Dan Cassidy, a Maine native who lives in Winslow, about a 90-minute drive from here, is among Sugarloaf season ticket holders attracted to first tracks.
“What I really like is that it gives me the opportunity to ski virgin, untracked snow,” says Cassidy, who is in his early seventies and who has been skiing for the past 50 years. “There’s nobody in front of me and very few skiers behind me.”
“First track skiers are here every day at the 8:30 a.m. opening, and they compete with each other to see who gets here first and who skis the most, says Cassidy, who manages to ski about 40 to 60 days each season. “Sugarloaf recognizes the best first track skier each season with its Ironman of Skiing award. We toast the winner at our end-of-season barbecue. It’s a hoot.”
PROTECT YOUR TAILBONE – Let’s say you are a new snowboarder. What are your chances of injury in the early days of learning the sport? According to the manufacturer of Booty Guard, a tailbone protector, one in 10 riders who begin to snowboard return to the slopes for the second day. And if that rider was not seriously injured on day one, you can bet your snowboard boots that he or she will be injured the second day. Statistics show that chances are four times greater that a snowboarder will suffer injuries in the beginning stages of the sport.
And tailbone injuries are at the top of the list because, in learning the sport, a rider must be prepared to fall many times. The areas of most injuries are the wrist and tailbone. A tailbone injury is usually slow to heal, and the pain is often recurrent. Booty Guard is designed to give focused protection to the tailbone area. A snowboarder simply slips it into place and fastens it over the tailbone. The protector is lightweight, vented to reduce perspiration, flexible to fit the tailbone area, and has a hard shell to spread and absorb impact.
Booty Guard is available at Killington, Pico Peak, Willard Mt. and Gore, among ski areas. Cost is $19.95. More info from www.bootyguard.com or call 866-480-1572.