Stratton Mountain. The Long Trail leads 3.8 miles to the summit, which offers sweeping views from a fire tower. Extend your hike by continuing 3.2 miles to Stratton Pond and camp at the shelter or a primitive campsite on the northern shore. Return to your car in the morning by way of the 3.7-mile long Stratton Pond Trail.
2. Ride with the West Hill Shop Cyclists looking to push the pedals ought to drive the 15 minutes north to Putney for a visit to the legendary West Hill Shop, located just off I-91. In addition to rentals and full bike and ski fitting, the shop holds group rides every Tuesday evening with the Putney Bike Club through the towns of Putney, Dummerston, Saxton River, Chester and Westminster, followed by a BBQ back at the shop. Women’s rides are Wednesday evenings and longer gravel-grinding tours are on the second Sunday of every month, running from April until it starts to snow. Look for the red and gold jerseys and do your best to keep up. For a scenic and easy mountain bike ride, head to the West River Trail, 16 miles of former railroad line open yearround to hikers, bikers and cross-country skiers. The southern portion runs 3.5
miles from the Marina trailhead near downtown and follows the West River north. For a slightly longer trip, leave your bike at the end of the trail and hike about a mile to the summit of Black Mountain for lunch. For gear shopping, Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters has stood at its 74 Main St. Brattleboro location since 1932 when it started as an Army Navy surplus store. Today, the store has clothing and equipment for hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, running and more. Plus, the popcorn is always free. Burrows Specialized Sports and the Brattleboro Bicycle Shop both offer bike repairs, maps and friendly service.
3. Stay at a Classic B&B For camping close to town, reserve a campsite at Fort Dummer State Park. Located on 217 acres, the park has 50 tent sites and 10 lean-tos with views of Mount Wantastiquet and local farms. It’s an easy downhill bike ride into town for supplies. If you’re a cat person, check into The One Cat, a cozy bed and breakfast close to downtown owned and operated by Pat Sheehan and Conrad Feinson. The Brighton and New England rooms make for an exclusive getaway with a delicious breakfast and two very friendly cats ($132 – $165 per night). The Crosby House, also close to downtown, offers three rooms and two suites, maintained in the same genteel style it had when it opened in 1868 ($160 - $195 per night).
4. Paddle the Connecticut For paddling trips of a day or longer on the Connecticut River, consult the Connecticut River Paddlers’ Trail, a network of primitive campsites and access points that stretch from the river’s headwaters all the way south to Long Island Sound. For a full day’s paddle, launch north of Brattleboro in Bellows Falls (25 miles) or
Putney (16.7 miles) and follow the river south, finishing at the Retreat Meadows. A full list of access points and maps is available at www.connecticutriverpaddlerstrail.org If gentler paddling is what you seek, head to the Retreat Meadows, located within driving distance of downtown. Rent canoes from the Vermont Canoe Touring Center and paddle around to bird watch or cast a line for bass. You’ll have views of the Brattleboro Retreat, the historic Harris Hill Ski Jump and the Retreat Tower, constructed by patients in 1887. After an afternoon on the river, head to the Marina for seafood and other American fare or the Top Of The Hill Grill for hickory smoked brisket ribs, pulled pork and more.
5. Savor the Local Brews Start your day with coffee and scones from Mocha Joes. This subterranean café on Main Street is a Brattleboro institution and a great spot to read the paper, people-watch, or just grab your coffee and go. For picnic fixings, swing by the Brattleboro Food Co-op or the Brattleboro Farmer’s Market (held every Saturday morning) for all your natural and organic needs. After a full day outside, Brattleboro’s downtown offers plenty of food and drink options. For a burger and a beer before or after a movie at the Latchis next door, the Flat Street Pub is an easy pick for pub fare. The Whetstone Station has a great view of the river, a full menu of American cuisine and a long beer list that includes their own experimental house-brewed beers. At Fireworks, try a brick oven pizza with pulled pork, broccoli rabe, Kalamata olives, sweet red pepper and onion, gorgonzola and mozzarella and a signature cocktail like the Payback, jalapeno infused gold tequila with muddled kiwi, agave nectar, triple sec and fresh lime. In recent years, Brattleboro has jumped into the brewing and distilling scene with a few notable successes. North of downtown, Saxtons River Distillery distills Sapling maple liqueur, bourbon, rye and Perc Coffee Liqueur. Downtown, step into the cozy, wood-paneled tasting room of the Hermit Thrush Brewery on High Street for a tasting of some imaginative Belgian-inspired ales brewed by Christophe Gagné and Avery Schwenk. Leave w a growler of the signature Brattlebeer, a sour ale blended with cider with fruit and malt undertones, or the Brooks Brown, a year-round favorite with a deep nutty and roasted malt flavor named for the iconic Brooks Building located just across the street.
ULTRA CHAMPION NAME Aliza Lapierre AGE: 34 LIVES IN: Williston FAMILY: Husband, George; two dogs Timber and Lily OCCUPATION: Para-educator PRIMARY SPORTS: Ultra running
former ice hockey player, Aliza Lapierre turned to running when she graduated from college and hasn’t looked back. Lapierre was the second fastest woman in her first 100-mile race and travels this month to Japan to compete on the Ultra-Trail World Tour.
VS: Have you always been a runner? AL: I grew up playing ice hockey from the age of five and through college at St. Lawrence. After college I decided it was time to lose some bulk and rejoin society so I started running three miles a day and six miles on the weekend. Then I decided to train for the Vermont City Marathon. That was the next step. In 2004 I heard about the Vermont 50 and thought I’d give it a try and see how far I could get. I fell in love with ultra running that first year.
VS: You didn’t stop with 50-milers, did you? AL: I did 50’s for a couple of years and eventually tried a 100-miler in 2010. I’ve done thirty 50-milers and six 100-milers.
VS: What do you enjoy about such a punishing experience? AL: I love being out in nature and exploring on my own two feet. The volunteers are really inspirational as are the other participants. You’re competing, but you’re also supporting each other.
VS: Let’s talk a little about that support system. AL: Some races require that you either volunteer there or at a local race or do a certain amount of hours of trail work. There have been times when I’ve contemplated my opinion on that because these races are quite expensive. You’re paying $450 to run and they’re asking you for volunteer hours when you’re already strapped for time and that gets you thinking. On the other hand, I’ve learned a lot by giving back and volunteering. I’ve learned what it takes to build and maintain a trail. I had always taken that for granted. I’ve also discovered that I enjoy being the volunteer who’s out there cheering for people. It gives you a high, watching people toe the line even if they’re not the greatest runner in the world. Volunteering also ensures that you’ll get a spot
because some of these races fill up quickly. The Western States Endurance Run in California, for instance, only takes 2 percent of the people who apply to run.
VS: What was your most enjoyable ultra race? AL: The first one was the most enjoyable. It was the Vermont 100 in 2010. It was my fastest time, it was my home course, and my family was there so it was memorable. [Editor’s note: Lapierre was the second woman to finish the race and seventh overall].
VS: What was your hardest race? AL: It’s hard to pick one because each race has its own difficulties. Leadville is 10,000 feet in elevation and coming from sea level makes it difficult. Western States can be very tough because the temperature can be 110 in the canyon and you’re coming from winter in Vermont.
VS: Speaking of going from winter to summer, didn’t you run in the Canary Islands this winter? AL: I did the North Face Transgrancanaria which is 120 kilometers and has over 2,500 feet of climbing and descending. It’s a point to point race from the north end of the island to the south and I definitely had a trying day. I started throwing up at mile eight and continued throughout the race and after I finished it. Fueling and staying hydrated was pretty difficult. [Editor’s note: In spite of this, Lapierre finished 8th among women and first among American women.]
VS: How do you have time to train? AL: It’s a lot of time management and just planning every moment of the day. Before I go to bed I figure out what I have to do the next day and what it takes to get it done. If I have to get up at 3 a.m. to run at 4 a.m. before work that’s what I do. My family is very understanding that my training takes a lot of time so I’m blessed in that regard.
VS: Have you had any injuries? AL: My first major injury was in my second year of ultra running. I had a broken femur which kept me out for more than two years. After that, it’s just been normal trail running injuries – broken bones in
my feet, broken ribs and a broken hand. When you do a lot of trail running you trip and fall so those are normal injuries for me, I guess.
VS: I read that you have a fear of flying but you’ve obviously flown to competitions? AL: If I want to compete against the best I have to travel outside New England. There are a lot of great races that draw international fields so I have to take the chance and fly and hope for the best. Hopefully the new people I meet and the new trails I get to see are worth the anxiety I feel when I fly.
VS: How do you keep your sanity during the long races? AL: I typically listen to music. Sometimes I’ll sing out loud but only if I’m alone because I’m a horrible singer. You need to keep your mind occupied even if you’re expending a little more energy. If I’m with people we chat nonstop, especially if we know each other. We’ll tell each other silly jokes and inappropriate stories. Sometimes I recite poetry in my head. In high school I had a teacher who made us memorize a lot of Robert Frost so that’s what I recite.
VS: How has this year’s racing gone for you?
World Tour. There are seven races and the winner is based on your best three races. Transgrancanaria was my first, Western States was my second and Mt. Fuji which has a lot of climbing and varied terrain will be my third. I did the North Face Bear Mountain 50-miler as a training run for Western States to work on my hydration and refueling. I finished first among women but really I just did it as a training run because it’s much easier to do a 50-mile run when it’s an organized event with aid stations. At Western States everything went well until mile 80. I was in third among the women but I started throwing up. I still had a lot of legs and energy but I fell from third to fourth. It was still a great race and I got to run with a lot of different women so I’m happy with that. I’ll leave for Japan on September 18.
VS: Do you have an overall goal for your racing? AL: I want to have fun and some days, fun means you reevaluate your goals and run slower. You can enjoy meeting a different crowd of people and make the best of the situation. My ultimate goal is to see what I’m capable of and push others to see what they’re capable of and, of course, to have fun. The fun outweighs the bad days or else I wouldn’t be doing it.
AL: I’m participating in the Ultra Trail
GEAR & BEER
MAKE THE BEATS GO ON FOUR WAYS TO TRACK YOUR HEART RATE, WITHOUT WEARING A CHEST STRAP
Garmin Vivofit 2
TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio
Fitbit Charge HR Lazer LifeBeam
f you’re an athlete who wants to progress, you have to think of your body as a machine, a system of systems—cardiovascular, muscular, respiratory—and machines need gauges. A heart-rate monitor can tell you how efficiently your body is working and how hard you are pushing yourself. A GPS can tell you where you are, track your route and time your progress. If you really want to improve, you need baselines and goals. That’s where gauges come in. And boy do we have gauges: The heart rate monitor of a decade ago has given way to a battery of miniaturized electronics that can follow your every function and goose your every step. These days both the Fitbit Charge HR ($149, www.fitbit.com) and the Garmin Vivofit 2 ($99, www.garmin.com), can track not ony your every step but also caloric exertion and heart rate. Goodbye chest strap, hello convenience. Both the Garmin and the Fitbit are most precise when you haven’t moved a muscle and are maybe thinking of going for a hike or a run (and less accurate on the go.) The Vivofit benefits from an onboard battery that lasts a year before it needs to be replaced, while the Charge HR turns out to be aptly named since it needs to be plugged in every three or four days. On the other hand, the Charge HR has a more friendly computer interface and mobile app than the Vivofit 2, and a more elegant, low-profile design.
The TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio ($229, www.tomtom.com), by contrast, is in the growing family of super fitness trackers. It is bigger than a simple wristband, yes, but more reliable when tracking heart rates. The TomTom has a builtin GPS that tracks your route and plots the wave form of your heart rate over time. It is waterproof and can be calibrated for a variety of activities including swimming (it is not currently set to track heart rate while swimming, although one reviewer found that by putting it in “Treadmill” mode it can.) The TomTom can also distinguish between running outdoors or on a treadmill, it can pair with your phone and lets you compete against past performances. And it has big, easyto-read, numbers. Cyclists who are not keen on either chest straps or fitness watches can simply slip on the Lazer LifeBeam ($229, www.lazersport.com), the first bike helmet embedded with optical sensors and a 3-axis accelerometer. The helmet transmits your heart rate to a smart phone or a bike computer, like a Garmin. Built into the super-comfortable Genesis helmet, the LifeBeam’s sensors are undetectable once the helmet is on your head, and until you end your ride and have to plug in your lid, you can forget that you’re even being monitored. —Sue Halpern
BRANDON’S NESHOBE WINERY AND FAIR MAIDEN DOUBLE IPA The fifth hole on the Neshobe Golf Course, one of the best little golf courses in the state, backs right into the lovely vineyards of the Neshobe Winery. Open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, the tasting room is a great place to stop after a ride over Brandon Gap. There are decent wines, but the real reason to stop is that the folks behind Neshobe are also responsible for Foley Brothers Brewery. And the Foley's Fair Maiden Double IPA is worth stopping for. This double IPA is fairly widely available in bomber bottles (we even found it at Costco in Colchester). In the ever-growing hop sweepstakes, the double IPA is what it takes to give hopheads the fix they once got from first-generation microbrews and, in this case, it comes with some fairly rich malting as well. If you really concentrate, you can get tropical fruit flavors, but it screams pine resin. So if you’ve come off a gap ride from Rochester, with its glorious white pines along the ridge, you’ll be making a day of it. The one other gauge you might want to check is a breathalyzer; this is 8.2% alcohol by volume and it comes in a big bottle, so share. —Bill McKibben
CALENDAR OF EVENTS Event organizers! Listing your event in this calendar is free and easy. Visit vtsports.com/ submit-event, and e-mail results to email@example.com. All area codes 802, and all locations Vermont, unless otherwise noted. Featured events, highlighted in yellow, pay a nominal fee. BIKING/CYCLING SEPTEMBER 9/4-7 Green Mountain Stage Race, Mad River Valley, Vt. Four days of challenging time trials, gran fondo rides and circuit races in the Green Mountains. www.gmsr.info
9/5 Dirty 40 Race, Derby, Vt. With a field limit of 500 riders, this 70-mile unsanctioned gravel road race covers 5,600 feet of elevation gain on the gravel back roads through some of the most scenic pristine landscapes of Vermont. www.dirty40race.com
9/13 Cabot Ride the Ridges, Cabot, Vt. A fun and challenging mostly dirt road bike ride through the scenic landscapes and rugged terrain of Cabot and Peacham Vermont. Distances include 10K, 30K, 60K and 100K. www.ridetheridges.net
9/19 NoHo BikeTour of the Valley, Northampton, Mass. The Northampton Cycling Club holds its eighth annual tour with supported rides of 8, 25, 43, 72 and 104 miles followed by a party. www.bikefest.nohobikeclub.org
9/19 Bart Center No Limits Bike Ride, Manchester, Vt. The Bart. J. Ruggiere Adaptive Sports Center offers rides of 30, 60 and 100 miles as well as a nine-mile family ride through southern Vermont and New York to benefit the center. All rides are fully supported. www.bartcenter.com
9/23-27 Tour de Kingdom – Fall Foliage, Newport, Vt. Five days of supported rides on both sides of the border with brilliant foliage and optional routes of varying distances. $50 per day; $200 for all five; $175 for groups of 10 or more. www.tourdekingdom.org
9/26 Tour De Farms, Bristol, Vt. The 2015 Tour features a new 37-mile route with 8 farm stops and 18 participating farms and restaurants in the Champlain Valley. The route features 24 miles of paved roads and 13 miles of gravel roads. Three miles are along a section of VT Route 116 with a good shoulder. The terrain is hilly with some short steep rises and a gradual climb back into Bristol. www.acornvt.org
9/26 Hungry Lion Bike Tour, Whitingham, Vt.
Stowe’s only road cycling event includes adaptive, family, 48-mile, 60-mile, and century rides through the Smugglers’ Notch and surrounding area. www.darntoughride.com
Help to fight Hunger in southern Vermont- Choose from 4 different routes through the hills of southern Vermont and northern Massachusetts during spectacular fall foliage. Distances include 33, 35, 55 and 75 miles. www.hungrylion biketour.com
9/7 (Labor Day) Burlington Kids’ Crit, Burlington, Vt.
9/26 Stone Valley 50, Poultney, Vt.
9/6 Darn Tough Ride, Stowe, Vt.
The Richard Top Foundation sponsors a free “Kids’ Crit” at the Green Mountain Stage Race Burlington Criterium. There will be two fields, for 7-8 year olds and 9-10 year olds. The 7-8 year olds will ride one city block (about 500m) and the 9-10 year olds will ride two city blocks. Each race will have a separate start time. The rider limit will be capped at 30 for each field. www.richardtomfoundation.com
9/12 NCC Mount Greylock Hillclimb Trial, North Adams, Mass. The Northampton Cycling Club’s Mt. Greylock Hillclimb is an annual bicycle race up the north face of Mt. Greylock to the summit at 3,489 feet, the highest point in Massachusetts. The course covers 9.1 miles, with grades as steep as 17 percent. www.greylocktt.nohobikeclub.org/
9/12 Kelly Brush Century Ride, Middlebury, Vt. Scenic, fully supported ride on 25, 50 or 100 miles long, with options for 65 and 85 mile loops. Powered by Vermont Bicycling and Walking Vacations. Funds raised support the Kelly Brush Foundation’s mission to help athletes with spinal cord injuries purchase specialized sports equipment and to improve ski racing safety. Ride is followed by barbeque. www.kellybrushfoundation.org
9/12 Green Mountain Cycling Challenge MTB6, Pittsfield, Vt.
The Stone Valley 50 is a 50-mile gravel bike race and 25mile ride through the Rutland County towns of Poultney, Castleton, Middletown Springs, and Wells. This event is to raise money for the Kellen Sams Memorial Scholarship. https://sites.google.com/a/greenmtn.edu/sv50/home
On the last weekend in October, Kingdom Trails, Conservation Collaborative and the Burke Area Chamber of Commerce present a mountain bike and cross country running race on a 25-mile loop. www.circumburke.org
ONGOING Monday gravel rides, Montpelier, Vt. Onion River Sports holds Monday evening gravel road rides in the Montpelier area. Rides depart Onion River Sports every Monday evening between 5:30 and 6 p.m. Rides are intermediate to advanced level. www.onionriver.com
Tuesday road rides, Montpelier, Vt. Onion River Sports leads evening road rides around the Montpelier area. Rides depart Montpelier High school at 5:30 p.m. Rides are beginner to intermediate level and follow a no-drop policy. www.onionriver.com
Tuesday mountain bike rides, Montpelier, Vt. Onion River Sports leads evening mountain bike rides in the Montpelier area. Carpools depart Onion River Sports every Tuesday evening at 5:30 p.m. www.onionriver.com
Thursday mountain bike rides, Montpelier, Vt. Montpelier Area Mountain Bike Association holds Thursday evening rides. Details at the MAMBA website. www. bikemamaba.org
RUNNING SEPTEMBER 9/5 Northfield Savings Bank 5K, Northfield, Vt. A certified 5K course as part of the CVR ORS Race Series. Start and finish in front of the Northfield Savings Bank at the Green in downtown Northfield, Vt. www.nsbvt.com
9/6 GMAA Archie Post 5-Miler, Burlington, Vt. Certified point-to-point course on a bike path. A free ¼-mile kids race will be held at the Archie Post fields at the end of the 5-miler. www.gmaa.net
9/12 Citizens 5K Run – Burlington Cross-Country Invitational, Burlington, Vt.
10/3 Cochran’s Bike Rides and Trail Run
Burlington High School hosts 5K races on dirt and paved surfaces, open to runners age 10 and older. www.bsdweb. bsdvt.org
Cochran’s Ski Area hosts a series of bike rides and trail races to raise funds for the ski area. Scheduled rides are 100K and 50K on paved roads, 25-mile mountain bike and dirt road rides and 10-mile trail run. www.cochranskiarea.com
10/4 Allen Clark Bicycle Hill Climb, Waitsfield, Vt. The Allen Clark Memorial Hill Climb rises 1,600 vertical feet in 6.2 miles from the intersection of Route 100 and 17 to the top of Appalachian Gap. The event is named in honor of long-time Mad River Valley resident Allen Clark. www. achillclimb.org
10/24 Dam Wrightsville CX, Middlesex, Vt. Onion River Sports organizes a cross-country criterium bike ride at the Wrightsville Reservoir Beach open to every variety of bike. After-party follows at the Three Penny Taproom. www.bikereg.com
Green Mountain Trails and Peak Races host a series of races on a 13-mile loop. Riders can opt to do one or two laps or race the course for six continuous hours. www.bikereg.com
10/25 CircumBurke MTB Challenge and Trail Run, East Burke, Vt.
9/12 Charlotte Covered Bridges Half Marathon, Charlotte, Vt. Charlotte hosts a half marathon through the Champlain Valley on paved and dirt roads. Race has a cap of 300 runners and a time limit of three hours. This year, the race adds a 5K and 10K option. www.racevermont.com
9/12 Maple Leaf Half Marathon & 5K, Manchester, Vt. Manchester hosts a fall half-marathon and 5K race from the downtown community to picturesque village settings to country roads past farmlands and back to the finish. www. runreg.com
9/13 Old Stone Museum Annual Fall Foliage Run, Walk & Bike, Brownington, Vt. The Old Stone House Museum in Brownington hosts a half marathon, 5K run, 5K walk and 12 mile bike race on a Sunday morning on rural Northeast Kingdom back roads. www.oldstonehousemuseum.org
CALENDAR OF EVENTS 9/16 Sodom Pond 4-mile Race, Adamant, Vt. A rolling 4-mile course around Sodom Pond in Adamant, Vt. Race day registration only, across from the Adamant Co-op. Contact: Tim Noonan, 802 223 6216.
9/19 Common to Common 30K, Essex Junction, Vt. A 30K race from the historic Essex Center to Westford Commons and back. All racers receive medallions. www.gmaa.net
9/20 Stowe Trail Series: 5K & 10K, Stowe, Vt. Beginning and ending in the Trapp Family Lodge Meadow, both races follow a dirt road before merging with double track cross-country trails. The 5K race diverts at Old Country Road and follows Russell Knoll back to the finish. The 10K race continues to the Trapp Cabin and returns on the new single-track trails. www.stoweadaptive.org
9/20 TAM Trek, Middlebury, Vt. Run around Middlebury on the 18-mile Trail Around Middlebury. There will also be a 6-mile run and a 2-mile run/walk. www.maltvt.org
9/26-27 Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival, Schroon Lake, N.Y. Schroon Lake, N.Y. hosts a full weekend of distance racing in the Adirondack Mountains. The race weekend features marathon, half-marathon, relays, 5K and 10K races, as well as fun runs for kids. www.adirondackmarathon.org
9/27 Vermont Sun Half Marathon, Salisbury, Vt. Vermont Sun hosts a 5K, 10K and half marathon in Branbury State Park on paved out-and-back courses. www. vermontsuntriathlonseries.com
9/27 22nd Annual Vermont 50 Mountain Bike or Ultra Run, West Windsor, Vt. The former Ascutney Mountain Resort in West Windsor hosts the 22nd year of the 50-mile bike race and 50-mile run. The race also includes a 50K option, a team relay and a free kids fun-run option. www.vermont50.blogspot.com
OCTOBER 10/3 Stark Mountain Hill Climb, Fayston, Vt. Run from the base to the summit of Gen. Stark Mountain taking any route you wish. All proceeds support the Stark Mountain Foundation’s maintenance and trail work on the Long Trail on Stark Mountain. www.achillclimb.org
10/3 Front Porches Half Marathon, Bellows Falls, Vt. A half marathon runs through the village of Bellows Falls and along the Connecticut River. www.vtfrontporcheshalf.com
10/3 Copley Hospital’s Run for the Heart, Morrisville, Vt. Copley Hospital organizes a 5K run at Oxbow Park, connecting to the Rail Trail. Runners will follow the Rail Trail back to Pleasant Street and then cross over to Portland Street to finish. www.runreg.com
10/4 Kingdom Marathon, Coventry, Vt. Kingdom Games hosts a marathon in the heart of the Northeast Kingdom on dirt roads through Coventry, Brownington, Barton, Irasburg and Glover. Course features three options: 26.2, 17-mile, and 13-mile (includes a special youth bike option on the 13-mile route. www.kingdomgames.com
10/4 Leaf Peepers Half marathon and 5K, Waterbury, Vt. CVR’s largest event and fundraiser for the Harwood Union Boosters Club is an out-and-back half marathon on paved and dirt roads. Part of the CVR ORS Race Series, USATF certified and RRCA sanctioned with chip timing. Contact: Roger Cranse, 802 223 6997 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Battenkill River Duck Run, Arlington, Vt. Enjoy a 12K, 5K, or a 1K fun run on a low-traffic dirt road along the Battenkill River to benefit the Happy Days Playschool. www.bkvr.net
10/11 Harpoon Octoberfest Race, Windsor, Vt. The Harpoon Brewery in Windsor, Vt. holds their annual 3.6-mile road race, followed by an Oktoberfest on the brewery grounds. Proceeds benefit the Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center. www.harpoonoctoberfestrace.com
10/11 Ripton Ridge Run, Ripton, Vt. Friends of the Ripton School organize a 5K run and a 10.4K run traversing roads in Ripton and the Green Mt. National Forest and includes water stops. The event also includes a non-competitive 5K Fun Walk and a short, non-competitive event for children. All courses start and finish at the Ripton Elementary School on the Ripton-Lincoln Road in Ripton, VT. www.riptonridgerun.addisoncentralsu.org
10/11 North Face Race to the Summit, Stratton, Vt. Stratton Resort holds a 2-mile race to the summit of Stratton Mountain. Over $2,000 in prize money and awards wait at the top. www.stratton.com
10/25 CircumBurke MTB Challenge & Trail Run, East Burke, Vt. On the last weekend in October, Kingdom Trails, Conservation Collaboratives and the Burke Area Chamber of Commerce present a mountain bike and cross country running race on a 25-mile loop. www.circumburke.org
10/31 The Kingdom Challenge, Lyndonville A challenging point-to-point half marathon between Lyndonville and St. Johnsbury with typical Vermont terrain including four covered bridges. www.thekingdomchallenge.com
NOVEMBER 11/7 Fallen Leaves 5K Series, Montpelier, Vt. Low-key, three-race series on a flat and fast 5K race course that begins and finishes on the Montpelier High School track, and incorporates the Montpelier bike path. Contact: Tim Noonan, 802 223-6216.
11/14 Fallen Leaves 5K Series, Montpelier, Vt. Low-key, three-race series on a flat and fast 5K race course that begins and finishes on the Montpelier High School track, and incorporates the Montpelier bike path. Contact: Tim Noonan, 802 223-6216.
11/21 Fallen Leaves 5K Series, Montpelier, Vt. Low-key, three-race series on a flat and fast 5K race course that begins and finishes on the Montpelier High School track, and incorporates the Montpelier bike path. Contact: Tim Noonan, 802 223-6216.
11/22 Middlebury Turkey Trot & Gobble Wobble 5K and 10K, Middlebury, Vt. These races staring in downtown Middlebury feature chip timing, t-shirts for all entrants, raffle prizes and 20-pound turkeys for the winners. www.middleburyfitness.com
11/26 GMAA Turkey Trot, Burlington, Vt. A certified 5K on the UVM women’s cross country course. Walkers are welcome in this race benefiting the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf. Race starts at 11 a.m. at the Gutterson Field House at the University of Vermont. www.gmaa.net
11/26 Running of the Turkeys, Arlington, Vt. A scenic Thanksgiving 5K starts and ends in Arlington. www.bkvr.net
Course: 18-mile* & 6-mile timed runs, 2-mile family fun run/walk. All courses are loops on pristine trails through woods, farmland, meadow and river valleys, circumnavigating the town. *18-mile run capped at 100 runners.
Location: Start & end at Wright Park in Middlebury, VT. Post-race celebration with refreshments, prizes & music. All welcome, any ability.
On selected gravel, mountain, road and hybrid bikes. Cycling shoes and apparel, too! Now through September. 49 Brickyard Lane, Putney Vermont
All proceeds will help to maintain & improve the Trail Around Middlebury (TAM).
Register starting June 1 at http://www.maltvt.org/
CALENDAR OF EVENTS PADDLING
10/5 Georgeville or Bust, Newport, Vt
9/27 Hike Mount Mansfield with GMC
Kingdom Games hosts a 15-mile international swim from Newport to Georgeville, Quebec. www.kingdomswim.org
A difficult 10.2-mile hike with approximately 3,500 feet of elevation gain to the summit of Vermont’s highest mountain. Ascend the Lake Mansfield Trail to Taylor Lodge, then follow the LT over Mt. Mansfield to Smugglers’ Notch. Car spotting required.
This 583-acre pond offers many areas to explore. Bring boat, PFD, water and lunch. Optional overnight at Brighton State Park (reservations recommended). Contact George Longenecker and Cynthia Martin, 229-9787 for meeting time and location.
9/27 Climb Mount Moosilauke to conquer breast cancer, Warren, N.H.
9/26-27 White Water Release at Jamaica State Park, Jamaica, Vt.
9/20 Josh Billings Runaground Triathlon, Great Barrington, Mass.
The Army Corps of Engineers creates whitewater conditions in Jamaica State Park on the West River by releasing water from Ball Mountain Dam. Concessionairs will be stationed at the park’s day parking area with food, equipment and gear. Shuttles will run throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday. www.vtstateparks.com
An expected 500 teams will bike 27 miles, paddle by canoe, kayak or SUP 5 miles and run 6 miles. A party at Tanglewood with food, live music and vendors follows the race. www.joshbillings.com
9/26 Canoe/Kayak Norton Pond with GMC
OBSTACLE COURSE RACING SEPTEMBER
Breast cancer survivors, families, and friends on a fundraising climb up 4,802-foot Mt. Moosilauke to benefit Norris Cotton Cancer Center. Hike starts at Ravine Lodge at the base of Moosilauke in Warren, NH and includes easy, moderate and strenuous paces. www.reachforthepeaks.org
HIKING/CLIMBING SEPTEMBER 9/7 Avery’s Gore Hike with GMC
9/19-20 Reebok Spartan Race, Killington, Vt. This obstacle race brings amateur and pro athletes together to battle for a piece of $250,000 in cash and prizes. Races include the 26-mile Ultra Beast Race, 12-mile Beast Race and 3-mile sprint. Obstacles include spear throwing, pits of fire, rope climbs and more. www.killington.com
OCTOBER 10/24 Shale Hill Halloween Obstacle Fun Run 2015, Benson, Vt. Shale Hill hosts a Halloween-themed 10K and 5K obstacle race with up to 51 obstacles. www.shalehilladventure.com
SWIMMING SEPTEMBER 9/5 In Search of Memphre, Newport, Vt. Kingdom Games hosts a 25-mile international swim from Newport north to Magog, Quebec. www.kingdomswim.org
A difficult, 8-mile round trip up Gore Mountain to fire tower and summit. Contact Michael Chernick, 249-0520 or email@example.com for meeting time and place.
9/18 Hike Waitsfield with GMC A difficult roughly 5 miles up Scrag Mountain from Waitsfield to Northfield. Near the summit is the former fire tower site, and below summit is the cabin used by the lookout. Contact one of two Co-leaders: Rudy Townsend, 433-1004 or Phyllis Rubenstein, 223-0020 or Phyllis@PhyllisRubensteinLaw.comcastbiz.net for meeting time and place.
9/20 Hike Mount Monadnock with GMC A moderate roughly 5-mile hike to a recently rebuilt observation tower with excellent views east into the northern White Mountains and north into Canada. Bring food, liquid, and dress for weather. Contact Michael Chernick, 249-0520 or firstname.lastname@example.org for meeting time and place.
9/16 Hike Mount Pisgah with GMC A moderate roughly 4-mile hike round trip via the North Trail. Contact Paul DeLuca, 476-7987 or email@example.com.
Ripton Ridge Run Sunday - October 11th - 2015
12:30 pm Race start A 10.4 K & 5K Footrace & 5K Fun -Walk!!! On scenic country roads T-shirts (to ﬁrst 175 paid registrants) Prizes, Lunch, & Rafﬂe Race day registration from 11-12
Cambridge 5k Fun Run and Walk An Awesome 5K FUNdraiser for all ages and abilities For additional information visit www.rotarycambridge.org Or email Sam: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 793-5509
Ripton Elementary School www.riptonridgerun.org - 802-388-2208 A Beneﬁt for the Friends of Ripton School SEPTEMBER 2015
ike Shops 3
POWER PLAY SPORTS
35 Portland Street Morrisville, VT 802-888-6557
www.powerplaysports.com Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm Sat 8:30am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm North Central Vermont's Trek and Giant Dealer. With over 200 new and used bikes, PPS has a bike for everyone. Service and rentals too!
EAST BURKE SPORTS
Whether your idea of a bike ride involves pedaling the rec path, conquering a stretch of single track, outsprinting the competition in a road race, or cruising through the country, we’ve got the perfect bicycle for all of your two-wheeled adventures – and the friendly, knowledgeable staff to help you find it. We are a full-service bike shop staffed by experts who are committed to helping you keep your bike rolling at top performance.
439 Route 114 East Burke, VT 802-626-3215
www.eastburkesports.com Hours: 7 days a week • 9am-6pm Located in the center of Kingdom Trails, we pride ourselves in expert knowledge and customer service. We sport an enormous rental fleet and a full service shop for on the spot repairs.
OUTDOOR GEAR EXCHANGE
37 Church Street Burlington, VT 802-860-0190
www.gearx.com Hours: Mon-Thurs 10am- 8pm Fri-Sat 10am- 9pm, Sun 10am-6pm New this year at Outdoor Gear Exchange is a fully equipped bike repair shop. Having brought in specialists in bike tech work, this service is quickly gaining momentum. OGE also carries an extensive collection of bikes, apparel and accessories.
BIKE CENTER 74 Main Street Middlebury, VT 802-388-6666
2500 Williston Road South Burlington, VT 802-864-9197 www.bikecentermid.com
Earl’s has Vermont’s largest selection of mountain, road, hybrid, and kids’ bikes, clothing and accessories, helmets, shoes, and car racks. Plus an extensive women’s department, a full service department with a wide assortment of parts and tools on hand, ample parking, and a test ride trail!
www.onionriver.com Hours: Mon-Thurs 9am-6pm Fri 9am-8pm, Sat 9am-5pm Sun 11am-4pm
www.earlsbikes.com Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-7pm Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm
20 Langdon Street Montpelier, VT 802-229-9409
Hours: Mon-Thurs 9:30am-5:30pm Fri 9:30am-8pm, Sat 9:30am-5:30pm Sun 1pm-4pm Take advantage of the most advanced and courteous service in our region, including a quick turn-around in our service shop downstairs. Upstairs in the sales room, we offer the best in new and used road, mountain, lifestyle, and children's bikes and new gear. We carry brands that offer superior products that balance innovation and performance with reliability and value.
SKIRACK 85 Main Street Burlington, VT 802-658-3313
www.skirack.com Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-7pm Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 11am-5pm Locally owned since 1969, Skirack provides gear, clothing and accessories for all cyclists, with full service tuning and repairs...and beautiful casual and fitness clothing. Designated one of America’s Best Bike Shops, Skirack is just blocks from Lake Champlain. Open at 8am Mon-Sat for bike service pickup and drop-off, car racks and rentals. Road and mountain bike rentals can be booked at rentals. skirack.com. Visit today for a truly unique Vermont experience.
GREEN MOUNTAIN BIKES
105 N. Main Street Rochester, VT 800-767-7882
www.greenmountainbikes.com Hours: 7 Days a week • 10am-6pm Located in the center of Vermont, the heart of the Green Mountains, we are surrounded by terrain that calls to mountain and road bikers alike. Whether you ride twisting trails or back-to-back gaps, we service, sell, and rent all styles of bicycles, featuring Kona, Lapierre, Xprezo, Jamis, Juliana, Raleigh, Santa Cruz, Transition, and Hinderyckx bikes hand crafted by our own Rochester boy Zak Hinderyckx. So STOP READING and RIDE YOUR BIKE!
www.battenkillsports.com Hours: 9:30am-5:30pm everyday Full selection of men's and women's clothing. Rentals available. Great back roads. Road rides Thursdays at 6:00 pm, Beginner Rides Fridays at 6:00 pm.
WEST HILL SHOP
49 Brickyard Lane Putney, VT 802-387-5718
www.westhillshop.com Hours: Mon-Sat, 10am - 6pm Since 1971, the West Hill Shop has been a lowkey, friendly source for bikes ‘n gear, service, and rare wisdoms. We are known regionally as the go-to place for problem-solving technicians. Our bike fitters specialize in comfort without sacrificing efficiency. More recently, we’ve been focusing on stocking gravel road bikes, with awesome dirt road riding right out our door. Our annual (and infamous) cyclocross race has been described as “the Providence race in Carhartts.” Come join us for us for one of our adventurous rides!
24 Bridge Street Richmond, VT 802-434-4876
www.belgencycles.com Hours: Mon-Sat 10:30am-6:30pm Closed Sundays Belgen Cycles offers custom and stock bicycles supported by 37 years of hands on experience. Focused on the right bike for you covering the spectrum from road to ‘cross and mountain to fat with selections from Salsa, Xprezo, Moots, Parlee, Litespeed, Lynskey and Soma. Full service maintenance and repair including wheel building, shock work, hydraulics, base tunes and overhauls as well as fitting solutions. In business as Village Bicycle in Richmond for 17 years.
12 Plains Road Claremont, NH 603-542-2453
www.claremontcycle.com Hours: Mon-Thu 10am-5:30pm Fri 10am-7pm, Sat 9am-5pm Closed Sundays Claremont Cycle Depot is a bike shop committed to making everyone who walks through our doors feel welcome and takes pride in our staff, products and services. Our service staff is professionally trained and certified to work on all bicycle makes and models, not just the ones we sell.
OMER & BOB’S
20 Hanover Street Lebanon, NH 603-448-3522
www.omerandbobs.com Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm Sat 9am-5pm, Closed Sundays
SUMMER CLEARANCE SALE! DOYLE • OLD TOWN • HURRICANE • TEVA • MERRELL • PATAGONIA
1240 Depot Street Manchester, VT 802-362-2734
CLAREMONT CYCLE DEPOT
PATAGONIA • PRANA • MTN. KHAKIS CLOTHING
TEVA • MERRELL • BOGS
ALL KAYAKS, CANOES & SUPS
SAVE UP TO
NEW, USED & DEMO MODELS NEW FALL PATAGONIA OUTERWEAR
& GUIDANCE SINCE 19
FOLIAGE TOURS • RIVER TRIPS • BIKE RENTALS
GREAT SAVINGS ON LAST YEAR’S TELE/AT SKIS & BOOTS
clearwatersports.com 4147 Main Street, Waitsﬁeld, VT • 802-496-2708
LIQUIDLOGIC • NATIVE WATERCRAFT • ASTRAL • SUPATX • PAU HANA • NRS
The Upper Valley’s bike shop since 1964. We carry road bikes, mountain bikes and kids bikes from specialty brands, including Trek, Specialized and Colnago. Featuring a full service department offering bike fitting, bike rentals and a kids’ trade-in, trade-up program.
HIGH PEAKS CYCLERY
2733 Main Street Lake Placid, NY 518-523-3764
www.highpeakscyclery.com Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm Sun 9am-5pm Lake Placid’s source for bicycling and outdoor gear since 1983! Aside from bicycling, we specialize in rock climbing, hiking, paddle sports, fly fishing and car racks. Road bike coaching rides and professional bike fitting completes the program. High Peaks Mt. Guides Service and Adventure Cycling can set you on the right route. We also offer road and gravel cycling tours, and other schools and camps for all ages and abilities and demos for Salsa, Surly, Giant and Scott bicycles.
By Brianna McKinley A cross-country runner and skier, Brianna McKinley also likes to chase her dad in a kayak.
WHAT DAD DIDN'T TEACH ME
y dad had one end of the kayak and I had the other. He glanced back at me and I struggled to arrange my features into what I hoped was an easy-going expression, even though my biceps were aching and I could feel beads of sweat collecting at my temples. “You got it, Bri?” “Yeah, Dad. I’m good,” I said in a strained voice. “I thought so. You’re a tough ol’ gal,” he replied. The corners of my mouth turned up. My dad tells me this constantly, shouts it actually, usually in the middle of one of my running or skiing races. It never fails to make me feel proud and strong. He faced forward again, and his silhouette temporarily blocked out the harsh sun. His calves are sharply defined from years of cycling and Nordic skiing. For someone with Irish heritage, his skin has always been dark, a souvenir from the first ten years of his life in California. Every day it’s 70 degrees and sunny here, which is not very often, he says, “If we moved to California, it would be like this every day!” “But then we wouldn’t appreciate it, dear,” my mother counters. I puffed a breath of air out as we set the kayak down on the shore at last, the tiny waves from the lake lapping against its red underside. Looking at the sleek, 15-foot racing kayak, it was hard to believe that he had once carried it himself, but I knew it was true. Back when my parents were first married, he used to kayak to work at his teaching position. My mom taught fourth grade in a elementary school about 40 minutes from their apartment and they only had one car. So Dad paddled the twenty minutes it took to get to his school. They like to tell my siblings and I that they were broke and happy. Their furniture consisted of milk crates arranged in different shapes. Just one crate is needed for a chair. Stack two up and four across and you have yourself a
From the sand, my mom watched smiling as my dad deftly cut clean lines through the smooth surface of the water, paddling out of the bay until his outline became only a pinprick against the horizon. dining room table. They were nothing if not resourceful. My dad fastened his life jacket and waved goodbye to all my relatives on the beach. It was a sweltering August day in the summer of 2013 and my family was gathered for our Christmas in July event. This was started by my mother who has
a fear of driving, especially in snow. If there is a storm predicted, she refuses to let my family drive to Massachusetts to celebrate Christmas with her enormous family. Instead, my relatives rented a big house on Lake Winnipesaukee so that my cousins, their children, and my aunts and uncles could stay for a couple days in the summer. Although my family lives within a few thousand feet of this lake, we don’t actually have beach access, a fact that has been the leading cause of frustration since we moved here. So we have Christmas in July. But we couldn’t even get that right. This year, it was in August. This was a special one because my older sister, Lauren, was moving to Hawaii in just a few days. She had lived in New England her entire life, but after going on vacation to the Big Island for a week, she was sold. I was going to preseason training for cross-country running in a few days, and my grandmother was celebrating her birthday. My mother, who worked in a bakery in the summer to supplement her teacher’s salary, had made three cakes for the various occasions. One depicted Santa Claus lounging on a beach, another said “Goodbye Lauren” in loopy cursive, complete with a small figurine of a surfer. The last one was fancy: rose petals made out of frosting and white writing carefully spelling out “Happy Birthday, Mom.” From the sand, my mom watched, smiling as my dad deftly cut clean lines through the smooth surface of the water, paddling out of the bay until his outline became only a pinprick against the horizon. She was happy whenever my dad got his kayak out. That summer he had been complaining about how hard it was for him to get back into shape after the winter. “You’re almost 60, dear,” my mom would remind him. “It’s going to be harder than when you were twenty and at the Olympic training center.” “I know. But something just doesn’t feel right.” My dad said that multiple times
that summer, but nobody really listened. Only months later would my mom say, “I wish I had taken him seriously.” The day after our Christmas-inJuly in August event, I packed a week’s worth of clothes into my backpack and started my job as a counselor at an orchestra camp. At the end of the week, the kids perform a concert. Every year it is nothing short of chaos. Kids are playing music they just learned a few days before and parents are elbowing each other for camera space in a tiny, aging chapel. By the time the concert rolled around, I was in desperate need of a shower and was looking forward to sleeping in my own bed. Behind the dusty curtain on stage, I was running around tuning violins and looking for some kid’s sheet music when I caught my mom’s eye in the crowd. I remember being a little puzzled as to why she was there; I didn’t usually perform in the concert. But my mother has always been the most supportive parent in the world, and I figured she was there to see the kids I had been teaching. In a break between performances she jerked her head to follow her outside and I obliged, walking down the warped wooden steps outside the chapel, still not suspecting that anything was amiss. “So, honey, your dad took a stress test yesterday on his heart and… he failed it.” I squinted up at her. Her voice broke on the last syllable and her eyes were rapidly filling with tears. I didn’t really know what that meant so I said lamely, “Ok.” “He has to have open heart surgery on Monday.” She said that the doctors were shocked that he hadn’t had a heart attack yet. She said that I would have to call my cross-country coach and tell her I would have to be late for pre-season. She said we had to go to the hospital right now and see him. She said a lot of things. But I couldn’t hear them. I was taking deep gulps of air. I felt like I was standing in a tunnel that was getting smaller and smaller. All I could think about was my dad and the fact that this wasn’t fair. I was too young to think about this. I was thinking about how Dad had taught me everything, except how to live without him. Our Vermont Sports fall intern, Brianna McKinley is studying creative writing at St. Michael's College in Burlington. Her father has fully recovered.
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11/4/13 9:30 AM
Published on Sep 4, 2015