Who you calling Fat?

By Kirby Daly

When a friend asked me the other day if I wanted to go for a fat bike ride I thought he was trying to tell me that I needed to start working out because I was fat.  Being offended, I started laying in to him. It wasn’t until he began to laugh hysterically that I realized I was missing something.

“No” he said, “they are called fat bikes because of the size of their tires.” Fat Bikes

Have you ever seen these? They are super cool looking, like something out of a cartoon. But why fat tires, what’s the deal? Well how about the fact that you can ride them through sand and even in the snow. These bloated bikes first popped up in the late 80s after the first prototype was built and used to trek across the Sahara Fat Bikedessert. In 1990, an Alaskan man began fitting standard mountain bike frames with SnowCat rims, specifically for use in the snow. Since then, many big name bicycle companies have picked up the trend and it just seems to keep growing.

I tried one through some snow trails and let me tell you, it is so much fun. I never thought I would ever be mountain biking in winter; what a cool an experience. If you want to give my new hobby a try, you can right now! The Nordic Center here at Stratton has a fleet for you to demo. Go have an adventure.

Would You Do This For 24 Hours!?

By Courtney DiFiore

March, as always, is packed with events at Stratton. Spring skiing and fun events go together like peanut butter and jelly – a classic combination. Last weekend, the Vermont Open rocked the resort with amazing riders of all levels. This time around, it’s anyone’s game as we kick off the Annual 24 Hours of Stratton. This is your chance to enjoy skiing and boarding from dusk to dawn, live bands, event swag, fireworks and more! Whether you’re a first timer to the event or a veteran, you’ll love (and thank us for) our 24 Hour Checklist.

24 Hours Of Stratton Must-Have Checklist

1. Equipment – Though basic, it’s like your toothbrush; items such as these can be easily forgotten because they’re so obvious. If you don’t have you’re own ride, try rentals. 121121_opening_smile_lauren_meryl_HS (1)2. Check the Snow Report – Weather in Vermont is funny. It can (and will!) change in seconds. Let us help you pick the proper attire by checking in with the Snow Reporters first. Plus, whilst you’re on resort, you can continue to check for updates on your mobile device. Southern Vermont weather is tricky, but just like us, you’ll learn to love it.  Snowboarder in powder

sleeping at 24 Hours of Stratton 2014
3. Coffee – Unless your the next Edward Cullen, you’ll need to sleep OR a lot of caffeine to keep you up for 24 hours. The Market and Market Bistro, located in the Base Lodge will be your go-to for coffee, soda and more.
24 Hours of Stratton 2014



4. Friends No matter what you’re doing, it’s always more fun when shared with friends and/or family. Participating as a team will make for unforgettable memories and a lot of encouragement. See how much all the teams have raised!


5. Hand Warmers – You will be skiing and riding at night when temperatures usually dip into single digits so a few sets of hand and toe warmers are a must. A nice cup of hot chocolate is another way to keep those hands warm…and my personal favorite. Stop by the Village to pick up some hand warmers. 24 Hours of Stratton Night Skiing

6. Costume – It’s always a treat to see people in costume. Some teams match their attire while others are as unique as the snowflakes that fall over Stratton. Check out pictures from last year for inspiration.  24 hours of stratton costumes

24 Hours of Stratton7. GoPro – Once a year, we give skiers and riders the chance to carve up the mountain for a full 24 hours, that’s something we find people want to remember forever. What better way to do that, than snapping some photos or capturing some footage? As a bonus, those photos you take could win you a GoPro. Check out the Instagram Photo Contest for details.

24 Hours of Stratton

8. Tent – Camping gear probably isn’t the first thing you think of when preparing for a ski and snowboard event, but when it lasts 24 hours you may need one. On the other hand, if you plan on staying awake, you can skip the tent and enjoy the live music line-up.


9. A Positive Attitude – You’re never truly dressed without a smile! Remember that this event is to raise money for the the Stratton Foundation which focuses on underprivileged youth in Vermont. It should be fun and you should feel good knowing you’re helping the foundation provide basic living necessities such as food, warm clothing, personal care items, access to dental treatment,  school supplies, transportation to school and doctors visits, and an equality of educational opportunities for  children that cannot otherwise afford them. 24 Hours of Stratton

And finally…this isn’t an item to check off your list but remember to have fun and thank Ski Patrol, Lift Operators, Groomers and anyone else you see in a red jacket. Just like you, members of the Stratton team will be on the hill a full 24 hours working to keep our trails maintained, lifts running, lodge open and more. It’s always nice to hear your appreciated. Speaking of, we can’t wait to join you on the Mountain for 24 hours of FUN(raising). We’re overjoyed to see so many people coming out for this great event.24 Hours of Stratton Fireworks

A Near Perfect Valentine’s Day

By Charlie Reetz

Before I begin, I must say I do not currently have a significant other. I’ve learned that waiting for the right woman to come along is not only more appropriate but more useful to me now than my earlier years. That being said I’ve cared for everyone who has entered my life and I would share this following scenario with any one of you. This is my description of a near perfect date.

Waking up to a foot of snow is naturally a dream and to have that on Saturday would be more than awesome. The date actually begins at 8am when we both could get on the mountain before most skiers and riders. Having fun in the powder with friends is only half of the excitement for Valentine’s Day.  When the lifts start to close down or our legs have taken enough exercise then we enjoy après at Grizzly’s while some funky live music resonates the bar.

Afterwards it’s time to relax, maybe a moment of rejuvenation by visiting the steam room or hot tub at the Training & Fitness Center. At home she kicks her feet up on the coffee table and watches a romantic comedy or reads a good book while I prepare a dinner for the both of us. I’ll admit I don’t normally cook but I would make something to her liking, even if it were vegetarian or a big ol’ bacon burger. After dinner we could simply step out the front door to see the 8:30pm fireworks in the distance. No gifts have been exchanged; only the comfort of company brings warmth and joy.

Then the party begins. All of our good friends together while drinks and debauchery continue through the midnight hour means a good time. A favorite of mine actually is a glass of Ballantine’s scotch whiskey to help celebrate “Ballantine’s Day.”  All in all, the day is well spent with a lovely lady, and after describing those 24 hours I’d be happy to do it all over again the next day.

Fit & Fun Winter Dates

By Courtney DiFiore

Claim First Tracks
It’s time for you and the sweetheart to earn those turns. Grab batteries for the head lamp and take to the hill early morning. Skin or hike up, share a private sunrise, then enjoy first tracks. Talk about a unique, shared experience to remember forever.
HSP2015_2297-2250px-2Hit the Nordic Trails
Not everyone is willing to race down steeps on two planks and that’s okay. We have Nordic trails for those who prefer flatter ground. Don’t let the lack of elevation fool you, this is quite the work out. Cross Country Ski or Snowshoe through 12 miles of groomed trails. Located in the Sun Bowl, the Nordic Center is open 7 days a week from 9am-4pm with the warming hut open Weekends and Holidays from 9am-4pm. Start planning your date!
HSP2014_5960-2250pxGo Tubing
Trade the lake for a mountain and go snow tubing! This is more on the fun side than fit, but if you opt to walk up the hill instead of taking the lift-service you could get a really good work out. Located in Stratton’s Sun Bowl, the Coca-Cola Tube Park features four lanes of lift-serviced snow tubing, warming hut with light refreshments and fire pit. Play by day or under the lights at night!
HSP_6213Visit the Ice Castle
Picture yourself as Elsa in the movie Frozen. That’s what you’ll feel like when stepping into the Ice Castle located in the Sun Bowl Base Area. You and your date can explore winding mazes and archways all crafted by hand using only icicles and water. This one of a kind, spectacular icy forest is the perfect back drop for that couple selfie you’ve been dying to take.
150117_IceCastleNight_HS_3572Go Biking
Ever heard of Fat Bikes? Equip with fatter, more durable tires Fat Bikes allow you to ride on snow. Now you and your special someone can go cycling year round. Talk about an Instagram worthy shot of the two of you!
Fat Bike Village

The Midnight Hour

By Charlie Reetz

As the Snow Reporter, I don’t get many late nights because I have to be in the office by 5:30am. It’s become a rejuvenating routine to start the day that early and fall asleep before 9pm while everyone else might be out on the town. Though if I were to do that every day I would not have a social life, and there’s nothing quite like a party to boost morale. In today’s entry I will take you through a typical procedure through the witching hour.

7:30pm – Around this time I’ve finished dinner and made contact with some friends. If plans are to lead me off the mountain I save the drinks for the bar, but normally I like visiting Green Door Pub in the Stratton Village, just a short walk from my house, so I start drinking PBR tall boys.

8:30/9pm – Pre drinks are a routine for many others. It allows you to spend less money when settled at the bar and to start a buzz early. I like to have a few and arrive at GDP before 10 when DJ Joe Bell usually kicks off the party. The first thing I do upon entering the pub is get another tall boy and some quarters to play a few games of pool.

10pm/12pm – During this time I’m fixated on having a good time no matter what. Typically, I’ll be holding it down on the felt for a few games, but I’m not going to be bothered if I lose a game or two. Any bar with parlor games available is a huge preference for me. Weather attending a club, pub, or the middle of the street DANCING IS ALSO WIDELY ACCEPTED IN MY BOOK. I may look silly sometimes, but again at this point nothing bothers me.

1pm – This is about the time I’ll start to wind down. Waking up at 4:30am for work days has affected my internal clock and I feel tired earlier, especially after a few drinks. As soon as I’m back home, I pour a massive glass of water for myself and fall asleep to a good movie.

Share with me what a typical night at Stratton is for you and maybe I’ll see you out there. If we do meet I’ll buy the first round, and if you’re a lovely lady I’ll buy the second.

Around the Mtn Dining

By Kirby Daly

It is my pleasure to keep you updated as I embark on a journey of the taste buds. I have been tasked with exploring Stratton’s food and beverage experience, from on hill eateries to hidden off hill gems holes. Casual, fancy and everything in-between, there seems to be something for everyone.

meatMy first mission was to find out what the mouth-watering smell was coming from the newly renovated mid-mountain lodge. When I reached my destination, I almost forgot to clip out of my skis as the smoky fragrance filled the air. I knew instantly; Smoked Meats! To my surprise, the once Mexican inspired mid-mountain cuisine has taken on a whole new approach and a new name to go with it. Mountain Smoke takes comfort food from home and brings it to the hill.

Originally from New York, the man behind all this smoke is James Casterline. The man has been preparing food for a long time and for some fairly colorful groups and people such as Phish, Godsmack, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift. With all of his time on tours, he says he has experienced BBQ from all around the country, preparing him to unleash a truly original collection of traditional comfort dishes.

beansUsing a combination of fresh hickory and oak, already the mountain has smoked almost 7,000 pounds of local meat. Between beef brisket, spare ribs, pulled pork, smoked chicken and all the sides to go with it, there is plenty of comfort to go around. All rubs were invented and created in-house along with 8 original sauces to choose and mix from.

I’d love to describe the food in detail but my words have no justice to the melt-in-your-mouth sensation that these meats acquire…you need to try it yourself. I declare five BBQ sauce covered stars.

Goals for the Season

By Charlie Reetz

charlie photoThere’s one question I ask myself at the beginning of every season. What are my goals to accomplish before the snow melts? So for those of you just as amped as I am for the season, I’d like to share with you a few of my aspirations for the winter.

101 Days

Accomplishing one hundred days on the hill is a challenge already, but I want to add that extra day just because. On every mountain there is a society of men and women who are able to get in those days. Some call it the 100 club others may call it #100happydays but it’s certainly a goal every serious skier and snowboarder strives to achieve toward the end of the season.

Going Inverted

A back flip is not as hard as people may think; it’s just a matter of having the guts to do it. I have tried it before but haven’t landed it properly quite yet. There’s also what’s called spinning cork which all my park rats will know about but for those who don’t it’s a way of spinning and flipping at the same time. As an avid terrain park goer you always have a list of tricks you’ve got dialed in and some tricks to work on for the season.

Pizza Everyday

… And not gaining a single pound. HAHA

Covering Every Trail

It may be a part of the job, but the fact is I haven’t been down EVERY trail here at Stratton.

Pond Skimming

Believe it or not in all my years of skiing and snowboarding I have yet to pond skim at the end of the season.

Let me know what your goals are for this season and I’ll be happy to see you achieving each one this season. Right now I’m going for a slice!

Time for snow tires

By Courtney DiFiore

This weekend is calling for snow upwards to 5 inches by Sunday morning. Can you believe that? Despite our first snow last weekend, I’ve still neglected to switch my all-season tires for winter. I can’t possibly be the only one behind the eight ball on this one. Actually, now that I think of it, I did overhear a co-worker making an appointment today. There’s hope for me yet. As a result of this realization that I’m NOT ‘winter ready,’ I created a to-do list to keep me on track.

What am I missing and more importantly, what are you missing? Ready or not, winter is coming.

  1. Get snow tires
  2. Schedule oil change
  3. Make emergency winter kit to store in trunk
    This includes things like a flashlight, blanket, salt (dirt or kitty litter work too), batteries, jumper cables etc.
  4. Put in storm windows
  5. Stack fire wood
  6. Body conditioning (Check out this recent post on conditioning for winter)
  7. Tune equipment
  8. Get out the old base layers, jacket and so on
  9. Buy season pass or lift tickets early
  10. Watch ski and snowboard videos!