The (Other) Sugar Slalom
And they’re off!
That picture is how the 2011 Sugar Slalom got underway… or at least our (Other) Sugar Slalom. The thing is, we didn’t see any other racers while we were skinning up to the start house, and the only gates we saw on the mountainside were these little saplings called “krumholz.” As we neared what we thought was the top, we wondered: “Are the krumholz where the sugar for the ‘sugar slalom’ comes from?” Christian bent down to have a taste.
“No sugar,” said Christian.
“Ok then dude… I’ll just stand here, laugh, and take pictures, while you struggle to get yourself up,” I replied
“Uh dude… it’s got my leg… and it’s–oh s**t–IT’S PULLING ME IN!!” Christian yelled
And that’s when we realized what was wrong. We were nowhere near the safety of Nosedive trail at Stowe Mountain Resort, enjoying the race with other competitors, waiting for our turn on the famous Sugar Slalom. No; we were surrounded by starving krumholz, who hadn’t seen a tasty meal in months. We weren’t racing for sugar on snow. We WERE THE SUGAR ON SNOW, and these krumholz were hungry for sugar! A branch made a grab for Christian (seriously dude… why do they always want you?), and sucked him in.
I tossed Christian a rando rope, and pulled him out. We changed over, shaking and crying (as usual) as the hungry krumholz ground their pine needle teeth around us. Suddenly this (Other) Sugar Slalom had a LOT more gravity. We were the sugar, and we were slaloming down the mountain for our life. As pictured at the start of the TR, I led the charge, leaving my friends to fend for themselves. Here’s another of me from a few seconds later clearly terrified.
Read about the author: Greg