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Stowe Derby: The 71st Edition of Vermont's Most Anticipated Winter Event

Feb 23, 2018 11:51AM ● By Linda Ditch
Looking for a fun way to compete in the snow? Maybe live your own dreams of Nordic Olympic-style skiing glory? You can have a chance this Sunday, February 25, at the 73rd annual Stowe Derby.

All levels of skiing skill compete in the derby, from NCAA competitors to recreational skiers looking for fun. Participants ski the challenging course for approximately 20 km (12.5 miles) down Mt. Mansfield’s Toll Road and along the Stowe Recreation Path before reaching the finish at Stowe High School. The course has a total vertical drop of almost 2,800 feet. More-skilled skiers will complete the course in about 45 minutes, while recreational skiers can take a couple of hours to go the same distance.

Also, back by popular demand, is the Fat Bike Race, which this year will benefit the Stowe Mountain Bike Club. Following the skiers’ race, bike racers will start at the bottom of the Toll Road and follow the same course as the ski competitors. Riders can choose to race in the Fat Derby or the Fat Derby Meister, which is a combination of the freestyle race and the Fat Derby. 

For families with children ages six and older, there is the Derby Short Course, which is approximately 6 km. This fun, the flat course starts at the Stowe Recreation Path and follows the final leg of the long course.

The Stowe Derby began in 1945 as a race between two men—Austrian Sepp Ruschp, who came to America to head the new ski school at Stowe, and famous Norwegian mountaineer Erling Strom. The race went from the top of Mt. Mansfield to Stowe. Ruschp was the winner.

The first race starts at 8:30 am. For all race start times and fees, visit

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