Vermont Sports Presents the 2013 Black Diamond of Excellence Award Winners

The Best in Vermont’s Outdoor Industry

Here they are … the winners of this year’s Black Diamond of Excellence Awards. Thank you to the hundreds of Vermont Sports readers—from seven states—who cast ballots and shared their opinions on the people and places that make Vermont’s outdoor scene so remarkable. Notable this year was the geographic spread for winners: the best personal trainer is in the Northeast Kingdom, while the best whitewater event is the West River dam release. We feel the votes represent a true state-wide representation of the best Vermont has to offer.

Everyone who completed the survey and provided their contact information was entered in a random drawing to win lift tickets and Pump House Indoor Waterpark passes at Jay Peak Resort. Baxter Miatke, a University of Vermont student, is the lucky winner! Thanks again to Jay Peak for providing the prizes.

Without further ado, the winners are …

Gear Heads

The majority of Vermont Sports readers—79 percent in fact—buy the majority of their gear in person at a local shop. So you’re experts on who has the best customer service, where to go to get your hardtail fixed, and what store will get you suited up properly for your next triathlon.

Best Gear Shop
Outdoor Gear Exchange, Burlington

Best Bike Fitter
Fit Werx

Best Bike Repair
Onion River Sports, Montpelier

Best Road Bike Retailer
Onion River Sports, Montpelier

Best Mountain Bike Retailer
Onion River Sports, Montpelier

Best Kids Bike Retailer
Earl’s Cyclery and Fitness, Williston

Best Ski Tune Up
Outdoor Gear Exchange, Burlington

Best Alpine Ski Shop
The Alpine Shop, South Burlington

Best Nordic/Backcountry Ski Retailer
Outdoor Gear Exchange, Burlington

Best Ski/Snowboard Repair
Outdoor Gear Exchange, Burlington

Best Boot Fitter
The Alpine Shop, South Burlington

Best Climbing Shop
Outdoor Gear Exchange, Burlington

Best Hiking/Backpacking/Camping Shop
Outdoor Gear Exchange, Burlington

Best Running Gear Shop
Skirack, Burlington

Best Triathlon Gear Shop
Skirack, Burlington

Best Paddling Shop
Canoe Imports, South Burlington

Best Place to Buy a Car Rack
Onion River Sports, Montpelier

Best Brand of Car for Getting To and From Adventures

Best Customer Service
Outdoor Gear Exchange, Burlington

Best Merino Wool Products

Going Downhill
Nearly 70 percent of our readers downhill ski, and nearly 20 percent snowboard. So you know where to go for the best bumps, trees, groomers, and pow.

Best Vermont Ski/Ride Area
Sugarbush Resort

Best Terrain Park

Best Snowmaking

Best Powder
Jay Peak Resort

Best Bumps
Mad River Glen

Best Tree Skiing
Jay Peak

Best Grooming

Best Mountain for Kids
Smugglers’ Notch

Mountain With the Raddest Parties

Best Ski/Ride Deals
Jay Peak

Best Lift
Single Chair, Mad River Glen

Best Trail
Rumble, Sugarbush

Best Lift Operator
Steve Eurich, Mad River Glen

Best Ski Instructor
Terry Barbour, Mad River Glen

Best Snowboard Instructor
Dean Zorn, Jay Peak Resort

Best Groomer
Jesse Houston, Jay Peak Resort

Best Rental Facilities
Sugarbush Resort

Getting Skinny
At Vermont Sports, we looooove Nordic skiing. And you do too, judging by the enthusiasm in voting in this category! Whether you sharpen your metal edges for a journey in the backcountry or you’ve got your waxing down to a science for your next ski marathon, Vermont offers it all. Here’s what you named the best.

Best Northern Vermont Nordic Center
Craftsbury Outdoor Center

Best Central Vermont Nordic Center
Morse Farm

Best Southern Vermont Nordic Center

Fastest to Groom After a Storm
Craftsbury Outdoor Center

Best Nordic Ski Instructor
Larry Damon, Trapp Family Lodge

Best Biathlon Course
Tie: Ethan Allen in Jericho and Craftsbury Outdoor Center

What would skiing be without après? Dissecting the epicness of your runs over any one of Vermont’s world-class microbrews is key to transitioning from a day on the mountain back to regular life. Here’s how to do it in style.

Best Après-Ski Hangout
Matterhorn, Stowe

Best Vermont Brewery
Hill Farmstead

Best Vermont Spirits
Tie: Caledonia Spirits and Smugglers Notch Distillery

Best Burger (Meat)
Tie: Farmhouse, Burlington and Three Penny Taproom, Montpelier

Best Burger (Veggie)
The Reservoir, Waterbury

Best Après-Ski Waitstaff
General Stark’s Pub, Mad River Glen

Best Après-Ski Bartender
Shawn Fuschetto, Castlerock Pub, Sugarbush

Best Après-Ski Live Music
Tie: Mad River Glen and Sugarbush

Best Local’s Après-Ski

Best Ski-Centered Inn or Hotel
Hotel Jay

Best Après-Ski Band
The Grift

On the Ground
We know you hate sharing your secret favorite places, so thank you to those of you who did. You’re helping others enjoy the outdoors, just like someone did for you back when.

Best Rock Climbing Route
The Rose (Bolton)

Best Climbing Gym
Petra Cliffs

Best Mountain Biking Trail Network
Kingdom Trails

Best Stretch of Road for Road Biking
Spear Street, South Burlington

Best White Water
Tie: Mad River and West River

Best Hiking Trail Network
Long Trail

Best Bike Path
Stowe Recreation Path

Best Gym
Xtra Innings Performance, Lyndonville

Making it Happen
There are so many people and organizations doing amazing work, and many of them do it for little to no credit. This is our small way of starting to say “thank you” to all those who make it happen.

Outdoors Nonprofit With the Most Public Benefit
Green Mountain Club

Best Race Organizer
Heart of Vermont Productions

Best Timing Company
Precision Sports Timing

Best Relay Running Race
100 on 100

Best Ultra Running Race (>26.2 miles)
100 on 100

Best Marathon or Half-Marathon
KeyBank Vermont City Marathon

Best 5K or 10K
Tie: Corporate Cup, Leaf Peeper’s, and Ri Ra’s Santa Run

Best Triathlon/Duathlon
Colchester Triathlon

Best Swimming Race
Kingdom Swim

Best Nordic Race or Tour
Craftsbury Marathon

Best Road Biking Race or Tour
Green Mountain Stage Race

Best Mountain Biking Race or Tour
Vermont 50

Best Century Ride
Onion River Century

Best Backcountry/Tele/AT event

Best White Water Event
West River Dam Release

Best Snowshoe Event
Onion River’s Snowshoe Romp in Hubbard Park

Race With the Best Prizes
Race to the Top of Vermont

Race With the Best Crowd
KeyBank Vermont City Marathon

Most Inspiring Vermont Athlete, Female
Lea Davison

Most Inspiring Vermont Athlete, Male
Tie: Andy Newell and Skye Nacel

Best Personal Trainer
Adrian Guyer, Xtra Innings, Lyndonville

Best Physical Therapist or Group
Ben McCormack, Northern Physical Therapy

Best Orthopedist or Group
Mansfield Orthopedics

Best Outdoor Writer
Sarah Galbraith

Best Outdoor Photographer
Brian Mohr

Outdoor Person of the Year
Tristan Von Duntz