A Very Special Weekend
Friday, April 12, 2019
Written by Win Smith
Last weekend was a very special one here at Sugarbush. It began Friday evening with movies and storytelling. The Courtyard Room in the Gate House Lodge was full and everyone enjoyed the four short movies that Alan Hurwitz and John Bleh produced about our Founders, Après, Ski & Ride and Patrol. Everyone who saw them learned more about our famed history and gained an even greater appreciation for the community that has evolved here over the past 60 years.
Early in the week we had worried that Saturday might begin wet, but that did not happen and even though it was mainly cloudy some moments of sun appeared and the skiing was actually very nice. Pond Skimming began at high noon, and I was the first forerunner with a costume honoring our first après scene – The Wunderbar. I felt I made it across again, but I was overruled since I did not get out cleanly but rather used the bamboo stick from Dave Ulbrich to assist stepping out. I lacked a bit of speed that day. My granddaughter, Vivian, who is now eight followed dressed as Jack from The Incredibles. She had practiced tucking with her coach, MA, and got some good speed entering the pond, but sat back a bit too far and sank into the cold water. My grandson, Cole, dressed as Mr. Incredible got about halfway again but also sank into the clear and cold pond. Then came my determined son, Cameron, dressed as a Viking, to finally make it across and impress his girlfriend and numerous friends visiting for the weekend. (No Smith other than me has yet crossed the pond successfully). But, alas, he did not have sufficient speed either and will have to try again next year. Later my two stepdaughters, Kelsey and Sophie and their new brother-in-law, Nate, dressed as Scoobie Doo, Daphne, and Fred gave their best but also fell short. The 90 foot pond proved to be a tough challenge as the soft snow and warm weather slowed many down. However, ten of the 120 entries did manage to skim across successfully and a few had some spectacular crashes into the pond. Chris Parkinson of course, did his annual splash the judges move while making it across. He even changed his name at registration so they wouldn’t know when he was coming.
Afterwards music in the courtyard created a fun environment and many stayed around to enjoy the camaraderie of an April après. Around 2:30pm a roar from the sky was heard and looking up one could see four F-16 fighters overhead. As many of you know, the Vermont Air National Guard is one of the elite air outfits in the USA. They patrolled the skies over New York after 9-11 and have served in harm’s way in the Middle East a few times in the past couple of decades. The F-16s are being retired to make way for the new F-35s, so we were thrilled to see four of them fly over Sugarbush on their way out. I have been fortunate to get to know many of the men and women in VTANG. They are remarkable people, and we owe them a great deal for what they do for our country. A number of them are also members of our community.
At 6:00pm we began our first Wall of Fame Induction in the Courtyard Room of the Gate House Lodge to a full audience. We showed a video celebrating the six founders; Damon & Sara Gadd, Jack Murphy, Lixi Fortna, Peter Estin and John Roth and then presented a certificate to each of the families. Following we inducted our first four Wall of Famers who had been nominated by members of our Community. A video was prepared for each and the individual nominators formally introduced the four inductees: Darian Boyle, Dave Gould, Wayne McCue and Marit Tardy. Watching the videos and listening to the introductions made it clear why these four were selected. After the ceremony, we unveiled the Wall of Fame which is located on the first floor of the Gate House next to the Adventure Gear store. Then we moved over to Rumble’s for dinner, which was followed by fireworks. The nominating period for the next class will begin next January, and we will be getting out information about the process prior to that. So give some thought to those whom your feel should be nominated.
The first three days of this week were pretty rotten and the conditions were firm and fast. Fortunately, the sun came out on Thursday and the temperatures warmed up a bit. The forecast for the weekend is looking a lot better and Saturday is now likely going to be more spring like and hopefully even sunny. The Grift will be returning to play in the plaza in the afternoon and will be playing a selection of the tunes they played during our decade celebrations this winter. So it is worthwhile planning to be here for another weekend of skiing and camaraderie.
This will be the last weekend for the Gate House, North Lynx, Castlerock and Village Lifts. Next week we will be running Bravo and Heaven’s Gate and then moving to the Valley House Quad for our final full week and grand finale over Cinco de Mayo weekend. Hopefully, I will see you then as I move toward my goal of a 150 days of skiing this season.