Local News

12th annual Antique Ski Race held at Pico

By Robin Alberti

Over the weekend, Pico hosted the 12th annual Antique Ski Race to benefit the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum. The mission of VSSM, located in Stowe, is to collect, preserve and celebrate Vermont’s skiing and snowboarding history. Currently, the museum has over 7,750 items catalogued. VSSM displays equipment includes boots, skis, poles, climbing skins, and loose bindings for snowboarding, cross-country, and downhill skiing, as well as carrying equipment — bags, boot trees, and ski racks.

The fundraising race moved to Pico three years ago in celebration of Pico’s 75th anniversary. Pico base lodge has a satellite display of items from the museum located on the upper floor. 

Bill Henne, who is on the board of directors for the museum, was instrumental in starting the satellite display at Pico. Known as a “lover of old ski things,” Bill is passionate about preserving the history of the sport. When asked what the biggest challenge was using vintage skis, Henne said it was mental. “It is in your head. You need to be aggressive and really muscle the skis. The angulations are different. You keep the skis closer together.”  Today, with the technological advances in equipment, it is very different to ski on the old skis. He said, “That makes it tougher on the younger folks who have never skied on the old style equipment.” 

Henne even offered to loan folks vintage equipment to be able to participate in the event.  If you want to join in the fun and fundraising next year, but do not have your own equipment, you can contact him at [email protected]

The race has four divisions: Strictly Vintage, in which all the equipment (skis, boots and bindings) have to be circa 1975 or older, metal and fiberglass, wooden, and long and straight. Twenty five people participated in Saturday’s race. Some donned vintage attire as well.  The poles use for race gates were also vintage in style, and some were painted yellow, a color no longer used in ski racing. Hand sewn flags were used on the bamboo poles, and the announcer projected his voice to call out the racers, completing the vintage feel of the race.

Antique Ski Race results:

Strictly Vintage: 1st place John McClallen

2nd place Bill Cohen

Metal/Fiberglass 1st place Peter Knaus

2nd place Tom Bradder

3rd place Fred Dieffenbach

Wooden 1st place Bill Henne

2nd place Gunther Sihler

Long and Straight 1st place Bill Cohen

2nd place Liz Mead

Overall Results 1st place Peter Knaus

2nd place Tom Bradder

3rd place Fred Dieffenbach

Team Race 1st place Brownsville Boys

2nd place Pico Peaks

3rd place Snow East

Specialty categories:

The fastest male racer was Peter Knaus, and the fastest female, Mary Mead.  In the best Vintage Attire category, Peter Knaus strutted his stuff, and Peggy Shinn made a visual impression in her gorgeous sweater and neon pants. The slowest skier was Kelsey McKay, and Pico’s general manager Tracy Taylor got to take home a pair of Dry Cheeks for the best crash.

For more information visit www.vtssm.com.

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