Ski Vermont Magazine 2020 - Special 50th Anniversary Edition

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THE TEAM PUBLISHER SKI VERMONT Mike Solimano, Chair Molly Mahar, President Adam White, Director of Communications Alicia O’Gorman, Office and Programs Manager Travis Bobley, Marketing Manager EDITOR Adam White DESIGN Methodikal, Inc. PRINTER Lane Press COVER ART Vermont native Emily Johnson, background at center, leads daughters Maiana, left, and Nori on a ski excursion through a wooded winter wonderland at Mad River Glen Ski Area. Photo by Brian Mohr. CONTACT INFO Ski Vermont P.O. Box 368 Montpelier, VT 05601 T: 802.223.2439 E: /SkiVermont & /RideVermont @Ski_Vermont & @RideVermont Ski_VT & RideVermont SkiRideVT



A letter from Ski Vermont Magazine’s editor.

An All Mountain Mama and her young son jump together into snowboarding. By Sarah Wojcik

04 BY THE NUMBERS A statistical snapshot of the stellar 2018–19 ski and ride season.

06 THE FACE OF SKIING & RIDING The face of skiing and riding is changing, gaining momentum toward a future in which the sports’ air of exclusivity is left behind.

08 ................................................Her Turn 19................................A Woman’s Edge 24...................... Who Says We Don’t? 27.................................................. #BKtoVT 35.................A GOAT Path to Green Mountain Adventure

38 WINTER 2018–2019 IN IMAGES An unforgettable season as captured in photos from across the Green Mountain State.

50 THE IDYLLIC SKI DAY In search of the perfect combination of on-mountain turns and après brews. By Candice White

56 TIME OF OUR LIFE Looking back on the milestones from Ski Vermont’s first 50 years. By Hilary DelRoss

58 MAKING THE MOUNTAINS HOME Stay to Stay Ski Weekends attract a new wave of Vermonters. By Martin Griff

61 KEEPERS OF THE FLAKE Your guide to Vermont’s alpine and cross country ski areas and resorts.


TAKE A SEAT AND RELAX. Lower the safety bar and settle in for the charlift ride up the mountain. Let your eyes be naturally drawn up the liftline toward the summit, over the inviting white of trails twisting and dropping down fall lines and the negative space filled with trees enrobed in thick coats of snow. Suddenly there is something in your peripheral vision that captures your attention: movement. You turn and focus on an object in motion plunging down the pitch, gaining speed with a grace from which you find it impossible to look away. It’s a skier, and a good one at that. Rocketing down, truly dancing with gravity, each and every turn a virtuoso performance in and of itself. The velocity of travel is thrilling even from a distance, as is the incredible sense of control even as the world literally flies away beneath the two skis. You strain your eyes to try and focus on the skier’s face, to unlock some further clue about this human being with such mastery of physics, of time and space and this most amazing journey through both. But you can’t. At this speed, every line you try to draw gets blurred. It’s a man. It’s a woman. White. Black. Straight. Gay. Old. Young. Rich. Poor. Local. Tourist. It’s me. It’s you. It’s all of us and none of us, everyone and no one.

run, beyond this trip, beyond the sport and the mountains into everyday life.

This issue of Ski Vermont Magazine is built around a special section of The Face of Skiing and Riding. Within it, we explore profiles of women within the sport (“Her Turn,” Page 8); an inside look at ski and snowboard design for women (“A Woman’s Edge,” Page 19); a roundtable discussion with members of an African-American ski club (“Who Says We Don’t,” Page 24); a photo essay on a cross-cultural Vermont ski resort adventure (#BKtoVT, page 27) and a Q&A with the founder of an LGBTQ outdoor adventure club (“GOAT path,” Page 35). Through these pieces, we hope to shift the larger narrative away from some uncomfortable notions about the exclusivity of the ski industry toward a better understanding of how the changing world is reflected in our sport and how to promote and encourage diversity on the slopes. Like so many facets of life, change doesn’t happen overnight – but skiing and riding are moving in the right direction. Oh, look – there’s the summit lift shack. We’re reaching the end of our trip up the mountain. Time to raise the bar.

The mountain’s peak looms overhead without judgement. The snow kicks up from each turn in clouds with no discernible shape. The skis themselves know only joy, driven into something sublime they were born to do regardless of who is controlling them.

Adam White Editor, Ski Vermont Magazine

Mike Hitelman

In that moment there are no barriers or boxes, no walls or labels. There is simply no room for any of that. Once that skier passes beneath the lift and disappears, as the sort of observational adrenaline dissolves, the real question is how to make that moment of open-mindedness last – beyond this




4, 1 7 8, 5 3 3 Skier and rider visits at Vermont alpine ski areas during the 2018–19 season, an increase of more than 5 percent over the previous season.



The statewide percentage of open alpine terrain on Dec. 1; the average for that date over the previous 13 seasons was just over eight percent.

Days of operation for Mad River Glen this season, the longest in the cooperatively-owned ski area’s 70-year history.


Acres of skiing and riding available at Mount Snow Resort heading into Presidents’ Week, thanks to a timely pow refresher from Winter Storm Maya.


Inches of snow measured at “the stake” near the summit of Mount Mansfield – home of Stowe Mountain Resort – on Jan. 31, the deepest snowpack in recorded history for January. 4

332,486 The number of cross country skier days at Vermont ski areas in 2018–19, a 45-percent increase over the previous season.

The approximate number of fans who attended the 2019 Beast Cup at Killington Resort, a new record for a World Cup ski race.


The approximate number of skiers and riders that Ski Vermont helped get on snow this season through its Fifth Grade Passport and Take 3 Pass programs.


Joanne Pearson/Fair Haven Photographs (1, 3, 4, 5); First Mate Photography (2)



liding on snow is an experience that transcends boundaries. No matter your background, skin color, sex or age, the act of pointing a pair of skis or a snowboard down the fall line, pushing off and gathering speed down the mountain delivers something thrilling and unforgettable for everyone. Nevertheless, the numbers don’t lie; participation in snow sports has traditionally leaned in very specific directions, with more than 60 percent of alpine skiers in the U.S. being white males older than 25 according to industry studies.

Yet the country’s population has reached a point of unprecedented diversity and is growing more so by the day – and those changes are becoming increasingly visible in the ski lodge, in the lift line and on the mountain. The face of skiing and riding is changing, gaining momentum toward a future in which the sports’ air of exclusivity is left behind, like an old set of tracks buried beneath fresh snow. HERE ARE SOME STORIES OF HOW.



Women are a force throughout the Vermont ski industry


Director and Fitness Activities Manager, Trapp Family Lodge

“IT’S ABOUT THE JOURNEY – NOTICING THE TREES YOU GO PAST, SEEING HOW THE FOREST HAS CHANGED OVER TIME, ENJOYING THE VIEW.” Why cross-country ski? “Cross-country skiing allows you to go places, like from Stowe to Bolton with a group of friends, or a full moon ski to Slayton Pasture Cabin with cheese and crackers and wine. It’s about the journey – noticing the trees you go past, seeing how the forest has changed over time, enjoying the view. It’s quiet, peaceful and grounding. It’s also a phenomenal workout and it makes you a better downhill skier, because you have a smaller balance range and can work on your edging.”

Growing up in the woods and hills of Stowe, Kristina von Trapp was unaware that she was part of a famous singing family. Her family’s Austrian-inspired hotel lacked television screens and she does not recall grandma Maria ever singing. Kristina spent her days then, as now, sharing her passion for snow sports with local children and visitors to Trapp Family Lodge. A few of her favorite things include cross-country and downhill skiing, participating in long-distance trail events – she’s a regular at the Stowe Derby Meister, Craftsbury Marathon Ski Festival and Trapps to Bolton Tour – and refueling on fresh-picked apples, Cabot cheddar and von Trapp lager. Kristina lives with her husband, Walter Frame, their daughters and horses on the same site where she grew up, one mile from Trapp Family Lodge.

On teaching children: “It’s not about the perfect turn but about enjoying time on a mountain or in the woods. We go out for ski adventures and play games, like tag or limbo under ski poles, or make human slalom runs or obstacle courses. Learning happens naturally while the kids have fun.” Why race? “I’m not competitive, I just like to do interesting things. It’s a great way to explore a new area, and somebody else puts out food and water, so I don’t have to stash my own.” On being a mom: “For so many years I had taught other people’s kids to ski, and then I got to teach my own! My girls swim in the same pond I swam in as a kid, play in the same trees and do the same jobs that my brother, Sam, and I did: helping skiers with rental equipment, passing out trail maps, mingling with guests at the lodge.” — Janet Essman Franz // photos by Mike Hitelman






I AM: Here’s your chance to be a part of the 2019 Killington Cup! Choose the word that best describes why you are a Superstar and write it down here.



Ski Instructor with Vermont Adaptive and Killington Resort

“MANY TIMES, WOMEN UNDERESTIMATE THEIR ABILITIES AND WITH SOME PATIENCE AND GUIDANCE, WE AS COACHES ARE ABLE TO BUILD THEIR CONFIDENCE AND HELP THEM CONQUER MORE OF THE MOUNTAIN.” On coaching women, and confidence “For many women, skiing is a social sport, a chance to spend time with friends and family. Many times, women underestimate their abilities and with some patience and guidance, we as coaches are able to build their confidence and help them conquer more of the mountain.”

Lindsey Harris has committed her life to helping others enjoy skiing as much as she does. A certified alpine ski instructor at Killington Resort, she also serves as an adaptive ski instructor with Vermont Adaptive and Pico Mountain. Harris has taught a wide gamut of adaptive lessons including blind, developmentally disabled, 3- and 4-track and sit ski. Off the slopes, she works as a pediatric physical therapist. Since being introduced to skiing by her mother at age 6 and learning alongside her sister at Liberty Mountain in their home state of Pennsylvania, the now-34year-old has racked up a wealth of skiing knowledge and experience that she now passes on to not only her students but also her own two children.

The challenge of adaptive lessons… “Similarly to alpine lessons, every adaptive lesson is unique. When teaching a ski lesson, the coach has to problem solve how to best connect with and teach the student. In an adaptive lesson, the coach must connect with the student, but also use the most optimal equipment and teaching technique for the student’s medical, emotional, and intellectual needs.”

… and the rewards “I’ve had so many special moments teaching adaptive lessons: enabling families to ski together, helping former skiers return to the sport after an injury or medical condition, and introducing a new sport to someone who needs time outside being active and feeling the great adrenaline rush that skiers live for. While not every lesson is easy emotionally, logistically, or physically, they all create special memories.”

Skiing with her children “My kids are able to explore most of the mountain and have become two of my favorite ski buddies, even if it means I’m carrying several pairs of skis, having pockets full of snacks and extra gear, and taking a million breaks!” — Adam White // photos by Chip Allen



Lift Mechanic, Stowe Mountain Resort

“I THINK IT WILL TAKE MORE WOMEN IN THE FIELD TO HELP ATTRACT OTHERS. I CAN HONESTLY SAY I’VE ONLY SEEN ONE RESUME FROM ANOTHER WOMAN COME ACROSS MY DESK.” What she loves about her job: “I love working outside! Every day is different. One day you could be rebuilding a gearbox the next doing tower maintenance, non-destructive testing, or splicing a haul rope. There is always something new to learn.” On attracting more women to the operations side of the industry: “I think it will take more women in the field to help attract others. I can honestly say I’ve only seen one resume from another woman come across my desk. When I first started working in the industry years ago there was a woman running the Lift Maintenance Department at Sugarbush. She definitely inspired me to pursue my career.”

A veteran of several ski industry jobs at resorts in both the East and West, Brooke Kasman spent 13 years at Stowe where she worked as a lift mechanic. Though she has interestingly never been on alpine skis, she spent a decade snowboarding before switching over to her current favorite way of getting down the mountain: Telemark turns. Her favorite run? “The one with the most powder,” she says with a laugh. Editors' Note: Brooke Kasman left Stowe Mountain Resort in summer 2019 to become lift maintenance supervisor at Crested Butte, Colorado.


A misconception about working in skiing: “I think people view working in the ski industry as a job to get them through college rather than a career. The reality is that there is plenty of opportunity for growth and development within the industry. I think it’s hard for people to see that at first. Most of us just love having a non-traditional job where we can work and play outside. We’ve definitely got the best office views! I would say to stick with it.” — Adam White // photo by Hans von Briesen


Photographer, Artist, Mother of two daughters

“I LOVE THE WINTER SEASON AND FEEL SO LUCKY TO BE ABLE TO SPEND LOTS OF TIME IN THE MOUNTAINS SKIING WITH MY FAMILY. SKIING IS DEFINITELY MORE THAN JUST A SPORT FOR ME AND MY FAMILY.” A native Vermonter who learned to ski at Bolton Valley Resort, Emily Johnson has carved turns all over the globe in faraway places such as The Andes, Iceland, Greenland and Norway. Since settling down in Moretown, she and her husband, Brian, have started their own skiing tribe: Emily “skied right into labor” with her first daughter, Maiana, and was back on snow with the kiddo tucked snuggly into a baby carrier 10 days later. Her second daughter, Nori, took her first steps and strapped on her first skis all in the same week. The family even has its own backyard rope tow!

What makes the Green Mountains special: “I love skiing in Vermont as it is always changing – conditions, weather, snow. It makes you a good skier and sometimes forces you to be creative, but there’s always something fun to do on any type of snow.” On skiing as a family: “For us skiing is not just a passion but a way of life. It is so much fun skiing with the girls and watching them progress. I love the winter season and feel so lucky to be able to spend lots of time in the mountains skiing with my family. Skiing is definitely more than just a sport for me and my family. It is a lifestyle, a way of life and a part of our livelihood.”

How teaching her daughters has helped her skiing: “It’s taught me to slow down and find fun little pathways in the mountains. I have my six-year-old follow my turns exactly as I help her find the best path, through thick trees or down moguls that are as tall as she is. It has also been a good exercise in patience.”

On the changing of the seasons: “Each year when my favorite ski season – spring skiing – comes to an end and the ski area closes down, there is a great sense of loss. We say goodbye to our favorite activity and many of our friends until the ski areas open again next season. Ski areas are just such a fun, easy and natural place for bringing people together.” — Adam White // photos by Brian Mohr



Ski Designer for Parlor Skis and Ski Tester


Born and raised in Montpelier, Vt., Caroline Kessler has had access to some of Vermont’s best skiing her entire life. She grew up following two older brothers down the mountain who taught her the courage and tenacity that she skis with today. Caroline is the textbook definition of an outdoor sports enthusiast and plainly put, she rips. Caroline went to the University of Vermont where she was the UVM Ski and Snowboard Club’s graphic designer. Her skills as an artist led her to design skis for Parlor Skis and do freelance work around the state.

On designing for Parlor Skis: “One of my friends started skiing for Parlor about three years ago and he asked me to design his first pair. After they saw his, they called and asked me if I wanted to work for them. This year is the first year that I’ve been in the lift line at Sugarbush and looked down next to me and found someone on a pair of skis that I designed. It’s pretty much a dream to get paid to draw other people’s skis.” Her weapons of choice “Growing up in Vermont, you end up wanting a ski that can do everything – because you end up on ice, in moguls and in the woods, you want a more playful ski. I grew up doing bumps and wanting to jump off everything so you definitely want a ski that’s more forgiving so you can do kind of dumb things and be okay.” What’s it like being a female ski tester? “Purely because of sample sizing, I end up testing more light weight, smaller skis. It makes it a little harder to assess because I’m testing a ski that’s not really my size. But I can adjust for that after a few runs. Usually there’s a rubric. Playfulness, stability, ability to cut through crud and versatility. The skis that do the best in tests are the ones that do everything pretty well.” — Travis Bobley // photos by Brooks Curran (CONTINUED on PAGE 16)





Snowmaker and Ski Patroller, Killington Resort


Natalie Manzi’s dual role at Killington resulted from her enrollment in Green Mountain College’s resort management program, which requires students to work in different departments at the resort each winter season. She began in lift operations before delving into snowmaking, which she says was “love at first sight.” She added ski patrolling to her resume two years later and now typically transitions from snow guns into her red patroller’s shell sometime after the Christmas holiday.

On the motivation behind her career: “Joining the ski industry is more of a lifestyle choice. If you’re wanting to be surrounded by nature and outdoor sports, it’s a good fit. It’s definitely not something you do if your only motivation is to get rich.” On being a part of Killington’s legendary snowmaking: “I believe the smiles on everyone’s faces those first few weeks of October plus the energy from the Audi FIS Women’s Ski World Cup says it all.” On women on the operations side of the sport: “Those are some pretty tough jobs – whatever the gender – it isn’t for everybody. The women that I’ve seen in snowmaking and Ski Patrol all share one thing in common: they love a challenge and have a positive attitude no matter what.” — Adam White // photo courtesy Natalie Manzi



President of Chicks On Sticks, University of Vermont Class of 2019

“CHICKS ON STICKS GIVES US THE OPPORTUNITY TO GET TOGETHER WITH OTHER WOMEN. THIS IS SOMETHING FUN WE ALL CAN SHARE, AND WE CAN PUSH EACH OTHER IN A DIFFERENT WAY.” Victoria Nash is the President of Chicks On Sticks, a group of female skiers and riders at the University of Vermont advocating for women’s empowerment in snow sports regardless of age or expertise. Chicks On Sticks provides and shares independent outdoor experiential knowledge as well as a welcoming community among women of all skills and ability levels. Upon graduating from UVM Victoria spent her summer participating in a staff training course to lead wilderness education trips in the Pacific Northwest.

What drove you to join and later run the club? “When I was a sophomore I was sitting at the Ski and Snowboard Club general meeting and the group founders got up and explained the idea of Chicks On Sticks. My jaw kind of dropped because as a sophomore I was still figuring things out. I couldn’t really find my place at UVM. This came into view and I was like, ‘okay, this is what I want to do.’ I got super involved, tried to do anything I could to take on more responsibilities and that put me on the track to being the president.

“As president, it’s cool to go up there now and talk about Chicks On Sticks and have girls come up to me like I did when I was a sophomore and tell me, ‘we saw you at general meeting and we’re so excited to join,’ because that’s what got me excited too! I’ve really come full circle – women lifting up other women is what it’s all about.” Is there a difference between skiing with guys versus girls? “Totally, I feel like that’s human nature though. When I ski with all guys I feel like ‘okay, gotta hang’ mostly because I don’t want to be teased for being slow. Growing up with three brothers definitely gave me more of an awareness to hold my own in competitive settings. “Other girls in the group have felt that pressure to not be slow. Chicks on Sticks gives us the opportunity to get together with other women. This is something fun we all can share, and we can push each other in a different way. Skiing with girls does a good job of recognizing each person’s differences and then allows us to use that to better one another – its more about building each other up. A lot of girls will come to our meetings and say ‘I’m so tired of skiing with guys. They’re great and fun but I’d love to change the pace.’ Not necessarily in a bad or good way, it’s just different. I think that’s what draws a lot of people.” — Travis Bobley // photo by Travis Bobley



Courtesy Burton

BRIDGET CHAIT is the first – and only – woman to build snowboards at the Craig Kelly Proto Facility at Burton’s flagship headquarters in Burlington, Vt. After more than a decade managing a snowboard shop near the base of Smugglers’ Notch Resort, she took a job at Burton and followed her heart into the company’s production facility. “My passion is in building and the creative design that goes with it,” she said. “I’m someone who works with my hands, so this is where I truly wanted to be.”


Courtesy Burton

The prototype facility is named after Craig Kelly, a Burton team rider and four-time World Freestyle Champion who was killed in an avalanche in 2003. “Craig was this smart, chill dude with a real connection to the heart and soul of the sport,” Chait said. “He would come in and tinker; he wanted to take everything and tweak it and make it better.” Kelly was also a close family friend of Chait’s. “My uncle used to ride with him. He’s got a strong tie with my family, so I feel a kind of push to live his legacy.”

Courtesy Burton

Roxy got to play a hands-on role in the production of her “signature” board. “She helped me set the edge and spread the resin around, and when it went into the press she got to stand on a ladder and push the button and see it go down and shape itself,” Chait said. “Then once it came out and I cut it out she got to stand on it and give the thumbs-up.” The process was not only fun, but also a learning experience. “She understands now that it’s not just something you pick out and buy at the store; there is a process to building it,” Chait said. “Now any time one of her little friends wants a snowboard she says, ‘don’t worry, my mommy can build you that.’”


Chait’s daughter, Roxy, was born in April of 2016. “I had been snowboarding for so long up until having Roxy that I was incredibly comfortable riding right up until I was eight and a half months pregnant,” Chait said. Born into the sport, Roxy was as comfortable “working” alongside her mother in the Burton shop as she was riding with her on the mountain. “When Roxy was 2, I used to take her splitboarding with me by pulling her in an innertube,” Chait said. “She liked it for only so long before stomping out of that innertube and saying, ‘why doesn’t my snowboard turn into skis?’ I said, ‘hmm, let’s figure that one out.’”

Courtesy Burton

MORE THAN EVER, WOMEN HELP WOMEN FIND THE PERFECT ALPINE MATCH Women’s-specific design isn’t exclusive to snowboarding. Ski companies also design and produce models exclusively for their female customers.

Wanting to use an existing blueprint so she wouldn’t have to build another press, Chait used a computer-aided drafting program to combine a 120cm “chopper” youth snowboard design and the specs for one of Burton’s existing splitboard builds. Hardware on that scale was non-existent, so Chait ordered the smallest bindings and base plates available – a women’s extra small – and engineered the first child’s splitboard of that size ever made. “It’s gotten a lot of hype in the backcountry forums,” she said. “People keep asking when Burton is going to launch it.” (CONTINUED on PAGE 22)

Rossignol was the first winter hardgoods supplier to start producing women’s products back in the mid-1990s and has had a woman running that division of its product line ever since. Matt Rihm, product manager for Rossignol North America, said variations in body shape and size – “Simply put, women are built differently than men,” – require distinct ranges of ski size and overall flex. Men’s skis typically range in length from 160–190cm, while most women’s skis fall between 145 and 175cm. Women’s skis also “tend to be thinner or use lighter weight materials to offer a softer flex pattern more appropriate for the intended skier’s weight,” according to Rihm.

Courtesy Burton

Interestingly, advancements in technology for women’s skis have also proved beneficial to their male counterparts. “Since we were trying to tailor products for smaller sized skiers than men, we started to explore lightweight materials first in women’s products,” Rihm said. “An interesting thing has happened; we realized that these lighter cores were actually working really well for larger-framed men at the same time. So even though we pushed for this to be a women’s-specific technology, you see a lot of our unisex/men’s skis using the same core profiles as they ski fantastic yet are very lightweight (and) agile.” While these advancements would seemingly make selecting the right ski easier than ever for women, Rihm said the in-store experience has been another challenge that has only recently been addressed. “Ski shops can be a bit overwhelming for women, filled with overly technical salesmen (read: men) that are selling you a new pair of skis,” Rihm said. “Over the past years those same shops have more and more women working the hardgoods floor, which can be a huge help to someone who might find the pushy salesmen intimidating. Finding a saleswoman that you are comfortable with can be a huge help to finding the right product.” Rihm said that trend of women-helping-women begins long before the point of sale and has helped ski companies such as his cater more than ever to this crucial demographic.

Courtesy Rossignol

“At Rossignol, we have dedicated women’s project managers and dedicated women’s ski testers, so from design to snow we have the right people guiding our products, making sure we produce what we feel is the perfect product for every customer.” — Adam White


(CONTINUED from PAGE 21`) Courtesy Michael Chait

The finished board fit perfectly into Roxy’s progression as a rider. “By the time we had this built, she was so strong as a rider that she made the jump to this bigger board and was able to really control it with her strength,” Chait said. “She was blown away with excitement.” The board was also engineered to grow with Roxy, with hardware that can be upgraded to accommodate her size and ability. “I can’t wait to see what she does next year, how she keeps going with it,” Chait said.

Courtesy Michael Chait

Chait said the encouragement to follow her heart into snowboarding came largely from her mother and grandmother, adding a special element to the sight of her own daughter following in her tracks. “It’s cool going down to a fourth generation with Roxy, perpetuating this love for the sport,” she said. Lessons and camps at Smuggs have helped give the youngster an even greater head start at riding than her mom had. “We’re seeing this generation come up that is starting so young, kids who are so talented and just want to be on snow,” Chait said. “Roxy is in a posse with six other girls, and they all wear tutus and rip the mountain. It’s an incredible thing to watch.”

Courtesy Burton


The process of engineering and building her daughter’s board illustrates the pride in craftsmanship that Chait and her co-workers take. “We all put our hands on every one of these boards,” she said. “It’s not this Willy Wonka, push a button and a board spits out. There is a lot of love and time put into all of them.” As someone equally driven to build great snowboards AND ride them, Chait gets a sort of supreme satisfaction out of what she does for Burton. “I think a lot about how much passion I put into building a snowboard,” she said, “and then it goes out into the world and someone buys it and rides it with the same love I put into it. It brings the whole thing full circle.”




PEPSI and the Pepsi Globe are registered trademarks of PepsiCo, Inc.

Nubian Empire Ski Club Brings Enthusiasm to the Slopes and Insight on Diversity to the Discussion Table By Adam White Photos by Rob England

March 31, 2019 was a rare day on which “The Sun Mountain,” Bromley, was missing its signature solar splendor. Rain fell steadily and the slopes were socked in by a thick blanket of fog. The weather wasn’t enough to dampen the spirits of the Nubian Empire Ski Club (NESC), visiting from Albany, N.Y. Despite Mother Nature’s best efforts to rain on their parade, the more than 30 members of the AfricanAmerican ski club felt right at home.

“Most of us learned to ski – and really honed our skills – here in Vermont,” said Peggie Allen, a founding member of the NESC and current president of its parent organization, the National Brotherhood of Skiers. The NESC may have carved


out its own traditions on Green Mountain ski trails, but the reality is that minorities are largely underrepresented in the ski industry specifically and the Vermont population in general. The most recent participation statistics released by Snowsports Industries America (SIA) show African-Americans making up only 7.3 percent of alpine skiers in the United States. The most recent census data reveals that AfricanAmericans comprise a mere 1.27 percent of Vermont’s population. While those numbers seemingly reinforce some painful stereotypes about skiing, the NESC regards Vermont as a comfortable and inviting place to enjoy the sport they love. “Vermont has always been a welcoming place for me to ski, and I’ve been coming here for a long time,” said longtime club member Jim McKamey. “I don’t think anybody has ever made me feel like I shouldn’t be here.” That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement, however. At the conclusion of their sublime-but-

soggy ski day at Bromley, Allen and McKamey – along with NESC president Omoye Cooper and several other club members – sat down with representatives from Ski Vermont and several of its member ski areas for a roundtable discussion about improving diversity in the industry. Getting started Several club members acknowledged that the very first hurdles occur within the AfricanAmerican community itself. Skiing has long been viewed as a “white sport” from both within and without. “Stereotypes die very hard, and it’s not just white people,” Cooper said, recalling when a black ski patroller named Phil Littlejohn first suggested she try skiing. “I’m like, ‘are you crazy? Black people don’t ski.’ It took a lot to get me out there.” Club member Clarisse Banks had trouble getting her own spouse to warm up to the idea. “When I first met my husband he was like, ‘you will never, ever, ever, ever see me on skis,’” Banks said. “Now he skis more than I do. Once

you get bit by that bug you really can’t stop.” ‘The looks’ “Regardless of whether it’s Vermont or out west, we constantly get the looks of, ‘oh, there are black people on the mountain – what are they doing here?’” Allen said. “Our club’s motto is ‘who says we don’t,’ because we constantly get that.” Allen said some of the most tangible moments of discomfort come on the chairlift. “You can tell when you get on the chairlift with somebody who feels really uncomfortable,” Allen said. “They’re sitting there (stiffly), looking straight ahead and not saying anything. “It’s hard, especially in the current political climate. They don’t know how to ask, ‘what’s going on here?’ without feeling as though they’re being disrespectful in some way.” Familiar faces The NESC members said another obstacle in removing the stigma about race and skiing is the prevalence of only white faces in ski resorts’ advertising and online presence. Club member Clarisse Banks took her family to Smugglers’ Notch Resort for Christmas one season and has since noticed African-American models in follow-up correspondence. “Now whenever we get materials from them, we keep seeing faces of people who look like us,” Banks said. “Being able to see yourself means a lot.” Staffing and diversity “In instances where I have been at a mountain and I haven’t felt comfortable – where I experienced

some slights – it wasn’t with the other skiers. It was the staff,” Cooper said. “I think part of outreach is to work with mountain staff to make sure they’re open to, and accepting of, diversity.” NESC member Jill Hayes said diversity within the resort staff itself is also important – provided it is not limited to only entry-level jobs. “The few resorts that I’ve gone to where there is staff of color, they always seem to be in certain positions – the maintenance, the housekeeping,” Hayes said. “You may see a lift attendant or a ski patroller, but you rarely seen them in administrative jobs such as sales.” Vermont’s lack of population diversity complicates the challenge of building a diverse staff. Banks responded with the idea of reaching out directly to African-American communities through their cultural events and organizations. “If the population is not here, you’re going to have to go to the place where it is,” Banks said. “It might mean you need to go into these communities during the summer.” The question was then raised whether

or not the purposeful inclusion of African-American models in advertising could be seen by members of the black community as forced. “It’s only gratuitous if I follow up and go to the mountain and I’m not treated like a regular customer,” Banks said, “or if I go there and the only people who look like me are the ones cleaning up or serving food in the cafeteria.” ‘A Melting Pot’ As the roundtable concluded, people on both sides of the conversation said it was enlightening and that they hoped such dialog could continue. Allen said it was the first time she had ever been asked by anyone in the industry to sit down and talk about diversity. McKamey walked out of the Bromley base lodge wearing a broad smile and marveling at skiing’s power to unite. “America is supposed to be a melting pot,” McKamey said. “Let’s stir it all up, because everybody is the same.” On the web: Check out this excellent video presented by REI about the formation and history of the National Brotherhood of Skiers:





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Photos by Craig Wetherby, @mistergoodlife

A trip to the mountains of Vermont can be transformative. That was certainly the case for a group of friends from New York City who made a mid-winter excursion to Sugarbush Resort to ride its mountain terrain, relax and take a break from the rigors of life in the Big Apple. Though they hail from very different backgrounds and live and work in one of the most diverse places on the planet, these friends – whose trip was documented by renowned hip hop and urban life photographer Craig Wetherby – agreed that Vermont is a welcoming destination offering an unforgettable experience.


Fitz Henley, 40 @fitztheworldcitizen Journalist, Filmmaker and Model On-air Travel Correspondent for Fox5 NYC Jamaican American Brooklyn native




Kelsey Adams, 28 @koolkelsey Model and Travel Show Host Beninese, Lebanese, Italian, British Virginia native and six-year resident of NYC


Akira Ruiz, 41 @akiraruiz Photographer Japanese, Puerto Rican Lifelong NYC resident born in Brooklyn


Alessandra Rivera, 30 @alessandra_rivera_hats Fashion Designer and Hat Maker Colombian-American Philadelphia native

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experience the state’s outdoor adventure scene By Adam White

have safe and enjoyable experiences in the Vermont outdoors, including on the state’s renowned ski slopes. Ski Vermont sat down with Keith to explore his own path to outdoor adventure, the genesis of GOAT and why the club is so crucial to opening the gateway to Vermont sports to LGBTQ men and women. SKI VERMONT: Tell us a bit about your own

experiences with the outdoors and how those gave rise to Get Out And Trek. KEITH OBERLIN: I would not have

Members of Get Out and Trek pose during a ski trip last season to Stratton Mountain Resort.

Photo courtesy Keith Oberlin

The joy of sliding on snow is not exclusive to any one group of people. The mountains are colorblind, and carving turns at speed delivers the same thrill to everyone regardless of age, ethnicity, background or sexual orientation. Opportunities to experience skiing and riding are not always presented to everyone in the same way, however. Vermont resident Keith Oberlin recognized a few years ago that as a gay man, he and many of his friends would be helped tremendously in their pursuit of outdoor fun and adventure if they joined together. United in a club, they could motivate and support each other to get outside and enjoy the dynamic sports scene that the Green Mountains offer. Keith followed through by creating Get Out and Trek – known more commonly by the popular acronym GOAT – as a club to promote camaraderie and help all involved

described myself as outdoorsy when growing up. Outdoor sports didn’t come naturally to me. I wasn’t the most coordinated kid. In fact, I was the last of my brothers to ride a bike and learn to ski … but something changed in my early 20s. I suddenly was throwing myself into the outdoors. I was the one planning trips with friends and coworkers. I organized ski trips for my rowing club and river trips for my whitewater kayaking buddies. About 10 years ago, I started visiting Vermont to snowboard and when my husband, Ben, and I needed a break from NYC we bought a home outside Manchester, VT. Two years ago, I create GOAT, Get Out And Trek, with the goal of opening the world of outdoor sports to the LGBTQ community. SV: Describe your experience with ski


clubs, especially those geared toward gay skiers and riders: How did you first become connected, what was your initial impression of the clubs and their trips, was the emphasis more on skiing/riding/ traveling itself or the shared social aspect of it all?

the rest of the year. I looked around outside of small non-profit clubs; no company existed for the gays that did this. I thought there is such a need in the gay community for more activities beyond bars and parties that really focus on the outdoors and outdoor sports. That was the beginning.

KO: I grew up fairly poor, and any club

seemed off-limits due to the expense. My outdoor adventures as a kid and even as a young adult were not organized. It was just me, my family, and sometimes friends. This “clubs aren’t for people like me” mentality started to erode after college when my interest and skill in outdoor sports seemed to explode. Seeking more friends that did outdoor things, I found a gay rowing club and started whitewater kayaking with a group. Those were my first experiences of grouprelated sports and each gave me a feeling of belonging and sense of community. My move to New York City was a challenge. I was single and without my outdoor community. It happened that I was at a NYC Gay Pride parade with a friend who pointed out a float for a gay ski club and told me I should try it. That winter I signed up for two trips, and my first trip – Vermont, coincidentally – was when I met my now-husband. After a while, I started leading trips for the club. The people I have meet over the years are some of my closest of friends. I’ve learned that well-managed clubs play a critical role in the gay community. They are a source of meaningful friendships, a place one might find their significant other, a safe space to be your authentic self and a place to learn and enjoy your sport. SV: What prompted you to start GOAT? KO: Get Out And Trek: The name says it

all regarding its purpose. I had a lot of fun with my rowing club and ski club and I made some great friends. I thought, why not extend that? Let’s do some biking, kayaking, hiking, and camping during


But GOAT is about more than trips. In all the time I was kayaking, I never met any gay people who were comfortable being out in the sport. I was the only one. I never saw gay athletes or outdoorsmen, I never saw the outdoor industry market to us. Basically, I didn’t see me in the outdoors. I started thinking about the challenges queer people might experience trying to enjoy the outdoors. With GOAT, I am creating a place where the LGBTQ community have a sense of belonging, where they are respected for the athlete, adventurist, and enthusiast they are, and where the barriers to accessing the outdoors are removed. Further, through GOAT, I seek to help change the outdoor industry into one that recognizes, supports, and celebrates the LGBTQ community. SV: What was your initial vision for

GOAT? How did that vision shape the formation of the company? Once the company was started, did you need to change aspects to better suit your participants’ needs/wants, or the markets/activities you were involved in? KO: I believe there’s an appetite in the

LGBTQ community for getting outdoors, and unplugging from a hectic world, with like-minded people. Our focus at GOAT was initially on moderately priced trips. And, trips that were not about skiing/boarding given the number of ski clubs and gay ski weeks that already existed. Last year we took groups kayaking, ziplining, rock climbing, etc. in Vermont, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New York. It was a way to introduce the community to

GOAT founder Keith Oberlin. Photo courtesy Keith Oberlin

GOAT and to non-winter sports as well as for us to see what people wanted. It was a huge success. Something that is very important to me, is listening. We ask our members for a lot of feedback. “What do you want to do? Where do you want to go?” We want to build trips people think are fun, are excited to go on and bring their friends on. It became clear that everyone wanted us to build ski trips. So, last year we added four ski trips (day trips from NYC, a weekend in Vermont, and a trip to Big Sky). And they all sold out. That was a significant statement. We’ll continue to listen and build trips people want to go on. SV: Talk about your experiences visiting

and skiing in Vermont as a gay man, and with groups such as GOAT. Do you feel like Vermont is a welcoming and inclusive place? Can you pinpoint experiences or memories that illustrate both its good and bad sides in this regard? KO: What can I say? I live here. Ben

and I have always felt welcomed in Vermont. I think that’s because Vermont encourages individualists. People who live their lives and let others – who may be different – do the same. Occasionally, is there some friction when NYC Gay Exuberance meets laid-back Vermont? It happens. Vermont isn’t always as reciprocally emotive and warm as the stereotypical gay traveler. But I believe that demonstrates the tension between Vermonters versus non-Vermonters and

challenges with tourism rather than about being gay. But regardless, any time I’ve interacted with the Vermont hospitality industry, I have had a great experience and have been treated with the utmost respect. It is for this reason I will be creating an annual ski trip to Stratton Mountain and look to build it to be a major event every winter.

The Peak of Winter

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SV: We talked briefly about nature as

a safe space, and the importance of that. Can you put into words your and your clients’ needs for such spaces and activities within them? Can you quantify the value/importance of the environment that skiing in Vermont provides, and what is unique about it compared to other places/activities? KO: Vermont is beautiful, with wonderful

people. It has a relaxed and genuine feel. It’s an ideal location if you’re an outdoor enthusiast in the NY/Boston metro areas and you want to get away and experience the best the outdoors offers. As far as I’m concerned, it’s perfect for the kind of trips GOAT wants to run. Vermont would be an ideal place to host an annual ski event and possibly an annual summer event celebrating the outdoors and everything Vermont.

Vermont’s Sun Mountain 3984 Route 11, Peru, VT, 6 miles from Manchester 802-824-5522


The queer community is complex and diverse. Even groups within the community don’t fully understand the needs of others within it. GOAT continues to grow in its understanding of what is needed to create truly safe spaces for all. Gender pronouns and roommate preferences are often the starting point but being open and willing to learn is the most important aspect of creating safe spaces for all parts of the LGBTQ community. I believe most Vermonters and Vermont business embrace the willingness to learn and grow and that’s what sets Vermont apart. On the web:




in P I C T U R E S

2018 –2019


A skier cuts a striking silhouette while descending Free Fall beneath the Challenger lift at Mount Snow Resort. Photo by Brett Miller


Naturally Epic

Photo credit: ŠBrian Mohr/EmberPhoto

TOP: A pair of young snowboarders express the joy of a perfect run as the Sunburst Six lift passes overhead at Okemo Mountain Resort. Photo courtesy Okemo Mountain Resort

A cross country skier enjoys some classic kick-and-glide on the trail network at Bolton Valley Resort. Photo by Justin Cash


A lucky skier gets the goods after dropping down from the summit ridge of Jay Peak Resort. Photo courtesy Jay Peak Resort



Alix Klein of Waterbury, Vt., navigates a dreamlike line on a powder day at Stowe Mountain Resort. Composite photo by Hans von Briesen


Instructor Aiden Shoemaker helps a young student ride the J bar during a lesson at Suicide Six Ski Area. Photo by Evan Kay


BOTTOM LEFT: Perfectly-groomed tracks make for smooth cross country skiing at Craftsbury Outdoor Center. Photo by Jeb Wallace Brodeur BOTTOM RIGHT: Ski film legend Glen Plake, foreground at right, leads a pack of skiers down Gazelle at Mad River Glen during his multi-ski-area tour of Vermont in Jan. 2019. Photo by Jeb Wallace Brodeur



Zach Anderson takes a ski bike spin down Bittersweet at Killington Resort. Photo by Martha Howe

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SIDEWAYS SLIDING TODDLERS How to introduce snowboarding to your young shredder By Sarah Wojcik, All Mountain Mamas Photos courtesy Sarah Wojcik

Why don’t we see more tiny snowboarders? I’m typically on skis myself, but it was a question that crossed my mind as I began to introduce snowsports to my toddler son. The typical answer from skiing parents is that skiing is easier to pick up as it gives young kids more freedom of movement. I wondered just how biased that assumption was as I watched my two-year-old son precariously use his wheeled xylophone as a skateboard in our living room. He seemed determined to slide sideways, on anything and everything, like it was built into his nature. Despite my son’s proclivity towards sliding sideways, we started his foray into snowsports with skiing. First with a pair of rentals at the age of one (mostly for the fun photo opp and stoke factor). His second season was spent on a borrowed set of plastic skis that go over his shoes. As skiing parents, starting him on skis was simply more convenient and comfortable for us. We knew what we were doing here, and it mimicked the gear we packed up every weekend and brought to the mountain, so he identified himself as a skier, just like us. That said, his sideways rolling persisted in the house.

AND SO BEGAN THE VENTURE INTO SNOWBOARDING. I always intended to introduce my son to multiple snowsports, but I definitely needed help with snowboarding. My

experience with the sport is limited to once every few years and my skill set is far from advanced. And I had lots of questions. How do you start a two-year-old on a snowboard? Can they balance? Focus? At what age do resorts offer snowboard lessons? After a quick internet search, I landed on two great resources: Burton Snowboards and Smugglers’ Notch Resort. Burton Snowboards introduced the Burton Riglet Reel in 2010, drastically increasing the accessibility to the sport for young shredders. The Riglet Reel attaches to a small snowboard and allows parents and instructors to guide children through obstacles on snow in a safe and fun way. Smugglers’ Notch features Burton’s Riglet tools in their rental fleet and lessons, and even has a dedicated Burton Riglet Park in their learning space. They also offer private Mom/Dad and Me lessons to introduce parents and kids to the sport. I knew what I had to do.

SMUGGLERS’ NOTCH MOMMY AND ME LESSONS I signed Ollie and myself up for a Mom and Me snowboard lesson at Smugglers’ Notch in early March of 2019. The lesson caters primarily to kids 3 to 5 years old and their somewhat experienced parents and focuses on assisting mom and dad in teaching their kiddos to snowboard while bonding and having fun.

I talked the lesson up to my son, Ollie, in the days leading up to it. At just two years old, I knew I was testing the age threshold, but his already growing love for snow and adventure kept me positive. He was super excited as we packed up gear and snacks and were shuttled from our slopeside condo to Smuggs’ Snow Sport University headquarters. After checking in, we got him outfitted with boots, a snowboard and a helmet and met our instructor, Allison. Allison clearly had a lot of experience with kids. She immediately entertained Ollie by pointing out the cool graphics on the board and asking him about his favorite colors and animals. We had been struggling a touch with him accepting his new gear, so it was a welcome distraction. On the way to the Burton Riglet Park I was also able to chat with Allison about expectations and what we’d be learning together today. She explained that we’d focus on getting Ollie comfortable with the gear and sliding on snow with instructor or parental assistance. Other than that, “It’s all about keeping it fun,” she said. A parent looking to start their kids on snow at a young age is looking


for a lifetime attachment so making it enjoyable for the kid is essentially the most important goal. Positive association will keep them wanting to come back and keep learning new things. We not only had a great instructor on our hands that day to help with that, we had sun, no wind and a lot of snacks. Once we arrived at the Riglet Park Allison and I got Ollie strapped into the board. She took his hand in one of hers and the Riglet Reel in the other and pulled him around to different features in the park, entertaining him while testing his balance. It was great to watch them as they explored the little brush features down low, and high-fived characters up high. He was doing well with squatting, balancing and reaching. The best part was seeing the beaming grin on his face as Allison pulled him up a teeter-totter ramp and he slid down the other side. Of course, with a two-year-old, it wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine. He eventually complained about being strapped to the board, and then didn’t like his boots, or the sun, or the color of his snowsuit. Breaks were taken. Silly games were played. Snacks were consumed. Together Allison and I improvised and went with the flow. We gave him a break from snowboarding and eventually put on his regular boots. He got back onto the board once more with Allison and eventually he and I played with another Burton tool, the Handlebar, which is a u-shaped bar that easily attaches to snowboards 80 cm to 110cm. I was able to pull him around on this and take him down the beginner hill while I wore my skis. All-in-all, a pretty good win for the first day. Throughout the lesson Allison stuck to her mantra of keeping it fun. I could tell though that she also knew that most customers want and expect solid results for the price of the lesson, $120 per hour. She never gave up trying to teach Ollie new skills and was 48

April) is a wonderful time to introduce a kid to sliding on snow, as the days get longer, warmer and sunnier.

persistent in her attempts to get him back on the board over and over again. It was clear she knew how to balance fun with actual education and Ollie and I both left the lesson feeling like we really achieved something. I gained new skills as a mother teaching her son to slide on snow, and he left thinking about how he can turn his xylophone into a snowboard. Win-win.

TIPS FOR BEING PREPARED WHEN TEACHING TODDLERS Outside of booking a great instructor at one of the many resorts in Vermont, one of the best ways to ensure a positive experience teaching kids to snowboard or ski, is to be prepared. I’ve learned most of these through trial and error, but you don’t have to! Manage your tools well, whether they are mental or physical, and you’ll be far better off than if you just wing it. Expectations? Lose them. Going into a lesson with a kid under four can be risky, and they can read the frustrating vibes you give off if you’re upset about how it’s going. You need to keep expectations pretty low if you want anyone to have an enjoyable time. And weigh the cost benefit ratio before investing in something like a lesson and rentals for a young shredder. If you don’t want to spend the money on the lesson without major results, opt to start them at 4 or 5, when they’re a bit more mature. Gear up. Cold or wet weather can take a tike down fast. Come with proper gear, and plenty of it, to make sure they are well protected from the elements. Or look for the bright spot in the weather when booking. Later season (March/

Bring snacks. Hunger is another fun killer. It’s hard to focus with a growling stomach and learning a new sport takes a lot of energy. Keep easy snacks on hand or slip in a hot chocolate break when you see your kid's mood heading downhill fast. These moments sharing pretzels and cocoa together can be just a memorable as the on-snow activities. Don’t brush them off. Embrace them. Keep it fun. Like Allison said – the fun factor matters. Don’t put too much pressure on you or your kid. Stay playful and your kiddo will likely follow suit.

THE RIGHT RECIPE FOR SNOWBOARDING SUCCESS So what have we learned? Just like you can’t bake a (good) cake without sugar, you can’t teach a kid to snowboard without fun. I found the best recipe for a successful snowboard lesson with a toddler is one part awesome instructor, one part patient parent, sick snowboard Riglet gear from Burton, a profound program from Smugglers Notch, and of course, snacks. Lots and lots of snacks.

MORE INFO… Visit to learn more about lesson programs at other ski areas in Vermont. Visit to learn more about the Mommy and Me lessons. Visit to learn more about Riglet Snowboarding and to find a Riglet Park near you. Visit Sarah and her gang of mamas at for more stories and tips about skiing and snowboarding with family in Vermont.

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Photos courtesy Candice White (skier), Barrie Fischer (beer)

The Idyllic Ski Day

by Candice White



hen it comes to beer, Vermont’s aprés ski scene has traveled a great distance. As a Bostonian spending winter weekends in Vermont in the ’90s, I recall saddling up to the bar at Mad River Glen after a ski day to sip down one of two early adopters of Vermont craft beer. The full-flavored Long Trail Ale in its brown glass bottle, and the playful hints of spice and fruit in Magic Hat #9, were decidedly different from the market-dominating national brands familiar to me. I knew little to nothing about beer, but recognized these craft beers offered a vastly superior experience that could truly crown a day of skiing. Nowadays, Vermont craft beer has exploded, with breweries and tasting rooms (66 and counting) occupying significant real estate in and near our ski towns. The choices of beer to consume after a day of skiing are mind-boggling, both at the mountain and in their neighboring breweries. This past winter, I made a pilgrimage to a handful of Vermont ski towns, pairing a day on the snow with an afternoon in the beer hall. Here is the lowdown on what I found: When I think of Killington Resort, I think of late spring skiing and the Women’s World Cup. On a recent visit there on a midweek spring day, my galpal Barrie and I sought out sunshine and corn snow, and a few World Cup laps of our own. An introductory ride in the new, ultra-quiet gondola cabins of the K-1 Gondola allowed us to plan our path over to Bear Mountain, rumored to have the softest turns. Our journey took us on a lovely, meandering Bear Cub which toured us around the far edge of the resort to the Bear Mountain Quad. Sunshine-filled rides to the top allowed us to sample Outer Limits, and then settle on Skyeburst and Wildfire, two soft and slushy trails that yielded long, curving repeat runs of hero turns. Spring conditions can make you feel you are a better skier than you actually are, so our egos sent us forth to Superstar, the site of the Women’s World Cup races in November. The soft, deep, man-made snow conditions were thankfully far different than what Mikaela Shiffrin raced on her way to the podium las year (more of that coming in 2019 and 2020). And while Mikaela’s gaze was likely on the race gates, ours was on the spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.

Within 20 minutes of Killington’s base area is Long Trail Brewing Company, Vermont’s craft brewing pioneer. Originally called Mountain Brewers, Long Trail has been making craft beer since 1989. We sat down at a sunny picnic table in a window overlooking the Ottauquechee River, and placed ourselves in the hands of Ray, our friendly veteran server. Ray brought us several tasting flights so we could sample everything on tap, including favorites Long Trail Ale; Vermont IPA; Double Bag; and Limbo. Long Trail is also celebrated in the ski community for brewing Flyin Ryan IPA, a beer that donates back to the Flyin Ryan Foundation, supporting young athletes who embrace the ideals of its namesake. To accompany our tasting, Ray brought a plate of Lavash crackers, made with the beer’s spent grains. And in short order, a pair of heaping Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Kale Salads and a plate of Jumbo Chicken Wings arrived. Was it the sunshine, the rushing river, the after-glow of skiing, or the headiness from our beers that created this pleasant afternoon? Regardless, it was a recipe to be repeated. A cold Monday in late winter offered an inch of fresh snow and virtually no lines at Stowe Mountain Resort. Skiing with a fast-paced posse of doctors in town for a conference, my companion John and I made long laps on Perry Merrill and Gondolier via the gondola before venturing over to the Fourrunner Quad. Though the Fourrunner exposed us to the winter elements, it paid off with intermittent snow stashes on Liftline, National, and Starr. The erratic weather that gave us morning sunshine and mid-day clouds settled on snow, and dropped a pristine white blanket atop Perry Merrill and Gondolier for our last, prized runs. As our group de-booted for an afternoon of medical presentations, we prepped for aprés, round two. The Trapp Family Lodge Bierhall is a 10-minute drive into Moscow Valley, where the afternoon sun capped wide-open views of the 2500-acre property which offers cross country and backcountry skiing and snowshoe trails. We ordered several beer flights to try the seven beer varieties the Trapps are brewing in their squeaky-clean brewery. Most of the samples transported us to Austria – the dark Dunkel with the Munich malt; and the lighter Vienna, Helles, and Pilsner – while the Resilience IPA, brewed in (CONTINUED on PAGE 53)


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Another midweek spring day rewarded John and me with sunshine and a few inches of fresh snow at Jay

r t.


We returned to Trapp Family Lodge the next day to sample their vast trail network. Our venture to the Cabin – a warming hut with a stoked fire serving soups and snacks – via Sugar Road, Yerrick’s Yodel, and the Cabin Trail, gave my rusty skate-skiing technique a vigorous uphill awakening. After a restful chat with several other Cabin mates, our mostly downhill route back to the touring center along Haul Road offered a relaxed conclusion to our ski. A few hours on these trails and you’ve truly earned your aprés.

Riding our spring-skiing buzz, we hopped in our car and headed 20 minutes north to Kingdom Brewery in Newport. Kingdom Brewery is fairly remote and decidedly unpretentious, a warehouse building on the outside, that once indoors, feels like walking into your neighbor’s kitchen. Tina, the cheerful plaid-shirted bartender, was gliding to and fro behind the bar, carrying on conversations with customers, including the owner’s mother perched on a barstool. Tina guided us through the diffuse list of beers on tap, scrawled in colored chalk on a blackboard behind the bar, including: Tucker IPA, Hipster Kingdom P ay Raspberry Espresso Milkshake J y es ur t Co IPA, Billy Goat IIPA, Bear r t. Re s o Jay Peak Mountain Toasted Coconut Milkshake Stout, and Granny’s Apple Pie. Since many of the beers are high in alcohol and have distinct flavors, a tasting size is perfect. Once indoctrinated, my second round was a full pour of the Tucker IPA, served in a glass cowboy boot. For insight into owners Brian and Jenn Cook, look no further than their twosided business card, whose front lists Brian as “owner and brewmaster”, and whose back lists Jenn as “head brewer” with the slogan “making the beer my husband gets credit for.” Re

Though the Alchemist Brewery was founded in Waterbury, they recently opened this high-octane brewery and visitor center in Stowe in 2016. Widely known for its award-winning Heady Topper, an IPA with 8 percent alcohol, the brewery pours complimentary beer samples, and sells beer four-packs and attitude-heavy T-shirts and hats to take away. You can’t actually drink a full beer here (due to Vermont’s liquor laws) but you can have several healthy pours of what’s on draft. The afternoon we visited, we tasted Focal Banger and Alena, both nice IPA-style beers with 7+ percent alcohol.


“I soon realized that sitters are losers on this tram as the views, visible only from a standing position, were remarkable in all directions.”

Peak Resort. We began on the Aerial Tram, chatting with the pleasant operator as we glided to the 4,000 foot peak. Despite the several benches available I soon realized that sitters are losers on this tram as the views, visible only from a standing position, were remarkable in all directions: To the west, we could see Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks; to the north, Lake Memphremagog; to the east, New Hampshire’s Presidential Range; and to the south, Camel’s Hump. From the top, we enjoyed several sun-filled groomed runs on Vermonter and Montrealer, though the real pay-off came in the Stateside area off the Jet Triple, on Jet and Haynes, two top-to-bottom expert runs with forgiving moguls.


collaboration with Sierra Nevada to support those affected by the California Camp Fires, tasted more like a full-bodied Vermont craft beer. The Austrian style sausages and local cheeses paired nicely with the beer, and the shaved radish our adorable Von Trapp host insisted we try was downright surprising.





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Sugarbush and Mad River Glen have been my could be the best in the East, for its bad-ass narrow neighborhood mountains since 2003, when I moved vertical juxtaposed with its public scrutiny under the my family to the Mad River Valley. I feel single. I have two stand-out memories this at home in the Vermont vernacular season – in late November, when the style of Sugarbush’s Lincoln snow kept falling, and Liftline was Peak, whose base area is empty of skiers yet full of snow. punctuated with barns, And midseason, on a powder farmhouses, a silo, and a day, when my friend Isabel cow (not live). I like the and I eyed a fairly barren food-truck-style options Liftline from the trees around the courtyard and gave it a try. Score. that offer a perfect latte (with foam design), as Along with his wife well as a crepe monsieur. Karen, Mad River I like the views that reach Glen naturalist Sean across Lake Champlain to Lawson opened Lawson’s the Adirondacks from atop Finest Liquids Brewery t ,V d l the Heaven’s Gate Triple and and Taproom in Waitsfield fie Se it s r vi Wa ng Mt. Ellen’s Summit Quad on a in 2018. Made famous for its Sip s in up d i Verm qu st Li o nt b r ews at L awson’s Fine clear day. And I have many favorite of Sunshine IPA in the yellow can, runs, including crowd-pleasers SnowBall and Lawson’s welcomes you inside through glass Spring Fling, and adrenaline-driving FIS at Mt. Ellen. doors splashed with a carved-wooden sunshine. The This season, however, I fell in love with Stein’s Run. glorious post-and-beam-style taproom is broken up First, in early season when natural snow blanketed into cozy spaces – a game nook behind the fireplace Stein’s, giving way to a long, steep and glorious where kids often play, a u-shaped bar where locals claim ski. Then, as the season progressed, I found a line their stool, community picnic tables, and a retail space. on Stein’s beneath the low-energy snow guns that Lawson’s pours around 12 beers of their creation, and delivered what felt like my own private snow storm. while I struggle to get beyond the ultra-satisfying Sip Again. And again. of Sunshine, many other beers are worthy of becoming favorites, including Sugarhouse IPA, The Space in Between, Double Sunshine IPA, and Chinooker’d IPA. “Made famous for its Sip of Sunshine IPA Local charcuterie, cheeses and pretzels are available in the yellow can, Lawson’s welcomes as appetizers, and live music plays on select Mondays.

you inside through glass doors splashed with a carved-wooden sunshine.”

If Sugarbush is clean Vermont style, then Mad River Glen is the down and dirty version. The base lodge is original, since 1948, and while the famed single chair was replaced in recent years, it was done to precisely replicate its predecessor. Details do not go unnoticed here, from the hip music playing in the base area and at mid-station, to the bar’s forward-looking beer list, to the sign out front on which the message changes with the mountain’s mood. Many regulars here prefer skiing in the trees, but my best runs are on piste. While Antelope and Canyon are two of my favorites, Liftline


There are currently more breweries per person in Vermont than in any other state in the country. Vermont beer is in a sweet spot, and is quickly becoming an industry that is as integral to its residents and visitors as skiing. So what does all this mean to fellow skiers and riders? There is no better place to seek out your idyllic ski day – whether that includes downhill challenge, show-stopping views, or historic ambiance – and then top it off with a couple of cold beers, than in Vermont. Candice White is a communications consultant and writer who lives in Waitsfield.

Photo Credit: Drew Vetere / Long Trail Brewing Co.


THE TIME OF OUR LIFE: 50 YEARS OF SKI VERMONT Vermont boasts some of the most well-known superlatives in the industry, like America’s first rope tow, birthplace of the National Ski Patrol, and most winter Olympians per capita. As a special celebration of the Ski Vermont/Vermont Ski Areas Association’s golden anniversary, we pay homage to our past with a few unique nuggets and milestones uncovered from the last half century.

1982 1976 1969

Joe Parkinson, the General Manager of Glen Ellen Ski Area (now part of Sugarbush Resort), is hired to lobby in Montpelier on behalf of the ski industry. Ski Vermont is established on State Street in an office where it still operates today.


The first full-time US ski academy, the Burke Mountain Academy, is founded in a remodeled farmhouse and quickly gains fame for its specialty in turning high school ski racers into gold medal Olympians.


The recession and fuel shortages that kept skiers close to home compel Okemo Mountain Resort to purchase a 10,000-gallon tank and become a licensed dealer, guaranteeing gas for its guests.


Summer programming begins in earnest at Smugglers’ Notch Resort, thanks to the 1976 Summer Olympic Games in Montreal. Visitors to the Games are offered a vacation package at the resort that includes transportation and entry to Olympic events as well as supervised, daytime activities for their children including swimming, hiking, nature and crafts.


Craftsbury Outdoor Center hosts the inaugural Craftsbury Marathon, a cross country ski race that attracts participants ranging from local enthusiasts to World Cup and Olympic racers. An annual tradition in Craftsbury, the marathon now comprises a weekend-long festival with skate and classic races of varying distances for men and women.

After four decades of construction, the last section of Vermont’s 351-mile Interstate highway system opens, providing drivers from across the country with quick access to its popular ski areas.


Suicide Six Ski Area hosts the National Snow Snurfing Championship and roughly 150 snurfers compete in the downhill and giant slalom events, helping shape the sport we now know as snowboarding.


Stratton Mountain Resort becomes the first ski area in Vermont to allow snowboarding. Jake Burton Carpenter had founded his pioneering namesake snowboard company in Stratton six years earlier and would hike the mountain to test his early prototypes there.


Ski Vermont works with the Vermont Legislature to review contentious permitting policies for withdrawing water for the state’s expansive — and growing — snowmaking systems, balancing the protection of natural resources and offering consistent snow conditions and a long season.

2015 2009 Magic Mountain comes back to life as part of southern Vermont’s historic “Golden Triangle” of ski resorts after being closed since 1991 during a tough real estate market and economy.

Bolton Valley Resort becomes the second ski area in the country, and the first in Vermont, to install a wind turbine on its mountain. The Northwind 100 near the top of the Vista Quad chairlift is projected to produce 300,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually.



1997 1988

Ski Vermont forms longstanding partnerships with Cabot and the state’s tourism and agriculture departments, introducing visitors and skiers to Vermont, enticing them to try “The World’s Best Cheddar,” and ultimately creating the slopeside Specialty Food Tour.


Un Blanco Gulch opens as the first terrain park in the East, creating a freestyle movement that has become a huge part of the Mount Snow Resort’s identity. Sixteen years later the resort would move park operations to Carinthia, now the largest terrain park in the East with 100 acres of features.


Skiers form the Mad River Glen Cooperative to buy the mountain and preserve its unique character which, today, includes being America’s only major skier-owned ski area.

Gordon “Mickey” Cochran, patriarch of Vermont’s famous “Skiing Cochrans,” passes away at age 74. Following his death, Cochran's Ski Area becomes a nonprofit and procures a 49-year lease to operate in its original location behind the Cochran family home.


Middlebury College Snow Bowl becomes the first carbon neutral ski area and ski team in the country.


The Single Chair at Mad River Glen undergoes a $1.8 million historic restoration. Its mission to maintain and preserve the unique experience leads MRG to become the only ski area listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Jay Peak Resort opens the first — and so far, only — indoor waterpark at a Vermont ski area. The 50,000-square-foot Pump House is located in the Tramside area at the base of the mountain.

In partnership with Efficiency Vermont, ski areas across the state undertake the largest snowmaking upgrade in history, swapping out 1,800 old, inefficient snow guns for 2,300 high-tech, low-energy models that use 85-percent less energy.


World Cup ski racing returns to the eastern U.S. for the first time since 1991, and the first in Vermont since 1978 at Stratton. The Killington Resort event sets a record for American attendance and celebrates U.S. Ski Team superstar and Burke Mountain Academy alum Mikaela Shiffrin as slalom winner for three years running.


Rikert Nordic Center becomes the first cross country ski center in the East to install a fully piped snowmaking system, covering 5km of trails.


Vermont Adaptive opens the Andrea Mead Lawrence Lodge at Pico Mountain, one of the only year-round adaptive sports facilities in Vermont and New England. The lodge houses the organization’s headquarters and is the hub for year-round programming across southern and central Vermont.

2019/2020 Ski Vermont celebrates its 50th season!


Visitors pose for a portrait while skiing at Mount Snow Resort. Photo courtesy Mount Snow Resort


The Green Mountain State has more job opportunities than it has people to fill them. Scott has made expanding the workforce one of the top priorities of his administration. To assist tourists in becoming residents then VDTM Commissioner Wendy Knight created the Stay to Stay Weekends program.

Skiing adds another level of enticement to Vermont’s Stay to Stay Weekend program

“Stay to Stay Weekends are designed to give people who are interested in moving to Vermont connections to those people in Vermont that can facilitate their move,” Knight said.

By Martin Griff

Vermont: It’s a nice place to visit and you absolutely should want to live there. That’s the message coming from Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing (VDTM) via its Stay to Stay program. 58

“We know that a lot of outdoor recreationalists come to Vermont and really enjoy the quality of life and the access to outdoor activities. While visiting they think about how they might move here. The program was designed with those people in mind,” Knight said. While the Stay to Stay Weekends is a state level program, local partners including chambers of commerce and regional

development associations are key to the program’s success. Knight based the program on her experiences as a child whose family moved around a lot. “I was always the new kid in school. And I remember how important it felt to me when families in the community would make me feel welcome. I remember the Welcome Wagon ladies coming to our door, and they’d bring a basket of information and coupons about the area,” Knight said. Local organizations host a welcome reception on Friday night during Stay


to Stay Weekends. VDTM provides a packet with general state information, including maps and a vacation guide. The local chamber works with their partners and businesses to fill the packet with local information.

Mount Snow Resort. Photo courtesy Mount Snow Resort

“The ski weekend option is a second way to market the program. We do a lot of digital advertising and social media marketing and now we have an ability to do on site marketing at ski resorts,” Knight said. Stay to Stay Ski Weekend receptions are held on Saturday nights so that those who learn about the program while skiing on Saturday can attend. Mississippi native Jacqueline Posley calls her relocation to Vermont “serendipitous.” She discovered the Vermont Stay to Stay Weekends program while doing a Google search of the best places for millennials to live. “I just really wanted to live somewhere that was welcoming on a city and state level, because that’s not something I felt while living in Mississippi. I was looking for something that fit a lot better socially and politically,” Posely said. “I came across the Stay to Stay program on the Vermont tourism website. I was looking at several places, including Seattle and San Diego. Vermont just made me feel a lot more welcomed to a new environment with an actual structured program.”

“The reception is designed to give a huge welcome to people who are interested in coming to Vermont, and the room is filled with key people in the community that can help them including realtors, people from the schools and businesses that are hiring,” Knight said. On Saturday and Sunday, guests can connect with the people that they’ve met the night before, line up job interviews, have an organized visit with a realtor or they can just explore the region as a tourist. On Monday, participants can go on job interviews or visit collaborative workspaces. “We have a lot of entrepreneurs in Vermont and a lot of people can work remotely away from big cities if they choose to live in Vermont – so they can see the facilities that support that type of work lifestyle,” Knight said.

Stay to Stay Weekends began in April of 2018. As the program evolved organizers partnered with the ski industry to reach out to snowsports enthusiasts.


The current schedule of Vermont Stay to Stay weekends can be found at

You Burlington ANY QUESTIONS? Ski More. Drive Less.



30 minutes from Burlington and Montpelier Most Extensive Night Skiing in Vermont Best Slopeside Apres Ski this side of the Pecos! bolto

There is no cost to attend the networking receptions or meetings with employers, realtors, or co-making spaces. Participants are responsible for their own lodging and transportation.

Posely has somewhat of a skiing background. She went to boarding school in northern Georgia near the Appalachian Mountains. “I was able to ski there but it’s totally different here. I know the basics. I can start and stop which everyone is impressed by, but I won’t say I’m a skier yet, because that’s a bold statement if you live in Vermont,” she said.










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Visit the Ski Vermont resort finder to find your perfect destination ALPINE SKI AREAS 1. Bolton Valley 2. Bromley Mountain 3. Burke Mountain 4. Cochran’s Ski Area 5. Jay Peak Resort 6. Killington Resort 7. Lyndon Outing Club 8. Mad River Glen 9. Magic Mountain 10. Middlebury Snow Bowl

11. Mount Snow Resort 12. N ortheast Slopes 13. Okemo Mountain Resort 14. Pico Mountain 15. Quechee Ski Area 16. S mugglers’ Notch Resort 17. Stowe Mountain Resort 18. Stratton Mountain Resort 19. Sugarbush Resort 20. Suicide Six


13 35


9 28

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42 17


Rutland 


24 Brattleboro 

21. Blueberry Hill Ski Center 22. Blueberry Lake XC 23. Bolton Valley Nordic Center 24. Brattleboro Outing Club 25. B urke Dashney Nordic Center 26. C atamount Trail Assoc. 27. Craftsbury Outdoor Center 28. G rafton Trails & Outdoor Center 29. Hazen’s Notch Association 30. Jay Peak Nordic Center 31. K ingdom Trails Nordic Adventure Center 32. M emphremagog Ski Touring Foundation 33. M ountain Meadows XC Ski & Snowshoe Center 34. Mountain Top Inn & Resort 35. Okemo Valley Nordic Center 36. Ole’s Cross Country Center

37. Prospect Mountain Nordic Ski Center 38. Quechee Ski Area 39. Rikert Nordic Center 40. S leepy Hollow Inn Ski & Bike Center 41. S mugglers’ Notch Nordic Center 42. S towe Mountain Resort XC Ski Center 43. Strafford Nordic Center 44. S tratton Mountain Nordic Center 45. Timber Creek XC Ski Area 46. T rapp Family Lodge XC Ski Center 47. Viking Nordic Center 48. W ild Wings Ski Touring Center 49. W oodstock Inn & Resort Nordic Center Catamount Trail



BOLTON VALLEY Bolton Valley, VT 802-434-3444

BROMLEY MOUNTAIN Peru, VT 802-824-5522

BURKE MOUNTAIN East Burke, VT 802-626-7300

JAY PEAK RESORT Jay, VT 802-988-2611

VERTICAL.......................... 1,704'


VERTICAL.......................... 2,011'

VERTICAL.......................... 2,153'



LIFTS/TRAILS....................... 5/50

LIFTS/TRAILS....................... 9/81

TRAIL ACREAGE..................... 300

TRAIL ACREAGE......................178

TRAIL ACREAGE......................270

TRAIL ACREAGE..................... 385

MAD RIVER GLEN Waitsfield, VT 802-496-3551

MAGIC MOUNTAIN Londonderry, VT 802-824-5645

MIDDLEBURY SNOW BOWL Hancock, VT 802-443-7669

MOUNT SNOW RESORT West Dover, VT 800-664-6535

VERTICAL.......................... 2,037'



VERTICAL.......................... 1,700'

LIFTS/TRAILS....................... 5/54

LIFTS/TRAILS....................... 6/50


LIFTS/TRAILS..................... 20/86

TRAIL ACREAGE..................... 120

TRAIL ACREAGE..................... 205

TRAIL ACREAGE..................... 120

TRAIL ACREAGE..................... 600

PICO MOUNTAIN Killington, VT 802-422-6200

QUECHEE SKI AREA Quechee, VT 802-295-9356

SMUGGLERS’ NOTCH RESORT Jeffersonville, VT 802-332-6841

STOWE MOUNTAIN RESORT Stowe, VT 802-253-3000

VERTICAL.......................... 1,967'


VERTICAL.......................... 2,610'



LIFTS/TRAILS....................... 3/13

LIFTS/TRAILS....................... 8/78

LIFTS/TRAILS................... 13/116

TRAIL ACREAGE..................... 468

TRAIL ACREAGE..................... 100

TRAIL ACREAGE......................310

TRAIL ACREAGE..................... 485



LYNDON OUTING CLUB Lyndonville, VT 802-626-8465

SUGARBUSH RESORT Warren, VT 802-583-6300

SUICIDE SIX SKI AREA Woodstock, VT 802-457-6661

COCHRAN’S SKI AREA Richmond, VT 802-434-2479






LIFTS/TRAILS....................... 3/24

LIFTS/TRAILS......................... 3/8

LIFTS/TRAILS....................... 2/10

TRAIL ACREAGE..................... 581

TRAIL ACREAGE..................... 100

TRAIL ACREAGE....................... 15

TRAIL ACREAGE....................... 32



KILLINGTON RESORT Killington, VT 802-422-6201 VERTICAL..........................3,050' LIFTS/TRAILS................... 22/155 TRAIL ACREAGE.................. 1,509

OKEMO MOUNTAIN RESORT Ludlow, VT 800-78-OKEMO VERTICAL..........................2,200' LIFTS/TRAILS................... 20/121 TRAIL ACREAGE..................... 667

STRATTON MOUNTAIN RESORT Stratton Mountain, VT 800-STRATTON VERTICAL..........................2,003' LIFTS/TRAILS..................... 11/99 TRAIL ACREAGE......................670


NORTHEAST SLOPES East Corinth, VT 802-439-5789 VERTICAL.............................360' LIFTS/TRAILS....................... 3/12 TRAIL ACREAGE....................... 35






Goshen, VT



Warren, VT



Bolton Valley, VT



Brattleboro, VT



Burke, VT



Williston, VT






Craftsbury Common, VT



Grafton, VT



Montgomery Ctr., VT



Jay, VT



Lyndonville, VT



Derby, VT



Killington, VT



Chittenden, VT



Ludlow, VT



Warren, VT



Woodford, VT



Quechee, VT



Ripton, VT



Huntington, VT



Jeffersonville, VT



Stowe, VT



Strafford, VT



Stratton Mountain, VT



West Dover, VT



Stowe, VT



Londonderry, VT



Peru, VT



Woodstock, VT



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A skier sees the forest through the trees at Magic Mountain Ski Area. Photo courtesy Eric Fitzgerald


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KNOW NO LIMITS Cross every boundary, know no limits. Designed for all terrain adventure on every side of the resort, the allnew EXPERIENCE range offers the perfect blend of power, precision, and playful versatility from the back bowls of Vail to the slopes of Val d’Isère. Experience the playful fluidity to drift, smear, and carve; the pure snow contact and stability for ultimate control. Experience all-mountain freedom.