On a sunny day last March, Rich Hart, a 44-year-old builder from Southington, Ct., stood at the base of Magic wearing a skin-tight, green racing suit and holding a beer. It was noon. The beer was not his first of the day.
“I’m pumped, but it’s going to be solid,” he said, looking up at the north face of Glebe Mountain. A thin layer of fresh snow covered a base that had hardened over spring’s freeze/thaw cycles into white asphalt. Hart furrowed his brows, eyeing the top of the mountain and what has been billed as the steepest and toughest terrain in southern Vermont, with as much as a 45-degree pitch in places. Snaking off the summit were 39 trails and 11 glades, many of them old-school runs rolling down 1,500 feet of vertical over the natural terrain, plunging down ledges and snaking through tight trees.
Next to Hart stood Zack Wilkins, a 24-year-old ski shop employee who lives in Killington.