Magic Mountain, VT June 3, 2023-
West River Sports marked its 50th anniversary by hosting their second annual Snow and Music Fundraiser at Magic Mountain, located in the heart of southern Vermont, where skiing still has its soul.
Southern VT holds a significant place in the snow sports world, with notable milestones such as Bill Koch refining skate skiing XC technique in nearby Putney during the late 1970s. The 80s and 90s saw the emergence of snowboarding and half pipe competitions, further solidifying the region’s influence. In the late 90s, Southern VT played a pivotal role in the development of the modern-day XC sprint race with the Lexus XC Sprint Series held at the base of local alpine resorts. This cherished history and unwavering passion for sliding on snow were showcased brilliantly on Saturday, giving birth to the exhilarating West River Nordic duals.
More than 500 attendees had the privilege of witnessing a thrilling duel slalom race featuring 36 elite cross country ski racers, including multiple Olympians and members of the US Ski Team. Thanks to the assistance of Magic Mountain operations and numerous dedicated volunteers, a massive snow pile was preserved for the event on Saturday.
The festivities were further enhanced by the energetic performances of two awesome bands, starting with the local favorites Saints and Liars. Multiple food trucks catered to everyone’s palates, while cheers filled the air and champagne flowed for the Men’s and Women’s champions, hometown hero and Olympic athlete Ben Ogden and Olympic gold medalists Jessie Diggins.
The setting was spectacular as the sun made appearances throughout the day, casting a dramatic backdrop while it set between the lush green mountains. The grand finale came with Bow Thayer and His Band headlining, followed by a bonus third set featuring both bands on stage. This slam dunk fundraiser success should definitely not be missed next year! West River Sports intends to use the proceeds to continue offering affordable Nordic and soccer opportunities to local youth, making a positive impact in the community.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the countless volunteers and sponsors who made this event possible, including Knight Tubs, Hunter Excavating, Merrill Lynch Walsh Group, rk Miles, Vermont Foam Insulation, WW Building Supply, Wylie Construction, Ed Despard of Bullitt Timing for professional race timing, and Mike Healy of BOC and Josh Wylie for course setup. Thank you to all participants and our amazing West River Sports Community, we look forward to seeing you next year!