Read the shout out from Matt Pepin It's all Downhill from here

Tuesday, October 1 | Follow Matt Pepin on TwitterBACK IN ACTIONIt's been a while.

The last edition of It's All Downhill came out March 8, the final installment in a sporadic year for the newsletter. A new high-responsibility, high-stress, high-anxiety position at the Globe (I now run the sports department) left me with little time to write about skiing, something I've done the past several years for the Globe on my own time as a matter of personal interest.

The new job also cut sharply into my skiing time, leaving me with less to write about anyway. In the 2017-18 season, I logged 13 ski days. Last year, I had six, all thoroughly enjoyable but a far cry from recent years.

I'm not bellyaching. I know what I signed up for, and needed the first year on the job to gain a certain level of comfort, and also get our department up to full staff.

We're there now, and I'm feeling more comfortable at work, and I'm feeling pretty good about my ski outlook for the 2019-20 season. I've been planning my annual getaway with a friend, talking with my family about possible trips and our gear needs for the new season, and secretly plotting individual getaways because I love skiing alone.

The newsletter format may have to change a bit —some weeks may be only a collection of links to news, videos, and other snowsports content I come across. But other weeks will continue to have personal essays or real reports from the mountains or the New England ski scene. I'll shoot for more consistency with weekly or bi-weekly sends of It's All Downhill.

Ski season is almost here. The cold wind that blew off Boston Harbor as I walked to the train station one day last week was a sure sign that winter is coming. I received a print copy of Ski Magazine in the mail. I paused on my way to TD Garden this week to gaze through the window of The Ski Monster shop on Canal Street, daydreaming of the approaching season.

Hopefully it's better than last year.

If you enjoy It's All Downhill, please encourage a friend to sign up, too. CLICKING INMARK YOUR CALENDAR: The Ski & Snowboard Expo is Nov. 14-17 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. Next year, the event moves to Boston's Hynes Convention Center. Sign up for the expo's mailing list to receive discount ticket offers and the latest details.

PASS PLAY: The latest entry in the multi-resort ski pass game is the $199 Indy Pass, which provides up to 72 days of skiing/riding at 36 independently owned ski areas in North America, including six in New England. Many of the locations in the Eastern Region are on the smaller side, although it does include Vermont's Magic Mountain and Bolton Valley. Ski Magazine had a good story about the pass when it was introduced in August.

AN INTERESTING FELLOW: The story that intrigued me most in Ski Magazine's gear issue that recently landed in my mailbox had nothing to do with gear. Jenny Wiegand's profile of 68-year-old billy barr , who lives in the Colorado ghost town of Gothic and spells his name all lowercase, was fascinating. In addition to skiing — he sometimes skis 4 miles to a bus stop so he can go shopping — barr spends his winters observing the weather and tracking weather data in virtual isolation.

GIVING BACK: The Killington World Cup Foundation, which provides support for the women's World Cup event each November in Vermont and provides funding for competitive snowsports programs in the Northeast/mid-Atlantic regions, has given more than a quarter-million dollars to nonprofit organizations for development programs. Details can be found on the foundation's website, and tickets for the World Cup Nov. 29-Dec. 1 are on sale now.

QUITE AN HONOR: Buck Hill, the small Minnesota ski area where American ski racing legend Lindsey Vonn got her start, named a rope tow in her honor this week. "Kildow's Climb" — she was known as Lindsey Kildow back then — will include signs along the way that tell her story.

INDOOR SKIING? An indoor ski slope in New Jersey at the American Dream complex is set to open in late October. The people behind it say up front they are not trying to replicate the outdoor experience, and also view it as a gateway facility to get more people involved in skiing and snowboarding. Honestly, it sounds like something that might be fun once. has a closer look at "Big Snow America."

QUICK-HITS: The Boston Bruins' "Skate and Ski" promo is back, a $99 deal that includes a ticket to select games and a lift ticket at Loon ... Here are a whole bunch of trailers for this season's ski films from the major filmmakers ... Here's a list of who will be inducted into the Vermont Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame this year ... Here is Ski Magazine's "Gear of the Year" from the 2020 equipment issue.

Dublin School gets grant from KWCF

Dublin School gets lighting grant


Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Trails at the Dublin School’s Nordic ski center will light up this year thanks to a grant from the Killington World Cup Foundation. According to the granters, the trail lighting project was funded because of Dublin School’s efforts in combining rigorous academics with competitive sports and spending time outdoors. The Foundation awarded the grants on June 15.

Brad Bates, Head of Dublin School, said the trail lighting would be used as needed, during the school team’s practices late in the fall, as well as for people who want to ski after work and before dinner, and for the community night race series. What had the team used before?

“ A lot of headlamps. Occasionally we'd put out construction lights. This is a lot safer,” he said on Tuesday.

Peter Imhoff, CFO for the school, said the low-voltage LED light posts stand about seven feet off the ground at the planning board meeting on Sept. 5. At that meeting, Planning Board member Caleb Niemala pointed out that the additional lumens on the trails would be minimal compared to existing campus lighting. It was also noted that the lights would be situated away from roads and neighbors.

Bates emphasized that the school was invested in minimizing light pollution, in part due to potential interference with the campus observatory. “They’re nothing like alpine lighting,” he said, “It's actually quite beautiful.” He likened the light’s effect to having a light at the end of a driveway, and said they would be spaced in 150 foot intervals down the trail. He said the school would attempt to install as many lights as they could before the upcoming Nordic season.

The Killington World Cup Foundation (formerly known as the Killington World Cup Committee) was established to support the women’s World Cup at Killington, Vermont, and benefit local and regional youth development programs that help young athletes thrive in the sport.

New Alpine Competition and Safety Consultant position

BURLINGTON, Vt. (April 9, 2018) – The Kelly Brush Foundation and U.S. Ski & Snowboard have teamed up to create a new Alpine Competition and Safety Consultant position to serve as a national resource regarding issues of safety in alpine ski racing. The Alpine Competition and Safety Consultant will provide guidance and share best-practices that ski clubs can implement to improve safety for athletes as they compete and train.  

The Kelly Brush Foundation and U.S. Ski & Snowboard have retained Paul Van Slyke of Lake Placid to be the first Alpine Competition and Safety Consultant. He will be a resource for both organizations, specifically providing guidance to the Kelly Brush Foundation and to U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s alpine community. Van Slyke has more than 30 years experience in alpine sport as an event organizer, program director, coach and official. He presently serves as an International Ski Federation (FIS) technical delegate (TD) commissioner representing U.S. Ski & Snowboard with the FIS. Van Slyke has served as a competition jury member at competitions ranging from Olympic Winter Games, World Cups, and Nor Am Cups to grassroots alpine racing competitions in New York and Vermont.

The new role of Alpine Competition and Safety Consultant will help produce educational resources and provide guidance on safety and venue improvement practices. The Kelly Brush Foundation and U.S. Ski & Snowboard are committed to supporting programs, coaches, and stakeholders at all levels of the sport with the resources they need to provide elite venues for their athletes. The position is jointly funded by U.S. Ski & Snowboard and the Kelly Brush Foundation with help from a grant by the Killington World Cup Committee.

“This partnership will allow us to address some of the concerns we hear from programs and venues around the country,” said Zeke Davisson, Executive Director of the Kelly Brush Foundation. “Together with U.S. Ski & Snowboard we will be able to provide the resources to programs, coaches, officials, volunteers, parents, and racers at all levels of alpine ski racing more effectively than either organization could do alone.”

The Kelly Brush Foundation was founded after Kelly Brush suffered a life-changing spinal cord injury while ski racing. The foundation is committed to protecting the next generation of skiers from experiencing avoidable injuries. The Kelly Brush Foundation provides grant assistance to ski racing venues in order to buy B-netting and other safety equipment as well as undertake venue safety improvement measures such as trail widening.

Tiger Shaw, president and CEO of U.S. Ski & Snowboard, was a major advocate for the new position and helped to develop the responsibilities of the alpine competition and safety consultant within the alpine community.

“We are proud to work with the Kelly Brush Foundation to create the alpine competition and safety consultant position,” said Shaw. “Paul will be a resource for venues around the country, helping to drive the message that while our sports are inherently dangerous, we can still take steps to minimize risk while creating the best possible environment for our athletes to succeed.”

“This is an outstanding opportunity for our sport to reach a deeper audience in educating about alpine safety,” said Van Slyke. “This relationship will allow us to engage programs, organizers, coaches and resorts as a resource to provide education and awareness about best practices in alpine safety.”

About Kelly Brush Foundation
The Kelly Brush Foundation is a dynamic and growing Burlington, Vermont-based non-profit inspiring and empowering people with spinal cord injuries to be active and working closely with the alpine ski racing community to improve safety. The Kelly Brush Foundation was founded in 2006 by Kelly and her family after Kelly sustained a spinal cord injury while racing in an NCAA alpine ski race.

About U.S. Ski & Snowboard
U.S. Ski & Snowboard is the Olympic sports organization based in Park City, Utah, providing leadership and direction for elite athletes competing at the highest level worldwide and for tens of thousands of young skiers and snowboarders in the USA, encouraging and supporting all its athletes in achieving excellence wherever they train and compete. By empowering national teams, clubs, coaches, parents, officials, volunteers and fans, U.S. Ski & Snowboard is committed to the progression of its sports, athlete success and the value of team. One of the oldest and most established sports organizations worldwide, directly tracing its roots back to 1905, U.S. Ski & Snowboard receives no direct government support, operating solely through private donations from individuals, corporations and foundations to fund athletic programs that directly assist athletes in reaching their dreams.

KWCF gives out over $250,000 in Grants

Contact:  Lynn Boynton

The Killington World Cup Foundation awards over $250,000 in grants to 22 nonprofits across the Northeast 

KILLINGTON, VT. (August 19, 2019) -- The Killington World Cup Foundation (KWCF) formerly the Killington World Cup Committee recently awarded 22 grants totaling $252,000 to Northeast area nonprofits in seven states through a competitive grant opportunity, according to a press release August 19th. KWCF supports programs seeking to increase winter sports participation for youth throughout the Northeast and to improve competition and training infrastructure. Combined with matching funds and multi-year grant commitments, the KWCF’s effort  will contribute more than $400,000 in resources to winter sports infrastructure in the region. 

These grants were made possible as a result of the 2018 Killington Women’s World Cup event.

"The Dublin School Nordic Center is humbled by the Killington World Cup Foundation’s generous grant to support our efforts to provide outstanding cross country skiing free of charge for our surrounding communities,” said Brad Bates, head of the Dublin School in New Hampshire and also head Nordic ski coach. “We have begun the process of adding snowmaking and lights to our FIS homologated race course so that skiers of all ages can have access to skiing during periods when there is little natural snow or daylight. We believe that skiing is a lifelong sport that contributes to healthy and happy communities. We appreciate the Killington World Cup Foundation’s willingness to partner with us in making skiing more accessible to all generations of skiers in New England."

“Our goal is to support those organizations who want to see our young athletes in the Northeast thrive and become life-long participants in winter sports,” said Phill Gross, KWCF board member and U.S. Ski & Snowboard trustee. “It is critical to support these programs in order to encourage and grow participants in winter sports and to support the dreams and aspirations of young athletes. The women on the World Cup circuit are incredible role models, and we are excited to have their visit to Killington for the World Cup lead to an opportunity to grow and enhance winter sports programs in the region.”

The KWCF grants ranged from $1,000 to $25,000. Awarded projects include trail expansion and equipment for various racing venues in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and North Carolina, participation scholarships for adaptive, Nordic and alpine programs in Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts, a Learn to Ski program in Vermont and Maine; and the expansion of adaptive learn-to-ski programs in Massachusetts, just to name a few.

Funding began June 15, 2019. All awarded projects will begin during the 2019 calendar year and all grant recipients are registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations or have a fiscal sponsor. 

Grant applications were reviewed by a committee that included: Tiger Shaw, CEO of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard; Tom Karam, founder of T2 Foundation and a U.S. Ski & Snowboard trustee; Tao Smith, Head of School at Killington Mountain School and VARA President; Grace Macomber Bird, Volunteer, Kelly Brush Foundation; Harry Ryan, Facey, Goss & McPhee, P.C.,  John Casella, Chairman and CEO of Casella Waste Management, Kenneth Graham, Founder and Chairman of Inverness Graham and U.S. Ski & Snowboard Board of Directors and Gross.

“We are grateful to KWCF for their generous grant establishing the KWCF Race Program Scholarship, said Chris Adams, President Woodstock Ski Runners. “This scholarship provides an opportunity that would not otherwise exist for young athletes from our Friday Program to join one of our race programs and experience ski racing in the mid-Vermont council.” 

Willow Clifford was the first KWCF race program scholarship award winner. 

“The amount of growth in Willow’s skiing ability and the friendships she has made surpassed any expectations we had of this experience,” said Emma Clifford, Willow’s mother. It was a joy to witness my daughter complete her first competitive ski race successfully, and from there continue to flourish and enjoy the sport with her team. Willow has become a more confident and capable skier with only one season of the WSR Program under her belt, and that is all thanks to the generosity of the KWCF scholarship and Woodstock Ski Runners,” she added.

A list of all of 2019’s grant recipients as well as details for organizations interested in applying for future KWCF grants can be found at


About the Killington World Cup Foundation

KWCF was created to support the Women's World Cup at Killington and to benefit local and regional youth development programs. KWCF will consider and award grants to qualifying 501(c)(3) organizations to facilitate training infrastructure in the Northeast and SARA region (ME/NH/VT/CT/NY/MA/RI/NJ/PA/NC,VA,WV) and to increase participation in competitive winter sports programs throughout the Northeast. Fundraising is a year-round effort, with an emphasis on VIP sponsorships during the 2019 FIS Women’s World Cup at Killington Resort in November. For more information, visit

Woodstock Ski Runners



World Cup committee provides support for Friday Learn-to-Ski Program

South Pomfret, VT (April 9, 2018) Woodstock Ski Runners has been awarded a $25,000 grant by the Killington World Cup Committee (KWCC) to support and enhance our popular Friday Learn-to-Ski Program. 

This generous grant will allow Woodstock Ski Runners to commit to our low $85 Friday Program fee with no increases for five years. Now in its 63rd year, the Friday Program provides low-cost ski instruction to the children of Vermont. This season, 323 children from 16 Vermont schools learned to ski from 80 devoted volunteer instructors.

“The Friday Program is our history,” said Steve Hambsch, President of Woodstock Ski Runners. “We offer fun ski instruction in a safe and welcoming environment. This generous grant from Killington allows us to keep the cost very affordable, and the scholarship will motivate the kids to try racing.”

A new scholarship will also be created for the Friday Program skier most ready to go racing. One Friday participant will be selected each year for the next five years and awarded the KWCC Scholarship to enter our alpine racing program the following season. 

Funds from the KWCC grant will also be applied to our scholarship fund, allowing Ski Runners to continue our mission of ensuring every child that wants to learn to ski has an opportunity to do so. In 2018, Ski Runners provided 37 scholarships, 28 of which included aid for ski equipment.

The entire amount of $25,000 was featured in Ski Runners Annual Appeal fundraising drive as a matching funds incentive, and we are happy to announce that a friend of Woodstock Ski Runners has matched the entire $25,000 grant with a gift of another $25,000. The Woodstock Ski Runners Board of Directors, our members, and our athletes are extremely grateful for the grant from the KWCC and the generous additional gift it inspired.


About Woodstock Ski Runners

Founded in 1932, Woodstock Ski Runners is one of the oldest ski club in the eastern United States. Today, Woodstock Ski Runners offers both Alpine and Nordic programs for kids ages 6-19. The Alpine and Friday Programs train at the Suicide Six Ski Area while our Nordic Programs train nearby at the beautiful Woodstock Nordic Center.  For more information about Woodstock Ski Runners, please visit

About the Killington World Cup Committee

The “Killington World Cup Committee” (KWCC) was created to support the Women's World Cup at Killington and to benefit local and regional youth development programs. The KWCC will work through Killington Resort in various ways including providing support for athlete housing and VIP events. For more information about the KWCC, please visit

Gould Academy Adds T-bar to Training Venue

Gould Academy Adds T-bar to Training Venue

Gould Academy continues to provide some of the best alpine training in the East, and with the addition of a new $1.1 million T-bar on their training venue, this top-notch program just got stronger.

The new lift will service the Monday Mourning training and race slope at Sunday River. The venue provides excellent early-season training on the most dependable snow in the East. It also allows for full-length Slalom and Giant Slalom runs with a four-minute turnaround.

Former U.S. Ski team coach Parker Gray recently joined Kurt Simard and Rogan Connell in a leadership position on the Gould coaching staff. A Gould grad who served on the Men’s Alpine staff for three years and coached in the 2018 Olympics, Gray now leads Gould’s post-graduate Gap Year program, a small program for highly competitive skiers who are college-accepted high school graduates (male and female) and focused on earning spots on college programs and/or the US Ski Team (Simard and Connell are both former Division I collegiate coaches).

Athletes can get an early start in the Gould program as well. Based at the Gould campus only six miles from Sunday River, the Winter Term program for 7th and 8th graders provides a strong academic component to alpine training six days a week from November to March.

“This is incredibly exciting,” says On Snow Program Director Kurt Simard. “Gould is unique in that we have all the pieces here for student-athletes to reach their goals.”

Release courtesy of Gould Academy.

KWCC Gives Back 4241 Magazine

Killington World Cup Committee Gives Back to the Ski Community

By Peggy Shinn

This winter, the upper section of Pico’s B Slope is significantly wider, giving kids in Pico’s race program more training space. And the Woodstock Ski Runners aim to keep their Friday ski program affordable; it will remain at $85 for the next five years. The club is also offering a scholarship for one child who would like to join the club’s ski racing program. 

It’s not resort funds or club dues that are paying for these improvements, and similar ones at 14 other ski and outdoor programs in the East. Monies are coming from the Killington World Cup Committee (KWCC).

The KWCC was the idea of Phill Gross. A long-time advocate of youth and adaptive sports — and a long-time Killington skier — Gross saw the crowd at the first Killington World Cup in 2017 and wondered if the popularity of the event, and the great venue, could provide an opportunity to give back to the ski community. The VIP access tickets had sold so quickly that Gross thought extra money could be raised if these tickets were offered as VIP packages. This additional money could provide funding to local ski programs in the East. It’s a model Gross had seen used successfully at PGA Tour golf tournaments.

“My idea was if we could put these VIP packages together and raise a little bit of money, then we could end up having the World Cup leave a positive impact on the ski community throughout the East,” said Gross, a co-founder and managing director of Adage Capital Management in Boston. He is also a U.S. Ski & Snowboard trustee, and he serves on the boards of several youth and adaptive sports organizations.

The KWCC offers three levels of World Cup premium VIP packages, ranging in price from $5,000 to $50,000. Each package includes tickets to the VIP tent at the base of Superstar, the World Cup slalom and giant slalom race trail, and tickets to the Peak Gala, which honored the 1968 Olympic alpine team last year, among other benefits. 

Killington Resort also donates the proceeds from reserved grandstand seats to the KWCC.

With these funds, the KWCC pays the athlete hospitality fees — to give back to the resort. The organization then accepts grants requests from organizations in the East to either improve access to outdoor sports or to improve program infrastructure.

“We go to a lot of places where we just show up and have the race and we depart, and truthfully the only lasting thing for the community is the fact that they got to experience a World Cup race,” said Mike Day, Mikaela Shiffrin’s coach. “The Killington World Cup Committee is going well beyond that now to make sure that the impact is felt by many regional programs. It’s really special to have a group of people that want to give more in legacy to the region rather than just ski race.”

In March 2018, the KWCC awarded 16 grants ranging from $3,000 to $25,000. The grants went as far south as North Carolina (the Appalachian Ski Education Foundation received funding for infrastructure improvements) and as far north as Maine (the Winterkids Education Foundation was given a grant to expand its nordic program in Portland and to start programs in other communities). 

“We gave grants where we felt like we could make an impact,” said Lynn Boynton, KWCC director.

In total, the KWCC gave away $207,000 last year and favored grants with matching components. 

“You add all that up, and it’s a total impact of $350,000 to the ski racing community,” said Gross.

For the 2018 Killington World Cup, the KWCC will honor the 1980 Olympic alpine team, which trained at Killington before heading to Lake Placid. Tickets to the Peak Gala on Friday night are part of the VIP packages and are only available through the KWCC website. Packages are available starting in September at

“If the Killington World Cup continues in 2019,” said Gross, “we expect the KWCC to continue to make grants and have the same ticket opportunities.”