Farm Fresh: Top Ski and Snowboard Competitors Grow Big in Vermont

By AlpineZone News |
Aug 30 2012 - 02:18 PM

from Ski Vermont Press Releases by Sarah Neith

Whether native or imported, top winter athletes flaunt their skills to compete for big purses and even bigger opportunities at Vermont ski resorts in 2012-13.

We grow ‘em good here! The results of the world’s most respected freeskiing competition series, the Subaru Freeskiing World Tour (now the Swatch Freeride World Tour), have been peppered with Vermont athletes over the past 5 years. Names such as Lars and Silas Chickering-Ayers and Ashley Maxfield have rocked the big mountain ski world with numerous podium finishes, and the common thread is their launch into stardom by Vermont based competitions.

The Ski The East Freeride Tour (STEFT) is a prime example. Four resorts initially planted the seed for the STEFT with their independent grassroots initiatives to gain exposure for east coast freeskiers, but Burlington-based media, event and independent clothing company, Ski The East, brought these efforts together to turn them into the most important competitive tour in the east coast. The STEFT allows top eastern athletes to grab a pre-qualified spot on the Freeride World Tour and pad their pockets with big winnings.

“The fact that Vermont is home to the only freeskiing competitions in the East Coast is a true testament to the expert terrain, ample snowfall and skiing talent that exists in the Green Mountain State,” said STEFT co-director, Chris James. “These talented skiers have used the STEFT as a platform to gain huge milestones in 2012. Our men’s champion, Colby Vavolotis, pre-qualified for the Freeride World Tour and just left to compete in Chile, and Ashley Maxfield, the 2010 women’s champ, became one of only four women from North and South America to receive pre-qualifications into the 2012/13 Swatch Freeride World Tour.”

Ski The East Freeride Tour (STEFT) 2013 Dates:

February, 9, 2013
Unconventional Terrain Competition – Mad River Glen
March 2, 2013
Southern Vermont Freeskiing Challenge – Magic Mountain
March 9, 2013
Castlerock Extreme Challenge – Sugarbush Resort
March 16-17, 2013
Extreme Competition, STEFT Finals – Jay Peak Resort

The STEFT tour stops are not the only place to come see top athletes throw down for big wins, or big purses. Vermont has a slew of annual and specialty competitions this season, from wicked rail jams to NCAA championships that draw the best to compete for gold and exposure. Don’t miss out on seeing the newest up-and-coming athletes as well as celebrated seasoned competitors of the ski and snowboard community.

Here are some highlights:

Carinthia Freeski Open, Mount Snow Resort – March 16, 2013
This AFP Certified event is held in Carinthia’s Inferno – the only terrain park on the planet to host both the Winter X Games and Winter Dew Tour slopestyle competitions. In the past it has featured top contenders like Mount Snow locals Chris and Devin Logan, siblings who shared the TNF Open 1st place podium in 2011. Devin was also the Women’s AFP Overall Champion in 2012. This year the pros can land a $5,000 purse, and amateur up-and-comers can go home with tons of gear if they find their way to the podium.

Rails 2 Riches, Killington Resort – December 8, 2012
The East Coast’s top rail jam is back for another year and boasts an astounding $20,000 cash purse. Top competitors in years past include Vermont’s own John “LJ” Strenio, Shaun Murphy, Ian Compton and Yale Cousino. Come watch all the action as these professional and amateur skiers and riders battle it out under the lights.

The C.O.M.P. Snowboard Throwdown, Mount Snow Resort – March 9, 2013
New this year! Industry acclaimed park builder and Mount Snow Freestyle Terrain Manager, Day Franzen, is going to build an epic plaza-style venue for professional and amateur snowboarders. With a $5,000 purse on the line for pros and tons of gear from sponsors for the up-and-comers, the competition is going to be downright ridiculous.

NCAA Skiing Championships, Middlebury College, March 6-9, 2013
Middlebury College will host the 2013 NCAA Skiing Championships bringing together the best collegiate alpine and nordic ski racers in the U.S, many of whom are former World Cup competitors. The alpine races will take place at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl in Hancock on March 6 & 8, 2013, and the nordic races will be held at the Rikert Nordic Center on the Breadloaf Campus in Ripton on March 7 & 9, 2013.

To keep up-to-date on Ski Vermont events visit: