words and photos: Tim Fater
The Ski The East Freeride Tour kicked off Saturday February 27 at Magic Mountain in southern Vermont. â€œConditions simply couldnâ€™t be betterâ€ boasted Magicâ€™s Marketing Director, Matt Lillard. Following over 50 inches of snow in the four days leading up to the Black Magic Extreme Challenge, Magicâ€™s fabled terrain â€“ unmatched in southern Vermont (and most other Eastern resorts) did not disappoint. Powder gave way to packed powder as the competitors charged the course.
Some of the best skiers and riders from all over the East traveled to compete in the event â€“ most coming to the same conclusion: â€œI didnâ€™t know there was terrain like this hereâ€. The record-high field of 63 competitors was divided into 3 divisions â€“ Menâ€™s Ski; Womenâ€™s Ski, and Menâ€™s Snowboard. Contestants were judged on a combination of difficulty, style and speed.
The competition course was on Magicâ€™s Black Line. The trail started with a narrow 700 vertical foot series of steep pitches and drops. It then lead to a wider series of powder puffs and bumps which let the contestants show some speed and demanded endurance. The bottom section of the course was another steep pitch over a snow-covered cliff band.
Ski The East, Meathead Films, Jay Peak Video and Magic Mountain had every inch of the course covered with photographers and videographers capturing the action (and carnage).
After the contest, everyone enjoyed Magicâ€™s mellow and welcoming vibe at the bar and outside deck in the sun while the points were being tallied. The bar was packed for the announcement of the winners by local ski shop Snow Wizardâ€™s owner Dick Stillson. Following the awards was a rowdy Ski The East-style after-party and a few-too-many shot skis.
1. Derrick Pearson
2. Ben Leoni
3. Brenden Anderson
1. Lizzy Healy
2. Michelle Poulin
3. Leanne Bernier
1. Spencer McMinn
2. Ryan Nelson
3. Trevor McMinn
Stay tuned to skitheeast.net for more videos, photos, and recaps of the inaugural Ski The East Freeride Tour – Stop 1 at Magic Mountain.
â€¢ FOR MORE INFO ON STEFT STOP 2, MARCH 6th, head to skitheeast.net/freeridetour