Mountain Views - Spring Surprises
Monday, March 6, 2017
Written by John Bleh
My family and I have some great memories of spring skiing at Sugarbush, and Lili reminds me that she only skis in the colder months to be ready for spring skiing. I still have vivid memories of the spring of 2008...
Now that we've finally made it out of the plethora of Presidents' Week events and activities, we can turn our attention forward on all of our major spring events. Most of our spring events are annual mainstays with plenty of history behind them. Win's memories of big storms in the spring could reoccur at any time, and tucked in between those storms are fun and long-lived events. In fact, March and April at Sugarbush are usually months steeped in rich history and tradition.
This Sunday is the High Fives Fat Ski-a-Thon, an event we have hosted for several years now. For the first time in the event's history, we've moved the fun to the Valley House Quad at Lincoln Peak. Now in its sixth season, the event brings friends and family together for a daylong ski-a-thon in support of the High Fives Foundation.
The Castlerock Extreme has been postponed until next weekend, and will take place Saturday, March 11th. The location will be determined closer to the date. Thanks to the recent warm-up, we had to relocate the event off of the Castlerock area, which is currently closed until we see more snow. This is the 20th season that Sugarbush has hosted Castlerock Extreme, and the event always brings a great mix of young and old. One of our competitors, nicknamed "The Mailman", has participated in every Castlerock Extreme. I've seen him on the mountain the last few days, practicing his turns for Saturday's competition.
The other two big competitions we have this spring are Stein's Challenge on April 22nd, returning for its second year, and Pond Skimming on April 8th, which has been around longer than most can remember. If anyone knows the first year we ever hosted pond skimming, reach out to me as I'm curious how long the tradition has run for. Some say it's the oldest such competition in the east, maybe even the country.
Our Sugaring Time Festival, representing the start of spring and sugaring season, is on Saturday, March 18th and is equipped with maple-inspired cuisine and cocktails, as well as a maple syrup scavenger hunt. Sugaring has played a large role in the history of the Valley and dates back many years. Sugarbush itself is named for the trees that populate the mountain, paying homage to sugaring. There are still numerous maple syrup producers and purveyors around the Valley to this day.
If you're interested in delving deeper into the people involved with shaping the history of the Valley and Vermont, I suggest reading a recent article in Seven Days titled "Lucky Bums: How a Generation of Skiers Shaped Vermont". The article includes plenty of familiar Valley names like Charlie Brown, Win Smith, Henri Borel, John Egan, the Potters, and many more.