Solstice Starts

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Welcome back to the Sugarbush Stoke Exchange ... just in time to celebrate the official start of summer!  Our apologies for taking a few weeks off, we've been busy building a new trail above the Sugarbush Inn, near Eurich Pond (pronounced Irish). Swell Hill will replace Hell Hill and parts of Purgatory, improving the Lincoln Peak to Waitsfield connections with a sweet new route. 

Near the top of Swell Hill.  

For those who don't know, I have two other jobs besides my Sugarbush gig. I am also executive director of the Mad River Riders trail organization and owner of Stoneblender Trails, a trail building company. The bumper sticker says, "Moonlight in VT ... or starve." ;) All of these jobs intersect in many ways and it is great to work in such a tight knit community where so much overlaps. The synergy is real. 

Using some power tools. Photo by Jeb Wallace-Brodeur.

While the Swell Hill project is important to Sugarbush and the greater Mad River Valley network, Sugarbush Parks is also doing some great work on and near the mountain to improve the trails at Lincoln Peak. This includes re-awakening the Lollipop Loop near the bottom of the parking lot with some tasty dirt jumps and berms, upgrading the terrain park, building a beginner zone and refreshing classic routes like Grand Stand and Wild Turkey. Our combined enduro-style routes to the Valley floor offer 3000 vertical foot descents through different climate zones and forest types.

Field of dreams. The Bobfather picking wild strawberries on Snowball on a previous opening day.  

Whether you like to hike, ride, golf, swim, paddle, eat, drink or just sit by the river, summer fun is amazing here and well worth leaving the beach for a visit. We've got one or two more trails to build this season, so expect some sporadic Stokes. I'll check in as often as possible, but the best way to get stoked is to actually go enjoy the trails. See you on the mountain!

John Atkinson
Chairman, Sugarbush Stoke Exchange