The (Other) Sugar Slalom

By:  Greg
April 5, 2011

And they’re off!
The race begins

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.
Christian tastes a krumholz for fresh sugar

“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
Christian tries to extricate himselffrom the Krumholz

“Uh dude… it’s got my leg… and it’s–oh s**t–IT’S PULLING ME IN!!” Christian yelled
Christian to extricate himself from the Krumholz

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.
Christian falls in a treewell

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.
Greg skiing clearly terrified

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Read about the author:   Greg


  1. Adrian
    wrote on April 5th, 2011 at 10:46 am  

    Great shots as always, dude.
    Man sunday was such a great day! Doesn’t get much better up there than that.

  2. bill
    wrote on April 5th, 2011 at 6:44 pm  

    nice stuff dudes and KC wish i was there

  3. powhounddd
    wrote on April 5th, 2011 at 8:57 pm  

    better than a great day at work. Rather be eaten by elf trees. Way to get the surf!

  4. savant skis
    wrote on April 7th, 2011 at 12:00 pm  

    looks like some sweetness up there fellas….heading to tucks this weekend if weather holds – would love some company but don’t see any reason to come over with snow like that….B

  5. Skimtwashington
    wrote on April 9th, 2011 at 3:37 pm  

    This is New England backcountry at it’s best..uh..worst…uh..well… oh, it’s hard but rewarding! Definitely a classic premier photo or two.

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