Family Ski Racing:
Check out the Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge
wife Anne crouched like a stalking lion in the starting gate. "Racer ready! Five,
four, three, two, one, GO!" the starter yelled, and she exploded out of the start.
"Good job, honey!" I called
She looked back up at me
from her snowplow and said, "Don't patronize me," something which may have been
uttered before or after, but maybe never during a ski race.
Still, she was neck and
neck with our friend Cole, who was racing in the dual giant slalom course on ten-year-old
Telemark skis. Cole surged into the lead, but with a last burst of speed Anne
passed him, beating him by six-tenths of a second.
Then our seven-year-old
daughter Sarah beat her mom by 40 seconds. Oh well. While my wife's not quitting
her night job for a World Cup career, she had a blast. And for someone who only
skis two or so times a year, the Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge was a great way
to get her up skiing.
The Vertical Challenge,
which is held on NASTAR-type courses, has been a huge success in the Northeast
for many years.
When you register beginning
at 8:00 a.m. for the free race at the base of the ski area, the Vertical Challenge
people will give you a bib with a number on it. You'll be able to race anytime
from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 or 2:00 p.m., in any order.
Hang onto your bib, because
when the awards ceremony and raffle begin about 2:00 p.m., you might be able to
win Rossignol skis and snowboards, Motorola two-way radios, Atlas Snowshoes, Mountainsmith
packs, and a six-pack of Mountain Dew, which has the same ingredients as your
The top three finishers
for both genders in each age group get medals and they're invited back to the
finals, where they'll be given free lift tickets.
Skiers and snowboarders
of all ages are invited to participate, and they have age groupings about every
three years for kids from ages six and under to every ten years for adults up
to age 76 and over. Kids love to race their parents, although not always vice
"Don't patronize me!" became
a running family joke, especially when Sarah offered to race her Mom while on
one ski, blindfolded, and skiing backwards.
East Coast Schedule 2009:
Wednesday, February 18 Cranmore Mountain Resort, NH
Thursday, February 19 Black Mountain, NH
Sunday, February 22 Gunstock Mountain Resort, NH
Wednesday, February 25 Attitash, NH
Friday, February 27 Crotched Mountain, NH
Saturday, February 28 Bolton Valley, VT
Sunday, March 1 Ascutney Mountain, VT
Saturday, March 7 Camelback, PA
Sunday, March 8 Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, MA
Friday, March 13 Cannon Mountain, NH
Saturday, March 14 Bromley Mountain, VT
Sunday, March 15 Mount Snow, VT
Saturday, March 28 Loon Mountain, NH - FINALS
All dates subject to change.
Check with resort to confirm.
For more info
visit their website