Words & photos: Tim Fater (http://www.skitheeast.net)

The Ski The East Freeride Tour kicked off on Saturday, February 27th at Magic Mountain in southern Vermont. “Conditions simply couldn’t be better,” boasted Magic’s Matt Lillard. Following over 50 inches of snow in the four days leading up to the Black Magic Extreme Challenge, Magic’s fabled terrain – unmatched in southern Vermont (and most other Eastern resorts) did not disappoint. Powder gave way to packed powder as the competitors charged the course.

Magic Mountain, Vermont

Some of the best skiers and riders from all over the East traveled to compete in the event – most coming to the same conclusion: “I didn’t know there was terrain like this here”. The record-high field of 63 competitors was divided into 3 divisions – Men’s Ski; Women’s Ski, and Men’s Snowboard. Contestants were judged on a combination of difficulty, style and speed.

The competition course was on Magic’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 Magic’s mellow and welcoming vibe at the bar and on 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 Wizard’s owner Dick Stillson. Following the awards was a rowdy Ski The East-style after party and a few-too-many shot skis.

Lots more coverage is available from Magic’s event on http://www.skitheeast.net including a full-length event recap with full results, interviews, reactions and photographs and a video edit.


Men’s Ski

1) Derrick Pearson

2) Ben Leoni

3) Brenden Anderson

Women’s Ski

1) Lizzy Healy

2) Michelle Poulin

3) Leanne Bernier

Men’s Snowboard

1) Spencer McMinn

2) Ryan Nelson

3) Trevor McMinn