Leave Nice Tracks – A Fun Look Into The Emergence Of Vermont Backcountry Skiing

Vermont Backcountry Skiing RASTA Leave Nice Tracks Image appears courtesy: Leave Nice Tracks

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Growing up in Chicagoland, our winters were cold, unpredictable, and as an avid snowslider, felt WAY too short. Even with the fickle weather, there was a large group of rabid snowboarders that descended upon a small slope in what we called the “Trace”… when of course we did get the good stuff. With meager snowfall, this troop of riders would shovel, scrape, and transport what Ma’ Natural gave us into a path, jump, and landing. We enjoyed what we had to its fullest. When we read about the new film called Leave Nice Tracks coming out this fall and documenting the movement happening out East to develop a purpose-built backcountry ski network in the central Green Mountains of Vermont, all these memories flooded back and got me amped to help showcase it!


How The Story Begins

Vermont Backcountry Skiing RASTA Leave Nice Tracks
Image appears courtesy: Leave Nice Tracks

78% of Vermont is covered in woodlands encompassing nearly 4.6 million acres. And a lot of these forests are on slopes that are technically skiable. Unfortunately, a majority of these woods are filled with thick, low-lying vegetation due to invasive species. In short, it brings another level to the word “bushwacking” when it comes to backcountry skiing. Over the years, private landowners have created pockets of trails for themselves to ski, but for the majority of adventurers, the opportunity to ski these peaks was impossible. Until RASTA!


RASTA Like The Dreads?

Vermont Backcountry Skiing RASTA Leave Nice Tracks
Image appears courtesy: Leave Nice Tracks

Short for Rochester/Randolph Area Sports Trail Alliance, this association was one of the first East Coast chapters founded to promote backcountry skiing access on public and private land. What initially started on a private tract of land soon morphed into a greater idea. “Why not help the forests AND create a mountain trail network for all non-motorized people to use?” It was a WIN-WIN for all! Through hard work and partnering with the US Forest Service, the idea came to fruition. And now because of them, other groups have formed across the nation like the Granite Backcountry Alliance.

Who & What Is Leave Nice Tracks All About

Vermont Backcountry Skiing RASTA Leave Nice Tracks
Image appears courtesy: Leave Nice Tracks

Just like any great saga, the ups and downs of getting something big off the ground needs to be told. When Dan Cirenza moved back East, he met Kyle Crichton and Marius Becker. With each one holding decades of commercial experience in the film industry, they formed like Voltron and created Leave Nice Tracks. Their goal seemed simple enough. Produce a documentary to tell the story of the creation of this network and the subculture that exists deep in the valleys of the East Coast. After four long years of blood, sweat, beers, and wax, the time has come to release the film.


Help Support Leave Nice Tracks And Backcountry Skiing

Just like any hardcore movement, the only way things like this happen is through the support of the community not just in Vermont but abroad. We know how expensive and time-consuming these types of projects can be. So, to help them submit the documentary to film festivals and ultimately seek distribution after festival screenings, they created a Kickstarter campaign. Even if it’s only a few bucks, show your support!

Where To See It?

World Premiere – Rochester

Thursday, November 7th

Time: 6:00 PM

Location: Vermont Backcountry Forum (Rochester, VT)



Saturday, November 9th

Time: 8:45 PM

Location: Outdoor Gear Exchange

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