vermont

Skiing Season Goals

The sport of skiing has brought me a great deal of happiness, satisfaction and achievement over the years.  I believe this is partly due to the fact that I set goals for each ski season. Some of the goals are goofy (slide a rail), some are expensive (take the family to Val d’Isere, France), some are physically demanding (ski La 42 at LeMassif non-stop), some take some time and travel (ski all 5 triple black diamond trails in Eastern North America), others take some skill (become a ski instructor, become a race coach) and others have been life changing (teach my four kids to ski).  Having goals for everything we do, whether big or small, is part of what makes life good. It gives us a sense of meaning and purpose, points us in the direction we want to go and gets us interested and engaged, all of which are good for our overall happiness and in this case our love for skiing. So, without further adieu, here is a list of ideas that may generate a few goals for your 2019/2020 ski season.

  1. Become ski instructor

  2. Become a ski patroller

  3. Win a NASTAR medal

  4. Enter the Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge

  5. Exhaust all the days on your IKON Pass

  6. Exhaust all the days on your EPIC Pass

  7. Ski the steepest trails in NY, VT, NH, ME and Quebec

  8. Teach your kids to ski

  9. Learn to telemark

  10. Skin up a trail

  11. Drop the ledges on Devil’s Fiddle

  12. Ski Upper Liftline at Smugg’s

  13. Ski DJ’s Tramline

  14. Enter a Master’s ski race

  15. Ski the Powder Highway

  16. Ski the Vallee Blanche

  17. Ski Opening Day and Closing Day at Killington

  18. Learn to do a 360

  19. Ski at least 40 days

  20. Start the long journey to become a certified French ski instructor

  21. Go to the World Cup at Killington and cheer for Mikela

  22. Go to Kitzbuhel during Hannekamm week

  23. Ski one or more of the bucket list trails: Corbet's Couloir, Delirium Dive, La Chavanette

  24. Ski the new trails at Magic Mountain and Catamount

  25. Ski every trail at your home mountain

  26. Call in sick on a powder day

  27. Ski the dry slope at Powder Ridge

  28. Go monoskiing

  29. Ski every double black diamond at a big resort (e.g., Stowe, Killington, Sugarloaf)

  30. Throw a bra on a “bra tree”

  31. Participate in a pond skimming contest

  32. Ski all 5 triple black diamonds in Eastern North America (Mont Sutton, Le Massif, Smuggler’s Notch)

  33. Ride the single chair at MRG

  34. Score GNAR points by yelling to someone you are the best skier on the mountain prior to pushing off

  35. Ski Tuckerman’s Ravine

  36. Learn to ski switch

  37. Launch yourself above the coping in a super pipe

  38. Visit Lahout’s in Littleton, NH - the oldest ski shop in America

  39. Learn how to butter on skis

  40. Learn some old school Glen Plake tricks 

  41. Ski 25 laps on Outer Limits or Stein’s Run when bumped up (see Gunbarrel 25

  42. Join a ski club

  43. Learn to snowboard if you ski and learn to ski if you snowboard

  44. Participate in a demo day

  45. Eat maple taffy at the base of Mont Tremblant

  46. Participate in the Sugar Slalom at Stowe, VT

  47. Go cat skiing in the Chic Chocs

  48. Go to a ski area/resort that you have never been to

  49. Go rodeling at Le Massif

  50. Ski the men’s and women’s downhill courses at Whiteface

  51. Ski the Slides at Whiteface

  52. Ski in every month of the year

  53. Go inverted

  54. Ski with your Dad and/or Mom

  55. Create a “sick” season edit

  56. Join R.A.S.T.A. and ski some backcountry lines

  57. Ride a T-Bar or Poma lift

  58. Take a lesson or clinic

  59. Get first chair on a powder day

  60. Enter a skier cross race

  61. Go kite skiing

  62. Go backcountry skiing in the Notch (between Smuggs and Stowe)

  63. Buy a pair of grass skis and ski on your local golf course

  64. Ski the “Front Four” (Stowe, VT)

  65. Feed the chickadees at the Loon Mountain “bird sanctuary”

  66. Become a shareholder at Mad River Glen

  67. Backcountry ski Wright Peak or Mt. Marcy in the Adirondacks

  68. Ski the Bruce Trail to the Matterhorn Bar (Stowe, VT)

  69. Participate in a torch light parade

  70. Buy shares of Vail Resorts (MTN) and become the owner of a ski resort

  71. Scout some tree lines before the season starts

  72. Take an avalanche safety course

  73. Ski Katahdin

  74. Drink a beer at the Wobbly Barn (Killington), The Matterhorn (Stowe) and Le P'tit Caribou (Mont Tremblant)

  75. Learn to tune your own skis

  76. Explore the Brackett Basin sidecountry at Sugarloaf 

  77. Ski without headphones and talk to people on the lifts

  78. Learn to self arrest with a ski pole

  79. Ski 24 hours straight at Ski Venture

  80. Ski and Golf in the same day

  81. Snow ski and waterski on the same day

  82. Ski Paradise at Mad River Glen

  83. Ski all the trails off the Castlerock chair at Sugarbush

  84. Tell someone on the chairlift how great of skier you are and then fall when getting off

  85. For 500 GNAR points, tell one of the World Cup racers at Killington - "I'm so much better than you"

  86. Join the Adirondack Powder Skier Alliance

Magic Mountain - Road to Ruin - Chinese Downhill

Anyone who skied and grew up in the 80’s has watched Hot Dog – The Movie (probably more than once).  How this movie never won an Oscar is beyond me, but I digress.  One of the most famous lines in the movie and probably any ski movie is when Kendo leans into to Squirrel and says, “What is da f*%k is a Chinese Downhill”.  For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, you should, a Chinese Downhill is first man to the bottom wins and the rules to this race, there are no rules. 

Hot Dog - The Movie (1984) - Chinese Downhill…Kendo putting a drop kick on a competitor!

Hot Dog - The Movie (1984) - Chinese Downhill…Kendo putting a drop kick on a competitor!


Magic Mountain, VT is bringing their own flavor to this epic event with a race called the Road to Ruin – Mad Dash Downhill.  This is nothing like you would see on the World Cup.  There are no gates, no blue lines marking the course, no water injected courses and probably no timing devices.  Instead, this is a “balls to the wall” first the bottom wins.   Although, something tells me that spiked pole baskets, helmet mounted smoke screens and spiked gloves will not be permitted. 

road to ruin.png

While the course will not be launching off a cornice into an open bowl with people skiing through lodges, plate glass windows and through skiers eating on an outdoor deck, the course does consist of two double black diamond trails, Witch and Black Line.  The race begins at the intersection of Witch and Redline. After plunging down Witch for xx feet you will be stomping on your left foot to make a hard right onto Black Line.  Now make no mistake, Black Line isn’t as narrow and rocky as its big brother Black Magic, but it also isn’t a joke.  There are a couple areas where you have the potential to take big air, which mean you have the potential of star fishing upon landing.  You will continue to haul ass until the finish banner located at the intersection of Black Line and Hocus Pocus. 

Besides becoming a legend, at least in your own mind, what do you win?  The top three overall finishers take home cash, with the overall winner taking home a Grover Cleveland ($1000).  If this sounds like an entertaining Saturday afternoon, hurry up and register, the race is limited to the first hundred entries.  The entry fee is $40 and a discounted lift ticket of $40 will need to be purchased – total cost $80.  Day of registration on February 2nd will be allowed if there is room at $50, but must be done by 10am. A Road to Ruin t-shirt is included for each competitor.  Registration/bib pick up is from 9am to 11 am at the ticket office.  

If you do enter this race at Magic, you may want to consider having the magic of Ullr on your side.  Ullr (pronounced like ruler but without the r) is the mythical Norse God of Winter, who was unbeatable on skis, never losing a race. In fact, some believe the Aurora Borealis is the snow flying off the tail of his skis. Ullr is also known for protecting skiers from harm while in the mountains.

Lastly, if you do enter, I’d love to hear about your experience.