Jaw-Dropping Kid Athletes
Mad River Valley’s Coolest Bars
Riemergasse Park’s Pedigree Magazine
The Finest Natural Setting in Vermont
The Finest Natural Setting in Vermont
Tough Cookies We talk training and turns with some of the top athletes from the skiing and riding world, who all honed their skills on Sugarbush terrain. But here’s the real kicker: They’re all under 18. By Sarah Tuff
Greatest Hits of the ’90s home of the latest and greatest features, Sugarbush’s riemergasse Park certainly makes the scrappy beginnings of freestyle snowboarding look like a far and distant memory. But we show you just how relevant old school is here today with four modern features that pull inspiration from the early days of riding. By JeSSe huffman
pubLIsher Jessica Kaiser edItOrIaL editorial Director ryan Brandt Managing editor Catherine Shane
research & Copy editor Joni Lacroix
D e partM e ntS
editorial Coordinator Jackie Leavitt art & prOduCtIOn art Director aimee Skidds
LInes 8 InsIde One on one with Owner and President Win Smith. the WIre 10 Off a look at Sugarbush’s long-term effort to clean up four of its mountain streams.
associate Designers michele Keane, anna nadeau
LIvIng 12 MOuntaIn Inside what makes David and Lynn newton’s condo, located at The farms
associate ad Designer Liz metsch
development in Warren, so family friendly.
14 Practicing tightrope walking, getting elbow-deep in the arts, and other aspects suMMertIMe
of area summer camps that blow traditional ones out of the water.
& CuLture 16 arts a look at a few of the wares and specialty items found at the Waitsfield farmers’ market.
18 après Welcome to the Valley’s most novel bar and lounge settings. Did we mention the beanbag chairs?
sugarbush CLOse-up 34 Valley essentials, mountain details, and the calendar of events to round out
production Manager & photo editor Jessica Crocker Sifferlen advertIsIng Vice president of Sales Joshua Weis Sales Director Dyke Shaw Sales Manager elizabeth Gallagher for advertising information, please contact
© hawthorn Publications 2011 all rights reserved
(Home) sandy macys; (performers) mike ridell
650 Islington Street Portsmouth, nh 03801 603.610.0533 hawthornpublications.com
Welcome, friends: September 2011 marks the 10-year anniversary of our ownership of Sugarbush resort. Since then, we have had countless powder days, watched our families grow, had great times with good friends, and welcomed new members into the Sugarbush community. While I would be hard-pressed to pull some of my favorite memories from the last decade, I can cite a few from this past season thanks to my blog – called “Win’s Word” – that I keep on Sugarbush.com. What follows is a brief snapshot of the past winter as conveyed through my regular (sometimes daily) postings. Cheers, Win not only celebrates 10 years at Sugarbush Resort in September, but his recent marriage to wife, Lili, in August.
Win Smith Owner and President, Sugarbush resort
11/22 “I went up with John Hammond [VP of Mountain Operations] and two of our patrollers to check out the snowmaking and make my first turns of the season. The temperatures of the past three days really were favorable, and our snowmaking team did a great job… Happy Thanksgiving!”
3/1 “I was particularly pleased to ski on Sunday with two college classmates and show them around Lincoln Peak and Mt. Ellen. They not only complimented our conditions, but also our friendly and helpful teammates.”
4/5 “With 112 days now, I am really starting to get tired of skiing. It is time to wrap up the season, shut the lifts, and go to the beach. Now if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. But this does seem like the Energizer Bunny winter, it just keeps snowing and snowing.”
12/9 “We’re gearing up for a big weekend with open terrain for all abilities, the ribbon-cutting for our two new Ski and Ride School buildings at Lincoln Peak, and all our SugarBash festivities, including Pairing of the Passions, live music and dancing, and more. Come join us for an excellent weekend of skiing, riding, and après excitement!”
6/8 “The Green Mountain Opera Festival is now in full swing…Cast members are rehearsing in the Gate House Base Lodge and The Schoolhouse, and a number of their rehearsals are open to the public. In two weeks, we will be hosting our first-annual Solstice Brew-Grass Festival. It is shaping up to be a great event with over 18 breweries and their beers available for tasting and four bands playing toe-tapping tunes.”
1/12 “We were thrilled and honored that our new governor, Peter Shumlin, decided to hold his Inaugural Ball here at Sugarbush last Friday, and we welcomed over a thousand people from all around Vermont. Gate House Base Lodge, Castlerock Pub, and Timbers Restaurant rocked into the early hours of the morning.”
inches at the peak over the last 24 hours. This morning, the sun and blue skies are making a reappearance. There is only one word for yesterday, ‘Wow’; and two for today, ‘Even Better’; and three for the weekend, ‘Better Be Here.’”
8/12 Ehendae quamus solor sedis rae cum volor res doloribust ea que reptatiunt versperae quo beatectur ma duci blaudant. Caectur moluptibus dolor sed quos mos magnia si quia aspitio te consequi dolores voloremquis consed.
2/3 “[Our] biggest storm of the season [logged] a new 21
off the wire
A Project that Holds Water
Twenty years in the making, Sugarbush’s longest-running environmental effort – to get four streams at the mountain off the EPA’s impaired list – sees its latest return in Rice Brook. By Jackie Leavitt
and VhB had to get down to the nitty-gritty – sampling aquatic ecology, monitoring sediment, assessing habitat, measuring water chemistry, even evaluating the pebble count – before developing a system for cleaning the water. Their first solution was to regrade the gravel roads and parking lots and install state-of-the-art storm-water infrastructure, so that the water from rain and melting snow now flows into pipes or open vegetated channels. This ensures that the sand and gravel in the water won’t trickle into the streams; rather, the pipes and channels lead the pollutants to one of seven “settling basins” at the mountain’s base – essentially man-made ponds or wetland areas that act as giant Brita filters, engineered to slowly release the water back into the brooks once all the pollutants have settled to the bottom. The final step is constant surveillance, with winter and summer monitoring programs to provide an evaluation of both short- and long-term fluctuations in the aquatic biodiversity. although the program tends to be one of the more costly projects for the mountain (even after all four are delisted, Sugarbush will continue to employ VhB to monitor the streams), “It’s not an economical choice,” says Wade, “but it’s the one we’ve chosen because it’s the right thing for the environment.” :
Go FiGure breaking down the numbers associated with Sugarbush’s green efforts.
Fraction of Sugarbush’s annual waste material that is diverted from traditional disposal – such as landfills or incineration – to be recycled, composted, or reused.
Tons in carbon dioxide emissions that the mountain reduces annually as a result of switching all off-road diesel machinery to biodiesel fuel in 2005.
Tons of food scraps that were composted at Sugarbush during the 2010–11 ski season.
Percent of post-consumer recycled content that makes up all 8.5- by 11-inch office paper. sandy macys
or Sugarbush, bugs are a big deal – especially when they’re living in the four primary brooks on the mountain. But they don’t have a negative connotation like a termite infestation in your home. here, a larger amount of bugs translates to healthier water, the kind that is able to support a diversity of life, like brook trout and other native fish species. Some 20 years ago, as a result of storm-water runoff carrying gravel and salt from roads and parking areas into the water, all four of the mountain streams were drastically short on aquatic insects like mayflies and stoneflies, causing them to rank on the environmental Protection agency’s (ePa) impaired waters list, below the state’s standards. That’s when the mountain got involved, partnering with environmental sciences consulting firm Vanasse hangen Brustlin (VhB) in 1996 to begin a long-term effort to clean up the streams. The mountain was first rewarded in the late ’90s when both Slide and Chase brooks came off the impaired list, leaving Lincoln Peak’s rice and Clay brooks still to be dealt with. Then, in late June of 2011, the ePa officially delisted rice Brook – a major landmark, says Sugarbush’s Director of Planning and regulatory Compliance margo Wade. While you may think assessing water quality is as simple as “the clearer, the better,” Sugarbush
David and Lynn Newton’s search for a second home was driven by one thing and one thing only: family. By JaCKIe LeaVITT
passed away from melanoma in 1999. and with the 3,500-square-foot condo they bought in 2008, located in Warren at The farms development, there’s no better place for embracing and honoring family. While the home was already able to host large numbers of people thanks to three floors, four bedrooms (each with their own private bathroom), and two separate decks, Lynn and David wanted to open the interior up with a renovation that knocked down the kitchen’s walls to the dining and living rooms. David says the openness “is one of the best features,” allowing people to easily float from room to room for mingling – all while in plain view of Sugarbush, jutting upward across the valley, through the living room’s floor-to-ceiling windows.
ne of David and Lynn newton’s priorities when looking for a second home in the mad river Valley was that it had to meet a kid’s standards – kind of an odd concern as the Boston couple doesn’t actually have any kids. “We’re very close with our nieces and nephews,” explains David. “We wanted the kids in our family to have a good hangout.” It wasn’t entirely dependent upon the kids, however. The couple (she’s a landscape architect; he’s a corporate bonds salesman) wanted a place where they could easily reconnect with the entire family under one roof. In fact, family was the reason the couple even first came to Sugarbush, visiting almost every weekend after David’s brother, Peter newton, a former Sugarbush ski patrol volunteer,
My Mountain a handful of the newton’s favorite Sugarbush highlights.
: His & Her Trail Picks David likes intermediate Moonshine and black-diamond Twist, which run parallel to each other on Gadd Peak, because they’re somewhat undiscovered; Lynn loves Lincoln Peak’s Ripcord because she can now ski the demanding double-black like a champ.
: PeTer’s FUNd racer
David and Lynn Newton have been spending weekends at their 3,500-square-foot condo in Warren since 2008; (opposite) the floor-to-ceiling windows, revealing views of Sugarbush, and the openness between the living and dining rooms are two of the couple’s favorite features.
an island crafted from Vermont red maple and delicatus-style granite counters were also installed in the kitchen, not only for extra workspace, but to create places for people to linger and chat, possibly lending a hand with preparing hors d’oeuvres or meals. “It’s never one person cooking in the kitchen; it’s always four or five,” says David, who plans to eventually retire here once his and Lynn’s days in Boston are done. Of course, the kids got their hangout, too: a finished above-ground basement. (David laughs when he uses the term “kids,” as the ages range from 6 to 30.) Lynn and David finished the room off with a big-screen TV and foosball table, and there’s a Jacuzzi located outside, off the patio area. “The middle floor can kind of turn into an adult
zone, so the kids can just go down there whenever,” says David. But again, it’s not about separation for the newtons, which is why they had a table specially handcrafted by a local Vermont woodworker that extends between the living and dining rooms and can expand to seat 20-plus people. The table comes in especially handy during their Thanksgiving dinners, when both sides of the family visit from all corners of new england. (although, they typically host about 12 people during the weekends and vacation weeks, more come to visit during major holidays.) “We haven’t been here long enough to establish many traditions,” says David, “but I’d have to say that our Thanksgiving feast at that table is a tradition in the making.” :
Each March since 2000, the Newtons host this NASTAR race on Sugarbush’s Spring Fling to benefit melanoma research in memory of Peter Newton, David’s brother and a former volunteer ski patroller. To date, they’ve raised close to a million dollars ($100,000 this past year alone) for research and care facilities (like the Melanoma Research Fund at Massachusetts General) and Sugarbush ski patrol.
: iNside edge The Newtons also own a condo at Clay Brook, which they rent out, but still take advantage of all the benefits of the Inside Edge program, which includes a ski valet, underground parking, a private locker and boot storage, the on-site fitness room, pool and hot tubs,and more.
Not Your Daddy’s
Summer CAmP Let them get their hands dirty with summertime kids’ programs that showcase creative arts and outdoor activities in the area. By JOnI LaCrOIx
[MOuntaIn bIke CaMp] It’s not all mountain biking along the 20 miles of downhill and cross-country trails that weave throughout Sugarbush’s Lincoln Peak in these five-day camps. running for nine weeks from June to august, the program includes challenging mountain hikes, afternoon fly-fishing adventures, and outdoor survival skill training like how to maintain your bike in tough conditions and which mushrooms are safe to eat. an overnight hiking excursion to the mid-mountain allyn’s Lodge is an option on select Thursdays throughout the summer. sugarbush.com, 800-537-8427
Clowning Around [the CIrCus kIds Create] ever joked with your kids about sending them off to join the circus? With this 10-day august program, offered by new york–based company Circus minimus, you get the chance. Children ages 7 to 13
learn the fine art of clowning, like how to juggle and walk on wires and balance beams at the Waitsfield elementary School. no prior gymnastics or athletic experience required; in fact, children with physical and mental disabilities are encouraged to enroll to help build their confidence and fine motor skills. circusminimus.com, 802-496-5547
Mixing It Up [adventure CaMps] The mountain becomes a kid’s ultimate playground during these five-day summer-long programs, with free reign of outdoor activity options, like disc golf on the 18-hole course, rock-climbing at the Sugarbush health and racquet Club, zip-lining, and tennis. Day One kicks off with a hike to the lookout tower at the summit of Lincoln Peak, then swimming and fly-fishing later in the week. Other activities scattered throughout the week include an all-mountain scavenger hunt and art projects like painting rocks and decorating walking sticks. But
no matter the activity du jour, the group is always treated to a gourmet lunch by the resort’s head chef that includes anything from pizza with local chanterelle mushrooms to pulled-pork quesadillas. sugarbush.com, 800-537-8427
Acting Their Age [theater CaMp] What’s one of the best ways to teach children public-speaking skills? have them use their imagination. “It’s easier for kids to play a character than it is to play themselves,” says Peter Boynton, artistic director of nonprofit art organization The Commons Group. Boynton – a veteran of Broadway musicals, daytime television, and film – begins each of the mornings in this fiveday June program with circle time, when the 6- to 12-year-olds practice storytelling. That’s followed by one hour of stretching and warm-up exercises, then voice lessons, and after lunch, they move on to acting, improvisation, and dancing. The camp concludes with a 15-minute play, put on by the 25 students on the upper floor of the restored 1891 barn, which offers a breathtaking view of the Valley. theskinnerbarn.com, 802-496-4422
Creation Session [art CaMp] nora mcDonough, an art teacher at two local elementary schools, extends her classes into the
summer with this monday-through-friday art program, usually held at the fayston School the week after the fourth of July. While she tries to customize the class based on what her first through fourth graders want to explore, favorite activities include plein-air watercolor painting out in the school’s gardens and making prints from leaves and flowers collected from the fields that surround the school. The results are one-of-a-kind keepsakes of which mom couldn’t be prouder. faystonart.blogspot.com, 802-496-2139
Pick & Play
[sprIng hILL sChOOL CaMp] The three sessions for this monday-throughThursday program in June and July for preschoolers live by the philosophy that hands-on experiences are the primary tool for learning. Teachers plan activities for the kids each day with educationally inspired options, like gardening or learning about prisms and rainbows. Class takes place on the Spring hill school grounds, with a meadow across the street and fenced-in “foster forest” filled with towering pine trees and a babbling brook that, with just a touch of imagination, transforms it into a magic kingdom. 802-496-2139 :
all Grown up You don’t have to be a kid to sign up for these area-based clinics and activities.
: golF cliNics You get your pick of three summer-long camps, starting in May: Ladies Night (Thursdays, 5:30–6:30 p.m.) and the Short Game or Full Swing clinics (both held Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10:15–11:30 a.m.) that include lunch and unlimited golf with cart for the remainder of the day. All camps are held on Sugarbush’s 18-hole, Robert Trent, Sr.– designed course and are taught by PGA professionals. No drop-ins; pre-registration required.
sugarbush.com, 800-537-8427 : New eNglaNd TeNNis Holidays Court strategy plus the essentials on everything from serving to volleying are a part of this five-hour, daily boot camp (9 a.m.–3 p.m.) with video analysis. Sign up in advance for a two-, three-, or fiveday session that includes lodging at Clay Brook Hotel & Residences, May through October.
netennisholidays.com, 800-869-0949 : gUided kayak ToUrs You and your group (from 4 to 25 people) head down one of two rivers in these five-hour excursions with Clearwater Sports. The Mad River takes you from Lareau swimming hole to Meadow Road, 6.5 miles down the river; the Winooski River brings you to a secluded spot on Junkyard Rapids, where you break for lunch while the kids jump off the rocks.
(performers) mike ridell; (cHild in muc) sandy macys
: BUrNT rock MoUNTaiN Part of the Monroe Skyline (a 15mile stretch of the 272-mile Long Trail that traces the spine of the Green Mountains), this steep fivemile round-trip hike takes you up to this 3,156-foot summit via the densely wooded Hedgehog Brook Trail, then the famous Long Trail. Your reward is above–tree line views of the cliffs of Camel’s Hump State Park to the north and the Adirondacks to the west.
Practicing the art of clowning at The Circus Kids Create program; (right) let them embrace their inner mud monsters in Sugarbush’s Adventure Camps; (opposite) zip-lining is just one of the outdoor activities kids have free reign of during the five-day Adventure Camps.
arts & cuLture
Not your sleepy Sunday-morning market, the Waitsfield Farmers’ Market mixes things up with 65 unique vendors who display everything from woodwork and jewelry to handbags and pottery. By CaTherIne Shane Woody Jackson [COW art] If you eat Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, chances are you’ve seen Woody Jackson’s cow art. It all started with one cow painting he did at age 23 while living on a dairy farm in 1972. “I painted the cows in different places, like in apple orchards, new mexico, even cityscapes,” says Jackson, who now lives in Cornwall. Then in 1983, Ben & Jerry’s contacted him, hoping they could use his cows on a billboard. Thus, the animals became the face of the ice cream, with the product snowballing into T-shirts, mugs, totes and bags, and other collectibles – all of which you can find at the market. “Why cows?” poses Jackson, who recently unveiled a commissioned cow painting in Sugarbush’s new kids building, The Schoolhouse. “Black and white in a crazy scheme of color is an arresting image. Plus, they’ve got a fun sense of humor to them.”
Woody Jackson’s iconic cows have been the face of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream since the 1980s; (right) the product of taking a single metalworking class six years ago, Sheri Deflavio’s silver and gold jewelry designs are always in high-demand at the market.
[JeWeLry desIgn] after taking a class in metalworking six years ago, Sheri Deflavio went out and bought pliers, files, a saw, a hammer, and a blow torch to try experimenting in jewelry design in her Waitsfield home. Sure, there was some trial and error while learning the art of hammering silver and melting gold grains to create handmade chains, but it all paid off; at the market, people
line up for her simple, organic-looking creations. “It’s amazing when a piece just instantly matches a person’s style,” says Deflavio. “It’s instant gratification for them and for me.”
Larry & Linda Faillace [CheeseMakers] you won’t find Three Shepherds’ farm’s cow, goat, and sheep milk cheese in the dairy aisle of your local Shaw’s. you’ve got to either head to owners Linda and Larry faillace’s east Warren farm, the Warren Store, or the farmers’ market to try their 10 regularly offered varieties, including Spressa, Vermont Brabander, and their soft-ripened cheese called Cosmos, which is like a soft cheese, but covered in olive oil, organic herbs, and anaheim pepper. But that doesn’t mean they won’t take special requests. “Once,” says Linda, “we made a cheese-loving bride a cake of cheeses." :
(farm painting) woodyJacksonart.com
he Waitsfield farmers’ market may feel like your typical farmers’ market, especially when walking through the rows of local produce with squash and beets from hartshorn’s Santa Davida farm; chicken, pork, and fresh eggs from Gaylord farm; and organic raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries from Sunshine Valley Berry farm. But beyond those plump heirloom tomatoes and cuts of grass-fed beef is a slew of artisans, offering everything from glass suncatchers by Circle of Stones Glass Studio to adirondack ski chairs by Green mountain Ski furniture to antler art (chandeliers, table lamps, wine holders and racks – all made from antlers that were naturally shed by moose, elk, and deer) by mad river antler. here, we meet a few of those longtime artisans, who set up shop in the mad river Green every Saturday morning from may to October, with wares that visitors have been coming to see for years.
Beanbag chairs, an old-fashioned soda fountain, and booths named after famous Sugarbush runs – we visit a few of the Valley’s most novel après spots. By CaTherIne Shane Hostel Tevere [Warren] While this hostel has bunk beds on its second floor similar to its european counterparts, its first floor is out of this world: Beanbag chairs hang like swings from the common room ceilings; the walls of the bright lime green kitchen and the blue and yellow entry are peppered with pop art; the bar, lined by Christmas lights, offers a casual seating space; and funky abstract benches, shelves, and side tables (made by students of yestermorrow Design/ Build School) are tucked throughout. Pairing to try Suppli + Fuedo arancio nero d’avola 2009: This medium-bodied red wine from Sicily nicely cuts the acidity of the tomato sauce in the suppli (mozzarella balls rolled in sauce and risotto, then fried). hosteltevere.com, 802-496-9222
Castlerock Pub [SugarBuSh] Location has nothing to do with what makes one of the five booths in this downstairs Gate house Base Lodge bar a local’s favorite; rather, it’s all about the trail name and photo that is mounted above each of the booths, representing five of Castlerock Peak’s most epic runs (rumble, middle
Sit renderiae. Nequi ut repeliquam sum et, cus moluptatio dolorpo remosam nihiti con plam verum faccum qui officiistion
earth, Cotillion, Lift Line, and Castlerock run). But if your favorite run, ahem, booth, is already taken, a couch with side tables for parking your beer is located in front of the room’s stone fireplace. Pairing to try Steak Sandwich + Pabst Blue ribbon: This heaping portion of shaved steak, veggies, and cheese piled into a grilled baguette has the nickname “the belly bomb,” so if you plan on heading back to the slopes, the only way you might make it is to pair it with something light and less filling. sugarbush.com, 802-583-6594
Big Picture Theater & Café [WaitSFieLd] Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is just a movie house with a dinky chalkboard menu. The building – modeled after a ‘50s diner with chunky white coffee cups, an old-fashioned soda fountain, and other glass and steel elements – is home to two theaters, a bar lounge, a café with 13 tables (all with full menus), and a bakery. Come summertime, the fenced-in outside patio offers picnic- and café-table seating underneath bright red umbrellas. an adjacent playground keeps kids busy.
Pairing to try Jalapeño Poppers + urban riesling 2008: These poppers, filled with cheddar and cream cheese, are super spicy because they are homemade by Chef amanda astheimer, who purposely leaves the majority of the jalapeños’ seeds in. a little too hot? The sweetness in this German riesling helps tone down the heat a bit. bigpicturetheater.info, 802-496-8994
[SugarBuSh] an enclosed entrance decorated with landscape shots by local roxbury photographer Josh axelrod gives way to the interior of this restaurant, built in the fashion of a round barn. fifty-five-foot-tall ceilings, timber-frame architecture, and a nine-foot-tall stone fireplace surrounded by single-seat leather chairs make up the main room, while four french doors lead to the outdoor patio overlooking the bumps of Stein’s run. Pairing to try grilled vermont yak Sausage + Switchback ale: The bold flavor of this unfiltered amber ale (brewed in Vermont) stands up well to the richness in this beer-infused, locally raised yak meat served over mustard-cabbage slaw. sugarbush.com, 802-583-6800 :
Take a Free ride
no one stepping up to drive tonight? The Green mountain Transit agency offers free transportation on The mad Bus within the towns of the mad river Valley, including Sugarbush, Warren, and Waitsfield, so you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. gmtaride.org, 802-223-7287
Open ad Space
Tough (skiers, left to rigHt) doug williams, sandy macys, eugene krylov, sandy macys, doug williams
Cookies These kid athletes â€“ some of the best in the racing world â€“ learned everything they know at Sugarbush. Here, we talk training, tricks, turns, and teenage life. By Sarah Tuff
1 Question With...
Jon “smitty” smith The Diamond Dogs Head Coach and Program Director, who has been at the Sugarbush for eight years
Competing with the Diamond Dogs, Sugarbush’s freestyle team, for the last six years, this 16-year-old has become something of a mogul master. While most kids who regularly compete in freestyle or alpine racing usually attend a ski academy, Sam Greshin, who competes in five or six freestyle events a year, does not. “He elected to not go to ski academy, in large part, because he didn’t want to go away to school,” says his father, Adam Greshin. Instead, given that he lives at the foot of the mountain (behind the Sugarbush Inn), Sam has been able to feed his competitive fire since he was 10 with the Diamond Dogs. As Sugarbush’s freestyle team, the Dogs includes around 40 skiers and snowboarders, ages 9 to 18, who represent the mountain both regionally and nationally. Now 16 years old, he has competed all around the east and even headed to the Junior Olympics at Steamboat last season. His favorite discipline: moguls. “He’s good at the jumps and tricks [in mogul competitions],” says Adam, “but he’s phenomenal in those bumps. He’s amazingly powerful.” So much so that it helped him grab 2009 USSA Eastern Freestyle Rookie of the Year, finishing among the top 10 freeskiers in the East for his age group. And while his training schedule might look rigorous to you and me (he’s on the mountain training in full-day sessions on the weekends, then half-day sessions three times during the school week), it’s considerably less than what he would encounter at an academy. “Coach [Jon] ‘Smitty’ [Smith] is just that good,” says Adam. “He’s a real pro; he’s the best you’ll get.” It also can’t hurt that Sam seems to have an innate talent for this type of skiing. “We’re definitely not a groomer family,” adds his father. “We like the rough and tumble.”
Height in feet of Mt. Ellen, the third highest summit in Vermont, where the Diamond Dogs train on a permanent mogul course, in the park, plus trees, steeps, and groomers.
Q: Is it hard for parents to let their kids go into a freestyle program? “We do hear concerns, but we also get a lot of, ‘Oh, jeez, my son or daughter is going in the park and going off these jumps, and I want to make sure [he or she] knows what to do, so I want to get some coaching.’ When there’s an inevitability that their kids are going to be hitting jumps, a lot of parents are actually relieved when they get their kids in this program.”
Dylan Dipentima This 16-year-old knows a thing or two about how to show off a little during the Gravity East Series stop at Lincoln Peak. “I just kind of ride and see what happens,” says 16-year-old Dylan Dipentima of his downhill mountain biking strategy, which he employed while competing in the Gravity East Series at Lincoln Peak (one of nine stops during the annual tour) for the third time in 2011. And although he might not be the competitive type, he does have a bit of an extra edge on the course. How? He has become pretty familiar with it while working at Sugarbush’s Adventure Camps for the last two summers.
Top time that 16-year-old Logan Mulally of West Lawn, Pennsylvania, grabbed for his class (men 18 and under) at the 2010 Sugarbush stop – only 12 seconds shy of the top rider for Pro Men that year.
“I had ridden [Sugarbush] a couple times before,” says the Middlebury local, “but [with the camps] I was on it with the kids pretty often.” As a result, he did pretty well for his class (category two, men 18 and under), placing first at Sugarbush (out of nine riders). He also attributes that to having some good informal coaches (mostly friends of his father) who raced for the pro class in the series. “I get good pointers from them, so I know what to expect.” And he knows how to flaunt it, too. One of his favorite parts of the course is the race’s last stretch, where the woods open up to the trail lined by spectators – ideal for wowing the crowd. “I like the berms and jumps [along this stretch],” he says. “I prefer catching air to going over the really bumpy stuff really fast.”
Sure, he’s an extreme skiing legend, but John egan, founder of Sugarbush’s Adventure Learning Center, also mountain bikes. Here, he gives a few how-tos to coach kids through edgy adventures. • Make sure the kids are dressed for the worst conditions possible, in layers: moisturewicking clothes, motocross pants, waterproof shoes with toe boxes, and a full facial helmet. • Ride just one level above their level, making sure each and every move is easily identifiable and slightly exaggerated. If they’re going over a one-foot drop, I’ll do it first, then maybe go over a two-footer. Or I’ll take a faster, more advanced line to show them how to handle that speed. • Once in a while, step out and show off a bit, so they can see what they can aspire to as a rider.
The year that Sugarbush opened Castlerock Peak. Today, it’s one of the most famous mountains to ski in Vermont because there’s still no snowmaking or grooming there – just the natural, challenging bumps, jumps, and cliffs.
A look at the Ski the east Freeride Tour’s origins.
sJ grundon Nobody better embodies “girl power” on the slopes than this 14-year-old, who took on the Junior Castlerock Extreme Challenge and won it for the women’s division. How many 14-year-olds do you know who are able to take on a gnarly run – littered with bumps, jumps, and plenty of cliffs – and ride it better than someone with decades of experience? Let us introduce you to 14-year-old SJ Grundon of Lincoln, who placed first for the women’s division in the 2011 Sugarbush Junior Castlerock Extreme Challenge, the annual March event that sends competitors down the steep, narrow, and ungroomed Lift Line. “I love hucking cliffs,” she says of what attracted her to this event that officially created a junior division in 2011 for riders younger than 14 years old who qualify. “After I huck a 10-foot cliff and land it… it’s just like, ‘Whoa.’ It just feels great. I live for that.” She usually gets her fill of cliffs from competing all around New England for the Diamond Dogs, Sugarbush’s freestyle team. “I love that program, but balancing ski and homework can be challenging,” she admits of her daily training schedule. But she manages. After taming Castlerock, she went on to claim overall first place in the Ski the East tour, which is the umbrella event (see “Joining Forces,” left) that the Castlerock Extreme falls under. “I’m the ‘Ski the East Queen,’” she jokes when asked what her official title was. (It’s Ski the East Freeride Tour Champion, SJ.) So what’s her secret? “It’s all about keeping that confidence,” she says. “When I feel confident and stay confident, it’s easier to stomp a landing and have a good run.”
In 2010, the folks behind the online community Ski the East looked around and noticed that four competitions – at Mad River Glen, Magic Mountain, Sugarbush, and Jay Peak – were remarkably similar in the way they tasked skiers with extreme terrain. So the four, including Sugarbush’s Castlerock Extreme, became one seasonlong comp: The Ski the East Freeride Tour. Though it’s modeled on Western freeskiing competitions, the East’s beast has its own Yankee appeal. Case in point: The East provides the best training grounds with steep, rocky, and narrow terrain that prepares skiers for anything out West or around the world.
a typical day at gmvs
...or, we should say, lack thereof. Here, we break down a day’s routine that is far from the highschool norm.
Danny and Drew Duffy There’s no sibling rivalry between these two brothers who race for the Green Mountain Valley School (GMVS). In fact, 16-year-old Drew (below) and 17-year-old Danny (above) have helped each other become standouts on the alpine circuit. Danny Duffy wasn’t technically born with skis on, but it was close. “A pair of the smallest Hart skis you ever saw were brought to the hospital as a gift from his grandparents,” says Danny’s mom, Betsy Duffy. Fourteen months later, Drew arrived, and soon, the preschool-aged Duffy brothers were tearing up the slopes at Burke and Mad River Glen. Then, when Mad River coach Sally Utter recommended GMVS to Danny and Drew, each boy enrolled in the school when he reached seventh grade – moving up from Medfield, Massachusetts, to Warren, Vermont.
7 a.m. Rise and shine! Breakfast time for boarding students. 7:40 a.m. First class of the day. 8:45 a.m. Recess already? Not quite. Pile into vans headed to Sugarbush and the Trapp Family Lodge. 9 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. Alpine and Nordic training on snow. 1 p.m. Lunch.
Only a year apart in school and with a similar focus on alpine racing, they don’t display the sibling rivalry you’d imagine. They work together, says Betsy – when they travel to Chile or Mt. Hood in Oregon, Danny is the airport navigator, and Drew the expert ski tuner. They also motivate one another, pushing each other during their almost-daily training sessions (“Mondays are all academics,” says Danny) on Sugarbush’s Mt. Ellen, where they practice their turns for three to four hours in the morning on Inverness.
1:30 p.m. Classes resume.
That kind of motivation has paid off: In March 2011, Danny won the national giant slalom title for his age group, while Drew finished seventh. “I think I get almost as nervous watching Danny race than when I am standing in the start gate myself,” says Drew. “I think it’s the same for him, too – we just want to see each other succeed.”
6:45 p.m. Study, chill out, tune skis.
6 p.m. Dinner for boarding students; day students head home.
10 p.m. Lights out. Dream of glory.
(botH pHotos) doug williams
Number of graduates from GMVS who have gone on to some sort of National Team (U.S. Ski Team, Deaflympics, and Paralympics), including Doug Lewis ’82, A.J. Kitt ’86, and Daron Rahlves ’91.
Open ad Space
greatest hits OF THE
there’d be no new school without the old school, and no place honors that better than Sugarbush’s riemergasse park. by Jesse huffman
n the surface, Mt. ellen’s riemergasse Park is certainly the ultimate showcase of modern riding, with innovative rail features, consistent jump lines, and a beginner-intermediate section. But dig a bit deeper, and you’ll also find a pedigree dating back to the scrappy beginnings of freestyle snowboarding, when most “parks” consisted of plastic barrel bonks and crude hand-shaped jumps. and while the terrain under riders’ boards and skis may seem a world apart today, the vibe is decidedly similar to that bygone era – something Sugarbush Parks director tony chiuchiolo has taken a serious effort to maintain.
“i’m very familiar with the freestyle roots of Sugarbush, and what i tried to do is bring that old-school feeling back,” says chiuchiolo, a pro rider for the resort from 1994 to ’99 (who also saw Sugarbush become one of the first resorts to use snowcats to build dedicated freestyle features in the early ’90s). “i wanted to create an atmosphere where people can be comfortable, have fun, progress, and not worry about being judged,” he adds. Judged or not, riders still want to look good when it comes to hitting the park, so, here, chiuchiolo and a few of Sugarbush’s Pro team riders reveal their secrets to mastering four of the park’s staple features that represent the essence of old school.
The Rail Line Old-School Influence
your board parallel, and simply ride like you would on snow.
in this series of 10 beginner and intermediate features blended down graduation (a trail adjacent to riemergasse), the rail is the signature element – inspired by the stair handrails skateboarders have been grinding since the mid’70s, before translating to the first terrain park in the ’90s. in its simplest form, the rail is one of the first freestyle features riders need to master before moving up to larger and more complex elements. here, they come lined one after the other, so riders get a consistent flow.
Pro Rider’s Next-Level Tip after 50-50s, the next step
is the boardslide, where your board rides perpendicular on the rail with your back facing uphill. Start with the ollie, but instead of staying in the parallel 50-50, quickly twist your board 90 degrees (with your front foot leading the turn) as you come down over the rail. to keep from catching an edge and falling forward, lean slightly back as you ride downhill. keep your eyes locked on the end of the feature, says Sugarbush Pro team rider Jeff deforge; it keeps you balanced and on track to slide the whole rail.
Key Tip to Hit Perfecting the ollie is critical to nailing your first
basic 50-50 grind (where your board is parallel over the feature) on this series. to do so, stand square and balanced, bend your knees, and shift your weight to your back foot to put pressure on the tail of the board, creating a flex that will act as your spring. Quickly, begin the jump off that spring, lifting your front and then your rear foot. Land how you started: square and balanced. Once you’ve got this down, to do a 50-50, all you need is to ollie onto the feature, keep
ing what riders know to the next level with features that run downhill from smaller to bigger. “What surprises people is that by the time they get to the bigger boxes or rails, they’re confident enough to hit them,” says chiuchiolo. “When you’ve got a flow going, it actually becomes easier for you to transition to the bigger stuff.”
Added Bonus as the name implies, this rail line is all about tak-
Wallride Old-School Influence the goal was to “include something influenced by the skateboard scene,” chiuchiolo says about this 8- by 20-foot-tall wallride, a feature long employed in skate parks. essentially, it’s a short ramp transition to a vertical wall.
Key Tip to Hit approaching with speed, explains Pro team rider Luke haddock, is essential to just getting on this steep feature, let alone riding it out. come in parallel with the feature, so the transition onto the wall’s base ramp is as smooth as possible to maintain momentum and propel yourself up and horizontally across its near-vertical surface (that’s right newbies; you won’t be riding straight up it, but across, the nose of your board leading the way, as if you were surfing in a wave). it’s a wild sensation, with your feet almost level with your head, but once you get it dialed in, it’s a blast.
Pro Rider’s Next-Level Tip Once you can ride across
some stretch of it, you can start riding all the way up to the box-like top edge. “imagine you’re riding a skateboard in a half-pipe,” says deforge. to start, come in slower than normal to do a simple stall (balancing on the top edge for a moment before riding back down) and work your way up to the more technical boardslide (with the snowboard grinding perpendicularly across the top edge). always make sure you land flat-based on the wall’s hard, slippery surface.
Added Bonus “the surprise is that given its sheer size, [a lot of levels of] park riders can hit it,” says chiuchiolo. “you can hit it really low, or, if you’re a seasoned rider, you can go right to the top and do a hand-plant or boardslide.”
Cabot Rainbow Box Old-School Influence this 26-foot-long, two-foot-wide, and six-foot-tall (at its apex) rainbow box (shaped like a “c” on its side) owes a lot to early boarders who rode the curved boughs of trees weighed down by deep snow. “the cabot box takes the natural rainbow tree jibs that were popular in the mid-’90s and transfers that to a park feature that is accessible to the public,” says chiuchiolo.
Key Tip to Hit you’ll need to first get comfortable with this feature’s up-then-down curve by figuring out the speed with which you’ll need to approach it. come in slow with the basic 50-50 and – keeping your knees bent and your body centered over the board to maintain balance – ride the box just up to its peak, then jump off the side. the next time you stop at its apex, let yourself slide the downward curve. Once you get a sense of the curve, attempt riding
the whole thing without stopping. But haddock stresses that you really must have the right speed, otherwise, if too fast, “you might blast off the top of that daddy!”
Pro Rider’s Next-Level Tip Once you get the feel for this element, deforge suggests jumping from the side up to the top into a straight 50-50 grind or boardslide. Or use the “rainbow” transition like a jump, riding on with speed and then catching air off the highest point. Added Bonus Once you master balance, grinds, and boardslides on this rainbow box, all the regular flat-boxes and rails will seem like a breeze. it also preps you for bigger, more complicated ones, like the roller coaster rails, which have the same sort of rise and fall as the rainbow.
Open ad Space
Barrel Bonk Old-School Influence
Part of a recent movement to incorporate big, non-traditional objects into the park, this 11-foottall water tank brings in more skateboard influence – particularly the early ’90s obsession with jumping over objects and giving them a quick tap in the air. Set upright in between a jump and landing, riders fly over the gap and give the barrel a satisfying bonk in between.
Key Tip to Hit Before actually attempting to tail bonk the barrel, first practice clearing it cleanly. then try airing in closer and closer, pulling both your feet up so that your knees almost bend at a 90-degree angle. this will minimize the distance you’ll have to extend your board to make contact. Once you feel confident airing over, you can simply extend your back foot slightly, but make sure the height and moment are just right: you should be about a foot above the barrel and your board should be parallel to the surface you intend to tap. But don’t put any weight on the barrel or tap too
hard; it could throw off your balance and make you crash.
Pro Rider’s Next-Level Tip
after dialing in a regular bonk and the backside 360 on a regular jump, combine them on this feature. “ride up to the takeoff, ready to pop up and over the barrel,” explains deforge. “Pop and rotate off your toe edge, timing the first 180 right when you dip your nose down to tap the bonk, continue your rotation the next 180, and open up your shoulders to prepare for the landing.” Land with both feet flat and get ready for the next feature.
With a little work from the staff, the barrel bonk becomes several different features throughout the season. Laying the full length of the barrel down on the snow creates a long surface for sliding, while burying it in the snow exposes a low-to-the-ground, rounded dome for beginners to practice on. :
n the mid-1950s, when Sugarbush cofounder Damon Gadd first gazed upon these mountain peaks, he knew he was onto something special. If treated with respect, this area would provide timeless inspiration and recreation for all. On Christmas Day in 1958, under the management of other founder Jack murphy, Sugarbush opened with two lifts – the gondola and the T-bar – and 10 trails. Castlerock Peak opened in 1959, and by the mid-’60s, the sophisticated manhattan crowd of architects, fashion models, and high society who frequented the resort influenced Vogue Magazine to nickname Sugarbush “mascara mountain.” Then the 1979 acquisition of mt. ellen nearly doubled the size of Sugarbush. finally, in 2001, Win Smith and the late Joe riemer purchased the resort and started making Sugarbush what it is today: a customer-focused four-season resort that treats the outdoors as a gift to be passed along to generations to come.
(skier) sandy macys; (sign) susan teare; (mural) susan teare
you don’t have to look far to find the owners – President Win Smith and fellow investor adam Greshin live right here in Warren. after a career on Wall Street, Smith joined the ski industry in 2001 and now oversees daily operations, while logging as many as 125 days on the hill (as he did last winter). he loves to swap powder stories, listen to ideas on how to make the resort better, and show you a secret stash. The same goes for Greshin, a former research analyst at Boston’s Scudder, Stevens & Clark Inc., an avid skier and mountain biker, and father of three teenagers. When adam’s not on the mountain, he’s in montpelier as a Washington District representative. Between these two, Sugarbush is in good hands.
a neW LInCOLn peak vILLage In 2006, a “barn raising” ushered in the opening of Clay Brook hotel & residences and the new Gate house Base Lodge – the beginning of the Lincoln Peak Village. Last season, with the introduction of The farmhouse and The Schoolhouse, the Village feels complete and personifies the marriage of modern amenities and nineteenth-century Vermont architecture. The Schoolhouse – adorned with wall murals by local artists like Woody Jackson (his cows have been made famous by Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream) – is the headquarters of youth ski and ride programs, summer camps, and interactive play areas like the “Beaver Den.” across the courtyard, The farmhouse houses a complete lineup of rental gear, top-of-the-line Wintersteiger tuning equipment, adult ski and ride programs, the Sunrise Café, and the resort real estate office. Lastly, The General Store is home to artisan crafts, provisions (like beer, wine, and ice cream), and kids’ games.
tree skIIng When the powder’s falling, the trees are a-calling, and at Sugarbush, skiing and riding the lines between the trunks is engrained into the culture. The resort boasts more than 2,000 acres of wooded terrain in the remote backcountry of Slide Brook Basin alone (not including the 20 marked inbounds areas for beginner to advanced tree skiers). Kids learn young through the Ski and ride School’s Blazer Program, and it’s not uncommon to see them leading their parents into a new line. But remember to stay safe: The resort’s outback guides – including the legendary John egan – can show you around the backcountry, and there are tree-skiing lessons available through the adventure Learning Center.
Learn tO skI, rIde, Or MOuntaIn bIke (and earn a pass) no matter your age, it’s never too late to learn something new – take, for example, 64-year-old Paul Sickorez from amesbury, massachusetts, who, last winter, skied 20 days during his first season. for just $255, participants get the first-Timer to Life-Timer three-day beginner lesson that includes lift access and rental equipment. and when the lesson is over, Sugarbush gives you a free unrestricted season pass for the rest of the season, so you can keep improving. It seems to be working; since the lesson’s inception in 2009–10, Sugarbush has graduated 316 skiers and riders, and the program has seen a 77 percent growth each year. Come summertime, a version of the first-Timer to LifeTimer program is offered for lift-served mountain biking, as well.
SugarbuSh close-up LOdgIng
frOM farM tO pLate
from slope-side luxury to quaint country living, the Sugarbush Cabin vacation team will find something to suit your family. The slope-side Clay Brook hotel & residences offers 61 units, ranging from studios to five-bedroom suites, and features ski-in/ski-out access, full valet service, a year-round outdoor heated pool and hot tubs, a fitness center, and Timbers restaurant. Down the road is the 42-room Sugarbush Inn, open all winter and for private groups in the summer. The inn – with a restaurant in the winter, nooks for reading, and a parlor with an adjoining tap room – has the cozy charm of a Vermont country inn with all the services of a resort. additional lodging throughout the Valley can be found on Sugarbush’s website and booked online.
a visit to the Valley isn’t complete without discovering one of the many farms that bring food to local tables. Kingsbury farm in Waitsfield, owned by Vermont foodbank, provides fresh produce for the Kingsbury market Garden, as well as regional food shelves. Lareau farm, just on the other side of the river, is the unsuspecting home of american flatbread’s gourmet wood-fired pizzas that are loaded with home-grown vegetables. The Vermont yak Company and Von Trapp farmstead (yes, as in The Sound of Music) provide fresh meats and cheeses to Valley homes and restaurants. and Sugarbush’s own locavore gardens – spread throughout the premises – produce corn, beans, greens, and strawberries that are served at Timbers restaurant.
transpOrtatIOn The Burlington International airport is just 44 miles from Sugarbush, with daily flights arriving from new york, Boston, and other metropolitan areas. amtrak runs trains from major eastern cities into rutland (one hour south of Sugarbush) and Waterbury (30 minutes north). and once you’ve arrived, Green mountain Transit offers free public transportation services in the winter season within the mad river Valley region via the mad Bus.
(food) stina bootH; (garden) sandy macys
MOuntaIn statIstICs Skiable acres: 578 miles of trails: 53 Tree-skiing areas: 20 Summit elevation: 4,083 feet Base elevation: 1,483 feet Vertical drop: 2,600 feet average annual snowfall: 269 inches Terrain parks: 3
LIfts (16 tOtaL) 7 quads (5 high speed) 2 triples 4 doubles 3 surface lifts
OperatIng hOurs and COntaCt InfO Weekdays: 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Weekend/holiday: 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Season: mid-november–april 802-583-6300; 800-53-SuGar sugarbush.com Warren, Vermont
SugarbuSh close-up CalenDar 2011–12
that brings together the Sugarbush community for Win’s update on the resort, a harvest-time barbecue, free kids’ bike clinics, a dogfriendly family hike, crafts, live music, and more. 11/19 Big Kicker at the Big Picture mad river Glen and Sugarbush team up to kick off the ski-and-ride season at the Valley’s community gathering spot: the Big Picture Theater & Café. festivities include a ski-and-ride movie showing, a photography exhibit, music, and drink specials. 12/12–16 Valley Ski and Ride Week Get ready for the season with these five days of coaching from Sugarbush’s adventure Learning Center experts and pre- and après social events. 12/24 Christmas Eve Service The nondenominational service kicks off at 5 p.m. at the Gate house Base Lodge. 12/30 Tour the Moon This evening event includes a guided skin up mt. ellen to the Glen house for a cozy casual dinner, followed by a moonlit ski down. 12/31 New Year’s Eve Celebration ring in the new year with a family-style dinner and entertainment in the Gate house Base Lodge, as well as an elegant
dining celebration in Timbers restaurant, and the annual torchlight parade and fireworks. 1/14–16 Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend This long weekend is perfect for a quick ski-and-ride vacation that includes fireworks, a mini–farmers’ market, parents’ night out, and a kids’ movie. 2/4 Junior Castlerock Extreme young skiers take on Sugarbush’s famed peak – Castlerock – in this second annual junior version of the Castlerock extreme, with winners progressing to the adult competition (scheduled for 3/10). But remember to sign up early – this competition sells out fast. 2/5 Mount Hardwear Randonnee Race Top backcountry racers – as well as expert recreational skiers – converge in the mad river Valley for this endurance race that starts at mad river Glen and ends at Sugarbush’s Lincoln Peak. 2/18–26 President’s Week Celebration Check out this marathon of mountain fun that includes a family-style dinner, the annual torchlight parade and fireworks, parents’ night out, teen night, Tour the moon (see description for 12/30 event), a family rock-climbing party, and more.
3/10 Castlerock Extreme This longstanding Sugarbush event challenges the top skiers to take on Castlerock Peak’s famous Lift Line run. 3/18 Vermont Teddy Bear Race There’s no better way to introduce your children to racing than with this event that features a visit from Vermont Teddy Bear. 3/24 Sugaring Time Festival This day of spring skiing comes accompanied with a heaping helping of maple syrup, including a maple-doughnut eating contest for kids, sugar-onsnow sampling, a mountain-wide scavenger hunt, a barbecuing competition, and live music. 3/25 Dummy Big Air Design and build a dummy and launch it off a giant jump to the cheers of the crowd. Prizes are awarded for “most original dummy” and “best crash.” 3/31 Pond Skimming The water can’t be any colder than it was last season! Show everyone what you’re made of during this 40-plus-year tradition that tasks skiers and riders to skim across the pond. 4/1 Spring Mogul In this spring rite of passage, skiers show off their moves in the bumps on mt. ellen’s The Cliffs.
4/8 Easter Sunday Celebrate easter with a sunrise service at allyn’s Lodge, egg hunts, and a brunch at Timbers restaurant. 4/14–15 Sugarbush Adventure Games This weekend of running, paddling, biking, and skiing through the Valley includes the popular Kids’ Triathlon on Saturday and then the fourevent triathlon on Sunday (open to men, women, corporate groups, and teams of family and friends). 5/28–6/17 Green
Mountain Opera Festival
Bringing international talent to the Valley, this festival offers free open rehearsals at Lincoln Peak, affordable family-friendly outdoor performances, an Opera Brunch at Timbers restaurant, and finale performances in the Valley and at the Barre Opera house. 6/16 Solstice Brew-Grass Festival Celebrate summer with live music and a wide selection of local beers. Last year was a sellout, so get your tickets early. 7/4 Fourth of July Celebration fourth of July in the Valley is like no other. Check out the famous parade (a party that lasts long after the floats disappear), the air show, local food events, live music, and Sugarbush’s biggest fireworks display of the year.
(all pHotos) sandy macys
10/8 Community Day Celebration a family celebration