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New England’s Outdoor Magazine vtsports.com


Fall's BEST TRAIL Runs, Mountain HIKES and HIDDEN Cabins





Be dominant under the boards again.

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 (888) 974-9783.




NEW ENGLAND’S OUTDOOR MAGAZINE ON THE COVER: Emily Johnson hikes the spine of the Greens on the Long Trail. Photo by Brian Mohr/EmberPhoto


Angelo Lynn - publisher@vtsports.com


Lisa Lynn - editor@vtsports.com


Evan Johnson - evan.johnson@vtsports.com


Shawn Braley - braley@gmail.com


Dr. Nathan Endres, Dr. David Lisle, Dr. James Slauterbeck —University of Vermont Robert Larner College of Medicine; Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation


Nathanael Asaro, Brian Mohr, Phyl Newbeck


Christy Lynn - ads@vtsports.com

ADVERTISING SALES Greg Meulemans greg@vtsports.com | (802) 366-0689 Dave Honeywell | (802) 583-4653 dave_golfhouse@madriver.com

SUBSCRIPTIONS, PRINTING & DISTRIBUTION Lisa Razo - lisar@addisonindependent.com

EDITORIAL AND PRODUCTION OFFICE Vermont Sports | 58 Maple Street Middlebury, Vt. 05753 | 802-388-4944

Vermont Sports is independently owned and operated by Addison Press Inc., 58 Maple Street, Middlebury, Vt. 05753. It is published 9 times per year. Established in 1990.

Vermont puts on its finest show this month. So head for the hills and take a front row seat at one of our favorite fall trail races or ridgeline hikes. Photo by L. Lynn



What will make the biggest difference for our state on Nov. 8?

Josh Ferenc makes mountain running (and eating!) look easy.

A Vote for Vermont

6 Great Outdoors

Four Fall Trail Races

Our favorite fall foliage runs.

Vermont Sports subscriptions in the U.S.: one year $25. Canada: US funds, please add $5 per year postage.



All the new tops and bottoms you'll love for fall and wear all winter.

www.facebook.com/VermontSportsMagazine Twitter: @Vermont_Sports www.instagram.com/vtsportsmag


Cozy up to Fall


Featured Athlete


Featured Athlete

The Mountain Runner



This 20-Minute Warm Up Could Save You



Vermont's Hidden Huts

These five simple cabins (some newly refurbished) are outposts for fall and winter adventures.

24 Feature

The Fittest Governor?

training program.

Two top athletes are running for governor. Meet leading candidates Phil Scott and Sue Minter.



Vermont is the first state to test the FIFA 11+ injury prevention


7 High Country Hikes

Get off the beaten path and try our favorite ridgeline hikes.

Race & Event Guide

34 Endgame

The 50-Mile Test

Why this Vermont 50 meant so much to MTB champ Kelly Ault.

She not only swam the English Channel, at 62 she set a record.

ADVERTISERS! The deadline for the November issue of Vermont Sports is October 15. Contact ads@vtsports.com today to reserve your space!


MERRELL and the M Circle Design are registered trademarks of Wolverine Outdoors, Inc., a subsidiary of Wolverine World Wide, Inc. ©2016 Wolverine Outdoors, Inc. All rights reserved. Vibram® is a registered trademark of Vibram S.P.A., all rights and registrations are intellectual of property Vibram S.P.A

Fast When everything is Frozen Still.











"The backcountry is what brought me to Vermont and has kept me here," Minter says.


n Vermont, no matter how you feel about the presidential elections, there are two very good reasons to go to the polls on November 8. Our state is lucky to have two very qualified and likeable people leading the Republican and Democratic tickets in the governor's race. Several years back, I went for a bike ride with Phil Scott. He was his characteristically humble self, casually mentioning that he bikes from Middlesex to Colchester on a regular basis and kindly allowing me to draft. No wonder he logs in excess of 4,000 miles a year. Scott, who’s also a champion race car driver and snowmobiler, knows our roads intimately—as both a cyclist and as the owner of a construction company. From his years as first, a state senator and then, Lieutenant Governor, he has had a close up of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to legislation. Sue Minter is someone I’ve known for many years and had a chance to work with directly when she was Deputy Secretary of the Department of Transportation and I served as Commissioner of Department of Economic Development. She's someone who not only talks the talk but walks the walk. I’d see her in the garage at the National Life office building our agencies shared in Montpelier locking up her bike after commuting from Waterbury Center. We’d discuss how improving our roads and infrastructure could help both businesses and tourism. I’ve skied with her and as fast as Scott is on


Phil Scott, in Stowe's Race to the Top.

a bike and as fearless in a race car, she’s the equivalent on teleskis or skate skis. Both candidates are smart, athletic, competitive and honest. Both will do a good job for Vermont. But these are times that call for some tough choices and actions. Yes, our economy is on the rise but to keep it growing we need to attract more young people like the wave of skiers and cyclists, hippies and back-to-the-landers who moved here for the lifestyle in the 1960’s and 70’s—the first and only time Vermont’s population has grown in excess of 14 percent. Yes, we have incredible resources in our forests and trails, but we need to keep growing those if we want to continue to make places like East Burke or Rochester or Killington or Wilmington year-round destinations. Yes, we have large swaths of forest and immensely beautiful lakes. But we need to protect those–both to give our landscape the power to absorb the heavy rains we get during increasingly violent storms and to preserve one of our greatest natural resources, Lake Champlain. And we need to find ways to make ski resorts sustainable in the face of the inevitable climate changes. We need to do so not just to protect the things we love and the lifestyle we savor, but because it’s good for our economy. The fact is, the outdoor recreation in Vermont is responsible for approximately 34,000 direct jobs, $753 million in wages and salaries and generates $176 million in state and local tax revenue.

Photos courtesy Minter and Scott.

And that doesn’t take into account businesses that grew here when folks moved to Vermont for the lifestyle. So many of the businesses that have grown up here in Vermont were founded by people who came here to ski or to sail, to hike or to bike. Tom Watson Jr., son of the founder of IBM, wanted to put an IBM plant near his ski home. That plant, now owned by Global Foundries, remains the state’s largest employer. Jake and Donna Carpenter chose to start Burton in Manchester and then moved it to Burlington. Darn Tough, the sock manufacturer has nearly doubled in size in the last few years—all while being based in Northfield, Vt. near Stowe where the Cabot family lives, skis, hikes and bikes. Concept2, the rowing machine and oar powerhouse, operates out of Morrisville and has helped maintain and grow the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. Win Smith, the former chairman of Merrill Lynch Intl. bought Sugarbush because he loved to ski there. The list goes on and on. And those are just the established brands. A trip to the Vermont Ski + Ride Expo (the state’s first consumer winter sports show) on Oct. 1-2 shows a new crop of outdoor companies emerging ranging from Vew-Do Balance Boards and Silo Skis to Skida hats and Dodge Boots. No matter how you vote, keep in mind that one of the best ways we can protect and grow our economy is to protect and grow all the things we love about Vermont in the first place: our great outdoors. —Lisa Lynn, Editor

Moab FST Ice+ Thermo OCTOBER 2016 | VTSPORTS.COM 5


Four Favorite

Fall Trail Races


By Evan Johnson

aybe it’s the crisp air or the explosion of color on the hillsides, but something about fall makes it our favorite time of year to get off the pavement and explore backroads and trails. To get the best views of Vermont in all her glory, sign up for a trail run or, if you’re up for it, a challenging half or full marathon on dirt roads and twisting single and doubletrack trails. We love these four events for all these things. Plus, goodies such as cider, doughnuts, sharp cheddar or even craft beer wait for you at the finish line.



Lodge plays host to at the peak of foliage.

road in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom in

change that alternates between double-

There’s not much happening on a dirt October, which makes it a perfect place

The Trapp Mountain Marathon is held on a 13.1-mile loop with 1,900 feet of elevation track, dirt roads, and flowing single-track.

for this marathon organized by Kingdom

While running through a mix of hardwood

Games. Runners and bikers travel the heart

and pine forests, you’ll experience plenty of

of the Kingdom in 6-, 13.5-, 17- or 26.2-mile

turns, drops and steep climbs as you near

distances. How’s the route? Race director

the highest point on the Trapp property,

Phil White describes it as “vista riddled.”

Round Top Mountain at 2,400 feet. Then,

While your running shoes pound the dirt

let your legs do the work as you cruise down

on a one-way route through Brownington, Barton and Irasburg, you’ll have views of fjord-like Lake Willoughby, Burke Mountain and Jay Peak. After the finish at West Glover's Parker Pie, there’s all the pizza you can eat, brews from nearby Hill Farmstead Brewery and live music. When you’ve had your fill, hop the shuttle for a lift back to your car. www.kingdomgames.co


The Craftsbury Outdoor Center is a destination for some of the nation’s top cross-country skiers and runners. This

toward the finish line at the Outdoor Center with the leaves crunching underfoot. Full marathon runners will complete the loop twice. After crossing the finish line, you earn a glass of Vienna Lager at the von Trapp Brewery’s recently opened bierhall. www.trappmountainmarathon.com


This race, open to runners and bikers alike, is called Circumburke for a reason; the 25-mile course goes around Burke Mountain and through the towns of

weekend, the Craftsbury trails are the

Burke and Victory. The terrain is wild and

site of a technical cross-country race over

rugged as you fight your way through the

single and double track and across open

Darling State Forest on the flanks of Burke

meadows. You’ll tear through swamps

Mountain and nearby Umpire Mountain.

with thick trees (and maybe some mud)

For trails, you’ve got the sections of

while descending to the Black River before turning around to complete a roughly 10K course. Bikers can sign up for a 10- or 20mile option that snakes along the shores of Great Hosmer Lake. If you’re still looking for more action, sign up for Craftsbury’s Checkpoint Challenge later that afternoon, an adventure race that requires teams to navigate with map and compass while completing challenges. At the end of the day, recover at the Oktoberfest dinner held





Conservation Corps roads and abandoned logging roads that wind their way in an approximate 26-mile loop with a 3,000 vertical feet gain. It took last year’s runners between 3.5 and 7 hours to finish. While your feet squelch through mud or kick up leaves, you’ll be able to catch views of the Pilot-Piney



Range and the Presidential Range in New

at the Center. www.craftsbury.com

Hampshire’s White Mountains through the


but it’s such a favorite that it was voted one

trees. Not to toot our own horn too much, of the best races in Vermont in the Vermont Sports Black Diamond Awards in 2014,

There are fall trail runs, and then there’s

2015 and 2016, so you know it’s bound to be

the kind of trail race that the Trapp Family

good. www.circumburke.org



Ibex 1 Zip T-neck


Rab Xenon X Jacket


Patagonia Nano Puff

Louis Garneau Hybrid Jacket

Nikwax Waterproofing


he only thing we love more than the Indian summer days of October are the cooler evenings when we can break out new gear. This fall there are more reasons than ever to upgrade your wardrobe with lighter, warmer and more weather-proof jackets and tights.


When the temperatures start to slide, we relish the days when we get to slide on jackets like Patagonia’s Men's Nano Puff. We like the bivvy pullover with its scuba-style hood (fits under a climbing or ski helmet) and deep front pocket that can hold trail maps or granola bars close at hand. In late October or November, the 60g PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Eco (made with 55-percent post-consumer recycled content) will be plenty insulating for blustery weather while the DWR coating and low profile will let


you layer it easily under your heavier shell during ski season. We also love the elasticbound cuffs and draw cord adjustable hem which helps create a snug fit. $219


At 11.2 ounces, the Rab Women's Xenon X is a heavier down jacket suited for dealing with cold-weather hiking in the backcountry or snowshoeing up a mountainside. This lightweight, versatile jacket uses PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Active with higher breathability and no need for quilting. Other features we love include an under-helmet hood, extra-high collar, two-way zippers with pulls large enough to use with gloved hands, insulated baffle fleece chin guard and zipped handwarmer pockets. When not needed, the jacket scrunches down (or folds) into a chest pocket for easy transportation. $235


If you’re getting out your fat bike and looking to squeeze every mile out of your cycling season, you’re going to need gear that’ll keep you comfortable even after the leaves stop falling. Louis Garneau’s Cove Hybrid Jacket (shown above in the women's version) is up to the task, blending ultralight, windproof fabrics, 60g Polartec Alpha insulation and panels that add flexibility and breathability. You won’t shiver when the wind picks up, but you won’t overheat when cranking up the hills. Other features long-distance riders will enjoy? Thumb holes, flannel sleeves (to wipe the sweat away before it freezes), a soft collar top and zipper garage for comfort. Plus, it is low profile and fits beautifully. covering the lower back without feeling restrictive. And it has reflective accents for visibility. $169.99


That gorgeous down pullover or tough waterproof shell might look good and perform great out of the box, but after a season of steady use and abuse, your favorite layers will be crying for help. Keep your stuff clean and functional with Nikwax Tech Wash. Nikwax adds a layer of waterproof molecules to clothing while keeping the fabric breathable. The best part? Using it is as easy as doing your laundry. Apply it to the patches or seams on your jacket that are wearing the most and set the wash cycle. That’s it. $9.75 for 10 oz.


The Ibex Woolies 1 Zip T-Neck represents everything we love about wool. Stitched with 100-percent merino wool sourced in New

Opedix Compression Tights

Kora Shola Leggings

Giessewen Bigelow Booties

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants

Zealand, this six-ounce piece is as at home hiking, biking and running as it is relaxing with friends afterwards. Start wearing one in the fall, and you may not take it off until April. Plus the Zip Neck comes in some stylish, low-key striped patterns. $90


For adventures hiking, climbing, or biking through fall, your favorite Levis frankly aren’t up to the task. Outdoor Research’s Ferrosi Pants are constructed of ripstop nylon and Spandex that is abrasion- and wind-resistant and dries quickly after an October downpour. The gusseted crotch and articulated knees allow for freedom of movement while you’re scrambling or highstepping above the treeline. Later in the season, the integrated gaiter cuffs keep out snow. $79


It seems like everyone’s extolling the virtues of wool layers these days and for good reason; the stuff’s lightweight, durable, warm and won’t stink like your synthetic layers. The folks at Kora put their own spin on things by using yak wool, which they source from 92 nomad families called the Kegawa Herders Cooperative in the Yushu area of the Tibetan plateau. With it, they have created some of the best leggings we’ve tried. The waistband on the Shola 230 Leggings wears slightly higher than the waist offering more coverage and has a tight fit. Flat seams prevent chafing against the skin while running or hiking. Not only are these leggings lighter, softer, and warmer than other wool layers, they’re also more

breathable while you move. If that weren’t enough, they’re easy to care for: you won’t have to wash them by hand and you can dry them at a cool temperature. $145


These tights aren’t just designed to keep you comfortable while working out, they’re also intended to help your body work more effectively. This is particularly important if you’re looking to prevent an injury or are on the road to recovery. The Dual-Tec 2.0 ¾ tight features a low-profile fit and breathable construction that regulates temperature and moisture (it also has an anti-odor treatment). By squeezing and compacting your muscles, the tights are designed to increase blood circulation, which delivers more oxygen to your muscles and speeds up the removal of lactic acids. Clinical research suggests that

using compression fabrics like the ones used in Opedix’s tights can improve knee alignment, reduce knee joint loading, minimize pain and slow the degeneration of the knee after long-term use. $225


If you are hanging around the cabin or campfire or just want to put your cold toes into something that will warm them up quickly without making them sweaty, the Giesswein Bigelow booties are Austria’s solution to the lodge shoe. Light and cozy, the uppers are made of odor-eating wool while the sole is stiff enough to wear outdoors. The removable footbed is made of cork covered in suede. It feels amazing but can also be swapped out for an orthotic. The best part? Come mud season you can throw these babies in the washing machine. $140



No matter what kind of peeping you're into this fall — meat here for a hooch after! Restaurant opens for lunch Fri-Mon at 11:30AM AND Tue-Thu for supper at 4PM. Brewery opens every day at 11:30AM NORDIC SKI • FAT BIKE • SNOWSHOE OPEN DAILY NOV. - MARCH 8:30A.M. - 4:30P.M. RIKERTNORDIC.COM • 802-443-2746

Trapp Mountain Marathon October 15th 13.1 mile and 26.2 mile trail run

Event Info: TrappMountainMarathon.com

Upcoming Events: Race to the Cabin: Jan. 7th Trapp Lager Classic/Skate Marathons: March 4th & 5th Bierhall Restaurant: Call 802-253-8750 for info & to book parties of 8 or more.



temperature is required to be 41 degrees or lower and that was hard. I didn’t really have a great ending to that one. The winter swims at Memphremagog are 200 meters. I don’t think I would advocate anything longer than that. That’s the fun limit.


VS: How did you train for the channel crossing? PY: I would get up early and swim for five or six hours and then get to work by 11 a.m. and I also trained on weekends. I entered a lot of events and I went to several swim camps including ones in Cork, Jersey and the U.S. High Performance Masters Swim Camp in Greensboro, N.C.. I concentrated on nutrition and getting good sleep and did some weight training. I also learned Taiko drumming. It’s something new and there’s a discipline to it. I tried to see a movie every month. If they’re really good they give you something to think about in the water.

Name: Paula Yankauskas Age: 62 Lives in: Hyde Park Family: Husband, Dale; children, Sarah, Jacob and Dorigen; sister, Valerie; cats, Peanut, Scaredie, Audrey and George Occupation: Veterinarian at Lamoille Valley Veterinary Services Primary sport: Swimming


n September 6, 2016 Paula Yankauskas entered the English Channel on the British side and slightly more than 16 hours and 21 to 23 miles later, she emerged in France, becoming the oldest woman to complete the crossing. Already the oldest person to have swum the length of Lake Memphremagog, this was Yankauskas’ first attempt at the Channel. It may not be her last. VS: First of all, congratulations on becoming the oldest female swimmer to cross the English Channel. Are you going to do it again next year? PY: If you had asked me when I was doing the swim, at the point of maximum exhaustion, my answer would have been "never again!" Now I think I would. VS: Did you enjoy the swim? PY: For me enjoyment had to be part of it. Sometimes during my long swims, I laugh at myself for using the words ‘fun’ or ‘enjoy’ because it is painful. The swims are really hard but I have to say the whole experience is enjoyable.

VS: Did you do the entire distance in freestyle? PY: I swam freestyle for all but the last 200 meters where I swam doggy paddle. We were coming into a rocky cliff face instead of a beach, and it was pitch black. The stars were gorgeous! The constellation Orion was directly over where we were headed, but I was having of a problem clearing the water to breathe properly and swimming with my head up solved that. It felt like we were crawling. There were rocks under the water everywhere and this way I could keep my eyes on the rock face that the men on the boat were illuminating with a spotlight. My support swimmer Tracy Clark was right behind me, shouting encouragement. Since I work in a vet clinic, she thought my clients would enjoy that I finished with the doggy paddle.

On the beach near Dover, England on September 6, Yankauskas gets ready to swim to France. VS: You did this for a cause, right? PY: I have these affirmations that I’ve been practicing for years. I take the word ‘wonderful’ and think of four things for each letter. For F it’s friends and family, focus on fundamentals, fundraising, and fun. Regarding the fundraising, I used the swim to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis research. One of my team members, Deborah Byer, has MS. VS: Did you have a set schedule for eating and drinking? PY: Every half hour my support crew would throw me a line with a drinking bottle. Some people eat solid food when they swim but I just drink liquids. I use a product called Perpetuem and I’m lucky in that I’m able to keep food down. My crew also brought a banana along. I had that during the swim and it was really good. VS: Did you have a problem with jellyfish? PY: Some years the jellyfish are worse than others. Some people don’t run into them at all, but we had a lot. I have to admire Tracy, my support swimmer. She had to look into this jellyfish-laden water and still come in and join me. I had about ten stings, mostly on my arms and one on my leg, but I never got stung in the face. VS: Did you ever feel like quitting? PY: I didn’t have that thought. I did think it would be nice to get out of the water but I realized that I was only uncomfortable and tired and I would lose out on a lot of perks if I got out. There are things that happen in the aftermath of a channel swim. When you go back to Swimmer's Beach in Dover where others are training someone will blow a whistle and say ‘channel swimmer on the beach’. I thought about things like that which I would be missing if I quit.

VS: I understand you started your swim earlier than expected. PY: I went to England more than two weeks early because I’m older and the jet lag is harder to overcome. I also wanted to get used to the water temperature. When we met with the pilot on Monday, September 5th, my tide was supposed to open on Wednesday night. I got a call at 4:30 on Tuesday morning that we should go at 10 a.m. that day. You just aim for the neap tide and hope for a good window and that was it. My sister was supposed to be my videographer but she was still at Heathrow Airport. Luckily Deborah and Tracy were there to make up my team. VS: How was the water temperature? PY: The channel tends to run between 61 and 64 degrees and for me it was 64. I had worried because I don’t have tolerance for cold water so I had gone to Cork, Ireland and the island of Jersey to swim as long as I could in cold places. You can’t wear a wetsuit if you want to be officially ratified and they have an observer on the boat to make sure you don’t My observer was Michael Read, who holds the men’s record for most channel crossings at 34. I suspect he was there because I had the potential for being the oldest woman to cross. Apparently there was some drama on the boat that I didn’t know about. He thought I was too tired and wanted to pull me from the water but my support crew knew me and convinced him I was fine. VS: I didn’t think cold water would bother you since you swam in Lake Memphremagog in February. What is the appeal of winter swimming? PY: I did that for the joy of it—it is so incredibly fun. You’re sprinting. You’re in and out. Once I swam an ice mile where the

VS: Distance swimming seems to have gotten big in Vermont. PY: It’s definitely growing. Phil White does an amazing job with open water swims in the Northeast Kingdom and I did all of those races. There’s also a race called the Border Buster which goes from Vermont to Canada. Your kayaker has to carry your passport although you’re pre-approved on the Canadian side. The first few years it was 15 miles but this year it was 25K. The first year there were six swimmers, the second there were seven, and this year there were 20 and a waiting list. It’s definitely growing in popularity. VS: Have you always been a swimmer? PY: I was always the kid who would stay in the water. I started competitive swimming when I was 11 because the town I grew up in, New Britain, Conn., put in five pools. The people there were very forward thinking but today all those pools are gone. VS: Any words of wisdom for prospective open water swimmers? PY: The journey is every bit as good as the achievement. When you’re swimming and meeting all these high caliber people, it’s so inspiring. Previously, the oldest woman to swim the channel was a 60-year-old named Pat Gallant-Charett. This year she turned 65 and swam the North Channel, a 21-mile swim between Ireland and Scotland which is colder and has more jellyfish. VS: Are you tempted to follow suit? PY: No, but I am interested in the other two swims of the Triple Crown: The Catalina Channel in Southern California and a swim around Manhattan which is now called 20 Bridges. Long-distance swimming doesn’t get old now that I’m good enough and not getting injured anymore. That makes a big difference. –Phyl Newbeck




VS: Have you done any bike races? JF: I’m not a bicycle racer. I ride a 1984 Cannondale. I’ve done two road races as part of a relay team and those two Race to the Top courses. People keep asking me to do bike races and next year I’m tempted to just see how fast I can bike up Mt. Mansfield.


VS: I believe you also do snowshoe racing. JF: I’m a very competitive snowshoe racer but I’m not sure I really like it. It’s really hard. It’s a frustrating sport because you really kill yourself and you still go slow. Life is a game and I always compete.

Name: Josh Ferenc Age: 34 Lives in: Athens Family: Parents, Mark and Rhonda; brother, Marcus Occupation: Science teacher at Bellows Falls Middle School Primary sport: Running, basketball, and competitive eating


VS: And you like competitive eating? JF: I was in Aruba in 2000 and there were some big people from Texas who were having a rib-eating contest. I could always eat disgusting amounts and I entered their competition and ate 12 and won. Then there was a wing eating contest that I won pretty easily and another one with hot wings. The hot dog eating contest was this summer. I didn’t really want to enter but my girlfriend’s little girl wanted to see me do it. The competition was to see who could eat six hot dogs the fastest. I won a $150 restaurant coupon. I could have eaten faster if I hadn’t had a pizza first.

VS: What on earth possessed you to run AND bike in the Race to the Top? JF: The Race to the Top is such a good venue so I thought it would be fun to try it. It looked like it was really hard and I liked the idea of suffering and I wanted to see if I could do it. Last year I finished first on the run and eighth on the bike. I’m a stronger runner but I think if I just did the bike I might have won since I like to ride up Mount Ascutney. The real problem with doing both is getting down. Last year, I made it back to the start of the bike with only 90 seconds to spare. Every time I stood up on my bike my quads were like Jell-O from running downhill.

VS: Tell us about your teaching/ coaching career. JF: I teach science at Bellows Falls Middle School. I coach track and crosscountry and I used to coach basketball there but I found a group of kids I fell in love with and we created a team called the Vermont Gems which plays 30 games in the summer months. I started with these girls when they were in seventh grade and now they’re sophomores. They play full court the entire game. They’re the best athletes I’ve ever coached and I’ve skipped some races that would have caused me to miss their games.

osh Ferenc has been named Vermont Runner of the Year twice by New England Road Runner Magazine and has been a finalist for New England Runner of the Year. He has competed internationally on several U.S. running teams and qualified for the 50K World Championship in Qatar. In 2015, he finished first in the running portion of the annual Race to the Top of Vermont on Mt. Mansfield. He promptly ran back down, got on his bike and raced that to the top of the mountain. This past August, he repeated the feat.

VS: Did others follow your lead this year? JF: I guess it caught on and they even gave it a name [the Double]. I was the only one who made it down before the bike race started since the others jogged down or took their time. This year I had three minutes to spare. Running down really beat the hell out of my legs. When I got on the bike I knew I was in trouble and I was 10 minutes off my time from the previous year. It was still fun. The problem is I had run the Mt. Mansfield Double Up the week before [Ferenc finished first in that race]. That race is 11 miles and roughly 5,500 feet of climbing. You start from the Stowe parking lot and go up to the Forehead, over to the Chin and back down again. I ran it like a marathon and it really took a toll on me. I run 70 to 75 miles a week but it was all I could do to stay ahead on the run part of

A competitive eater as well as mountain runner, Ferenc is most at home running a 50K. Race to the Top. I was pushing myself but I didn’t have that extra “Ferenc gear.” VS: You’ve done a lot of distance running. Can you tell us about that? JF: Mostly I do mountain running. The only road marathon I’ve done is the Vermont City Marathon and I was the top Vermont runner each time. I’ve been mountain running since 2004. I’ve been on the U.S. Mountain Running Team, the U.S. Long Distance Mountain Marathon Team and the U.S. 50K National Team. I’ve done pretty well in some of those races. I placed 15th in the World Mountain Marathon Championship when it was held in Poland in 2013 and our team took the silver in Switzerland in 2012. VS: You’ve run in some incredibly scenic places. What was your favorite? JF: I loved Switzerland because I was at the three sisters: Jungfrau, Monch and Eiger. It was like being in a fairy tale. I also loved a run I did in Colombia because we ran through all four seasons and went up to 60,000 feet in total elevation gain. I ran through a desert and a rain forest and through snow in that race. It was really

unbelievable. I’ve been really fortunate. I put in a lot of hard work but thanks to sponsors I’ve been able to travel. VS: Your proudest moment? JF: Probably it was a 10K I ran in college at Keene State. I did it in 30:30 which is a good time for a kid. I also did the Penn Relays, a legendary track meet in Philly. I ran at 11 p.m., was super sick, and then posted the 5th fastest time in the country for my division. Everything went right. I had a legendary coach, Pete Thomas, and he asked me a question early in the fall of that year, ‘Are you ready to do whatever it takes?’ We both knew the answer. By the time I got to the Nationals, I was ready. With a lap to go I had an epic kick and earned my first All American! VS: What is your favorite distance? JF: What I really like is a two-hour mountain course that’s long enough for me to pound people into the ground but short enough to go fast. I think my ideal would be a 15-mile mountain race but I really enjoy 50K races and mountain marathons. My greatest strength and my greatest weakness is that I never give up.

VS: The kids must think you’re cool. JF: They do but it’s reciprocal. It’s all respect-based. My ego doesn’t come into play. These kids think I should play in the NBA and go to the Olympics. They are the best inspiration you can get. The whole school watches when I run the VCM and I don’t want to let them down. VS: You have a blog called Wild Neoteny. Can you explain that? JF: Neoteny is slowed, immature development. I coined that phrase and that’s my lifestyle. In some developing world cultures, the adults have fun and play games into their elder years. It’s not about money. They wage their life based on happiness and always being young and useful. The wild part is saying that I’m spontaneous and in tune with nature. I love being outside.

—Phyl Newbeck





ore than 800,000 people experience a lower extremity injury—an injury to the entire leg, foot, ankle, knee, or hip—every year in the United States. That’s troubling because these injuries are often disabling and costly. It is estimated that the cost of providing care for such injuries is nearly $567 million annually. For athletes, there is another cost: time. It can take weeks to months to recover from ankle and knee ligament injuries. Serious injuries to the knee may be season-ending and often require surgery. Additionally, after the original injury, athletes are at high risk for the developing post-traumatic osteoarthritis. Other athletes never fully recover and the cost is the end of a career in a sport. In 2015, Vermont became the first location in the U.S. to test out a proven injury prevention protocol developed in Europe. Called FIFA 11+ it's a pre-game workout aimed at reducing these injuries in high school athletes. The program has been used nationwide in Switzerland. When introduced in Norway in 2008, a study found that teams that performed FIFA 11+ at least twice a week had 30 to 50 percent fewer player injuries. With support from a new three-year grant from the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation and a one-year grant from Children’s Miracle Network, James Slauterbeck, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon at the University of Vermont Robert Larner College of Medicine and his colleagues are working with teams from 14 local high schools to test it. Over the last two years, they’ve been observing team warm-up routines, tracking injuries and comparing the effectiveness of traditional injury prevention programs to the FIFA 11+ injury prevention program. The sports followed in the study include football, men’s and women’s soccer, basketball and lacrosse. “FIFA 11+ was developed by an international group of experts to decrease


In one study, the 20-minute FIFA 11+ program (opposite) was found to help reduce injuries by 30 to 50 percent.

lower extremity injury in soccer athletes, ages 14 years and up,” says Dr. Slauterbeck, who is an associate professor of orthopaedics and rehabilitation at UVM and a team orthopedic surgeon for UVM Athletics. “It’s a pre-practice, warm-up program that is lowcost, time-efficient and is easy for coaches to administer. The 20-minute program consists of exercises to increase strength, improve coordination and teach running strategy. It must be performed two times per week to be effective.” The costs to run the program are low as you only need some cones, a ball and a partner. It is also important to have a coach or person observe the training and make helpful cues to ensure new and appropriate neuromuscular skills are created and poor strategies are extinguished. The program (summarized on the following page) can be found on the FIFA 11 + website (f-marc.com). It can also be downloaded to an iPhone or Android device. The videos demonstrating the exercises are expertly performed by professional athletes. Last year, during the first year of the three-year project, former UVM head athletic trainer Rebecca Choquette observed the warm-up routine at the 14 participating high schools (Mount Mansfield Union, Harwood, Milton, South Burlington, U 32, Essex, Missisquoi Valley, Rice, Champlain Valley Union, Colchester, Burlington, Stowe, Spaulding, and Vergennes). All lower extremity injuries among the players that resulted in at least one missed practice or game were recorded. This year (year two of the grant), the researchers are conducting a prospective, randomized trial where half of the schools follow the FIFA 11+ warm-up protocol, while

the other half of the schools will follow their regular warm-up pre practice routines. In addition to tracking lower extremity injuries, the group will be tracking sports concussions among the young athletes, with guidance from UVM neuropsychiatrist James Hudziak, M.D., director of the Vermont Center for Children, Youth and Families. The research team will explore some new evidence that shows concussions may be decreased as a result of pre-practice training programs. “The third year will give us time to analyze the data, to observe the teams’ continued use of the program and allow for a small pilot study to assist in hopefully gaining further funding,” says Dr. Slauterbeck. “If the FIFA 11+ program is shown effective in reducing injury in our current subset of Vermont high schools we will pursue financial support from NIH and hopefully other private donors to spread the program state- or region-wide.” UVM’s orthopaedics and rehabilitation research team has a strong track record studying lower extremity injuries. “The ACL injury risk factor research we have completed over the last nine years has really helped us get to know the subset of athletes to pay attention to and hopefully we can begin to target these athletes with injury prevention strategies,” says Dr. Slauterbeck. Athletes at greatest risk for injury are those who have a parent who has torn an ACL, who have loose knees or are very flexible. He adds that a recent study investigating varsity sports showed that an injury prevention program can significantly reduce related health care costs, so this project could realize a meaningful cost savings for Vermont.

So what has been learned so far? “We are currently in year two of the study and we have observed that Vermont high school teams all warm up with a diverse set of exercises including dynamic stretching, dynamic strengthening, running, and static stretching. Some teams are already using injury prevention warm-ups that are similar to FIFA 11+. However, the schools involved with the study have really made a great effort to stick with the randomization process in year two so that the study can accurately measure one program against the others. Dr. Slauterbeck adds, “We are truly blessed with the support for this project by many athletic trainers, medical students, athletic training and strength and conditioning students and physical therapists that have volunteered to help us teach the program and collect data.” Can it work for adults as well? “The answer is yes,” says Dr. Slauterbeck, “particularly if you play soccer.” Dr. James Slauterbeck played football at Arizona State and is active in many sports, especially 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  Robert Larner College of Medicine. Jennifer Nachbur is the Communications Director at the UVM Robert Larner College of Medicine. Portions of this article originally appeared on the UVM College of Medicine blog.



The course is made up of 6 to 10 pairs of parallel cones, approx. 5-6 metres apart. Two players start at the same time from the first pair of cones. Jog together all the way to the last pair of cones. On the way back, you can increase your speed progressively as you warm up. 2 sets



Run forwards as a pair to the first set of cones. Shuffle sideways by 90 degrees to meet in the middle. Shuffle an entire circle around one other and then return back to the cones. Repeat for each pair of cones. Remember to stay on your toes and keep your centre of gravity low by bending your hips and knees. 2 sets.



Walk or jog easily, stopping at each pair of cones to lift your knee and rotate your hip outwards. Alternate between left and right legs at successive cones. 2 sets.



Run forwards in pairs to the first pair of cones. Shuffle sideways by 90 degrees to meet in the middle then jump sideways towards each other to make shoulderto-shoulder contact. Note: Make sure you land on both feet with your hips and knees bent. Do not let your knees buckle inwards. Make it a full jump and synchronize your timing with your team-mate as you jump and land. 2 sets



Walk or jog easily, stopping at each pair of cones to lift your knee and rotate your hip inwards. Alternate between left and right legs at successive cones. 2 sets.



As a pair, run quickly to the second set of cones then run backwards quickly to the first pair of cones keeping your hips and knees slightly bent. Keep repeating the drill, running two cones forwards and one cone backwards. Remember to take small, quick steps. 2 sets.







Starting position: Lie on your front, supporting yourself on your forearms and feet. Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders. Exercise: Lift your body up, supported on your forearms, pull your stomach in, and hold the position for 20-30 sec. Your body should be in a straight line. Try not to sway or arch your back. 3 sets.



Starting position: Lie on your side with the knee of your lowermost leg bent to 90 degrees. Support your upper body by resting on your forearm and knee. The elbow of your supporting arm should be directly under your shoulder. Exercise: Lift your uppermost leg and hips until your shoulder, hip and knee are in a straight line. Hold the position for 20-30 sec. Take a short break, change sides and repeat. 3 sets on each side.



Starting position: Kneel on a soft surface. Ask your partner to hold your ankles down firmly. Exercise: Your body should be completely straight from the shoulder to the knee throughout the exercise. Lean forward as far as you can, controlling the movement with your hamstrings and your gluteal muscles. When you can no longer hold the position, gently take your weight on your hands, falling into a push-up position. Complete a minimum of 3-5 repetitions and/or 60 sec. 1 set.



Starting position: Stand on one leg. Exercise: Balance on one leg whilst holding the ball with both hands. Keep your body weight on the ball of your foot. Remember: try not to let your knees buckle inwards. Hold for 30 sec. Change legs and repeat. The exercise can be made more difficult by passing the ball around your waist and/or under your other knee. 2 sets.



Starting position:Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on your hips if you like. Exercise: Imagine that you are about to sit down on a chair. Perform squats by bending your hips and knees to 90 degrees. Do not let your knees buckle inwards. Descend slowly then straighten up more quickly. When your legs are completely straight, stand up on your toes then slowly lower down again. Repeat the exercise for 30 sec. 2 sets.



Starting position: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on your hips if you like. Exercise: Imagine that you are about to sit down on a chair. Bend your legs slowly until your knees are flexed to approx 90 degrees, and hold for 2 sec. Do not let your knees buckle inwards. From the squat position, jump up as high as you can. Land softly on the balls of your feet with your hips and knees slightly bent. Repeat the exercise for 30 sec. 2 sets.

Starting position: Lie on your front, supporting yourself on your forearms and feet. Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders. Exercise: Lift your body up, supported on your forearms, and pull your stomach in. Lift each leg in turn, holding for a count of 2 sec. Continue for 40-60 sec. Your body should be in a straight line. Try not to sway or arch your back. 3 sets.



Starting position: Lie on your side with both legs straight. Lean on your forearm and the side of your foot so that your body is in a straight line from shoulder to foot. The elbow of your supporting arm should be directly beneath your shoulder. Exercise: Lower your hip to the ground and raise it back up again. Repeat for 20-30 sec. Take a short break, change sides and repeat. 3 sets on each side.



Starting position: Kneel on a soft surface. Ask your partner to hold your ankles down firmly. Exercise: Your body should be completely straight from the shoulder to the knee throughout the exercise. Lean forward as far as you can, controlling the movement with your hamstrings and your gluteal muscles. When you can no longer hold the position, gently take your weight on your hands, falling into a push-up position. Complete a minimum of 7-10 repetitions and/or 60 sec. 1 set.



Starting position: Stand 2-3 m apart from your partner, with each of you standing on one leg. Exercise: Keeping your balance, and with your stomach held in, throw the ball to one another. Keep your weight on the ball of your foot. Remember: keep your knee just slightly flexed and try not to let it buckle inwards. Keep going for 30 sec. Change legs and repeat. 2 sets.



Starting position: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on your hips if you like. Exercise: Lunge forward slowly at an even pace. As you lunge, bend your leading leg until your hip and knee are flexed to 90 degrees. Do not let your knee buckle inwards. Try to keep your upper body and hips steady. Lunge your way across the pitch (approx. 10 times on each leg) and then jog back. 2 sets.



Starting position: Stand on one leg with your upper body bent slightly forwards from the waist, with knees and hips slightly bent. Exercise: Jump approx. 1 m sideways from the supporting leg on to the free leg. Land gently on the ball of your foot. Bend your hips and knees slightly as you land and do not let your knee buckle inward. Maintain your balance with each jump. Repeat the exercise for 30 sec. 2 sets.


Starting position: Lie on your front, supporting yourself on your forearms and feet. Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders. Exercise: Lift your body up, supported on your forearms, and pull your stomach in. Lift one leg about 10-15 centimetres off the ground, and hold the position for 20-30 sec. Your body should be straight. Do not let your opposite hip dip down and do not sway or arch your lower back. Take a short break, change legs and repeat. 3 sets.



Starting position: Lie on your side with both legs straight. Lean on your forearm and the side of your foot so that your body is in a straight line from shoulder to foot. The elbow of your supporting arm should be directly beneath your shoulder. Exercise: Lift your uppermost leg up and slowly lower it down again. Repeat for 2030 sec. Take a short break, change sides and repeat. 3 sets on each side.



Starting position: Kneel on a soft surface. Ask your partner to hold your ankles down firmly. Exercise: Your body should be completely straight from the shoulder to the knee throughout the exercise. Lean forward as far as you can, controlling the movement with your hamstrings and your gluteal muscles. When you can no longer hold the position, gently take your weight on your hands, falling into a push-up position. Complete a minimum of 12-15 repetitions and/or 60 sec. 1 set.



Starting position: Stand on one leg opposite your partner and at arm’s’ length apart. Exercise: Whilst you both try to keep your balance, each of you in turn tries to push the other off balance in different directions. Try to keep your weight on the ball of your foot and prevent your knee from buckling inwards. Continue for 30 sec. Change legs. 2 sets.



Starting position: Stand on one leg, loosely holding onto your partner. Exercise: Slowly bend your knee as far as you can manage. Concentrate on preventing the knee from buckling inwards. Bend your knee slowly then straighten it slightly more quickly, keeping your hips and upper body in line. Repeat the exercise 10 times on each leg. 2 sets.



Starting position: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Imagine that there is a cross marked on the ground and you are standing in the middle of it. Exercise: Alternate between jumping forwards and backwards, from side to side, and diagonally across the cross. Jump as quickly and explosively as possible. Your knees and hips should be slightly bent. Land softly on the balls of your feet. Do not let your knees buckle inwards. Repeat the exercise for 30 sec. 2 sets.



Run across the pitch, from one side to the other, at 75-80% maximum pace. 2 sets.



Run with high bounding steps with a high knee lift, landing gently on the ball of your foot. Use an exaggerated arm swing for each step (opposite arm and leg). Try not to let your leading leg cross the midline of your body or let your knees buckle inwards. Repeat the exercise until you reach the other side of the pitch, then jog back to recover. 2 sets.



Jog 4-5 steps, then plant on the outside leg and cut to change direction. Accelerate and sprint 5-7 steps at high speed (80-90% maximum pace) before you decelerate and do a new plant & cut. Do not let your knee buckle inwards. Repeat the exercise until you reach the other side, then jog back. 2 sets.



Hiking on top of the world (or at least along Vermont's roofline) the mile-long ridgeline of Mt. Mansfield is just one amazing view after another. Photo by Brian Mohr/EmberPhoto



ermont has its peaks and valleys and, come October, you can bet both will be packed. How to escape the crowds? Head up and over. This fall, before the snowpack builds, escape the crowds at the usual scenic outlooks and travel the trails that traverse the Green Mountains. Many of these trails start at ski areas where you can save your legs by taking a lift to the top (provided you’ve got a ski pass). We've given each of the seven a difficulty rating of one to three black diamonds. Many have shorter or longer options and all include trails marked on maps published by the Green Mountain Club (www.greenmountainclub.org). On some routes, it’s possible to include an overnight in lean-tos or cabins (see "Vermont's Hidden Cabins"). All cabins and shelters listed on the Long Trail are filled in a firstcome, first-served basis, so bring a tent in case they're full.

MT. PISGAH NORTH TRAIL ◆◆ (Westmore, 4.4 miles roundtrip) Get some perspective on Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom with this hike above Lake Willoughby, Vermont’s deepest and most dramatic lake. From the parking area near the southern end of the lake on Route 5A, the trail follows old logging roads and gains elevation until it intersects with smaller spur trails that lead to a north and a west lookout. There, overlooking the fjord-like lake, Mt. Hor rises 1,400 feet. Nearby, you’ll see Wheeler Mountain, Lake Memphremagog, Owl’s Head and Bear Mountain. Beyond, you can pick out a string of summits from Camel’s Hump to Jay Peak,

Burke and a few summits in Quebec. Take in

emerges from a thick forest to intersect with

Glen’s historic single chair to the Stark’s

the view from both of these lookouts before

the Long Trail at the Forehead while the

Nest warming hut at the top of the ski area

continuing to the summit of Mount Pisgah.

Sunset Ridge Trail ascends to the 4,395-foot

or you can hike south from the parking area

Chin to the north. From Chin to Forehead

on Route 17 at the top of the Appalachian

is just over a mile. You can also hike from

Gap (adding 3.1 miles). After passing over

MT. MANSFIELD'S RIDGE ◆ to ◆◆◆ (Stowe, 2-10 miles one-way)

the north by the 1.5-mile Hellbrook Trail,

the summit of General Stark Mountain

One of the most rugged environments in

which ascends from Smuggler’s Notch. It’s

(3,662 feet), you’ll find an opportunity for

the state is also the most accessible. Part

a challenging route with steep ledges and

an overnight at the Glen Ellen shelter, just

of the Long Trail, the alpine footpath along

ladders. For an extended hike, link up with

a mile down the trail. The elevation rises

the roof of Vermont, is accessible from all

the Long Trail and head south to Taylor

gradually to the summit of the second

directions and especially easy if you take

Lodge, about 10 miles later.

ski area, and the ridge’s highest point,

Stowe’s gondola or drive up the Toll Road. For a longer hike with more exposure, start on the western side from Underhill State Park on the 1.4-mile Frost Trail or the 1.4mile Sunset Ridge Trail. The Frost Trail


Sugarbush’s Mount Ellen. At 4,083 feet it’s the third-tallest mountain in Vermont and its northern exposure gives excellent views

(Waitsfield, 5.8 miles one-way)

of Camel’s Hump, the Worcester Range

You can start this hike by taking Mad River

and Mt. Mansfield. After passing over two


With western views to Lake Champlain, the Monroe Skyline stretches between Sugarbush's Lincoln Peak and Mad River Glen's General Stark Mountain . Photo by Evan Johnson

craggy peaks look down the eastern flank at terrain that’s home to some of the area’s legendary glade skiing. The conclusion is a short distance later at Lincoln Peak, with views down to Sugarbush’s Lincoln Peak Village, Mount Abraham (to the south) and the Champlain Valley to the west. Descend on the hiking trails to the Super Bravo Lift where you can catch a ride to the bottom and the Lincoln Peak Village.


(Hancock, 10.4 miles roundtrip) The largest of the designated wilderness areas in the Green Mountain National Forest makes for a long day hike or a great overnight. Start your day at the top of Middlebury Gap near the Middlebury College Snow Bowl. After starting out northbound on the Long Trail, explore the Silent Cliff and nearby cave via a .4-mile side trail that cuts to the east just .4 miles after the start. While hiking through one of Vermont’s most pristine forests, you’ll summit Burnt Hill (3,040’) and Kirby Peak (3,140’) before reaching the Skyline Lodge, a log cabin built in 1987. Its broad porch and bunks for 14 will be a welcome resting spot while you overlook the Skylight Pond in the evening.

PICO AND KILLINGTON LINK ◆◆◆ (Killington, 5.4 miles roundtrip) This hike connects Pico and Killington along a ridge with sweeping views. Your adventure starts with a quick ride up



Killington’s K1 gondola to the summit of the second tallest mountain in Vermont at 4,235 feet. From Killington, you’ll be able to see north to Mount Mansfield and south to Ascutney, Okemo and even Stratton. Travel north on the Long Trail through alpine forests and past the Bucklin Trail, which descends to the west and Snowdon Peak (3,592’), then along a ridgeline to an intersection with Sherburne Pass Trail called “Jungle Junction.” Bear right for a half-mile before reaching Pico Peak (3,957’). When you’re rested, retrace your steps to Killington for an easy descent via the K1 gondola.


(Bennington, 9.7 miles one-way) If you’re looking for an ambitious ridgeline hike, perhaps with an overnight at a cabin, head for this trail that starts close to downtown Bennington. From the parking area on Harbour Road climb 1.9 miles on the Bear Wallow Trail to the 2,857-foot summit of Bald Mountain. You’ll have views of the Bennington Battlefield Monument, Mount Anthony and the surrounding area. From Bald Mountain, the trail passes over two smaller peaks before turning sharply east to the intersection with the Long Trail/Appalachian Trail at the Goddard Shelter. There you can lay out a sleeping bag for the night. Cap the hike at the summit of Glastenbury Mountain (3,748’) and scale the ladder to the firetower

Once you get to the top of Stratton, you can climb even higher: up the firetower. Photo by Lauren Surlani

for views of Stratton Mountain and the northern Greens.




(Arlington, 7.6 miles roundtrip) In 1909, a man named James Taylor climbed to the summit of Stratton Mountain, the highest peak in southern Vermont. What he saw gave him the idea for the Long Trail, stretching the length of the Green Mountains. A few years later, as he was at Stratton Mountain working on the Long Trail, forester Benton MacKaye took it up a notch and conceived of the 2,160-mile-long Appalachian Trail. Today, the 3,199-foot peak is a site on both the Long Trail, and the Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. For an easy hike, ride Stratton’s gondola to the summit of the ski area and follow signs for Mike’s Way and the trail that leads to the firetower (1.4 miles roundtrip). But for a wilder route, start from the parking area on the Kelly Stand Road in Arlington. The trail ascends gradually through mixed forest before a series of switchbacks. Openings on the trail give southern views to Somerset Reservoir. At the summit, climb the 70-foot firetower built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1934. From a lofty perch you’ll have a view similar to what Benton MacKaye must have seen, all the way to the Taconic Mountains and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. (All maps courtesy Green Mountain Club.)

From the summit, Stratton's base village looks a lot different than it did when Benton MacKaye stood here. Photo by Lauren Surlani







one of several around the state that are

huts in New York, and huts maintained

backcountry travel and there are existing

Rochester Area Sports Trail

being renovated to serve as outposts for

by the Dartmouth Outing Club, Randolph

resources. The Long Trail is home to over


backcountry adventures.

Mountain Club and Appalachian Mountain

60 shelters along its 272 miles, including

Club in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

simple lean-tos and more developed cabins

Maine Huts and Trails, a non-profit

with four walls, woodstoves and bunks.

in western Maine, manages a system of

While staffed during the spring, summer

chasing fresh powder—it’s to end it in a cozy

backcountry cabins on 80 miles of former

and fall hiking seasons, the cabins along

cabin with a wood stove, a rack to dry skins



the high elevations remain open even

and stinky socks and a bunk where you can

skiing and snow-shoeing in the winter and

when the snow flies. None are winterized,

stretch out in a sleeping bag and dream of

mountain biking or hiking in the summer.

but for those with backcountry experience


the began


For many hikers, mountain bikers,

Mountain Forest near Randolph in 2014,

skiers and riders, the dream isn’t to just

they came across a cabin in the woods.

spend the day on singletrack trails or





The Bell Gates Cabin—an overnight spot for loggers in the 1970s—was in disrepair. Dead leaves and trash covered the floors and ratty screens hung in the windows. Since then, the Bell Gates Cabin has gotten a facelift in the form of new windows and doors, a wood stove, insulation, a front deck and a new coat of paint. “It’s nothing glorious, but it has a much better feel to it,” RASTA volunteer Zac Freeman says. This fall and winter, the cabin will be







and a sleeping bag good into the single


feature a range of amenities, from full-

and negative digits, overnighting in cabins

Mountain Division trail and hut system

service retreats with porters, bedding and

becomes possible.

in the Rockies. In Quebec's Chic Choc

hot tubs, to more spartan affairs with a

At the end of many of Vermont’s

Mountains, a series of huts are within

simple counter top, a few cots and a wood

abandoned logging roads stand derelict

hiking or skiing distance. Options for

stove (you provide the rest).

cabins or sheds that could be converted into

the next day’s adventures. Colorado





overnight stays in neighboring states

Vermont may not have anything like

the kind of backcountry rest stations that

include the Adirondack Mountain Club

this (yet) but the state is no stranger to

RASTA has created. Now, that’s happening:

The Long Trail has more than 60 shelters, ranging from sparse cabins, like Jay Camp (at left), to ones with woodstoves and bunks. Photo by Brian Mohr/EmberPhoto

a number of older cabins, ranging from

about the hut-to-hut experience in Vermont,

this hasn’t happened yet,” says one of the

the long game. “You’ve got to be patient,”

Stowe’s famous Stone Hut to Wheeler

but we’ve still got questions to answer.”

group’s founders, RJ Thompson, who also

Thompson says.

Pond’s Beaver Dam cabin in the Northeast Kingdom, are being renovated.


started the adventure race company Native

As this issue went to press, the

maintains the huts? Are they reserved





Endurance last year. “Vermont’s an amazing

roof was being finished on Mt. Mansfield’s

“With existing and new construction,

months or weeks in advance or run on a first-

place for year-round outdoor recreation

Stone Hut, work was being done on the

Vermont backcountry skiing is positioned

come-first served basis? Who’s responsible

and we have politicians talk about the

Braintree Forest and Bryant Camp cabins,

well to benefit with more connection to

for the firewood and where’s the bathroom?

importance of recreation in Vermont and so

and renovations are planned for Wheeler


I think there’s a critical mass of individuals

Pond’s Beaver Dam cabin.

The dream of a hut-to-hut trail network

but head-scratching ones—that a new

who are ready to make Vermont known as

By next year, many of these should be

is looming larger as interested parties,

organization is going to attempt to answer.

one of the greatest recreation states in the

ready for year-round use. “These cabins

including property owners, are starting to

This fall, a duo of diehard backcountry


are part of a legacy of backcountry travel,”

collaborate on ways to link existing shelters

skiers created the Vermont Huts Association

The group also hopes to spearhead

said Michael DeBonis, executive director of

around the state as part of the newly formed

to chart and unify as many of Vermont’s

construction of additional yurts and cabins

the Green Mountain Club. “Restoring them

Vermont Huts Association.

huts as they can under a centralized system

to complete a network from Massachusetts

will allow future generations to enjoy them

“It’s a conversation that’s just getting

open year-round to skiers, bikers and more.

to Vermont. While it’s a scheme that


started,” says Greg Maino, communications

Think of it like Airbnb for backcountry

could take upwards of ten to 20 years to

and events coordinator for the Catamount


come to fruition, Thompson and his co-

infrastructure,” Freeman says.

Trail Association. “Everyone wants to talk




“I find myself wondering how the heck

On the following pages, we share five year-round huts we love.

director Devin Littlefield are willing to play



Set on the shores of Wheeler Pond, the Hadsel-Mares Cabin is waiting for you. Photo courtesy Green Mountain Club



For a getaway in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, reserve a night in one of two secluded cabins on the shores of Wheeler Pond at the edge of Willoughby State Forest in Barton, Vt. While the Beaver Dam Cabin is closed for repairs (and could open as soon as next year), the neighboring 650sq. ft. Hadsel-Mares Cabin has a simple design with a wood stove and sleeping space for six in an elevated loft. While lacking electricity, running water and cell service,


you’ll have a massive outdoor playground, including over 40 miles of trails in the Willoughby State Forest (including trails to the summits Mount Pisgah and Mount Hor). In the fall, there's paddling on ponds and lakes. In the winter, bring your skis to explore the backcountry glades developed by the Northeast Kingdom Backcountry Coalition in Willoughby State Forest or go ice climbing on the cliffs above Lake Willoughby. Reservations are $65 per night or $45 per night if you book for more than seven days with 30 percent off for GMC

One of eight cabins in southern Vermont's Merck Forest, Nenorod sleeps six. Photo Merck Forest & Farmland Center members. Visit greenmountainclub.org for reservation information.


In late September, a crane lifted a new roof onto the sandblasted stone walls of Vermont’s most popular backcountry cabin, Stowe’s Stone Hut. After last December's devastating fire, the Stone Hut is being rebuilt to the original 1936 design the Civilian Conservation Corps envisioned. It's outfitted with a large stone

hearth, a wood stove and wooden bunks that can sleep 12. Reserved for trail keepers in the summer, but open to the public in the winter, the hut had been so popular it took winning a place in a lottery system to get a night there. For those lucky enough to land a stay, the prize was often first tracks down Nosedive or Goat at Stowe, or the numerous backcountry lines off the summit. On December 23, 2015, Timothy and George Carpenter (whose parents, Jake and Donna founded Burton) went up to prepare the cabin for some friends who were arriving

There's been a cabin fever this fall as huts around the state are being rehabbed in time for winter guests. Clockwise from top left: Stowe's famous Stone Hut gets a new roof, supported by locally-sourced timbers, after the fire; RASTA volunteers take a break from fixing up Braintree Forest's Bell Gates Cabin; Bryant Camp (near Bolton) should be renovated by this winter and then work will start on its sister, Bolton Lodge (above). Photos, clockwise from top: Scott Braaten, Kyle Crichton, Green Mountain Club (Bryant and Bolton Lodge).

later, stoked the fire and left the wood stove door open. It’s a cautionary tale: the friends never arrived, a piece of wet wood leaning against the stove caught fire and destroyed much of the original structure. There was a huge public outcry and thanks to a $150,000 donation from the Carpenters, as well as others, the hut will be restored in time for this winter. This August, the Vermont Department of Forest Parks and Recreation awarded a $276,500 bid to Morrisville builder Donald P. Blake Inc. who by press time in late September, already had the roof, floor and walls rebuilt. The cabin, which is used by trail keepers in the summer, has only been available for rental during the winter for $225 a night. Check vtstateparks.com for updates and reservations.


Set high among the alpine forests above

Bolton Valley’s Nordic and alpine ski trails, are two cabins built in the 1930s by volunteers with the Burlington chapter of the Green Mountain Club. The Bolton Lodge was designed after the cottages of Wales and Ireland, with a stone foundation, stucco walls and bunks for 12. The nearby Bryant Camp has a sleeping loft for six and features plain wooden construction. Located near both the Long Trail and the Catamount Trail, these two cabins have been popular overnight spots for hikers heading north to Mount Mansfield and for skiers exploring Bolton Valley’s alpine and Nordic ski trails. The two cabins can also be a starting point for backcountry skiers traveling from Bolton Valley to the Trapp Family Lodge, by way of the Catamount Trail. Restoration work started this year and both will have new bunks, wood stoves, shelves and cooking spaces when finished. Volunteers hope to have work finished on Bryant Camp

by the first snowfall of this season while Bolton Lodge might wait until next year. Suggested donation, as with all staffed shelters on the Long Trail, is $5. Find out more at greenmountainclub.org.


Set into the mountains surrounding the central Vermont town of Braintree, just off Route 12A, is a backcountry skier’s paradise. Thanks to the hard work of volunteers with the Rochester Area Sport Trails Alliance, you can explore the beautifully crafted glades off of 2,901-foot Skidoo Mountain and follow a skin-track back to the top to earn your turns all day long. After a long day, this winter you’ll be able to retire to the fully restored cabin with a new woodstove that will sleep up to ten. It’s available on a first-come, first-served basis and you have to locate it yourself. Visit rastavt.org for maps and information.


For a secluded getaway in the southern Vermont forest, you can book one of eight cabins at 3,162-acre Merck Forest & Farmland Center in Rupert, Vt. The cabins sleep between two and twelve and are furnished with tables, wood stoves, bunks, porches and rocking chairs. Some have lofted bunks and space for tents nearby. Most of these cabins are within easy hiking distance (a mile or two) from the visitor’s center and have views of hay pastures and surrounding mountains in southern Vermont. Come with friends for a weekend of cross-country skiing or snowshoeing on over 30 miles of trails that wander through 3,000 acres. Cabins are $50 to $75 in the summer and $65 to $90 in the fall, winter and spring. Head to merckforest.org to book.


the fittest governor? Sue Minter



ast summer, just as Brandon’s July 4th parade was drawing to a close, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter got an idea. “Coming down the street was this family on unicycles,” her husband David Goodman recalls. As Goodman tells it, “Sue’s eyes lit up and she said ‘Do you mind if I try?’” “She used to unicycle a lot,” Goodman notes. “So she starts unicycling away, looks up and sees a large contingent from Phil Scott’s team driving down the street with race cars and big heavy equipment. So she starts off toward them calling ‘Come on Phil, I’ll challenge you

phil scott

right here. Come on!'” Goodman is the first to admit that his wife, a former soccer and lacrosse player at Harvard, telemark skier and gold-medal level figure skater is competitive. But so is her main opponent. Republican candidate Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott is a snowmobile racer, race car driver and a cyclist who logs more than 4,000 miles a year. Both have pledged to better the state and help grow outdoor recreation. We sat down with both candidates to learn more about them and what they plan to do.



hroughout Phil Scott’s political life, one thing has always been taken for granted: he’s just as happy racing his #14 race car at Barre’s Thunder Road, as playing politics in Montpelier. But after 10 years as a state senator representing Washington County, and the past six years as Lt. Governor, Scott’s competitive nature has him racing for the state’s top political office. “He’s definitely driven to compete, it’s part of his DNA,” says long-time friend Jeff Newton, who is now general manager and soon to be partner at the DuBois Construction company in Middlesex at which Scott has been a partner for the past 30 years. That competitiveness started when Scott was a young boy racing homemade wooden cars in the close-knit neighborhoods of Barre back in the late 1960s. “Growing up in Barre was my first introduction to Thunder Road,” Scott recalled in a recent interview. “Through our early teens, about a dozen of us boys would be out racing our cars every night of the summer. We’d paint our cars after our favorite drivers at Thunder Road. Our parents and neighbors would come watch the street corners, making sure there were no cars coming as we raced down the hills and through the intersections.” Those early races were a natural transition to working on a race team as a 16- and 17-year-old with well-known racer at the time, Robbie Crouch. “My mother loved


Phil Scott

Scott, at the finish of the Darn Tough Race to the Top where, in 2015 he placed second in his age group. to go to the races at Thunder Road, that’s how I got started working in the race pits for mechanics. I always loved to build things, create things. It was natural for me, and I had an instant attraction to race cars and competing right off the bat.” But the bug had been planted even

earlier than a young Phil Scott knew at the time. Thunder Road was built about the time Scott was born in 1958. Because the partners of Thunder Road, one of whom was Ken Squire, didn’t have all the financial resources they needed, they struck a deal with Scott’s uncle, Ruie DuBois, owner of

Dubois Construction, who helped build the race track and was repaid by a percentage of the gate receipts each Thursday night. Back then, Barre’s granite workers were paid on Thursday’s, which is why the races were held that night. “They wanted to get the first bite out of the apple so to speak,” said Scott, and it’s been tradition ever since. “Literally, racing is part of the social fabric of central Vermont,” Scott added. “It’s amazing, we come from such a green state, but racing is so important to so many people in Barre and throughout the state.” But car racing was expensive and wasn’t in Scott’s immediate future. Scott’s father, Scotty, was a World War II veteran who lost both legs in the D-Day invasion and later died from complications when Phil was just 11. One uncle would later buy Phil his first shotgun and teach him how to hunt, while another taught him how to ride snowmobiles, a harbinger of Scott’s passion for motorsports. By the time he graduated from Spaulding High School and entered the University of Vermont to get a degree as a shop teacher, he had also started pursuing wilder days as a top snowmobile racer. After graduating from UVM in 1980, he opened a motorcycle shop in Morrisville, partly to feed his passion for racing snowmobiles throughout New England and into Canada, frequently going up in Ontario, over to Eagle River, Wisc., and into Manitoba. “I loved to compete, and make things go

faster,” Scott said simply of his unrelenting passion for speed. “I was decent,” he says of his racing success, “but I was racing on a world-class level at that point. I wasn’t top of the field by any means. I was good in New England and won a couple of New England championships and became relatively well-known in the 1980s, but when we stretched it out to the world-class level, the competition was tough … We competed with guys that raced Formula One… on twin tracks that were iced down. It was incredibly fast, 110 mph or more, and there was a lot of crashing.” With a laugh that belied the near-miss danger of one crash, he recalls the story: “In Skowhegan, Me., I got crossed up over someone’s skis at a fairground, shot up over the bales of frozen hay on a corner and a photographer caught me flying about 25 feet in the air over a fun house. They took me (a buddy came along) to the hospital in an ambulance, checked me over and discovered I just had scrapes and bruises but nothing broken, so we left the hospital and hitched a ride back to the races. A guy in a pick-up gave us a lift, and asked where we were going. We told him to the snowmobile races. ‘I was there this morning,’ he starts telling us, ‘and I think somebody must have died. The guy flew into the air over a building and landed on the ice. Nobody thinks he made it.’ That was me, of course, and we got back to races and, four to five hours after the crash, I was entered into the late afternoon race with my other snowmobile.” In those days, Scott raced most every weekend in the winter, traveled a lot, and held other jobs delivering fuel oil, working side jobs as a plumber, carpenter and welder to pay the bills. He broke a few ribs, and a shoulder once, making his fuel oil delivery job at the time a trying experience, he says, adding in the voice of a wiser man, “stupid, stupid stuff.” What was driving him back then? “It’s that inner competition, trying to outdo everyone else… it was the need for speed. It certainly satisfied me in many ways, always trying to do better, build a better mousetrap, make it go faster.” That was in the late 1980s. After an attempt to expand his motorcycle shop was stopped by an Act 250 cease and desist order which forced a year delay, he decided to scrap the expansion and join his uncle’s construction firm in Middlesex. He maintains that at the time he didn’t even know what an Act 250 permit was, or why you needed one, but the experience may have sparked his interest in politics. A decade later, in 2000, he ran for a Senate seat in Washington County as a businessman first and politician second, and won.


ince then, Scott’s other life has been in Montpelier. While never considering himself a politician, he nonetheless started working where his experience led him: on the Land Use Permitting Process Interim Committee, where, a year and a half

later, changes to the Act 250 process would help speed up the process and make it less onerous. Over the past 16 years, Scott has proved himself, politically, to be a social moderate and fiscal conservative. He now supports gay marriage, is pro-choice and is not a denier of climate science, though is an advocate for “sensible” energy policies that include natural gas expansion while being opposed to ridgetop development of windpowered turbines. As the Republican candidate for governor, Scott’s primary focus has been on what he calls “Vermont’s affordability crisis,” a catch-all phrase that lumps in problems associated with the high cost of living in Vermont relative to income. He has a 50-point economic development plan that is the crux of his campaign, featuring a mix of tax incentives to spur job growth and a frugal approach to spending. Not a political activist, as some Republicans want him to be, Scott prefers compromise to ideology. Remarried to wife, Dianna, a nurse who is also a runner and cyclist, he has two grown daughters from a previous marriage: Erica, 30, and Rachael, 28. Asked how the state’s outdoor recreation industry fits into his economic plan, Scott says recreation and job growth go “hand in hand. I think we’ve got a great brand in terms of some of the products we have, and we are also developing a strong brand in outdoor recreation,” but he cautioned that the state needed to pay more attention to biking routes and improve and widen the shoulders. “If we want people to have a good experience, we have to provide them with the infrastructure and good maintenance.” Scott noted that Vermont has already has done a good job developing a rapidly growing mountain biking scene, as well as many other adventure sports, but could use help in marketing those activities by a more aggressive marketing campaign. “In all these different sports and activities, we need to have a common message.” Scott said he would enhance what the tourism department is doing now, noting that he “thought it was incredibly shortsighted two years ago when there was talk in the House about doing away with the tourism budget. I mean tourism is the one thing that we have as a state that is doing well, and we’d do away with it? That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. We should nurture it, enhance it.”

But by 1996, at the age of 38, he won his first late model series race at Thunder Road, the highest level of short-track racing in this part of the country. Thunder Road is a paved ¼ mile track with racers hitting speeds of 75-80 mph, completing a lap in about 13-seconds. And with 25-plus cars on the track, “things are coming at you pretty fast,” Scott says, emphasizing the need for quick reactions and a high level of physical fitness. In mid-summer, Scott explained, cockpit temperatures “can hit up to 150 degrees, and it’s easy to become dehydrated after losing several pints of water. Also during a race (and I've measured it using a heart monitor) my heart rate is similar to that seen when I've cycled a long-distance, (say 75-100 miles), reaching 75-85 percent capacity. And the lateral G-forces of going around on the banked track causes strain and fatigue, especially on my neck. Imagine driving around on the street with a 25-pound weight strapped to your head. The G-force also affects your legs and back for that matter, as you are simultaneously trying to use the throttle and brake while staying in your seat and keeping your legs from being thrown to the right. All the

while, every muscle is tensed up due to adrenaline and competitiveness. When I'm in the seat racing every week, it feels like I work out every muscle.” To keep in shape for snowmobiling and car racing, Scott started lifting weights in his late 20s and bike riding for stamina. Shocked by how difficult his first bike ride of 7 or 8 miles was (he says his legs cramped up and then seized), he dedicated himself to training and now routinely rides 20 to 25 miles a day, along with several century rides throughout the year, logging over 4,500 miles in 2015. An early riser, Scott says he routinely gets up at 4:30 a.m., goes to his exercise room, turns on the television news and pedals a stationary bike for half an hour or more, and then tries to get in a ride outside later in the day. “I’ve felt that by staying in shape, I might have had a little bit of an edge over some of my competitors, which has led to the success I've enjoyed.” That success has included winning the prestigious Thunder Road Milk Bowl three times, and holding the track record for the most career wins at Thunder Road with 29. “But they’re catching me,” he CONTINUED ON PAGE 28


he 1990s saw Scott become more involved in the earth-moving construction business with his partner Ron DuBois, who is president of the company, and a decade later get into politics. At the same time, Scott was making a name for himself as a race car driver. He started at Thunder Road in the early 1990s, but says it didn’t come easy. “I wasn’t an instant success, believe me,” he recalled. “I had a steep learning curve, and I was in my early 30s, late in life for racing.”


sue minter



arly in her campaign, Sue Minter came out with an unusual announcement for a candidate. Along with the four pillars of her agenda (growing our economy, supporting working families, protecting our environment and making government work), the former Secretary of Transportation announced a new initiative: Outdoor-VT, a plan to increase year-round outdoor recreation opportunities and make the state a magnet for the outdoor industry. For Minter, who at 55 can still drop a knee into backcountry powder as well as any teleskier, this was more than just a call to protect the things she loves: “Outdoor recreation is part of Vermont’s heritage and under my leadership it will be a critical part of the Vermont brand and our economy,” she has said. It’s also a business initiative. According to the Vermont Outdoor Industry Association, the outdoor recreation economy in Vermont includes approximately 34,000 direct jobs, $753 million in wages and salaries, and generates $176 million in state and local tax revenue. “There are three key initiatives,” Minter explains as she sits on the back porch of her campaign headquarters, her mother’s home in Waterbury Center. “The first is to expand our trail systems for hiking and biking. Next, I’d like to promote our existing state parks and see if we can develop a hut-tohut system. I’ve been to the 10th Mountain Division huts in Colorado and the Maine huts system and I’d love to see that developed here by a consortium of public and private groups. Last, I’d like to recruit outdoor industries and bring more young, active people to Vermont.”


Long Trail. For another politician, that might sound like the equivalent of currying favor with every special interest group that ever took a walk in the woods. For Minter, it’s simply about protecting and promoting what brought her to the state in the first place.


A rising star in the ice rink, Minter had a chance to train for the Olympics but opted to continue her schooling.

Minter’s plan also calls for recruiting more outdoor businesses to Vermont, appointing a state-wide Outdoor Recreation Director, creating an integrated statewide mountain biking network, mapping and promoting existing trails, providing incentives to landowners to host new trails, encouraging women and youth to hunt and fish, and building out the last six miles of the

wenty-five years ago, Sue Minter was getting her graduate degree at MIT, playing on a nationally-ranked Ultimate Frisbee team and working on Boston’s first recycling program when her then-boyfriend, David Goodman, kidnapped her and drove her to Vermont. They drove to Smuggler’s Notch, hiked up the Long Trail and at the summit of Mt. Mansfield, Goodman, a journalist Minter had been dating since they were undergrads at Harvard, went down on one knee and proposed. A year later, they moved to Waterbury Center. He was working on his first backcountry ski book, Classic Backcountry Skiing: A Guide to the Best Ski Tours in New England, and she had a fellowship to work as a staff scientist with the Conservation Law Foundation. “The time just seemed right and we decided we’d come to Vermont for a year,” Minter recalls. That was 1991 and they never left. Vermont was not new to Minter. “We used to come up to Stowe for vacations and stay at an inn behind what I think is now the Round Hearth,” she remembers. Her father , Bob, had a candy business, Minter’s Candies, and her mother, Evelyn, had been a skater with the Ice Follies. Growing up with three older brothers in Bryn Mawr, just outside of Philadelphia,

Minter started ice skating at age four. By 16, she had earned a gold medal—figure skating’s equivalent of a black belt—and was good enough to have to make a decision: move to Lake Placid and train for the Olympics or “have a life” and continue in her school. Her pairs skating partner, Scott Gregory, chose the Olympic training path and went on to compete in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics. The following year, Minter’s world was uprooted. Her father took a new job in Providence, R.I. and she found herself at Moses Brown, a day school founded by Quakers in 1784. The school had only started taking girls two years earlier and there were still no women’s sports teams. Minter decided to change that. She founded a soccer team and recruited girls from neighboring schools to form a lacrosse team. Then she ran for student council president—the first and only girl to do so—and won. "Sue just had this energy and enthusiasm about her," remembers Belle McDougall, one of the girls recruited to play lacrosse. "You just wanted to be part of what she was doing." Minter went on to Harvard where she studied sociology and played lacrosse on the junior varsity team until she was bumped up to varsity to play in the Nationals. After graduating in 1983, she pursued a graduate degree in urban planning at MIT. Around that time, she recognized that Boston had a problem with trash so she started a program for curb side newspaper pickups. It was the city’s first recycling program and earned her an award from then-governor Michael Dukakis. Protecting the environment had become a passion for Minter so when the opportunity

Minter, left, getting first tracks in one of the backcountry routes she and her husband David Goodman rediscovered. Above, with daughter Ariel, husband David and son, Jasper. All photos courtesy Sue Minter.

arose for a fellowship with the Conservation Law Foundation she jumped at it.


n those early years in Vermont, Minter and Goodman spent a great deal of time exploring. “David’s book was all about rediscovering these lost trails from the 1940s and 1950s that had been built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. I can remember so many crazy adventures. I remember one time being up on Mansfield and it was snowing and the woods were really thick looking for the Tear Drop trail. All of a sudden, we found it: part of an old sign on a tree with just an E and an A visible.” Today, that trail is one of the regular backcountry routes off the west side of Mt. Mansfield. [Goodman has gone on to write numerous books on topics such as apartheid,

whistleblowers and political corruption, including three New York Times bestsellers with his sister, Amy Goodman, the host of the radio show, Democracy Now!] Ask Minter what her favorite ski routes are today and she doesn’t hesitate. “There

are so many great places here, especially on Mt. Mansfield, but because Camel’s Hump is always in view from my home, I’ve always loved skiing that mountain. One of my earliest backcountry ski adventures— we’re talking the 1980s—was there. It’s a long ascent and the top is always howling windy and icy, but there are more and more good descents and secret powder runs. I’ve always come down the Duxbury side but as a state rep I started doing an organized tour around Camel’s Hump that’s a fundraiser for Alzheimers and I discovered some great routes on the Huntington side as well," she says. The “Tour” is a five- to eight-hour slog. “Skiing in the backcountry brought us here,” she says and adds, “and kept us here.” As kids came along—first Ariel, now 23 and Jasper, 16—Minter spent more time

coaching, first skating at Stowe’s Jackson Arena and then soccer at Harwood Union. "Sue would put on this 'ice theater' which anyone could be part of," recalls Lisa Hagerty, a Stowe skater who went to Harvard with Minter. "Suddenly figure skating wasn't just about an individual performance but about a whole group of people creating something. That's her style," Hagerty says. Both of Minter's children have been pursuing careers in journalism. Ariel, who graduated from Harwood Union High School and went to Oberlin, works for public radio. Jasper is in high school but moonlights as a sports analyst for WDEV and writes a column in the Barre Montpelier Times Argus. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE


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PHIL SCOTT - CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 jokes, even as, at age 58, he still raced most Thursday nights this past summer. Will he still race on Thursday nights if he wins the race for governor? “I’m not going to rule it out,” he says. “I’d love to do one or two races just to do something different, but I’m not even sure whom to ask. They’re very rigid in what you do as governor, but honestly, I’ve had more crashes on my bike than I have racing on the track.”


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ow has his success as a snowmobile racer, a racecar driver and his hours in the saddle of his bicycles (he also mountain bikes, kayaks, snowshoes and Nordic skis, among other sports,) shaped his view of Vermont and his vision for the state as governor? To his very core, he says. “When I think about Vermont and those parts of our DNA that make this state special, almost everything we’re known for revolves around our outdoors, our beauty and our spirit… that’s why we need to protect it, but also utilize it to our fullest advantage.” “Outdoor recreation drives a majority of the tourism in Vermont,” he adds, “and is a big part of how we market the state…It’s one of the reasons I am so focused on growing the economy because I know people will want to move to Vermont for the high quality of life, if we can just offer greater economic

Scott with his race car #14, his lucky number and the same number as one of his hero's car's, NASCAR star A.J. Foyt. opportunities and a more affordable cost of living.” To Newton, Scott's goals as governor fit the portrait of his friend to a tee. “Whether it's on the racetrack, snowmobiling, riding his bike, his business and now with politics, Phil always pushes himself to be better and better... and he has the right mindset: He's very focused... he builds the right team with the right support staff. He's an original, the real deal.”



olitics called in 2004 and Minter ran for state representative for Waterbury, Duxbury, Huntington and Buel’s Gore and served until 2010. As a state rep, Minter worked to promote trails, ranging from getting grants to make a nature trail handicappedaccessible to extending mountain bike trails. “Trail building was part of our economic development strategy for Waterbury, and it has helped us grow,” she says. One of her dreams is a mountain bike trail system that extends from Waterbury, via Little River State Park, all the way to Stowe. “An investment in Little River is really important, since there’s been a real increase in visitors there,” she told the Waterbury Record in 2010. “We’re working on what would be a real mecca for mountain biking,” Minter said. This September, the ribbon was cut on three miles of trails through that park. In 2011, after Tropical Storm Irene devastated much of Waterbury, Governor Shumlin tapped Minter to be the Irene Recovery Officer. Her work there led to a position as Deputy Secretary of Transportation (and in 2015, Secretary). It also led Governor Shumlin to tap her for the White House Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, where she co-chaired the Subcommittee on Disaster

Recovery and Resilience. Protecting the environment and fighting climate change are two key points in her campaign. She has promised to invest in clean water infrastructure and research, cut carbon pollution from transportation and reduce Vermont’s peak demand for electricity by 10 percent. As Secretary of Transportation, Minter often commuted by bicycle from her home in Waterbury Center to her office in Montpelier and she worked hard to make it easier for others to ride to work as well. Under her leadership, the agency worked with 2100 Strava users to create a Wiki map of bicycle corridors around the state and sought ways to improve the shoulders and bike lanes. So what would Minter do for Vermont Sports readers? “As Governor, I will be a champion for our world-class recreational landscape,” she says. “Not only for skiing and snowboarding but for mountain biking and hiking trails, golf courses, skateboard parks, sailing, hunting and fishing and so many other outdoor activities," she says. "Our vibrant outdoor culture not only provides good jobs and boosts tourism, it attracts young people looking for communities with a healthy outdoor lifestyle.” Just like it did for Minter, 25 years ago.





bikes. Timed races range from 10 minutes (for kids) to 60 minutes. www.bikereg.com


9 Vermont Forest Fondo, Lincoln, Vt. A preview for the inaugural race in 2017, this ride is open to the first 50 riders. The course consists of 50 miles of gravel roads with nearly 6,000 feet of climbing. There is one rest stop during the ride and a barbeque afterwards. www.bikereg.com

October 8 Braintree 5 Gravel Grinder, Braintree, Vt. The dirt roads around Braintree and Randolph host a 35-mile dirt road ride with 5,000 feet of climbing (with Strava KOM race segments) and a sag station at the historic Braintree Meeting House. After the ride, stick around for burgers, dogs, and two free beers served at the Central Vermont Brew Fest, next door. www.braintree5.com 8 2016 Black River Beatdown, Craftsbury, Vt. The trails at and around the Craftsbury Outdoor Center host races for mountain bikers and trail runners. Cyclists will choose between 10- and 20-mile distances and trail runners will run just under 10K. www.craftsbury.com 8 Kingdom Cross, Lyndonville, Vt. The Lyndon Outing Club hosts a USA Cycling-certified criterium-style cyclocross event with categories for all riders from kids’ trikes and striders to single-speed

9 The Backcountry Cross, Victory, Vt. Road bikes with gravel tires and hardtail mountain bikes will both be at home in this cross-country race over singletrack and abandoned farm fields. Distances include 9, 18 or 27 kilometers. www. backcountrycross.wordpress.com

22 CircumBurke MTB Challenge and Trail Run, East Burke, Vt. Kingdom Trails, Conservation Collaborative and the Burke Area Chamber of Commerce present a mountain bike and cross-country running race around Burke Mountain on a 25-mile loop. www.circumburke.org 23 Dam Wrightsville CX, Middlesex, Vt. Onion River Sports organizes a crosscountry criterium ride at the Wrightsville Reservoir Beach open to every variety of bike. After-party follows at the Three Penny Taproom. www.bikereg.com 29 Perry Hill Hold ‘Em, Waterbury, Vt. Riders take to the trails around Waterbury, collecting playing cards stashed along the way. The rider with the best poker hand by the end of the day wins. www.bikereg.com

30 Wicked Creepy Cyclocross Race, Bennington, Vt. The Vermont stop in the 2016 NYCROSS. com Cyclocross Series is hosted by the Bennington Area Trail System and Peak Racing Gear Works Cyclery. The course features plenty of grass and natural obstacles - including a vast sand pit - all set in a classic New England surrounding. Divisions range from ten minutes to 60 minutes. www.nycross.com

November 6 26th Annual West Hill Shop Cyclocross Race/2016 Vermont State Championships, Putney, Vt. Racers tackle a challenging course over dirt and cornfields with one spirit-crushing hill for title of Vermont Cyclocross Champion. Time divisions range from 30-45 minutes. www.westhillshop.com

RUNNING October 9 Mad Dash, Waitsfield, Vt. Runners enjoy mountain views, fall foliage and covered bridges during this 5K and 10K run on the Mad Path in Waitsfield. www. runvermont.org 9 Harpoon Octoberfest Race, Windsor, Vt. The Harpoon Brewery in Windsor, Vt. holds its annual 3.6-mile road race, followed by an Oktoberfest at the brewery. Proceeds benefit the Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center. www.harpoonoctoberfestrace.com

9 46th Annual GMAA Green Mountain Marathon and Half Marathon, Grand Isle Beginning and ending near the house where Clarence H. Demar, seven-time Boston Marathon Winner, once lived, this either half or full marathon is run on rolling terrain along west shores of South Hero and Grand Isle. www.gmaa.net 9 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 Mountain National Forest. The event also includes a noncompetitive 5K Fun Walk and a short, non-competitive event for children. www. riptonridgerun.addisoncentralsu.org 9 North Face Race to the Summit, Stratton, Vt. Stratton holds a 2-mile race to the summit of Stratton Mountain. Over $2,000 in awards wait at the top. www.stratton.com 15 Trapp Mountain Marathon, Stowe, Vt. The trail network around the Trapp Family Lodge hosts half and full marathon distances at the height of fall foliage. www. trappmountainmarathon.com 15 Leaf Chase 10K, Rutland, Vt. 10K Trail run from Proctor to Rutland. The bus will leave the Giorgetti Parking lot in Rutland by 9:40 a.m. Registration/Check in starts at 9:00 a.m. www.rutlandrec.com

“Your Mountain Bike Experts!” esh refr ide r your tires pedals saddle grips lights

helmets shoes shorts socks gloves

Mountain Run & MTB Challenge 26 miles

Sunday, October 22nd, 2016 www.circumburke.org 2500 Williston Rd South Burlington

802-864-9197 www.earlsbikes.com OCTOBER 2016 | VTSPORTS.COM 29

RUNNING cont. 15 Rescue Inc. Adventure Race, Brattleboro, Vt. An adventure obstacle race through beautiful Jamaica State Park. Challenge yourself through rope course obstacles while racing as a team or do the Family Fun Run 5k. www. adventurerace.rescueinc.org 22 CircumBurke MTB Challenge & Trail Run, East Burke, Vt. 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 29 Halloween 5K, Rutland, Vt. Runners start across from the train station in downtown Rutland in this fun race for all abilities. Costumes are encouraged but not required. www.rutlandrec.com 29 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 30 Randolph Ramble Trail Race, Randolph, N.H. The 10,000-acre Randolph Community Forest hosts a 10K trail race in the White Mountains, climbing Mount Randolph and Mount Crescent in a loop course. www. randolphramble.com

November 5, 12, 19 Fallen Leaves 5K Series, Montpelier, Vt. A 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. 6 Field House Half Marathon, Shelburne, Vt. RaceVermont hosts a half marathon, 10K and 5K races with a superhero theme. Donations from entrance fees will benefit the LeRoyer Employee Emergency Assistance Program at the University of Vermont Medical Center. www.racevermont.com

20 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

24 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 24 Running of the Turkeys, Arlington, Vt. A scenic Thanksgiving 5K starts and ends in Arlington village at the Fisher Elementary School. www.bkvr.net

OTHER October 22 Shale Hill Halloween Obstacle Fun Run 2016, Benson, Vt. Shale Hill hosts a Halloween-themed 10K and 5K obstacle race with up to 51 obstacles. www.shalehilladventure.com 30 Vampire Swim, Newport, Vt. Warm blood – cold water. Kingdom games hosts 25-meter to 100-meter cold-water swims. Event also includes a blood drive. www.kingdomswim.co

SKIING October 1-2 VT SKI + RIDE Expo, Burlington, Vt. Winter’s biggest pre-season party kicks off during a twoday ski and ride show at the Sheraton in South Burlington. Four live bands, tons of door prizes, demos, clinics and more than 50 booths showcase Vermont’s best new gear, resorts and retailers. Visit vtskiandride.com for details.

28 39th Annual New Egland Ski Museum’s Annual Meeting and Dinner, Sugarbush, Vt. The New England Ski Museum honors one of Vermont’s most famous ski families, the Cochrans, with the Sprit of Skiing Award. www.newenglandskimuseum.org

November 3 4th Annual Vermont Backcountry Forum, Rochester, Vt. The Rochester Area Sports Trail Alliance hosts its annual town meeting style forum to discuss protecting and expanding Vermont’s backcountry skiing. The evening also includes a potluck dinner, multimedia presentations and a raffle. www.rastavt.org 19 The Vermont Ski & Snowboard Museum Hall of Fame Dinner, Stowe, Vt. Spend an evening at Stoweflake Resort honoring key figures in the state's rich ski history with ski films, a silent auction and dinner. www.VTSSM.com 19 The Big Kicker, Waitsfield, Vt. Mad River Glen and Sugarbush start the ski season at American Flatbread in Waitsfield. The ski-mountain duo throws a freestyle party with rail jams, ski movies, local food and libations, appearances by The High Fives Foundation, the Flyin’ Ryan Hawks Foundation, and more. www.sugarbush.com 26 Audi FIS World Cup, Killington, Vt. Skiing greats including Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsay Vonn take to the Superstar Trail in this FIS event. www. killington.com 10 Demo Day at Mount Snow, West Dover, Vt. Skiers and snowboarders can test out the latest gear from top manufacturers at this annual event. www.mountsnow. com 17 6th Annual Mount Snow Film Festival, West Dover, Vt. Ski movie lovers catch the latest releases and participate in a free raffle. www.mountsnow.com

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27 Grommet Jam #1, West Dover, Vt. The youngest skiers and riders get a chance to try their best tricks at this competition for ages 12 and under. www. mountsnow.com

SWAPS & SALES The gear is still good for the next few seasons and the prices are below bargain basement. Here’s where to look:

October 7–9 Onion River’s Ibex Warehouse Sale, Barre, Vt. The biggest Ibex sale of the year returns to Central Vermont: the 2nd annual Ibex Warehouse Sale. This year, nearly 12,000 merino wool items will be for sale at up to 80-percent off. theonions@onionriver.com 7-9 Smugglers’ Notch Ski & Snowboard Club Sale Equipment drop-off: Oct. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. Sale hours: Oct. 8 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Oct. 9 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Tarrant Center at Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt. 7-9 Killington Ski Club Monster Ski and Bike Sale Equipment drop-off: Oct. 1 – 6 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ramshead Base Lodge. Sale hours: Oct. 7 from 5 to 9 p.m.; Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Oct. 9 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 21 Montpelier Recreation Department Ski and Skate Sale Equipment drop-off: No straight skis or clothing of any kind will be accepted. Oct. 21 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Montpelier High School Gymnasium. Sale hours: Oct. 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Montpelier High School.

weekend with activities including the Annual Craft Brew Festival, Chili Festival and the North Face Race to the summit. www.stratton.com

November 4-6 Cochran’s Ski Sale Equipment drop-off: Nov. 4 from 6 – 8:30 p.m. at the Camel’s Hump School in Richmond, Vt. Sale hours: Nov. 5 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Nov. 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 11-13 Waitsfield PTA Ski & Skate Sale Equipment drop-off: Nov. 11 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Waitsfield Elementary School. Sale hours: Nov. 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Nov. 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Waitsfield Elementary School. 18-19 Okemo Mountain School Ski and Snowboard Swap Equipment drop-off: Nov. 12, 13 and 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Sitting Bull bar. Sale hours: In the Clock Tower Base Lodge Nov. 18 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Nov. 19 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Nov. 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

8 North Bennington Oktoberfest, Bennington, Vt. The North Bennington Oktoberfest hosted by the Norshire Lions and Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce will have live music featuring the Rymanowski Brothers Orchestra as well as Bavarian food, Oktoberfest beer, family activities and arts & craft vendors. 8 Fall Into Winter, Ludlow, Vt. Okemo hosts a family friendly foliage festival with live music, hayrides, pumpkin painting, a pie-eating contest and lots of apple cider. www.okemo.com 8 - 10 Community Weekend, Sugarbush, Vt. Sugarbush hosts a fall festival with pumpkin carving, lift rides, hikes, fall-inspired dining and live music. www. sugarbush.com 8 - 9 Harpoon Oktoberfest, Windsor, Vt. The Harpoon brewery in Windsor hosts an Oktoberfest with lots of Harpoon beer, live oompah music, chicken dancing, keg bowling, fall foliage and the Harpoon Oktoberfest race. www.harpoonbrewery.com

FESTIVALS October 9 Fifth Annual Burktoberfest, East Burke, Vt. Burke celebrates the changing of the seasons with the fifth annual festival that includes hayrides, pumpkin painting, and local craft vendors. Meanwhile on Burke’s downhill trails, riders can participate in a best-trick contest. www. skiburke.com

8 – 9 19th Annual Oktoberfest, Mount Snow, Vt. Mount Snow hosts their 18th annual Oktoberfest with plenty of oom-pah music, 25 German and domestic breweries and schnitzel plus games and activities for the kids. www.mountsnow.com

8 - 10 Columbus Weekend Celebration, Stratton, Vt. Stratton Resort moves into fall over Columbus Day

21-30 Vermont Intl. Film Festival, Burlington VTIFF, in its 31st year will hold its annual festival on Burlington’s historic Waterfront, at locations in Burlington. www.vtiff.org

RUN THE KINGDOM Spectacular, scenic venues. Run one. Run them all.

Live in Vermont’s vacation paradise! Just 15 minutes from Stowe

October 29, 2016 Halloween Hustle: 10K, 5K & 1 Mile Costume Run Newport-Derby Bike Path

December 3, 2016 Newport Santa Run: 5K and 1 Mile Run/Walk Newport Bike Path

May 20, 2017 The Dandelion Run: 13.1 Miles, 10K & 4 Mile run, bike or hike Dirt roads through Derby, Morgan and Holland

July 4, 2017 The Harry Corrow Freedom Run: 10 Mile, 5 K, & 1 Mile

Newport – Derby Bike Path and the Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation Trails

October 8, 2017 Fly to Pie: 26.2, 17, 13.5 & 6 Mile run, bike or hike

Back-country dirt roads at the height of Fall Foliage, this is one of the most beautiful AND most challenging marathon courses east of the Mississippi.

“Best race ever.”


Spectacular!” “Most Scenic” “Fun” “Challenging” With support from:

and Jay Peak Resort, The Town of Derby, Passumpsic Savings Bank, Northeast Delta Dental, The City of Newport, Community Financial Services Group, Derby Village Store, The Front Desk, Mempremagog Press and Louis Garneau

8 Berry Ave, Morristown


his cozy 1600-square-foot home built in 1989 features an open floor plan kitchen and living room with vaulted ceilings and plenty of natural light. Three bedrooms, large bathroom with jet tub, partially finished basement, concrete foundation, drilled well and newly designed leach field, baseboard heat with oil surrounded by the beautiful mountains of Morristown — all of which sits on two open acres with an old stone wall bordering part of the property, a sliding hill, gardens and out buildings. Listed below appraisal at $178,900. For more information and photos contact Zoe Bedell.

Little River Realty • 802-253-1553 • zoe@lrrvermont.com



ike Shops around VT sponsored content


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We are the original home to Kingdom Trails. Located in the heart of town, we pride ourselves in expert knowledge while providing friendly customer service. A full service shop awaits you and your repair needs. We have over 75 rentals bikes with an enormous selection of clothing, parts and accessories.


2500 Williston Road S. Burlington, VT 802-864-9197

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.eastburkesports.com Hours: 9am-6pm every day

www.earlsbikes.com Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-7pm Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm





439 Route 114 East Burke, VT 802-626-3215





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37 Church Street Burlington, VT 802-860-0190

www.gearx.com Hours: Mon-Thurs 10am- 8pm Fri-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 10am-6pm OGE is quickly becoming Burlington, VT’s premier bike shop with a knowledgeable, friendly, and honest staff to get you on a new bike or fix the one you already have at a price that works for you. We have commuters and gravel grinders from Marin and KHS, mountain bikes from Pivot, Transition, Rocky Mountain, and Yeti, and a large selection of consignment bikes. Our comprehensive demo fleet allows you to try it before you buy it. Fully equipped service department and full Fox shock service in house. Come on down and see us!



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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!



45 Bridge Street Morrisville, VT 877-815-9178

www.chucksbikes802.com Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5:30pm Sat 9am-3pm, Closed Sunday



511 Broad Street Lyndonville, VT 802-626-8448

www.villagesportshop.com Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am-6pm Sat 8am-5pm, Sun 9:30am-5pm

For 35 years, the Village Sport Shop has been a destination for sports enthusiasts of all ages and abilities to find quality, competitively priced sporting goods. Covering a wide variety of activities and gear the Village Sport Shop has helped customers, locals and visitors alike enjoy the outdoors.


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 offers gear, clothing, expert fits and accessories for all cyclists, with full service tuning and repairs...plus complete bike suspension service on most forks and rear shocks. Designated one of America’s Best Bike Shops, Skirack is blocks from Lake Champlain. Open 8am Mon-Sat for bike service, car racks and rentals.



100 Main Street Burlington, VT 802-863-3832

www.northstarsportsvt.com Hours: 7 days a week Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12pm-5pm



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322 N. Winooski Ave Burlington, VT 802-863-4475


www.oldspokeshome.com Hours: 7 days a week Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12pm-6pm

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Old Spokes Home offers VT’s best selection of professionally refurbished used bikes and new bikes for touring, bike packing, commuting, fat biking, and simply getting around. Named one of the country’s best bike shops by Outside Online for it’s “plain-talk advice and no-nonsense service.” A non-profit as of January 2015, OSH uses 100% of its revenue to run programs creating access to bikes in the community. And don’t miss their famous antique bicycle museum!



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 38 years of handson experience.

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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 as well as fitting solutions. In business as Village Bicycle in Richmond for 18 years.



46 S. Main Street Waterbury, VT 802-882-8595

www.waterburysportsvt.com Hours: 7 days a week Mon-Thur 10am-6pm Fri & Sat 9am-7pm, Sun 10am-4pm WBS sells Trek and Giant bikes of every flavor from high end mountain bikes to kids, hybrids and cross bikes. Our service techs are among the best in northern VT. We also rent and Demo from our downtown location right near the Perry Hill Trails.



20 Langdon Street Montpelier, VT 802-229-9409

www.onionriver.com Hours: Mon-Thur 9am-6pm Fri 9am-8pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 11am-4pm Whether you’re a cycling pro, a casual commuter, or a novice rider, we’ve got the perfect bicycle for all of your adventures — and the friendly, knowledgeable staff to help you find it. We are a full-service bike shop staffed by experts committed to helping you keep your bike at top performance. We can diagnose and repair problems on any bicycle, whether you’re looking for a basic tune-up, or complicated and extensive maintenance and repairs. We also pack and ship bikes anywhere in the country.



56 Depot Sq, Northfield, VT 802-485-5424

www.bikeexpressvt.com Hours: Mon-Thur 10-5:30, Fri 10-6, Sat 10-2, closed Sun Bicycle Express is one of Vermont’s finest bike shops in down town Northfield, VT. Open for sales in bicycles, and outdoor gear. We sell Kona, Scott and Cannodale.



74 Main Street Middlebury, VT 802-388-6666

www.froghollowbikes.com Hours: Mon -Thur 9:30am-5:30pm year round, Fri 9:30am-7pm yearround, Sat 9:30-5:30 year-round, Sun 1-4pm May - September and for Christmas shopping

Take advantage of the most advanced and courteous service in our region, including a quick turn-around in our service shop downstairs at Frog Hollow Bikes. 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. Formerly the Bike Center.



105 N. Main Street Rochester, VT 800-767-7882

www.greenmountainbikes.com Hours: 7 days a week, 10am-6pm Located in 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, 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!



99 Bonet Street Manchester, VT 802-362-2734

www.battenkillbicycles.com Hours: 7 days a week 9:30am-5:30pm Full selection of men and women’s clothing. Rentals available. Great back roads. Road rides Thursdays at 6pm, Beginner Rides Fridays at 6pm.



25 Depot Ave. Windsor, VT 802-674-6742

www.paradisesportshop.com Hours: Tue-Fri 10-6, Sat 9-5

Closed Sun & Mon Paradise Sports Shop has been serving the needs of cyclists and outside enthusiasts in the Upper Valley since 2008. We offer professional retail sales and service of cycling equipment, accessories and soft goods and much more.



105 Main St., Brattleboro, VT 802-254-9430

www.burrowssports.com Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat. 9am-5:30pm, Sun Noon-5pm

very experienced mechanics and a wide selection of bikes from Specialized and Cannondale to customs from Seven, Co-Motion, and Waterford. We also love and sell SUPs and are certified instructors for paddleboarding, road cycling and mountain biking.



18.5 Mascoma Street Lebanon, NH 603-448-5400

www.masonracingcycles.com Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5:30pm Sat 9am-3pm, Closed Sundays

80 years of serving the Brattleboro area with great gear for the year-round outdoor sports enthusiast. Featuring Raleigh, Bianchi, GT, Schwinn, Ibis, and Yuba Cargo Bikes. Best selection of kids bikes in the area. Top notch service Department...we can fix just about anything. Electric assist kits to help you “flatten” the Vermont hills.

The areas 4-season Mountain Bike Headquarters. Locally owned and located 1.1 miles from the entrance to the Boston Lot trail system, the crown jewel of the Upper Valley. We are a shop run by passionate riders and we carry Rocky Mountain, Salsa and Raleigh bikes. We service all bikes and specialize in mountain bike suspension service and setup. Come join us for one of our Tuesday or Thursday night group rides at 6 PM.




49 Brickyard Lane Putney, VT 802-387-5718

www.westhillshop.com Hours: Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm Closed Sundays

Since 1971, the West Hill Shop has been a low-key, 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. Recently, we’ve focused 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 one of our adventurous rides!



28 Cottage Street Littleton, NH 603-444-3437

www.littletonbike.com Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-7pm Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 11am-4pm Since 1981 we’ve been helping north country folks enjoy the outdoors. With a full service repair shop,


20 Hanover Street Lebanon, NH 603-448-3522

www.omerandbobs.com Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm Sat 9am-5pm, Closed Sundays 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’ tradein, trade-up program.



2733 Main Street Lake Placid, NY 518-523-3764

www.highpeakscyclery.com Hours: Mon-Sat, 9am-6pm Sun 9am-5pm Lake Placid’s source for bicycling and outdoor gear since 1983! Road bike coaching rides and professional bike fitting, too. We also offer road and gravel cycling tours, and other schools and camps for all ages and abilities. Demos for Salsa adventure by bike, Surly, Giant and Scott bicycles — get off the pavement and on the gravel!






s I rode out of the woods on my mountain bike on September 25th, Mount Ascutney loomed in my peripheral vision. I had been riding for almost six hours. My leg muscles ached from lactic acid and my mental sharpness was beginning to fade. In front of me, two arenas were situated side-by-side in a farm field, each with a horse and a trainer. As I rode past the pens, I became mesmerized by the synchronicity of the animals’ movements as they gracefully circled their masters. I was less than seven miles from the finish line of the Vermont 50, a 50mile cross-country endurance event that attracted 1,250 mountain bikers and ultrarunners. The rolling meadows of the horse farm was only one of many drop-deadgorgeous backdrops along the point-to-point course that had spurred moments of joy that day. Every stand of tall pinewoods, stretch of damp wetland, and patch of pumpkins was 100 percent pure Vermont, as pure as the maple syrup produced in the classic sugarhouses also scattered along the way. This was the eighth time I’d signed up for this journey, which begins pre-dawn when only a rosy hint of the forthcoming sunrise is visible from the dark hilltops. From the start line in Brownsville, every mile follows gravel and Class 4 roads, singletrack and doubletrack, crossing through four towns and the property of 66 landowners before finishing at Ascutney Mountain Resort. The Vermont 50 is much more dimensional an experience than taking in Vermont’s autumnal landscape. In fact, the moments of euphoria are more often outnumbered by epic physical and emotional challenges. The course climbs 8,800 feet along rugged trails or windy roads. Rock bridges and root ladders are sprinkled throughout the last third of the course—just about the time the large muscle groups begin to protest and threaten to cramp. The early camaraderie found so easily lessens as riders settle into silent, individualized paces for the long haul. Broken chains, flat tires or crashes dash hopes and downsize expectations. So, why do so many people show up year-after-year? The motivations are many, as I’ve discovered. In 1998, I signed up like many other goal-setters with the idea that the Vermont 50 would be a late season achievement, one that required dedication over the summer months to ensure enough fitness and technical progression. That year, just finishing the race was a source of pride. In 2004, training for the Vermont 50 became a months-long journey of another kind. Nine months earlier I had given birth to twin boys, Austin and Carson. That year,


When she's in full-on race mode Kelly Ault is among the top three riders in the country in her age group. Photo by Jeb Wallace Brodeur

the hours of riding I had managed to carve out of the daily demands of motherhood provided much-needed quality time alone. It also sparked a reinvention of myself as an athlete. During the race, I plodded steadily along with presence and determination. When I pulled my children close at the finish line, I felt the balance between generosity towards my family and self-care that has set a tone for me to this day. In 2012, I simply wanted to win. After a season dedicated to training and racing, I rolled off the start powered by ambition. I didn’t linger at aid stations. I tucked into pods of racers, drafted wheels and charged technical climbs. I found finesse on flowy sections. When I missed a turn five miles shy of the finish, I surprised myself with a caffeinated burst of speed and crossed the line as the first overall woman. Which brings me to 2016, where the

meaning of the Vermont 50 came full circle for me. At age 12, my sons Austin and Carson were now eligible to register. They had been dedicated riders all year, spending winter nights on indoor bike trainers, doing a multitude of arduous four-hour training rides and turning in impressive finishes at 15 cross-country and enduro races around the country this past spring and summer. Despite their confidence, I had concerns and had arranged to wait for them at an early aid station with snacks and tools. After they came up, we re-joined the line of racers ascending majestic tree-lined roads and descending loamy trails. I felt a mix of elation and connection as we chatted about small things. But by mile 30, as they steadily pulled ahead together, I realized I could no longer hold their pace. So I let them go. I was sure I wouldn’t see them until the end, but I knew

“During the race, I plodded steadily along with presence and determination. When I pulled my children close at the finish line, I felt the balance between generosity towards my family and selfcare that has set a tone for me to this day.”

they wanted to go it on their own. They had earned their independence. Shortly after, at mile 36, I rolled up alongside a good friend. Liza Walker joined other riders that day in making the Vermont 50 a fundraiser for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sport (VASS). Race director Mike Silverman expects this year’s race to generate close to $80,000 for VASS’ programs. Liza shared that she was riding for Juno, her 10-year old daughter, who was diagnosed with autism at age 4 and began skiing with VASS’ Sugarbush Resort program at 6. She recalls being incredibly moved when VASS volunteers pledged they would get Juno skiing on her own, “even if it took ten years”. For kids with disabilities, Liza explained, learning a sport can be a transformative journey towards self-confidence and independence. She described how powerful the process has been for her as a parent in letting go and accepting help from others. When I reached the finish, the chute was lively with music and spectator cheer. Austin, Carson and my husband, Phil Beard (who also raced) met me with congratulations. The boys had finished 15 minutes ahead of me, with Austin crossing the line 15 seconds in front of Carson. Although I had provided some company at points along the way, their race reports reflected a largely connected experience between each other. Motivation to close or widen the gap between each other had them constantly going for it. For both of them, finishing the distance “felt like a real accomplishment.” The day after the event, I was nursing muscle soreness and fatigue. But I was buoyed by the diverse people brought together by the Vermont 50—from the ambitious racer striving for a podium finish to the aspiring rider working to achieve a personal goal, from the parent and child navigating an everevolving relationship to the VASS volunteers working to make a difference. I’m convinced that VASS’ statement of belief could serve as a universal mantra: “Sports and recreation provide a physical, mental and social experience that is immeasurable in promoting self-confidence and independence in an individual.” Each of us may have traveled a different path that day, motivated by different purposes. But the uniqueness of the shared experience was palpable. Middlesex's Kelly Ault and her family were the subject of Vermont Sports’ July cover story "The Dirt P.A.C.K." She finished third in the 2016 U.S. Enduro Worlds and third in her age group in the U.S. Nationals in Cross Country.



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Vermont Sports, October 2016  

Vermont Sports, October 2016