CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine (April 9, 2012) – Tom Hanson began the 2011-12 ski season with a goal. The longtime Sugarloafer and Treasurer of the Ski Museum of Maine wanted to ski 3 million vertical feet to raise money for the museum. Six months and 4.2 million vertical feet later, Hanson has blown past his goal, raised over $2,500 for the museum, and this Sunday was presented with Sugarloaf’s annual “Ironman Award.”
Named in honor of Paul Schipper, the original “Ironman of Skiing” who skied 3,903 consecutive days from 1980-2005, Sugarloaf’s Ironman Award is awarded each spring to the skier who best embodies the dedication to and love for skiing at Sugarloaf that Schipper exuded throughout his life.
Given Hanson’s goal and the incredible stats he tallied throughout the season his selection as the Ironman winner came as little surprise.
“When it came time to pick this year’s Ironman Award winner, there really wasn’t any question,” Rich Wilkinson, Sugarloaf VP of Operations said during a speech at Sunday’s Passholder Barbecue. “Tom really left no doubt.”
The numbers put up by this sexagenarian with arthritic knees are staggering. In total for the season, including a ten day ski trip to British Columbia, Hanson skied an astounding 4,239,462 vertical feet and covered a distance of 6,346.9 miles – roughly the distance from Sugarloaf to Anchorage, Alaska, and back.
At Sugarloaf alone, Hanson accumulated 3,885,000 vertical feet. He skied the distance of a marathon or more in a single day on 69 different occasions.
With the 2011-12 winter season still underway at Sugarloaf, Hanson has skied a total of 105 days, and has averaged a mind blowing 26.5 runs per day, putting skiers and snowboarders less than half his age to shame.
Hanson recorded all of his skiing stats throughout the season using the Sugarloaf Replay app. The app uses technology from AlpineReplay.com, which features a community of thousands of skiers and riders around the world. Of all of those skiers and snowboarders, Hanson has accumulated the most vertical feet of anyone. His closest challenger is currently more than 2 million feet behind.
Hanson has no plans to carry his streak over multiple seasons like Schipper did, but for this year, he says, it was fun to track his stats and help raise a little extra money for the museum.
Anyone interested in making a donation to the Ski Museum of Maine, or learning more about Hanson’s quest can do so at www.skimuseumofmaine.org. Hanson’s Sugarloaf Replay stats for the year are all currently available at http://www.alpinereplay.com/u/tom-hanson .
** Attached Photo: Tom Hanson (center) is given the Sugarloaf Ironman Award by Sugarloaf VP of Operations Rich Wilkinson (left) and Sugarloaf General Manager John Diller at Sugarloaf’s annual Season Passholder BBQ on Sunday, April 9, 2012. **
About Sugarloaf – Located in Carrabassett Valley, ME, Sugarloaf is largest ski area in the East, and is home to the only lift-serviced above treeline skiing and riding in the East. and the number one golf course in Maine, according to Golf Digest. Sugarloaf is a member of the Boyne Resorts family of resorts and attractions. Follow: www.sugarloaf.com, www.facebook.com/sugarloaf, and http://twitter.com/sugarloafmaine.