Spring is coming, but there still is a lot of skiing and riding left to do in Vermont.
March is always the best month of the skiing and snowboarding season, especially after a snowy winter like this one. The sun is higher in the sky, and temperatures warm up to the point where you’re not risking frostbite on the hill. And, if there’s no rain and it doesn’t warm up too fast, snow conditions are perfect.
The ski slope at Living Memorial Park in Brattleboro was filled with skiers, snowboarders, and tubers last Saturday afternoon. With temperatures in the low 30s, mostly sunny skies, and nearly two feet of packed power on the hill, it was as good a ski day as one can get in early March.
And at $5 for an all-day lift ticket, it remains the best deal on snow in Vermont.
Living Memorial Park Snow Sports, the nonprofit, all-volunteer group that operates the ski tow, grooms the trails, and makes the snow when needed, says there’s enough snow to keep the hill open until April 1.
The group has been working hard raising money to keep the hill running. Their next big expense is paying for a new snow groomer. The previous one was inoperable, but they managed to track down a replacement from a ski area in New York State.
They had to take out a $30,000 loan to pay for the 2003 Bombardier groomer, but the group had little choice. Groomers are an essential piece of equipment. Even though there wasn’t a lot of need for snowmaking this winter, the groomer helped keep the skiing and snowboarding experience consistent from day-to-day.
Without it, the volunteers that run the hill say they would not have opened this season.
The volunteers held a “Give to the Groomer” chili fundraiser last Saturday afternoon. Tables in the the warming hut filled up with donated homemade chili, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, and cookies for hungry snow enthusiasts, who filled the donation jars in exchange for an early supper.
If you missed out on the chili, there’s still is time to give, as fundraising will continue over the next few months. To donate, send a check to Living Memorial Park Snow Sports, P.O. Box 1945, Brattleboro, VT 05302.
• The Brattleboro Union High School nordic ski teams finished up their seasons on Town Meeting Day with the classical portion of the state cross country ski championships at Middlebury College’s Rikert Nordic Center.
In the boys’ individual 5-kilometer race, Declan King was 16th in 17 minutes, 13.1 seconds. Isaac Frietas-Eagan was 36th in 18:49.7, while Spencer Loggia was 40th in 18:55.3, Jonah Koch was 63rd in 20:22.3, and Josh Meachen was 67th in 20:40.2. Also competing were Tyler Clement, Dan Burdo, and Phelan Muller.
In the 4 X 2.5-kilometer boys’ classic relay, Brattleboro’s team of Freitas-Eagan, Koch, Loggia and King ended up in eighth place in 28:39.7. The BUHS boys finished seventh overall as Champlain Valley won the Division I state title.
Isabella Thurber wound up 42nd in 22:55.4 to lead the Colonel girls in the 5-kilometer classic race. Catey Yost was 49th in 23:48.3, followed by Alicia Loyola in 72nd in 27:22.6, Evy Williams in 73rd in 27:36.4, and Annie Takacs in 77th in 29.00.8.
Williams, Loyola, Yost, and Thurber took 11th for the BUHS girls in the 4 X 2.5-kilometer relay in 37.48.4. Brattleboro finished 11th overall as Mount Mansfield won the Division I girls’ title.
‘Nothin’ But Net’ tournament scheduled for March 14
• The Brattleboro Sunrise Rotary Club’s 19h annual “Nothin’ But Net” Tournament takes place on Saturday, March 14, at Brattleboro Union High School. It is a 3-on-3 basketball tournament for the entire community. The net proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Brattleboro Sunrise Rotary Scholarship Fund.
Teams compete in a double elimination format in divisions for adult men and women, and middle school and high school boys and girls. Entry fees are $50 per adult team and $40 per student team. There will also be a 3-point shooting contest for men and women and a free throw contest. Both are open to the public as well. Registration deadline is Friday, March 13.
For more information or to request a registration form, contact Toni Ciampaglione at 802-338-6286. Players can also download a registration form at www.brattleborosunriserotary.org.
Spring youth sports sign-ups
• The Brattleboro Recreation and Parks Department will be holding sign-ups on Wednesday and Thursday, March 18 and 19, at the Gibson-Aiken Center, 207 Main St., from 1:30 to 6 p.m, for the following spring youth sports programs:
• Girls Youth Softball, for girls in grades 4-6. The cost will be $30 for Brattleboro residents, $45 for non-residents.
The Girls Youth Softball League is designed to teach the players the fundamentals of softball along with providing them with an enjoyable experience. There will be one practice a week and some games in surrounding towns and may have more than one game a week. A T-shirt is included in the registration fee.
• Brattleboro Small Fry Baseball, for all children who are 8 years old before May 1, 2015 and have not turned 10 before May 1, 2015. Children who will be 10 years old as of May 1, 2015 must try out for Little League.
The cost will be $30 for Brattleboro residents, $45 for non-residents. All children are required to bring their birth certificate or a copy of it to the sign‑up; Small Fry will not retain these.
Applications for coaching positions are available at the Brattleboro Recreation & Parks office. A coaches meeting will be announced at a later date. For more information, call Ben Underhill at 802-490-2212 (evenings).
• T-Ball program, for boys and girls who will be 6 years of age by May 1, 2015, but have not turned 8 before May 1, 2015. The cost will be $25 for Brattleboro residents and $40 for non-residents. A T-shirt is included in this fee.
T-Ball is baseball for a young beginner. Youths will learn the fundamentals of baseball in an appropriate way, stressing safety, skill, and fun. This league runs for approximately two months. Youngsters will be placed on a team, and will have one practice and one game per week. Each child will need a glove. Additional information will be available at the registration.
• Youth Lacrosse, for boys and girls in grades 3-8. There will be separate teams for boys and girls. The cost of the program will be as follows: boys, grades 3-6, $80 resident/$95 non-resident; boys, grades 7 and 8, $100 resident/$115, non-resident; girls, grades 4-8, $105 resident/$120 non-resident.
Practice times are still to be determined. The fee includes a membership to US Lacrosse. Games and tournaments will be played within the region.
• If there are special needs required for any of these programs, or more information is needed, call the Recreation & Parks Department at 802-254-5808.