March Buster Blasts

March 13, 2019

Greetings Parents and Busters!

 

Here is a short-but-sweet late season Buster Blast.

 

March weather conditions

In March, you may see the following conditions: extreme cold, cold, extreme warm, warm, snow, freezing snow, piles of snow, sleet, rain, hail, wind, calm, sun, fog, and everything in between. Please check the forecast and plan and dress accordingly!

 

How to dress in March

Dress in layers so that Busters can shed (or add) layers. Wear waterproof mittens or gloves. Apply sunblock before you arrive (or borrow ours). Pack hand warmers in your Buster’s pocket just in case. And – PLEASE – label your gear (and check the labels that may have worn off during a long season). Having fun and staying safe in March are closely connected with individual preparation. Having the right gear and clothes will enhance an already good time!

 

Ski With a Patroller

Saturday: Nicole Walker

Sunday: Andy Grab

 

Park Jam – Sun, March 17th

The Tyro terrain park will be closed on Sunday, March 17th from 10AM till 12Noon… unless you’re a Buster! For Busters, Sunday morning will be all about the jumps, tricks, features, and tunes. Come check out the Buster Park Jam as our experienced park riders show their stuff and inexperienced riders get exposed to new things. Spectators welcome – please stay clear of landings, communicate with park staff and coaches, and position yourselves next to the woods!

 

Buster Race – Sat, March 23rd

Our final Buster race will be held on Saturday, March 23rd. Get your fast skis ready!

 

Buster Party – Sat, March 30th

We will hold an Après to celebrate an awesome season in Spruce Camp. Let the good times roll!

 

Last Day of Busters – Sun, March 31st (Sad!)

 

Extend Your Buster Season

Stowe’s Ski & Ride School season ends on April 7th – the same day Spruce closes. However, we will offer private lessons at a 50 percent discount the week of April 8-14. If 32 days of Busters wasn’t enough, why not book your Buster coach for one last hurrah? Better yet, get with some of your Buster friends and do it together! What better way to cruise out of 2018-2019?

 

Looking Ahead – Next Year!

Busters will be back and better than ever in 2019-2020. Dates and details will be coming in a Buster Blast PRIOR to the end of the season. Stay tuned.

 

Looking Back – Last Weekend’s “Firsts”

Last weekend we had a beautiful Saturday and a windy Sunday (see “March weather” above in this Blast!). We also some firsts: for example, Coach Kae Zaino took her Mightybusters Nordic skiing at the Stowe Nordic Center – the first-ever Mightybusters to do so. We also gathered the entire Buster program to join in a boom whacker activity. The boom whackers were cool, but also awesome was gathering every Buster who was with us Saturday from ages 3 to 16 in one place (see photos). Buster Power!

 

And regarding the coming weekend: this is it… three weeks to go. We’re looking forward to another awesome weekend full of friends, camaraderie, and skiing all over Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak.  See you up here!

 

Best regards,

The Buster Team

 

 

 

March 6, 2019

Hello Busters and Families!

 

We have plenty of great March conditions, sunshine, and Buster events ahead. Read on to get the scoop!

 

Spring Forward!

Don’t forget to move your clocks ahead on Saturday night! Repeat: Daylight Savings time begins on Sunday, March 10th.

 

Sun and Snow Pro

The sun is back… and with it, the need to protect ourselves. On sunny days, please remember to apply sunblock to your Buster’s skin. Otherwise, our Buster areas are equipped with Supergoop SPF 50 sunblock. Also, with spring temperatures comes the temptation to shed layers. The Buster Code of Conduct says Be Ready… and being ready means wearing long sleeves (that is, to the wrist!), wearing face and eye protection, and wearing gloves or mittens. Spring snow can be abrasive (can you say road rash?). Our coaches will insist that everyone dress like Busters – and that means dressing right!

 

The Buster Groove – Sat, March 9th

Busters will have the opportunity to participate in a unique activity: Boom Whackers! At 1:30PM, our Lifts Manager (and drummer) Gary Gendemenico will bring his Boom Whackers to Midway Lodge. All Busters (the more the better) will make incredible music before heading back out for their final runs of the day. You do NOT want to miss this brief – but awesome – event!

 

Buster Park Jam – Sun, March 17th

Every weekend, Busters take advantage of our own closed-to-the-public race hill. Next weekend, we get our very own terrain park! Sun will shine down and tunes will fill the air as our Stowe Parks team closes the Tyro terrain park to everyone except Busters! Busters can review ParkSMART and Pre-ride, Re-ride, Free-ride concepts, show their tricks – and learn new tricks – as our entire program hits the park!

 

The Buster Championships – March 23rd

Our final Buster race will be held on Saturday, March 23rd at 10AM. Kids: bring your fast skis. Parents: bring your cowbells!

 

End of the Season Party – March 30th

The end is still far away… but mark your calendars. We will celebrate the (not yet here) end of the Buster season with an Après party on Saturday, March 30!

 

Ski With a Patroller

  • Saturday: Ada Rohan’s group
  • Sunday: Matt Annis’s group

Bring all the questions you’ve ever had for a Stowe Patroller… but never had the chance to ask!

 

Makin’ Progress!

If you haven’t received a Buster progress card for your child, be sure to ask your coach. These cards are a great feedback tool to help you and your Buster know exactly where and how they ski!

 

We are grateful for the amazing stretch of snow and weather we’ve been enjoying. And we appreciate everyone’s participation in the Buster program. Four weekends to go… see you all at the Mountain!

 

Best regards,

The Buster Team

 

 

 

February Buster Blasts

February 27, 2019

Hello Busters and Families!

 

Next time we’re together, it will be March! For many, March is the best part of the season. Longer, brighter days (yayy sun!). Great snow (keep it coming!). And seasonal temperatures (we hope!). Having survived the dark of December, the cold (and snow) of January, and the ups and downs of February, we deserve what’s coming in March… which is traditionally Vermont’s snowiest month!

 

Race Events

Thanks to our Competition Services department (formerly known as our race department) for the awesome Buster races these past two weeks. Also, thanks to all of the parents who turned out to spectate… (those who came on the beautiful day on Feb 17 AND those who braved slightly harder elements on the 24th!). Meanwhile, Busters will continue training in gates on Competition Hill in preparation for our final race of the season: the Buster Championships on March 30!

 

Photo-Op

Buster dad extraordinaire Alan Ouellette was again on-hand at this weekend’s Minibuster and Mightybuster race taking photos. Be sure to check them out at this link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jd5bpfv0yoxe56y/AABWuMJUDtNqyfRW8Syuz46Ia?dl=0. For a high resolution file of your child’s photo, email Alan at skisailvt@gmail.com. He will send you the high resolution photo. Thank you Alan!

 

Snow Science

Thanks to former Teton backcountry guide and Stowe snowboard supervisor Chris Robinson, who took a group of our AMP (All Mountain Program) participants onto the side of Mount Mansfield to educate us about the science of snow. AMP participants dug avalanche pits and asked insightful questions about different layers, different kinds of snow… and what it all means to us. Future avalanche forecasters? We wouldn’t be surprised!

 

Skills Quest

With our first two race events behind us, we will set up Skills Quest challenges on Saturday, March 1st on Competition Hill from 1230PM-2PM. At this stage of the season, it’s time to re-measure skills. Yes, you can ski Goat and Starr. But how are your fundamentals? We’ll find out this weekend.

 

Ski With a Patroller

Did you know Stowe’s Ski Patrol was the nation’s first? Buster groups continue to meet with Stowe Patrollers, tour the top shack, and take a run with Stowe’s Finest. This weekend, the following groups will Ski with a Patroller:

  • Saturday: Dave Neubardt’s group
  • Sunday: Dusty Burke’s group

Come armed with all the questions you’ve ever had for a Patroller but never had the chance to ask!

 

Feedback Cards

Buster coaches will be handing out written progress cards. If you haven’t seen one, ask your coach. If you haven’t been up lately, come up! Busters can look forward to a written progress card now… and one at the end of the season.

 

Still Stressing Safety, Fun, and Learning!

Groups are branching out and exploring more, which means it is more important than ever for Busters to keep in mind the Skiers’ Responsibility Code, the Buster Code of Conduct (see tab at the bottom of the webpage), ParkSMART, and Woods Smarts. We can’t go big without elements of trust and good decision-making (and we’re all about going big!). And can’t have fun if we’re not safe… and we are all about the fun!

 

Still thinking snow,

The Buster Team

 

February 20, 2019

Greetings Busters and Parents!


We hope you are enjoying your Presidents’ holiday. This Holiday Week Blast will be short and sweet!


Snow Conditions
After a wild couple of weeks (an epic thaw and freeze followed by feet of snow culminating with the fabled Mount Mansfield snow stake hitting 100 inches), our snowpack and surface is finally beginning to normalize again. I’m sure Busters noticed the shift to more conservative terrain choices over the past two weekends as a result (thanks Buster coaches for your attention to safety and great decision-making). This weekend will see groups continuing to operate with a “Yellow Light” and safety-first mentality. Attention Busters: listening to your coach, staying close to your group, and generally adhering to the Three R’s in our Code of Conduct will be paramount.


Minibuster and Mightybuster Race Event
Along with last week’s FIS World Championships in Åre, Sweden, this is a ski racing event you do NOT want to miss!
• When: Sun, Feb 24
o Course Inspection: 945AM
o Minibusters Race: 10AM
o Mightybusters: Immediately after Minis
• Where: Competition Hill, Spruce
• Who: All Minibusters and Mightybusters
• What: Minibusters, one run. Mightybusters, one or two runs… fastest run counts.


Spectators are welcomed and encouraged! Please look for signage which will direct Finish area spectators inside safety fencing. If you’re on skis, feel free to view along the racing venue.


Volunteers are also welcomed… we can use all the help we can get helping kids remove their racing vests after their final run.


Get Your High Resolution Photos!
Buster dad extraordinaire Alan Ouellette stood on the side of the race hill last weekend and shot photos of all racers – they’re amazing. Click here to see the photos. If you see one you like, email Alan at skisailvt@gmail.com. He’ll send you the high resolution digital file. Thank you Al!


Gate Training
Gate Training on Comp Hill from 1230PM-2PM on Saturday, Feb 23. Minis and Mightys… it’s your last chance to practice before the big race! Stowebusters and AMP… you’ll be racing again at the end of March!


AMP Snow Science
Finally, after a series of reschedules it’s happening this Saturday, Feb 23… All Mountain Program (AMP) groups will join our resident snow expert Chris Robinson to dig pits and examine this season’s deep and extremely fascinating snowpack! If your family has a compact avalanche shovel, please bring. Other parents and coaches: if you have an avalanche shovel our AMP groups can borrow, please label with your name and bring. We promise to return it at the end of the day!


Ski with a Patroller
• Saturday: Billy DeVore’s group
• Sunday: Dusty Burke’s group


Baby Update… New Member of Buster Team
Congratulations to Buster supervisor Carl Bertelsen and his family who welcomed Brooke Renee Bertelsen into the world on February 16th. Welcome Brooke! Congrats to the Bertelsen family!


Thanks to all Busters and families for your commitment to and support of this program. We look forward to seeing you this weekend!


Think snow,
The Buster Team

February 6, 2019

Greetings Busters and Families!

 

Happy February! We are looking forward to Vermont’s two traditionally snowiest months… but how could February and March possibly out-do January 2019? We will soon find out!

 

Here are some notes regarding upcoming Buster weekends…

 

Home Decorating Tip

Do you need sweet ski photos to blow up and frame in your living room? How about a shot of your Buster shredding at the first-ever Buster Slopestyle Contest on Hackett’s Highway? In addition to tunes, camaraderie, perfect conditions, and cheers from lift riders, the event had one more thing: photographer and Buster dad extraordinaire Alan Ouellette! Click here to check out Alan’s photos (he shot every competitor). Here’s the best part: Alan will give you the high resolution photo! Perfect for blowing up, framing, and decorating your home! Alan’s email: skisailvt@gmail.com.

 

Early Morning Pre-Buster Runs – A Good Idea?

We love the enthusiasm that motivates families to make a couple of early runs before Busters start on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Please consider the following, however, when you make the decision to head out early:

  1. Buster groups depart at 845AM. We don’t wait for late arrivers… even if you text your coach. If you think an early morning run (or a second or third early morning run) might make you late, we advise you to reconsider!
  2. Buster Code of Conduct says “Be Ready”! Other early-skiing Busters are showing up on time and ready… for a break! If you made early runs, please stay with your child for a few minutes; you may realize that s/he needs a rest/snack/thaw-out break. If this is the case, please be prepared to stay with him/her. You can make arrangements with your coach regarding where to meet. Another approach if you’re making multiple runs: maybe swing into Midway Lodge for water, rest, and a snack before meeting the group instead of squeezing in one more run. A Buster day is a marathon, and you want your child to be ready.

 

What To Do If You’re Late

It happens to all of us: sometimes, you run a few minutes late. Here’s what to do if you miss your Buster group:

Stowebusters and AMP – it’s simple!

  • If you arrive late: Stowebusters and AMP groups meet at 830AM at Midway Lodge and depart at 845 sharp! They make one warmup lap and check back at Midway for late arrivers. If you miss the check back, you can try to find them on the hill or at lunch at Midway at 1130AM. Be prepared to wait with your child; our supervisors are sometimes available to do this for you, but not always.
  • If you need to pickup early: Lunchtime is best. Otherwise, communicate with your coach to arrange when you want the group to swing past Midway.

 

Minibusters and Mightybusters – It’s a little more complicated!

  • Why more complicated? Because the younger age group means tighter security. Because there is a greater range of ability and terrain in this age group. And because they snack, break, and lunch in our Adventure Center – a parent-free facility.
  • If you arrive late: Minibuster and Mightybuster groups meet on snow at Gondola Barn at 830AM and depart at 845 sharp.
    • If your child’s group regularly skis Mansfield, they will take a warmup lap on the Gondola. Coaches will swing by Midway Lodge and the usual dropoff area by the Gondola Barn.
    • If the group regularly skis at Spruce, they will take a warmup lap at Spruce and check back at the green “CheckBack” flag on the Spruce snowfront.
    • What if you don’t know where they regularly ski? That also makes this process more complicated! Communications with parents, coaches, and Carl, our Minibuster/Mightybuster supervisor, are key.
  • If you miss the check back, you can try to find them on the hill or as they go in for lunch at the Adventure Center.
    • These coaches lunch at 1115AM: Emma, David, Lucas, Marston, Mary, Marshall, Micaela, Sammy, and Tess.
    • These coaches lunch at 1145AM: Ada, Billy, John, Kae, Marla, Matty, Max, and Nicole
  • Please note: if you are late, you are responsible for remaining with your child until you connect with the coach. (Some parents elect to wait at the base of a lift; others decide to go skiing until lunch time and connect them. Both work for us!)
  • Final note: Calling your coach on a cell phone. We love that many parents and coaches have exchanged digits. (We do not require coaches to share their phone numbers, of course.) We do require coaches to be responsible for the safety and whereabouts of the kids in their groups… which means you should not expect immediate responses to calls or text messages to coaches. Coaches may check their phones on a lift or during a break… or not! Our best advice: try your best to be on-time. If you’re late, we’ll all do our best to get everyone connected.

 

Don’t Forget to Sign Out!

On the topic of checking in and signing out, do you know the best way to give your Buster coach a heart attack? That’s right… leave with your child at the end of the day without signing your coach’s roster! Please remember this important step so we can account for all kids at the end of each day. And for your coach’s health and stress level!

 

AMP Snow Science Postponed

Due to conditions, our AMP Snow Science event will be held on Saturday, Feb 23. Good news: that gives every AMP participant time to find an avalanche shovel to bring to the program… The more compact shovels we bring, the more (and better) snow pits we can dig!

 

This Weekend’s Specials

  • Sat, Feb 9: Gate Training on Comp Hill
  • Sun, Feb 10 Snowboard Sunday (if you registered, you have emailed back and forth with us!)
  • Sun, Feb 10 Valentine’s Day Theme (Wear your favorite red ski sweater!)

 

Upcoming Events

  • Sun, Feb 17 Stowebuster/AMP Race (complete with timing, bibs, and results!) Spectators encouraged.
  • Sun, Feb 24 Minibuster/Mightybuster Race (complete with timing, bibs and results!) Spectators encouraged.

 

Thank you for your participation in Busters as we enter the halfway point in our season. There is so much fun and excitement ahead of us. See you here!

 

Best regards,

The Buster Team

 

 

January Buster Blasts

January 30, 2019

Greetings Busters and Families!

 

There is lots of important stuff, fun, and adventure on our horizon, so let’s jump right to it!

 

Feeling Comfortable?

As we approach the 50-yard line of our Buster season (that’s right – this coming weekend is Number 7 out of 16!), coaches will be reviewing the Buster Code of Conduct with their groups. Parents can find the Code on a tab at the top of this webpage; please click the tab to re-familiarize yourself and even go over with your Buster. The Code consists of 3 R’s: be Ready, be Responsible, and be Respectful. Do this, and we’ll be able to do everything and go everywhere. Don’t do this and lose the privilege to participate. We’re entering the height of our season; our coaches and groups are excited to continue explore, adventure, and to have fun… and everything is based on adhering to the Code!

 

Candy Update (or should we say “No Candy” update!)

At the beginning of the season, Buster coaches unveiled a plan: no candy consumption before lunchtime. Are you wondering how this initiative is going? Coaches marveled at how quickly kids in our program jumped on-board – they get it. Coaches have reported increased attention, focus, and performance. Watching what you eat does work. Thanks Buster coaches for taking the initiative on nutrition!

 

Buster Slopestyle Contest – Sat, Feb 2

Always teach to the “Conditions of the Day.” With this in mind, our Buster Comps Contest has been changed to the first-ever Buster Slopestyle Contest on Hackett’s Highway. Details below:

  • What: Buster Slopestyle Contest on Hackett’s
  • When: Saturday, Feb 2 10AM (Note: groups will be welcome to pre-ride and inspect the course starting at 915AM)
  • Where: Hackett’s Highway (Note: the trail will be closed to everyone except Busters. Spectators are welcome to watch from the base of Hackett’s!)
  • Who: All Stowebusters, AMP, and select Mightybuster groups
  • How: Skiers get one run to show their stuff. Time does not count. So go at your own pace!
  • More:Named for Ed Hackett, former longtime Stowe Patroller who loves skiing and ski friends and community, Hackett’s is a favorite among Busters. This all-for-the-fun comp is about going at your pace on a fun trail with bumps, jumps, drops, and pow!

 

Minibuster and Mightybuster Updates

  • Minibusters. All Minibuster groups are branching out terrain-wise. Some groups are even starting to explore Mansfield. As parents, you can help: volunteer to take a run with your child’s group, be a tail-gunner (that is, an adult to sweep and bring up the rear), and ride with kids on the lift. Our coaches will let you know their plan and whether or not they need you! Bottom line: this littlest Busters are quickly turning into shredders and rippers. Way to go Minibusters!
  • Early Pickup for Minis and Mightys. For safety and accountability, our Adventure Center is a Parent-Free area. Please cooperate with this policy. If you want to arrange an early pickup for your Minibuster or Mightybuster, here’s the best way: pre-arrange an ON-SNOW pickup with your coach. If an unexpected change comes up and you can’t find or reach your coach, then come to the Adventure Center front desk. You will be escorted into the space and we will bring your Buster out! Thank you!

 

AMP Snow Science

On Saturday, Feb 9 at 10AM, AMP (All Mountain Program) groups will meet on Saturday morning with Stowe Ski & Ride supervisor, and former Wyoming backcountry guide, Chris Robinson. C-Rob’s topic of the day: Snow Science. Groups will dig snow pits, study the layers of snow (and review every weather event we’ve had all winter!), and test for snow stability. AMP participants are interested in snow… C-Rob is our resident Snow Professor!

 

Ski With a Patroller

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a patroller? What they do in emergency situations? Or, simply, what’s in a Patroller’s backpack? This weekend, two Buster groups will tour 269, the summit ski patrol shack, and take a run with a patroller. This weekend’s groups: Saturday – John Dewitt’s group. Sunday – Abi Lucia. Homework: bring your questions for a Stowe Patroller!

 

Snowboard Sunday

If you signed up for Snowboard Sunday, then refer to our email exchange for the details and times. We have had awesome turnouts for each of our Sundays. FYI: Buster Snowboard Sundays are a one-time event. Enjoy them… Ride on!

 

Get Your Buster Hat

If you made a special order, they’re in! If you didn’t make a special order, we have a pile of Buster hats. Hats are $35 (a $5 donation goes to Friends of Stowe Adaptive with one). Perfect for all après activities… get your Buster hat today!

 

Team Jersey Day – Sunday, Feb 3

This Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday, so be sure to wear your team jersey! Patriots not your team? Well, you’re not invited to Busters! Haha, only kidding. If you’re not a football fan, then be sure to wear your favorite team jersey from any sport!

 

We are approaching the halfway point of the Buster season. Two unexpected clipper storms have left us with the best conditions of the 2018-2019 season. If there’s a weekend to be here, it’s this weekend. Keep doing your snow dances; they’re paying off!

 

Think snow,

The Buster Team

 

January 23, 2019

Hello Busters and Families,

 

Sunday, January 20th was one for the ages! Powder, wide open terrain, tracks being filled in faster than we could ski ‘em… wow.

 

It was also a challenging day. Traffic getting up the road. Parents and coaches stuck and late… through no fault of their own. Unsorted groups. Frustration. Dangers associated with heavy snowfall like snow immersion and tree wells (not to mention driving!). A special thanks to all coaches, our Stowe ski patrol, and everyone at the mountain who kept everyone safe.

 

What do I take away from Sunday? I observed flexibility, patience, teamwork, communication, and leadership from every kid, parent, and coach involved in Busters. Coaches dealt with out-of-the-ordinary circumstances while keeping it safe and fun.  Coaches and kids (including late arrivals) were open to skiing a few runs with different groups until things got sorted out. And parents lent helping hands to coaches and kids – and not just their own. Besides amazing skiing, community, and an attention to safety, what makes Busters awesome? All of the above.

 

Read on about adventures laying in store…

 

Cookie Race – Sat, Jan 26

  • Who: Minibusters & Mightybusters
  • When: Sat, Jan 26 at 1230PM
  • Where: Inspiration under the Adventure Triple
  • What: A fun course designed to teach our littlest skiers how to navigate gates!
  • Why: Because racing is fun. And cookies are yum!
  • Spectators welcome. Bring your cowbells!

 

Snowboard Sunday – Sun, Jan 27

If your child is signed up for Snowboard Sunday, you know it because you emailed us, and we emailed back! A couple of spaces have opened back up for Sunday. Let us know by Friday if you want one!

 

How Snowboard Sunday Works: After you have registered by email, remember that snowboard groups do NOT meet at Midway. Rather, Snowboard-Busters join our regular daily Mountaineer lessons free of charge (remember to identify yourself as a Buster to be admitted into the Corral!). Mountaineers meet in the Corral behind the Adventure Center at 915AM. The lesson ends at 3:30PM also in the Corral. Lunch and snacks are included!

If you need rentals, please pick up equipment at the Spruce Camp rental shop (downstairs in Spruce Camp Base Lodge). Remember to identify yourself as a Buster at the register to receive a 50 percent off discount! Please contact Mark (maiken@vailresorts.com) or Ali (aberlin@vailresorts.com) with questions. Ride on!

 

Skills Quest – Sun, Jan 27

It’s one thing to ski all day. But if you want to elevate your skiing, you have to practice your fundamentals. Now’s our chance to do so in a space of our own without other skiers on the hill. Buster groups will have our own dedicated hill space (Competition Hill) to practice skills and master drills. Want to improve? Want some technical challenges? Get ready to see exactly where you stand on Sunday!

 

Bump Contest Rescheduled for Sat, Feb 2

Our groups were out shredding pow this past weekend… not getting ready for a bumps comp. This weekend groups will head out to the bump fields of Stowe and get ready to practice Line Choice, Ski-to-Snow Contact, Turn Shape, and Air Style – the criteria on which we’ll be judged next week!

 

Skis on Racks, Please!

This is a reminder to all Busters to please rack your skis when you go inside for lunch or breaks. Skis littered all over the ground are a safety hazard. Last weekend, snow monster (aka Buster coaches and supervisors) hid skis that were left around. Don’t let your skis get hidden – take care of your gear!

 

Looking way ahead…

Don’t forget that we have Buster races coming in February.

  • Stowebusters and AMP: Sunday, Feb 17
  • Minibusters and Mightybusters, Sunday, Feb 24

Busters aren’t just racers (rather we do all kinds of skiing), but these fun events are experiences you don’t want to miss!

 

With winter in full-swing, and conditions top-notch, we look forward to having the best Buster turnout of the season this weekend!

 

Still thinking snow,

The Buster Team

 

 

 

 

 

January 16, 2019

Hello Busters and Families,

 

The words of Minibuster and Mightybuster supervisor Carl Bertelsen: “Minis and Mightys need to burn snowflakes more often!”

 

What a weekend we just had… after 23 inches of snow, Busters skied all over Spruce and Mansfield. Speaking of Carl, here is a shout-out to our Buster supervisors Carl Bertelsen and Ali Berlin. If you have a Buster-related question, these two are awesome resources!

 

Be Prepared… Be Busters!

Despite frigid mornings, both days last weekend turned beautiful. This weekend appears to be shaping up to include weather too: the forecast says cold and snowy (yayy to snow!). One thing about Busters… we come prepared. Here’s how:

  • Layers. Bring ‘em! My Uncle John always said, “You can always take it off, but you can’t put it on if you don’t have it!” Truer words were never spoken.
  • Exposed skin. As in, don’t have any! Remember balaclavas, face shields, and neckwarmers. Parents, please show coaches this equipment at drop-off. And thanks Buster coaches for teaching kids how to position skin protection and goggles so that no skin shows!
  • Handwarmers and toewarmers. A great idea for your kids. They don’t necessarily need to use them, but it’s a great option to have in a pocket when the sun falls behind Mansfield… but our groups are still out there shredding.

Dressing right and being prepared is a team effort. Thanks to all for keeping everyone safe!

 

Our Groups

We are getting there! There was some movement in our groups this weekend (you should know if your child was involved). Existing groups: be sure to welcome a newcomer with open arms! Take a minute at drop-off to meet your child’s new coach (and exchange digits if your coach wants). And a gentle reminder regarding phones: our coaches shouldn’t need to check their phones much throughout the day. If you want to arrange an early pickup or other special arrangement, please communicate this to your coach at drop-off. A Buster coach’s job: safety, fun, and learning. Detracts from above job: constantly needing to pull out phones!

 

This Weekend’s Events

  • Saturday, Jan 19, 1230PM-2PM: Timed Gate Training. We canceled last week due to snow and cold (although we still set an untimed dual GS course, and boy was it snowy!). We’re thinking this weekend’s snow is going to wait till Saturday afternoon. So Busters should be ready to test themselves against the clock this weekend! (Parents: who wants to announce times?)
  • Sunday, Jan 20, Minibusters and Mightybusters: Wild West Theme. Get ready for some rodeo turns!

 

Upcoming Events

  • Saturday, Jan 26, 10AM. Bump Contest on Centerline. AMP, Stowebusters, some Mightybusters. (Spectators welcome.)
  • Sunday, Jan 27, 12PM. Cookie Race on Inspiration. Minibusters and Mightybusters. (Spectators for sure!)
  • Sunday, Jan 27. Snowboard Sunday for those who registered.

 

With our mountain 100 percent open and more snow on the way, we can’t wait for the upcoming weekend!

 

Keep doing your snow dances… we can’t have enough!

 

Best regards,

The Buster Team

 

 

January 9, 2019

Greetings Busters and Parents,

 

One word to describe this week: Snow!

 

Obviously, this week’s snowfall is the result of the Snowflake Burning ritual performed by several Minibuster and Mightybuster groups last weekend. Here are seven things all Busters can do to ensure that current weather patterns continue:

 

  • Do your best snow dance
  • Wear pajamas inside-out
  • Place a spoon under your pillow (plastic, metal, or wood)
  • Leave ice cubes on your porch
  • Place a white crayon in your freezer
  • Run around your kitchen table five times
  • Pray for snow!!!

 

Please read on for important Buster updates regarding this weekend:

 

Alert! Alert! (That is, Email Alerts)

Okay, we hear you! Or, at least, many of you. Thanks for the emails asking for emailed reminders to check the link to the Buster Blast (or – in some cases – those of you that told us you actually like seeing our emails in your inboxes!). We are exploring the best way to send an emailed alert. In the meantime, please let us know if you do NOT wish to be on the distribution list for a weekly reminder to check the Buster link!

 

Party Time – Ice Cream Social

Our first Après-Buster party is this Saturday at Spruce Camp! Ben & Jerry’s will be doling out mini-cups and pint slices of Vermont’s Finest till the cows come home! There will be a cash bar for parents. If you feel your child might need sustenance other than ice cream to be in top party mode, perhaps bring an energy bar or hit the Great Room cafeteria first. Party details below:

  • Who: All Busters/AMP participants and families
  • When: Saturday, Jan 12, 3PM
  • Where: The Alpine Lounge and Overlook in Spruce Camp’s Great Room
  • What: Ben & Jerry’s for the Buster community!
  • Why: To celebrate an awesome start to the Buster season! (And to say thanks to your Buster coach!)

 

Ski With A Patroller (Week 2)

Speaking of Vermont’s Finest, this week Ryan Davis’ Stowebuster group will ski with a Stowe Patroller on Saturday and Abby Weinreb’s on Sunday!

 

Timing, Anyone?

Last weekend, despite Sunday’s snow, many Buster groups (after shredding pow all morning) took runs in gates – our first gate training of the season. We will continue setting gates in anticipation of our first official races in February (see events calendar below). This Saturday, we will set a dual Giant Slalom course… with TIMING! Busters can ski the course and actually get their times. Question: How much can you improve with each run?

 

Reminder: this is just training and for fun. No bibs, no results, and no pressure. Yes tunes! And a great practice opportunity.

  • What: Timed Gate Training
  • Where: Competition Hill
  • When: Sat, Jan 12 1230PM-2PM
  • Who: AMP, Stowebusters, Mightybusters

Note: Volunteers needed! We could use a Buster mom or dad to serve as a race starter and to help announce times over the loud speaker. Interested? Email maiken@vailresorts.com.

 

Superhero Sunday

Who are your heroes? Along with Tom Brady and my dad, mine are the Minibusters and coaches who have accomplished so much this season (multiple chairlift rides last weekend!). Minibusters and Mightybusters will decorate their spaces and selves like superheroes on Sunday, Jan 13 (hero supplies provided). It’s not a bird or a plane; it’s our Minibusters and Mightybusters!

 

Snowboard Sundays

Thanks to all who have already registered for Snowboard Sundays. There are still spaces available for all four Sundays. In order to participate, you MUST EMAIL maiken@vailresorts.com. Reminder: we are not sending entire Buster groups for snowboard lessons (unless your child’s entire group signs up for a date). More information below:

  • Who: The first ten (10) Stowebusters per Sunday who email us at maiken@vailresorts.com. First-come, first-served.
  • Where: Drop-off and Pick up at the Adventure Center Mountaineer Corral
  • When:
    • Sun, Jan 13
    • Sun, Jan 27
    • Sun, Feb 3
    • Sun, Feb 10
  • What: Snowboard lesson free of charge with a discounted rental for Busters.
  • How it works:
  • Ten pre-registered and confirmed Busters will have access to discounted rentals (50 percent off) in our Spruce rental shop. Payment due at time of equipment pickup.
  • Snowboard-Busters will be welcomed free-of-charge at our Mountaineer corral behind the Adventure Center at 915AM and matriculated into the appropriate level in our regular ski school snowboard lessons.
  • Note: Adventure Center lessons begin at 930AM and end at 330PM. Lunch is included.
  • Note: Buster coaches will not participate in snowboard lessons. Whole Buster groups won’t participate together (unless you coordinate and all sign up together!)

 

Thanks to everyone… see you this weekend!

 

The Buster Team

 

January 2, 2019

Happy New Year Busters and Families!

 

New Year’s Resolutions:  

  1. Ski lots 
  2. Pray for snow 
  3. No more Buster emails!
  4.  

No more Buster emails, you say? That’s right: after this week, the ONLY place to get your weekly Buster update will be at this link: https://www.stowe.com/plan-your-trip/ski-and-ride-lessons/category/Stowebusters

 

Staying Informed: Our Best Advice

Make the above link a tab on your mobile device (Click "Add to Home Screen" on your IPhone or Android. Add to your favorites on your laptop). We update the site every Wednesday with upcoming events, need-to-know info for each weekend, and our best Buster tips.  

For example, this week’s Blast includes the date of the first Après-Buster party and how to get involved with Buster Snowboard Sundays (we have a new approach this year). Read on to get the scoop!

 

Ski With a Patroller – Starts this Weekend!

The Stowe Ski Patrol was the nation’s first. Starting this weekend, all Buster groups will have the opportunity to get a tour of 269 (the top Patrol house) and take a run with a Stowe patroller. The first groups to participate will be Kelly Carroll’s (Saturday, Jan 5) and Colton Forrester’s (Sunday, Jan 6).

 

Hitting the Gates – Sunday, Jan 6

Last weekend’s Skills Quest tasks were harder than you might think. One of the activities – Hockey Stops – are easy… when the conditions are perfect. Add a little pitch and a little slick, and most Busters found it more difficult than expected. Easy? No. Eye-opening? Yes. Worthwhile from a skill development standpoint? Absolutely.

 

This weekend, we’ll be setting early season GS courses on Competition Hill. To all Busters/AMP participants who think skiing gates is a piece o’ cake… we’ll see you on the course this Sunday!

 

When: Sunday, Jan 6, 1230PM-2PM

Where: Competition Hill

Who: AMP, Stowebusters, Mightybusters

 

Snowflake Burning

We need snow! Minibusters and Mightybusters will take matters into their own hands this weekend. Groups will make paper snowflakes during an indoor break. Then they will proceed to one of our fireplaces and throw the flakes in the fire as a sacrifice to the snow gods. If Ma Nature’s not gonna make it snow, Busters will!

 

Minibuster and Mightybuster Pickup and Drop-off

The Gondola base area is a busy place. Parents: please be sure to come all the way into the protected corral area before picking up your child or communicating with your coach. Safety first: let’s avoid standing in the busy travel lanes at the Gondola.

 

Minis Ride the Chairlift!

Speaking of Minibusters, congrats coaches and kids: our three youngest groups of Minibusters rode – and skied – the Adventure Triple last weekend. Way to go! Will they ever ski the Carpet again? Of course. Was this an unbelievable accomplishment? Yes!!

 

Snowboard Sundays

Who wants to try snowboarding? We will offer a limited number of Stowebusters the opportunity to snowboard on a first-come-first, served basis. Busters don’t have to be just skiers; some of us ride too (or want to learn)! Details below:

 

     

  • Who: The first ten (10) Stowebusters per Sunday who email us at maiken@vailresorts.com. We will start taking sign-ups by email only on Sunday, Jan 6. First-come, first-served.
  • Where: Drop-off and Pick up at the Adventure Center Mountaineer Corral 
  • When:  
    • Sun, Jan 13
    • Sun, Jan 27
    • Sun, Feb 3
    • Sun, Feb 10 
  • What: Snowboard lesson free of charge with a discounted rental for Busters.
  • How it works: 
    • Ten pre-registered and confirmed Busters will have access to discounted rentals (50 percent off) in our Spruce rental shop. Payment due at time of equipment pickup.
    • Snowboard-Busters will be welcomed free-of-charge at our Mountaineer corral behind the Adventure Center at 915AM and matriculated into the appropriate level in our regular ski school snowboard lessons.
    • Note: Adventure Center lessons begin at 930AM and end at 330PM. Lunch is included.
    • Note: Buster coaches will not participate in snowboard lessons. Whole Buster groups won’t participate together (unless you coordinate and all sign up together!)
    •  

Après-Buster Party

Who: All Busters/AMP participants and families

When: Saturday, Jan 12, 3PM-4PM

Where: The Alpine Lounge and Overlook in Spruce Camp’s Great Room

What: A get-together for the entire Buster community

Why: To celebrate an awesome start to the Buster season!

 

Safety, Fun, & Learning

After three weekends, we have dealt with snow, rain, and sleet. We’ve seen wind-holds, run and glade closures, and wildly varying temperatures. A huge congratulations to coaches for keeping everyone safe, keeping it fun, and still doing tons of skiing and skill-building. FYI: The building of solid fundamentals will continue even as more terrain opens. Please keep in mind that our December and January terrain and conditions are not yet what they were last February and March. Please keep in mind that safety is our first priority. And keep the faith: more snow is on its way. When it comes, Busters will be skiing all over – on the greens, blues, and blacks… just like we always have!

 

See you this weekend!

The Buster Team

 

December Buster Blasts

December 26, 2018

Hello Busters and Families!

 

We hope you had a wonderful holiday season. Here is a quick holiday Buster Blast to get everyone back in the mood for some skiing.

 

To those who made it last weekend, it was amazing. The weather was a challenge to be sure, but the many Busters who joined stayed safe and had awesome fun. Way to go Busters and way to go coaches! Safety, fun, and learning!

 

Skills Quest – December 29

We canceled Skills Quest last week due to conditions, but we will be ready to rock this week. We will set up challenges and activities – the same ones used by the US Ski Team as they ramp up their season.

 

When: Sat, Dec 29, 1230PM-2PM

Where: Competition Hill

Who: AMP, Stowebusters, and some Mightybusters

 

Know the Code

Coaches will be quizzing Busters on the Skiers’ Responsibility Code this weekend. Please review the Code with your family!

  1. Ski in control
  2. People ahead have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them
  3. Stop where you don’t obstruct a trail and where you are visible from above
  4. When starting downhill or merging onto a trail, look uphill and yield to others
  5. Use retention devices
  6. Observe all posted signs
  7. Prior to using any lift, have the knowledge to load, ride, and unload safely.

Pajama Day

When: Sun, Dec 30, 2018

Who: Mightybusters and Minibusters

What: All Minibusters and Mightybusters wear jammies under your ski clothes! Note: footed pajamas NOT recommended!

Why: ‘Cause jammies are fun!

 

If your Buster has not been with us yet, please make a point of getting up here. This season-long program depends on your commitment!

 

Think snow!

The Buster Team

 

December 19, 2018

Hello Busters and Families!

 

It was a successful launch to Busters 2018-2019! Congrats and thank you to parents, Busters, and coaches! Busters showed up Ready, Responsible, and Respectful -- consistent with our Code of Conduct. Way to go Busters!

 

Here are some important notes heading into Weekend Number Two…

 

Our Goals This Weekend

  • Welcome new and returning Busters who weren’t here on Weekend #1
  • Groups. Continue to assess our groups and to make changes where necessary
  • Goals. Discover your Busters’ goals… and yours too.
  • Safety. Continue to review and establish safety guidelines and expectations. Note: the key to skiing trees and parks… build your coach’s trust in you!
  • Fundamentals. Continue to build and hone early season fundamentals.

 

Special Events – Starting Saturday, Dec 22

Busters will be doing the same early season skill-builders that World Cup overall points leader Mikaela Shiffrin worked on this summer (unlike Busters, Mikaela’s ski season extends 11 months of the year!). Busters get our own hill space to focus on these challenges that build solid fundamentals. Fun!

  • Where: Competition Hill
  • When: 1230PM-2PM
  • What: USSA Skills Quest activities

 

Don’t Deck the Halls… Deck Your Skis Instead!

We already had instances of people picking up the wrong skis. Please… be sure the skis you pick up (and the ones you pack into your cars when you leave!) are yours.

 

Ways to protect your gear:

  • Make sure not just that your name is on your skis… but that your name is ALL OVER your skis. Bigger is better. More name tags are better than one or two. Your Name. Everywhere!
  • Looking for last minute stocking stuffers? How about a ton of stickers? Then have your Buster decorate his/her skis with above stickers! Same for poles!
  • Don’t like stickers? Then how about patterned duct tape? Stick a big piece on your Buster’s skis (and wrap a few wraps around his/her poles too!). My favorite tape patterns: Tie Dye and Mac&Cheese.

There are tons of Busters… and only a few brands of skis. We all place our skis on the same racks. End the heartbreak of coming out and finding your equipment missing. Make it so nobody could possibly mistake yours for theirs.

 

Get Your Buster Hat

They’re back! Buster hats will be for sale in the Buster Room in Midway Lodge at Buster pickup on Saturday, Dec 22. Hats are $35 ($5 of which is donated to Friends of Stowe Adaptive Sports). There’s a limited number… but don’t worry if you get shut out: more are on the way. 

 

If You Live on Spruce Side

  • We will resume our “Stowe Mountain Club Shuttle Service” on Saturday, Dec 28 (pickup in front of SMC at 815AM). Why not this weekend? We are encouraging parent/coach face-time!
  • All Mightybusters and Minibusters will be starting on the Spruce side again this weekend. Rather than hustle your child across the Over Easy to Mansfield only to have them return to ski Spruce, parents can meet coaches at the end of the Bridge to Nowhere (next to Spruce Camp) at 8:50AM.

 

Eat Well, Ski Well

Our coaches noticed an incredible improvement in energy level and focus over previous years with our new attention to nutrition. Busters consumed no candy before lunch, and they kept sugar consumption to reasonable levels post-lunch. And it showed in their performance. Keep it up!

 

Meanwhile, we know we don’t need to impress upon parents the importance of getting good rest. Get good rest, ski your best!

 

Every Weekend

We look forward to seeing you every single Saturday and Sunday from now until March 31st. Reminder: Busters DO meet on the Saturday and Sunday after Christmas (Dec 29&30). See you then!

 

Think snow!

The Buster Team

 

 

 

December 12, 2018

Greetings Busters and Parents!

The countdown is on:  just three… two… one… days till Busters 2018-2019!

Some important reminders for our opening weekend:

 

First Day Meeting Locations

  • Reminder: we meet at 830AM in the Great Room in Spruce Camp on Opening Morning, Saturday, December 15.
  • Lunch is in the usual places
    • Minibusters and Mightybusters eat in the Adventure Center at 11AM
    • Stowebusters and AMP eat in Midway at 12PM. (Note: Please send your Buster with a little extra cash until they test the Resort Charge function on his/her Epic pass!)
  • Pickup is at the usual places
    • Minibusters and Mightybusters next to Gondola Barn at 230PM
    • Stowebusters and AMP in front of Midway Lodge at 230PM
  • Starting Sunday, December 16, morning drop-off is as follows:
    • Minibusters and Mightybusters next to Gondola Barn at 830AM
    • Stowebusters and AMP in front of Midway Lodge at 830AM

 

Paperwork

All Busters must have two pieces of paperwork completed

  • Buster Registration (emailed in November)
  • Buster Release of Liability (emailed in December)

Both are available at the bottom of this page under Program Information. Have you returned both? If you are unsure, please email both to our sales team again (stoweadventure@vailresorts.com). Note: the Adventure Center is open from 8AM-430PM if you want to return paperwork in person and pick up your child’s identifier tag.

 

Identifier Tag

You can pick up your identifier tag at the Adventure Center from 8AM-430PM or pick it up at our registration table in Spruce Camp on opening morning.

 

Eat Well, Ski Well

Buster coaches discussed nutrition at this year’s annual Buster team training sessions. You are what you eat, and if you eat well, you’ll ski well. New this season: Stowebuster and AMP coaches will enforce a new nutrition policy. Simply, no candy before lunch. Please tell your Busters to plan on eating food other than candy during morning breaks!

 

Expectations for Opening Weekend

  • Coaches will be assessing groups and communicating with leadership and parents.
  • Coaches will cover safety topics, the Responsibility Code, and the Buster Code of Conduct.
  • Groups will focus on mostly blue and green terrain.
  • Tons of friends, tons of fun!

 

Habit Forming

Buster Blasts are posted on this page on Stowe.com Put it in your phone or device… We will update the page weekly. Be ahead of the curve… please get in the habit of checking the page for weekly Buster updates.

 

Future Busters?

Do your Busters have younger siblings that want to be involved? Click here to check out the 6-pack at Cubs Childcare Center for ages 3 months to 3 years.

 

Final Words

We have spoken with many of you in the weeks leading up to Saturday. We are as excited as you! We can’t wait to reunite with our returning families and meet the new. Safe travels… see you Saturday!

 

Think snow!

The Buster Team

December 5, 2018

Hello Busters and Families!

Experience of a Lifetime. Safety, fun, and learning. Those are perfect descriptions of the Buster program. The Buster program is the perfect combination of all-terrain skiing, technical instruction, and making friends for life. Sound like life-changing experiences? They do to us too. Welcome to Busters 2018-19!

WHO are the Busters?

  • Minibusters (ages 3&4). Lunch included (Adventure Center at 1130AM)
  • Mightybusters (ages 5&6). Lunch included (Adventure Center 1130AM)
  • Stowebusters (ages 7-14). Lunch NOT included (Midway Lodge at 1130AM)
  • All Mountain Program aka AMP (ages 13-16). Lunch NOT included (Midway Lodge at 1130AM)

WHEN do Busters ski?

  • First Weekend: Sat & Sun, Dec 15&16, 2018
  • Last Weekend: Sat & Sun, March 30&31, 2019
  • Busters meet every Saturday and Sunday between the above opening and closing dates for a total of 32 ski days.
  • Buster drop off is at 830AM and groups leave promptly at 845AM. Buster pickup is at 230PM.

WHAT are our Expectations? What is the Buster Code of Conduct?/p>

The Buster program provides consistent instruction and consistent groups. Achieving this end requires consistent attendance. It also requires adherence to our Buster Code of Conduct. We ask that parents be familiar with this Code and that you review it with your child.

WHERE do Busters meet?

  • Sat, Dec 15: First day of Busters. ALL Busters meet in the Great Room in Spruce Base Camp at 830AM. Pickups are at the usual locations (see next line) and times.
  • For the rest of the season, starting on Sun, Dec 16, all Busters meet at Midway Lodge at Mansfield. Dropoff is at 830AM. Pickup is at 230PM. Repeat: all Busters begin and end at Midway.
  • Upper Lot B: Stowebusters and AMP meet by the lodge
  • Lower Lot B: Mightybusters and Minibusters meet below the parking lot. (Note: Minibusters and Mightybusters who live on the Spruce side can meet their group on the side of Spruce Camp at the “Bridge to Nowhere” at 850AM.
  • A Note about Parking: Like last year, the two lots by our dropoff areas that comprise Lot B are reserved for Buster family arrival and will be blocked to all other traffic until 9AM on weekends and holidays. (After 9AM, the general public will also be allowed to park there.)

WHERE do Busters ski?

Busters is an all-mountain program. We ski everywhere possible in a wide variety of ways. Every Buster skis green, blue, and black terrain. We race in gates, and we ride in parks. We ski in the trees (in-bounds); we ski forwards, backwards, and sideways. We meet in all conditions, so be prepared! We encourage friendships and group bonding; we discourage cliques. Most of all, we keep it safe and fun!

WHY Busters?

Skiing lots, learning lots, making friends. Learning to be safe, responsible, and to make good decisions that affect oneself and others. Getting solid technical instruction and free-skiing time too. Coaches who love the sport and who love to share their passions for being outdoors in Vermont in winter. Families who do the same. Why not?

First Day – Sat, December 15

As mentioned above, we meet in the Great Room of Spruce Camp Base Lodge at 830AM. Remember to tuck your child’s Epic pass in a pocket. Please be sure your Busters are dressed appropriately with in-tune and working equipment. Lunch and snacks are provided for Minibusters and Mightybusters. Stowebusters and AMP participants need snacks and lunch, money for snacks and lunch, or Resort Charge applied to their Epic pass. (Note: if you haven’t tested your child’s Resort Charge, please pack cash as a backup.)

Same Kids, Same Coach

We strongly encourage you to – at all costs – be here on the first weekend so that we can assess as many of our new participants as possible. Also, please bear with us as we solidify our groups in the first few weeks of the program. Even if your child has been in the same group for years, please support us if we ask him/her to try something/someone new. After all, our goal is the same as yours: to get everyone in the right group with the right coach!

Last Words

One key to our success is communication… between kids, parents, and coaches. Our almost-weekly Buster Blasts will be posted on Stowe.com. Click here to visit the Buster page for the latest updates.

November brought a record amount of snowfall to Mount Mansfield. We can’t wait for opening weekend. Welcome, welcome, welcome… let’s go ski! Best regards,

Mark Aiken
Alison Berlin
Carl Bertelsen
and the Buster Team