The Oldest Downhill/Cross-Country Ski Race in North America

71st Edition of the Derby is on Sunday, February 28th, 2016

Race the Derby on your skinny skis, or your fat bike... or both!

The Stowe Derby is one of the oldest and most unique ski and Fat Bike races in North America. It started in 1945 as a personal challenge between two amazing skiers - Austrian, Sepp Ruschp who was hired to come to America and head the new ski school at Stowe and Erling Strom, world famous mountaineer from Norway. The challenge was the same as it is today - to race from the top of Mt. Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak to the historic village of Stowe... on ONE pair of skis! The ultimate test of a skiers ability. Ruschp was the winner of the first Stowe Derby.

Today, the race attracts over 800 competitors, ranging from Canadian Cross Country Ski Team members and NCAA Champions to recreational skiers looking for a thrill. While the race can be very competitive at all levels, it is also a fun race, having been chosen as one of the top sporting events in the state by readers of Vermont Sports Magazine.

Over the course, participants ski through 20km, or 14km of challenging terrain, racing down Mt. Mansfield's Toll Road and along the entire length of the Stowe Recreation Path before reaching the finish in the village. The course has a total vertical drop of over 2,600 feet. The winners will complete the course in under 45 minutes, while recreational skiers can take a couple of hours to go the same distance.

Get familiar with the newest additions; the 14km Derby Fat Bike race, presented by Louis Garneau, and the Derby Fat Meister, presented by SkiRack.

Not Throwing in the Towel Yet!
Saturday, 06 February 2016 17:24

We have been through this scenario many times before; the snow is slow to come, and many wonder about what will happen to the Stowe Derby.

Be aware, there are still three weeks before the event, and we are not ready to throw in the towel, and far from it!

There is snow and colder temperature in the forecast for this coming weeks. Groomers and course workers are all on stand-by, ready to work with what we will receive, and create the best possible ski trail for everyone's enjoyment.

The race has not been cancelled in decades. The course has been altered a few times, but be assured that we always do all we can to stick to the essence of the race, and take the Derby to town.

We hope that you are finding some snow to ski on in your area, if not, no worry; maybe this year's Derby will be more about fun that personal best? Sign up with friends and family, and come have a great time skiing in Stowe in the 71st edition of Stowe's most anticipated winter event.

Follow us on Facebook for updates, and read our constant contact letters for timely information and updates.

Join us for the Derby Recon, Friday, February 19th, 2pm at Stowe Mountain Resort. This is the perfect opportunity to ski the Toll Road, and get some coaching to gain a little extra knowledge and experience skiing the descent. The event is free and offered by Stowe Mountain Resort, but if you can, please contribute $5 per skier to benefit VTXC, our local xc ski team.

Stay tuned, and keep the snow dance going!


Ullr delivers snow and some 2016 updates
Tuesday, 29 December 2015 14:34

by Pascale Savard - Few things make skiers and fat bikers happier than the smell, the feel, and the color of snow. Today, Ullr answered our snow dances and prayers, and finally rewarded us Eastern snow lovers with the delivery of a thick blanket of snow... and enough of it to cover our favorite cross country Vermont's ski trails. It is finally time to ski!

While awaiting the snow, Stowe Derby organizers have been busy as always. Here are a few of highlights we would like to share:

  • Kody Spencer is our new Stowe Derby Chief of Course. He is taking on an important position, coordinating trail maintenance between all the parties involved, and making sure that every inch of the Derby course is in as good a shape as can be. With that being said...
  • We have almost completed building a new bridge linking the bottom of Pipeline, the last long downhill of the course, to Percy's field and the Stowe Rec Path. It was no easy task, but a rewarding one, involving many generous caring people of our small community. Sincere thanks to all involved, including the Stowe Electric Department, Stowe Parks and Recreation, Paul Percy and his machine operator, Gregg Goodson, Ed Miller, Kody Spencer, Drew Gelinas, and Jim Connacher who helped with this long overdue project. Skiers and bikers, be merry, this bridge means easy access for a Piston Bully to safely groom the trail in an area that has been (on occasions) known as treacherous.
  • We welcome all of our 2016 sponsors. And especially Louis Garneau, presenter or the Derby Fat Bike race, and SkiRack, presenter of the Derby Fat Meister race. Thanks for the support! We still have some nice offerings available if you would like to get involved, support a great event, and benefit from all the positive visibility generated by the Stowe Derby. 
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