The (Other) Stowe Derby

February 28, 2010

(Authorship Note: Words & Story by Greg, photos and photo captions by the credited photographer) This weekend was the venerable Stowe Derby: A race from near the summit of Mount Mansfield, Vermont all the way down to the town of Stowe. The race takes the competitors from the alpine terrain of Mount Mansfield down nearly 3000 vertical feet via Stowe Mountain Resort’s thrilling Toll Road trail, and then links several of the cross country trails through the valley to the town of Stowe. The best equipment for the job is often cross country skis, but telemark skis have proved to be quite effective as well in recent runnings of The Derby.

Needless to say, each and every one of the Famous Internet Skiers was eager to participate, but unfortunately none of us owned cross country or telemark skis. Since we didn’t want to make a fool of ourselves in the actual event, we decided that we would run our own private race just before the official race instead. Whoever completed the course the fastest would win a 6 pack of Rock Art Vermonsters. We decided we’d do it the old fashioned way too, and ascend the mountain ourselves rather than take the chairlift. The guide book we picked up insisted that the route up the Toll Road was gradual and easy to navigate, but we must have gotten off on the wrong foot or something. From the very beginning we found the route treacherous and extremely difficult to navigate. Needless to say, before too long we were lost.

Click here to see a larger version (opens in new tab/window).

The grooming of the Toll Road was simply atrocious! The powder was so deep! How are skinny ski skiers supposed to schuss this safely (say that ten times fast)?

The result of the 75-100 cm of snow from the storm on Wednesday February 24th was astounding to see. Trees that are 3-7 meters high in summer were reduced to bumps in the snowpack.

Despite the beauty however, Christian the Curmudgeonly splitboarder started to get nervous. “I don’t think this is Toll Road guys,” he said. “This looks more like a blue square, and the I’m pretty sure the Toll Road is a green circle!”

Suddenly an ice bulge loomed ahead! The team quickly discussed options as they searched in vain for the chairlift to the top.

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Enjoy this TR? Read another: TR: Superstar Super Schuss


  1. Porter Haney
    wrote on February 28th, 2010 at 9:18 pm  

    Wait a minute. That can’t be Dwyer. He doesn’t have any accessories strapped to the outside of his La Meije.

  2. K_C
    wrote on March 1st, 2010 at 10:14 am  

    Some of your best shots G IMO!

  3. BodhiSativa
    wrote on March 1st, 2010 at 10:40 am  

    Great images and fun story as always guys. Been enjoying and envious of you given a two year old daughter doesn’t allow me to partake recently!!
    Thanks for the fun!!!

  4. Peter
    wrote on March 1st, 2010 at 5:15 pm  

    just f@cking….

  5. christian
    wrote on March 1st, 2010 at 8:03 pm  

    that last shot of ben on the toll road is killer

  6. Greg
    wrote on March 2nd, 2010 at 11:16 am  

    SWEET shots and update Ben… thanks for getting the shots of the Derby from your camera up. Now I guess all that is left to do is make sure Dwyer gets his Vermonster prize

  7. Adrian
    wrote on March 2nd, 2010 at 11:36 am  

    Wow, this looks absolutely superb. Hell, I would’ve thrown down some vermonsters for a trip like this. Of course, I don’t have crampons or ice tools, but… ya know.

    And really, none of you guys have any tele gear? Somewhat surprised by that one.

    • Ben
      wrote on March 2nd, 2010 at 11:39 am  

      I used to but i sold it…

      telemarketing is fun for making boring resorts more exciting ;)

  8. powhounddd
    wrote on March 2nd, 2010 at 2:51 pm  

    excellent blow-by-blow. Good time to be in the mountains!~

  9. billski
    wrote on March 2nd, 2010 at 4:56 pm  

    Greg you are too funny! And now with exposure, you all must be Infamous Zuper Ztars!

    Nice writing, seriously.

    • Greg
      wrote on March 2nd, 2010 at 7:15 pm  

      LOL! Thanks Bill. Glad you’re enjoying our antics. I think the last shot of ben in the technical portion of the Derby is sure to secure itself in next seasons green mtn calendar!

      As to our exposure: I think we’ve been infamous for a while now–it just depends what forum you prefer ;)

      keep in touch! G

  10. Anonymous
    wrote on March 2nd, 2010 at 5:15 pm  

    HA, nice work Ben…i’m trying to work up a tear for poor Greg sloppy-fourths Petrics. normally he goes by the moniker Greg hold-up-guys-let-me-go-first-and-get-shots-of-you-coming-down Petrics.

    • christian
      wrote on March 2nd, 2010 at 6:13 pm  

      that was me being anonymous…dammit i suck at internet

  11. carol
    wrote on March 4th, 2010 at 7:46 am  

    IMPRESSIVE Pics. and skiing/boardng Wow, Christian you’ve come a long, long, way since skiing Cannon!

    • christian
      wrote on March 4th, 2010 at 6:00 pm  

      haha thanks auntie carol :$

  12. jumpin jimmy
    wrote on March 11th, 2010 at 6:28 am  

    Nice storyline, and amazing pics as usual. I kinda felt a bit of vertigo looking at the one of Ben peering down that steep gully…yikes! kudos on the hookup too…that is where i first read the report, actually

    • Greg
      wrote on March 11th, 2010 at 9:08 am  

      Thanks a lot Jim! Psyched you enjoyed it. I had vertigo too–when I was there :X

  13. billski
    wrote on March 25th, 2010 at 11:00 am  

    You are the only guys I know who are still smiling when you’re lost.

    Glad to hear you were so lost that you’ll never find your way back again! ;)

  14. Lionel Hutz
    wrote on February 27th, 2011 at 10:06 am  

    Hey- isn’t the stowe derby going on this weekend?

  15. Butch Chamberlain
    wrote on March 8th, 2011 at 1:41 pm  

    As usual, great story. With humor to boot,(gag time). Pics as always very good, very good indeed! But you guys should have warned about the toll road, (ahem). It does have it’s twists and turns. Again, great stuff,please keep it up.

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