Freeski and Snowboard Events Line-Up

By Adam Gray

Calling all terrain park enthusiasts! Time to pack away those snowboard and ski films that help you make it through the summer because winter is finally here! More importantly, the 2013-2014 winter season is jam packed with park events for both skiers and riders of all ability levels and ages.

We couldn’t be any more excited for the return of some of the best events in Vermont and the start of others. If you love to ski or ride in the park, the place to be this winter is right here at Stratton. The air is buzzing with excitement this year as the mountain welcomes back The Cold Wars Series, Village Rail Jam, USASA Series and the Vermont Open.121229_usasa_railjam_Snowboard_HS03

The Village Rail Jam is one of the favorites here on November 30. It’s the first on-snow jam of the season on the mountain’s most visible stage in the heart of Stratton’s Village. The Stratton Parks Crew trucks in some of the season’s first snow to prop up a feature. Drop in, show the mountain what you’ve got, get rid of those first jib jitters and compete for a cash prize and some swag.

First hit was at 2pm today. Richie, of Stratton Parks crew, had only good things to say about the talent that came out to participate today, “It’s been a cornucopia of great skiing and riding at this year’s Village Rail Jam.”

The Cold War Series is another chance for you to compete for cash, swag and bragging rights on Tyro’s rail and box features. The jam will start at 11am in Tyrolienne Park on January 18. As always, in order to have fun, you have to play safe, so helmets will be required. If you only plan on watching you’re in luck because the event is conveniently located within view from the Main Base Area.121229_usasa_railjam_Ski

The USASA Southern Vermont Snowboard and Freeski Series also returns to Stratton with 8 events: 3 rail jams, 4 skier/boardercross competitions and a banked slalom event. The first USASA rail jam at Stratton goes big in Tyro on December 29 and is open to both skiers and riders of all ages and abilities. See if you’ve got what it takes to top the podium in both categories.

130126_Boardercross_Sun_HS11The most anticipated event returning March 7-9 is the newly famed Vermont Open. Stratton Mountain and The Washed Up Cup bring you The Vermont Open, an event designed for snowboarders by snowboarders. There’s over $20,000 in prize money. For one weekend, snowboarders of all pedigrees come together to ride, compete, party and enjoy the snow. It’s a highlight of the season that’s not to be missed. This is truly open. The competition is open to all snowboarders and designed for amateurs, juniors, pros and snowboarding’s legends to compete in the same arena. If you’re not looking to participate, there is a plethora of other activities going on through these days. After all, the weekend is coined as a Snowboard and Music Festival. Get out here and witness some great snowboarding and music acts.

freeskiNew this season on February 20-22 for all you skiers in search of top level competition is the North Face Park and Pipe Series. The North Face Park & Pipe series is a grassroots pipeline for athletes hoping to develop their skills and eventually qualify for top-level competitions. In addition to providing an open competition opportunity for athletes, The North Face is also the charter sponsor of U.S. Freeskiing through 2018. Some of freeskiing’s top names have competed in The North Face PPOS, including Gus Kenworthy, David Wise, Nick Goepper, Joss Christensen, Devin Logan, Roz Groenewoud and Maddie Bowman. Will you be the next name?

The Running Turkey Prepares for the Gobble Gobble Wobble

By Tyler Lewis

Who’s ready for the Gobble Gobble Wobble? I am! What’s not to love about a 5K with Fun costumes, great people and a great 5K course in the Stratton Village? Nothing. I for one will be wearing a massive turkey costume for the duration of the event and couldn’t be happier about it.

The first thing I do when I decide to run a 5K is to make sure I pre-register online (which you can do here for the GGW). This allows me to relax the morning of the race, leaving more time for stretching and talking with friends.

To train for this event I’m taking a little different approach than most. I’m starting by actually running a few practice 5Ks, which isn’t too difficult, especially since I live in one of the greatest areas in the country. Any place I choose to run ends up having breath taking views and amazing trails. The second part of my training consists of figuring out how to run a 5K in a turkey costume… its big, bulky and restricts leg movement. If you’re lucky you may even see a six foot three turkey running down the roads around Stratton in preparation of the Gobble Gobble Wobble.

The Monday before the event I’ll hopefully be physically ready for the event, and will start hydrating. The three days before the event I will be drinking LOTS of water. When race day comes I want my body to already be hydrated. Chugging water before the race is never a good idea.

The Tuesday before the race I will be having a pasta dinner at my house which gives my body time to process all the carbohydrates before the race Thursday morning. I was thinking pasta, meat balls, garlic bread and a Caesar salad will do the trick…oh yeah and lots of water.

The day before a race I like to take it easy and do as little physical activity as possible. I also believe in lots of stretching throughout the day. That night I make sure I get between 6-8 hours of sleep no more no less.

When I wake up on thanksgiving I will be ready. Ready to tackle the Gobble Gobble Wobble as a turkey. A small breakfast is important, maybe an egg and toast or a breakfast bar. When I get to the race I’ll be all registered so I can just show up, put my race number on and start my stretching routine (which is top secret).

When the race starts I’m going to take off like a turkey during hunting season, only to be passed a mile down the road by the majority of racers. My plan is to have as much fun as possible and try and make everyone else enjoy the race as much as me.

Can’t wait to see everyone on Thanksgiving at the Gobble Gobble Wobble!

Your running turkey,

Tyler Lewis

How Will You Give This Season?

By Anne Reynolds

Season greetings! It’s time to think of others. Right? As much as I gripe about holiday shopping, I really do love buying gifts for people. It’s the one time of year when I get to force my taste on others and there is literally nothing they can do about it. Holiday etiquette requires that you express unbridled joy and gratitude when opening my present. After, all it’s the thought that counts and my thought is that this blue sweater is much more flattering than the old shapeless, stained, ratty sweater that your college girlfriend gave you. I never need to know that you may be secretly thinking about how soon you can re-gift it without getting caught.

Yes, giving is as much for the giver as the receiver. This is especially true when buying gifts for kids. There is nothing better than revisiting your childhood through the aisles of Toys R Us, squealing with delight and shouting out “I used to have this” to anyone around you while holding up a bendable Gumby doll. One year before Chip, my son, was born I was shopping for a toy to donate to Toys for Tots and came across my all-time favorite childhood toy, the Hippty Hop. Remember? The Hippity Hop was or still is the inflatable 18-36” ball shaped like an overweight horse or kangaroo.

I decided to buy it and since I was feeling particularly nostalgic I would get one for myself too.  I went home, immediately broke out my bike air pump and spent the next hour and a half trying to inflate my pink horsey Hippity Hop. Finally I determined that it was inflated enough to produce some serious bounces and I sat down on it and began to hop. Unfortunately, I didn’t take into account that Hippity Hops are designed for people under four feet tall and weigh less than 75lbs. On my second bounce my knees hit the floor which caused my upper body to propel forward and subsequently I smashed my head into the corner of my coffee table. I ended up knocking myself out and since I lived alone back then I had no idea how long I had been unconscious. I woke up with a huge gash in my forehead that no amount of makeup could cover. I wound up needing stitches and completely mortified. Needless to say, two kids received a Hippity Hop that year.

Of course, I still buy toys. I buy them for my son, my nephews, my friend’s kids and anonymous kids that don’t get to have brand new stuff very often. I still love it and although most of the time I resist buying the same toy for myself, I always get incredibly nostalgic and happy. I encourage you to donate a new unwrapped toy this year (see details below for Stratton Toy Drive). Giving anonymously is the best kind of giving you can do. Having volunteered and worked with disadvantaged children (yes, I have a soul) I know firsthand the impact of these gifts on the children who receive them.

For many kids this may be the first time they receive something to open for the holidays or maybe it’s the first time they open two or three presents. It’s hard to imagine but it’s true. Presents are a luxury for kids living in poverty especially when getting enough to eat is a daily struggle. If you are not in a position to buy something please consider giving the gift of your time. There are so many opportunities in our communities to volunteer and help those less fortunate. No matter what form your giving takes, just remember that the act of giving is equally if not more of a present to yourself than to the one receiving it.

By the way I have already ordered a gift for the Toy Drive from Amazon. It’s a Sit N Spin; the superfast super fun spinning seat.  I know whoever gets it is going to love it just as much as I am going to love mine. 😉Stratton Toy Drive

The Fire Tower Restaurant & Tavern

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By Lauren Suriani

Who doesn’t love a good meal, especially when it’s delicious? Last night the marketing team at Stratton got a chance to try out the new restaurant located in the Stratton Village, The Fire Tower Restaurant & Tavern (formally Organic Pizza Company).

If you were around at all this summer, you may have noticed some commotion in the village and a lot of it happening around what is now The Fire Tower. Owner, Peter Micioni, has created something that everyone is going to love. The atmosphere inside is cozy and relaxing yet upscale and modern. They are calling it “rustic Vermont meets urban chic.” It was great to see the locally milled timbers and barn board as well as hand blown glass lighting, which were created right in Manchester.

But the atmosphere isn’t the only great thing; the food was fantastic. Everyone was raving. From drinks to dessert, Fire Tower doesn’t miss a beat. I thoroughly enjoyed my quesadilla appetizer. Loaded with braised beef and a special sour cream, I couldn’t get enough. The jerk wings were also delicious. Served with a special dipping sauce that was the perfect mix of sweet and tangy. They than surprised us by bringing out pizza for us to sample. Again, it was awesome. For my entrée, I ordered what I like to call the best cut of pork I’ve ever had. It was cooked to perfection and topped with figs and apples.

They will be offering everything from soups and salads, to shrimp, chipotle glazed ribs, burgers and pizza. And let’s not forget about the bar. Topped with concrete and illuminated alabaster panels the bar was the place to be last night. They offer some of the most unique Vermont craft beer as well as wine from around the globe.

ImageThe official opening of The Fire Tower is tomorrow, Saturday, November 23. They will offer lunch at 11:30am, après at 2:30pm and dinner at 5pm. They will also offer carry out and delivery options in case you want to stay in after a hard day on the slopes.

Stop in and give The Fire Tower a try. You surely will not be disappointed.

Season Firsts – Stratton Mountain Edition

By Tyler Lewis

Now that the season has begun, what are you looking forward to most? First day on the slopes? Powder day? Après ski? Season firsts are great, I think about them all the time. One of the things I look forward to most is opening day at the mountain. I usually start the countdown to opening day in late August, right when the summer’s winding down. Besides opening day here are some of the things I look forward to most this winter

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Ski/Snowboard
Chair lift ride
Gondola ride
First chocolate covered waffle
Cross Country Ski
Snowshoe
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Ice skate
SNOW DAY!
Powder day
Blue bird day
First après ski
First yard sale (good crash)
Snow angel
Snow ball121227_Leon.Lauren_Snowy_HS2400px1
Hot chocolate
Cardio Tennis with Rob
Walk through the village
Be. Series Event
Stratton Fireworks

Can anyone complete the list before New Year’s?

I’ll be out there giving it my best.

First Day Ritual

By Tyler Lewis

Everyone’s got one, what’s yours? Huge breakfast? Ski movies? Waxing?

My first day rituals start 14 hours before first chair. I throw on my favorite snowboard movie That’s It That’s All and pack my gear bag, making sure to remember all the new gear I got in the offseason. Once my gear bag is ready to go, I make sure my snowboard from last season (I never ride a new board on opening day) has a fresh wax, tight hardware and perfect edges or lack of edges actually. I will then put all my gear by the doorway and lay my out my outfit, just like the first day of school. On the morning of opening day, I’ll get up early and make a huge breakfast, bacon, eggs and fruit, while watching That’s it That’s All…again. When I get to the mountain I put my left boot on before the right and my right glove on before my left, weird I know. Once I get on the mountain there’s no ritual, just pure enjoyment and happiness!

What’s your fist day ritual?

See you Saturday, November 23.

Opening Day – Saturday, November 23

So when are we opening?  Saturday.  This Saturday, November 23, with signature Stratton snow coverage on the three bears:  Polar, Black and Grizzly plus Frank’s Fall Line for intermediate and advanced upper-mountain skiing and riding.  You’ll also find beginner terrain on Cub and the Cub Carpet.

We want to thank our snowmakers and groomers for getting this party started.  And this is just the start.  This week, we’re looking at four days and nights of outstanding snowmaking weather and a continued expansion of our trail count here at Stratton. Keep checking the snow report as we will keep it continually updated regarding our snowmaking progress and plans. Consider this your official head’s up.  Get those skis and boards, boots and gloves ready for Saturday because we’re spinning the lifts at 8:30 am.

While we could have opened earlier, we looked at all the forecasts and did not find one that predicted smooth sailing up until this point. So we stuck to our strategy of letting that six-day stockpile cure before grooming it out and exposing it to the elements.  That means opening day will be awesome! And we’re looking forward to adding trails to the count by the day thanks to the power of Stratton snowmaking and some help from Mother Nature. Let it Snow…

Can’t wait to see you this weekend and over Thanksgiving with a full menu of events.

Preparing for the Season

By Tyler Lewis

How are you preparing for the upcoming ski/snowboard season? Hitting the gym? Shopping? Watching Ski/Snowboard films? Keeping an eye on the 10-day weather outlook?

121230_snowy_whiteLady2_smile_HS2400pxSince moving to Vermont a month ago, I’ve been preparing for my first 100+ day snowboard season. Some of the big things I’m preparing for are dropping temperatures, long days and fatigue. Besides preparing myself physically, I’m preparing mentally by watching snowboard movies and constantly checking the weather.

Dropping temperatures are my biggest worry. When I wake up to 20 degrees, I question whether or not I’ll make it all day snowboarding midwinter. I like to pretend spending time outside in less than adequate clothing will help me adjust quicker to the temps, but the truth is that it probably will not. Facing reality, I’ve switched my efforts to finding a great first layer and jacket; I’m currently searching the Stratton Village for the perfect combo. 130222_BlueJkt_UpStandard_Sun_HS2400px2

Long days also worry me since work as a Snow Reporter starts at 5:30am. I have been working on a special blend of coffee, hot chocolate and candy that should keep me going all day. If that doesn’t work, I’ve perfected the power nap.

Snowboarding 100+ days is very demanding on your body so I’ve been going to the gym five days a week, working on the various muscles groups used while snowboarding. I also volunteered to run the Gobble Gobble Wobble in a turkey costume, which should be great exercise…hopefully.
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Final piece of the puzzle is to get hyped for the season. Check out Stratton Mountain YouTube channel and watch the first snow reports of the season.