14. ZAC FREEMAN AND ANGUS MCCUSKER: THE RASTA-FARIANS
How many of us have looked at topo maps and thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we could put a ski trail there?” Maybe we did a little cutting. Maybe it was legal—or not.
Zac Freeman and Angus McCusker have done so legally and on the grandest scale, creating the first sanctioned ski glades on National Forest land at Brandon Gap, envisioning a mountain bike trail–Velomont–that would connect the Killington area trails to the Waitsfield Valley and using trail building as a way to attract more people the towns where they live and play in Rochester and Randolph.
The two friends and backcountry ski buddies started the Rochester/Randolph Sports Trail Alliance in 2013. McCusker, a former ski racer, mapmaker and GIS specialist by trade, has done maps for VMBA, the Green Mountain Club and many other organizations. He lives off the grid on the Rochester side of Bethel. Freeman, an artist who had worked in his family’s jewelry design business, lives atop Braintree Mountain near where he grew up.
To see what they’ve accomplished and mapped, stop by The Hub in Randolph (one of the “The New Basecamps” we cover on p. 20 of this issue.)