Arts, Dining & Entertainment

Chasing vertical

One woman’s quest for 10k and 100 days…

By Brooke Geery

The end of 2021 is rapidly approaching, but this ski season is really just beginning. At least, for most people.

Not for me. I’m clocking in at day 27 as of press time. Sure, everyone has a different definition of a “day” when it comes to riding — some count days, some count runs, some count hours. Historically, I’ve considered any that I put my boots on and strap in on snow towards my day count. But even with that low bar and 35 years, many of them working in the snowboard industry, I’m yet to reach the elusive 100-day marker.

By Brooke Geery
Greetings from the Northridge chair. Brooke Geery takes an early season 2021 selfie.

This season though, I set myself up with a part-time serving job at night, and gig work writing articles such as this one. Add in Killington Resort’s lifts spinning for the longest season in the East 20 minutes from my front door, I’m pretty sure this is my season!

Armed with an unlimited pass and a smart phone with the Killington app, I set my sights on 10k a day. That’s 10,000 vertical feet, which thanks to a network of fiber optics spread around the resort, the app keeps track of.

This is my second season with the digital tracker, but my first with the time to really chase statistics. Unfortunately, it took a few warm-up days hiking Peak Walkway and lapping the Northridge chairlift before I remembered the app existed, so those initial days I didn’t technically get credit for. I’ve used that as motivation, because if I’m being honest with you, I really just want to make the app’s leaderboard, daily and for the season.

Every day, the top 25 Killington app users’ stats are publicly viewable, and anyone can toggle around to see who has the most days, lifts and feet. You can sort by the day, month and season, and for me, it serves as reason to get after it. Top finishers also get occasional prizes and shout outs, and at the end of the year, someone will have the ultimate honor of the most vertical feet. Last year, it was local real estate agent Tucker Adirondack, but this year, he’s focusing on other things, so the title slot is up for grabs, and a few early leaders have emerged. That said, I’m pretty sure it won’t be me.

As of writing this on Dec. 14, I have taken 186 lift rides and covered over 200,000 vertical feet, which might sound like a lot, until you click over and see how much other people have skied. Currently, “Larry L” is on top, with well over 630,000 feet. He usually tops 30,000 feet a day. Despite my daily laps, I am yet to run into Larry, however, I have logged many of my miles alongside the current No. 2, “Teddy C.”

Teddy Cohen, 35, of Woodstock, Connecticut, now lives in Rutland. He spent the summer working overtime so that he could ride Killington daily, and so far, hasn’t missed a single day. He’s there for first chair and rides until the lifts close, considers lift rides his breaks, and told me he just doesn’t get bored.

“I just want to get better at snowboarding and learn to ride the park,” Cohen said.

A worthy goal, though arguably not the best way to clock maximum vertical feet. Taking a lap on the Snowdon bubble — where Mouse Park lives and where you’re most likely to find Cohen right now, only earns you about 1,200 feet. Meanwhile, lapping the Superstar chair or the K1 gondola earns over 2,000 feet each lap. In other words, five runs on either and I’ve met my daily goal. Without lift lines, I can easily make it happen in two hours.

So far, my best day was 18,000 feet on Dec. 9. It’s amazing what a few inches of fresh will do for motivation levels, but even on the icy post-storm days, I’ve done alright. I only have trouble meeting my vert goal on weekends, when, as a local, it’s nice to give the casuals some space. But so far for December, I’m sitting in 9th place (thanks to days, not feet), and I’m Ok with that.

And in the interest of full disclosure, I must report my vertical chasing ways are about to change.

As of today, Dec. 15, I have officially started a job in the Killington marketing department, a full time position, so if you’ve read this article and thought “this lady should work for Killington…” apparently they agreed! This story will hopefully not be my last for the Mountain Times. And though my definition of a “full day” snowboarding may change, considering my new office is in the K1 parking lot, I am still confident I’ll get my 100 days!

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