Marv Carley recently received the Volunteer of the Year award from Nicole Meier, head of the Vermont Hunter Education Department, for more than three decades of teaching safety programs.
Courtesy photo
Marv Carley recently received the Volunteer of the Year award from Nicole Meier, head of the Vermont Hunter Education Department, for more than three decades of teaching safety programs.

A so-so ski season in Vermont

With another weird winter, skier and rider visits totaled 4.1 million in 2023-24

-The final numbers for the 2023-24 ski season came out earlier this month. The statewide industry association Ski Vermont said that alpine ski areas reported 4.1 million skier and rider visits, down 0.5% from the prior season. That is a smaller dip than seen in the rest of the Northeast region and the country.

As was the case in the 2022-23 season, the heaviest snow came in March, the time when ski season is usually winding down. Snowmaking saved the season for many downhill skiers and boarders, but even snowmaking doesn't help if temperatures are too warm to make snow.

Geoff Hatheway, president of Magic Mountain in Londonderry, told that his resort was hit harder by warmer conditions than many resorts further north. His staff updated skiers frequently on Facebook throughout November and December, reporting temperatures too high for most of the day to make enough snow.

Several rainstorms, including one just before Christmas, set back the mountain's snowmaking progress and delayed its opening date, but Hatheway said staff were able to open some trails between Christmas and New Year's Day. Still, Magic missed out on the December crowds, and low snowfall through Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend meant that Magic Mountain underperformed on two of the three biggest ski periods of the year.

Magic made up some of the early losses as two big snowstorms in March and early April allowed them to finish the season on a high note. On the last day of operation for the season on April 7, Magic had 100% of its trails open.

According to Ski Vermont President Molly Mahar, it turned out some of the tens of thousands of people who descended upon Vermont for the total solar eclipse on April 8 also got in some skiing during the weekend leading up to the big event and gave many northern ski areas one last shot of revenue.

Nordic skiers were not as fortunate as their downhill comrades. Few cross-country ski areas have snowmaking. That resulted in skiing visits being down this season 49.6% compared to the 2022-23 season, according to Ski Vermont.

Winter in New England is clearly not what it used to be. According to state and federal climate data, Vermont has warmed nearly 3 degrees Fahrenheit since the beginning of the 20th century. The effects of this warming can be seen all around us.

It used to be unheard of to have maple sap runs in mid-February. Now the maple season can run from December to April, depending on the weather. Temperatures are now warmer during the winter months, and we're seeing less snow and more rain, sleet, and freezing rain. It's great if you like spending less on heating your home or having fewer visits from the "plow guy," but not so good if you want to go skating or ice fishing or skiing.

Legion baseball season begins

• In a soggy and lightning-filled start to the American Legion Baseball season, Brattleboro Post 5 earned an 8-5 win over Bellows Falls Post 37 in their season opener on June 20 at Hadley Field.

Post 5, the state runner-up in 2023, seeks to win their fourth straight Southern Division title. Like last season, Brattleboro has a deep pitching staff and deployed four of their best against Post 37.

Jayke Glidden started the game for Post 5 and allowed just one run on four hits over three innings. He struck out eight batters. Aidan Davis followed and threw two hitless innings with three strikeouts. Jackson Emery came on to pitch in the sixth inning and struck out the side. Evan Wright pitched in the seventh inning to nail down the win.

The two teams will face each other again in Brattleboro on July 1.

Grace Cottage's Tee It Up For Health raises $67,675

• Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital's 15th annual Tee It Up For Health golf tournament was held on June 8 at Haystack Golf Course in Wilmington with 32 teams, 51 sponsors, and 20 volunteers participating.

"The weather was beautiful, the event went smoothly, and $67,675 was raised, thanks to golfers, generous sponsors, and volunteers," organizers said in a press release. Net proceeds from the event benefited Grace Cottage's Patient Care Fund.

The foursome of JJ Conlon, Patrick Mulcahy, Frank Rucker, and Keith Lyman won the tournament with a score of 63. In second place were the team of Mary Ann Levins, Jim Levins, Keely Culligan, and John Culligan.

If you're planning ahead, next year's event is scheduled for June 7, 2025, at Haystack Golf Course.

Entries sought for Bill Powers Memorial Firecracker 4-Miler

• The Bill Powers Memorial Firecracker 4-Miler, a Brattleboro Fourth of July tradition, is a 4-mile point-to-point race that begins at Living Memorial Park, travels through downtown Brattleboro and ends at the town common. Each mile is marked. There is one water station at Mile 2. Water and light refreshments are provided at the finish.

Prizes will go to the male and female overall winners, and the winner of each age group (1-12, 13-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60+). To minimize impact on the environment, the race features local or organically produced food, and compostable cups at the water stop and at the finish.

Entry fees are $15 for online preregistration at, or $25 on race day starting at 8 a.m. and clossing at 9:15 a.m. For more information, contact race director Donna Smyth at [email protected].

Sportsmen Inc. member honored for hunter education work

• Marv Carley of Hinsdale, New Hampshire, a longtime active member of Sportsmen Inc., the hunting, shooting, and fishing club in Guilford, was recently presented with the Volunteer of the Year Award for his longtime commitment to the Vermont Hunter Education Program.

Carley has been active in the program for more than 30 years and has been tireless in his effort to get folks involved in the club with trap shooting and shotgun safety programs.

The award was presented to him by Nicole Meier, head of the Vermont Hunter Education Department, at the Hunter Education Appreciation Day held at the Buck Lake Conservation Camp in Woodbury.

BHS/BUHS Hall of Fame announces 2024 inductees

• The Brattleboro High School/Brattleboro Union High School Athletic Hall of Fame recently announced its Class of 2024 inductees.

There are 11 inductees in this year's class, which include: Paul Beebe (1961), football, baseball, basketball; Everett Dunklee (1964), cross country, Nordic skiing; Jacob Ellis (2012), cross country, track and field; John Galanes (1985), football, basketball, baseball; Kathy Georgina (1992), softball, basketball, soccer; Jeff Kerylow (1978), baseball, football; Chris Millerick (1988), football, basketball, baseball; Neil Ravenna (1981), football, basketball, track and field; Kevin Sprague (1992), football, basketball, baseball; Heath Squires (1994), baseball, football; and Brigid Thies (2004), track and field.

Detailed bios of the inductees will be published at a future date.

The BHS/BUHS Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet will be held Nov. 2, at American Legion Post 5. Tickets for the banquet are $35 per person. There will be tables of 8 or 6 if you want to come in a group to support an inductee. Mail ticket requests along with payment to: BUHS Athletic Hall of Fame, P.O. Box 8018, Brattleboro, VT 05304-8018. Venmo and PayPal payments are also accepted. For more information, email [email protected].

Kayak for conservation on June 28, 29

• Paddle across the Connecticut and join the Windham County Natural Resources Conservation District (WCNRCD) in removing the invasive water chestnut. No prior experience with invasives required.

Participants should bring a kayak, canoe, or small boating vessel (email [email protected] if you need one), life preserver, and sunscreen. Each session will start with sharing how to identify water chestnut, remove it safely, and clean your watercraft once you go ashore.

Participants are encouraged to join WCNRCD on the water for at least one hour pulling out water chestnuts (however, surveys can last up to 3 hours depending on the number of volunteers).

The first session is June 28 and 29, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and will be Pride themed. If you are interested in joining, register at Other volunteering dates and sites include July 21 and 23, Aug. 23 and 24, and Sept. 27 and 28 in Vernon, and July 12 and 13, Aug. 11 and 14, and Sept. 13 and 15 in Rockingham.

Soccer officials needed

• A clinic for those interested in refereeing high school soccer will be held Saturday, Aug. 17, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., in Wilmington.

The cost is $50 and includes membership in the Vermont Soccer Officials Association, a 2024 NFHS Soccer rulebook, and the clinic with both classroom instruction and on-field training during an afternoon scrimmage.

For more information, contact Eric Evans at [email protected] or 802-345-8627.

Senior bowling roundup

• Week 8 of the spring/summer season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl on June 20 saw Half Normal (33-7) still in first place, with Slo Movers (29.5-10.5) still in second place, followed by Misguided (24.5-15.5), Fab 4 (23-17), Spare Change (21-19), Three Musketeers (19-21), Split Happens (17-23), Stayin' Alive (14-26), Hi Rollers (10-30), and Incredibowls (3-12).

Mary Piluski had the women's high handicap game (229), while Vikki Butynski had the high handicap series (629). Fred Bump had the men's high handicap game (246), while Milt Sherman had the high handicap series (678). Three Musketeers had the high team handicap game (873) and Half Normal had the high handicap series (2,471).

Sherman had the men's high scratch series (627) with games of 222, 210, and 195, while Warren Corriveau Sr. had a 574 series with games of 201 and 191. Chuck Adams and Robert Rigby both had a 563 series as Adams had a 202 game and Rigby had a 213 game. John Walker had a 556 series with a 197 game. Other notable games included Duane Schillemat (202) and Jerry Dunham (191).

Nancy Dalzell again had the women's high scratch series (465), with games of 166, 156, and 143. Shirley Aiken had games of 147 and 143, and Deb Kolpa rolled a 142.

Randolph T. Holhut, deputy editor of this newspaper, has written this column since 2010 and has covered sports in Windham County since the 1980s. Readers can send him sports information at [email protected].

This Sports column by Randolph T. Holhut was written for The Commons.

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