See Who Made Sugarbush’s First Wall of Fame

On Friday, April 5 and Saturday April 6, Sugarbush Resort plans to induct the inaugural class into its new Wall of Fame.

Similar to a Hall of Fame, Sugarbush’s Wall of Fame seeks to recognize some of the most significant contributors to the Sugarbush experience from 1958 to the present. It’s being rolled out as part of Sugarbush’s 60th Anniversary celebration this spring and those selected for the Sugarbush Wall of Fame will be commemorated permanently on a wall in the Gate House Lodge.

As any Sugarbush skier knows, the resort has a rich history of unique ski culture. For more about some of the mountain’s founders and the rich history of food, drink and eclectic culture at Sugarbush, check out “60 Sweet Years of Sugarbush” by Lisa Lynn from our 2018 Holiday issue.

Ten skiers made the cut to be part of the first class of inductees. According to the resort’s website, the Sugarbush Wall of Fame recognition will be awarded annually to “those who have made a significant contribution to ‘cultivating a spirit of lifelong adventure and camaraderie among Sugarbush staff, guests and the community.'”

A special committee met in February to review and approve nominations submitted for the Wall of Fame, landing on ten members for the first year.

Wall of Fame Inductees for 2019

Darian Boyle

Boyle attended Green Mountain Valley School and went on to become a World Champion in Skiercross and pioneer in women’s freeskiing. Though she’s traveled the world for the highest level of skiing competitions, she always returns to her home mountain of Sugarbush, where her family has been coming for decades. In addition to being a frequent presence on the mountain for various marketing initiatives, Boyle is a head coach in the Sugarbush Ski & Ride School’s Bush Pilot program.

Inductee Darian Boyle dives deep on a powder day at Sugarbush in this award-winning photo by John Atkinson.

Dave Gould

Gould joined the Sugarbush Ski & Ride School in 2000. Over the years he coached in the Blazer Program and the Black Diamond Club, and was one of the most sought-after private instructors. Gould was a ski school trainer and filled several supervisory roles. He also worked at the Sugarbush Resort Golf Club. Gould pursued a life of happiness in the outdoors with his wife Sandra, and his many friends. He passed away this past January from cancer.

Marit Tardy

Tardy joined the Sugarbush Day School in 1975. This winter marks her 44thconsecutive winter at the mountain. During her time at the center, Tardy has cared for thousands of employee, guest, and local children in the Mad River Valley. In some cases, she has cared for three generations of a single family.  To watch Tardy in action in the nursery room is a humbling experience for most, especially new parents.  Her contribution to the many families of the Mad River Valley has been immense.

Wayne McCue

McCue, known by many as “The Mailman” because of his day job back in Massachusetts, has been skiing at Sugarbush since 1974. He’s also earned the moniker “Mr. Castlerock” because he’s the only person to have skied in every Castlerock Extreme at Sugarbush since its inception in 1997. His best finishes are second and third place and he has been featured on the covers of The Valley Reporter, Vermont Ski + Ride, and the travel section of USA Today. McCue’s dedication to skiing at Sugarbush has made an indelible and meaningful impression on his family.

Wayne McCue gets some air in the Castlerock Extreme. Photo by Brooks Curran.
The Founders Wall of Fame

Damon and Sara Gadd

Damon and Sara Gadd founded Sugarbush in 1958 after moving to the Mad River Valley four years earlier. The Gadds were initially Mad River Glen skiers, but set out to create a different type of resort. The Gadds and their small team took an innovative look at ski resort development: they installed an enclosed Italian-built gondola—the first of its kind in the United States; opened one of the first on-mountain après-ski bars, the Wünderbar; and founded an international ski school. The Gadds’ Sugarbush earned a reputation for attracting the New York glitterati to a remote area of Vermont.

Jack Murphy

Jack Murphy skis Sugarbush in 1958. Photo courtesy Sugarbush archives.

Murphy founded Sugarbush alongside the Gadds, acting as General Manager after serving in the same capacity at Mad River Glen. Murphy helped create the original master plan for the resort, installed lifts, designed and constructed trails, and ushered in revolutionary snowmaking, grooming, and safety procedures. His tenure lasted until 1982 when he passed away from cancer.

Lixi Fortna

Fortna, a Czechoslovakian-born lawyer, was Sugarbush’s office manager. She was the “right hand” to Murphy and Gadd—selling tickets, answering phones, doing the books, and counting the money—and served in that capacity until 1982.  She and her husband Trodd raised two children, one of whom was an Olympic skier, and owned and operated the Golden Horse Lodge on Sugarbush Access Rd. After Sugarbush, Fortna went on to serve in the Vermont House of Representatives.

Peter Estin

Estin was Sugarbush’s first Ski School Director and was one of the original founders of Ski Club Ten. Also Czechoslovakian-born, Estin graduated from Dartmouth College, where he was a leading member of the ski team, and went on the win the Harriman Cup in Sun Valley, a precursor to the World Cup.  Estin was instrumental in creating a ski school of international instructors which attracted the East Coast “jet set” to Sugarbush.

John Roth

Roth used his land surveyor skills to help develop both Sugarbush and Sugarbush Village with the Gadds and Murphy. He was instrumental in designing the ski trails, the home sites, and the roads leading into Sugarbush Village. With his wife Ginny, Roth founded Roth Real Estate in 1961, and was involved in much of the development of Sugarbush and the Mad River Valley.

The Party

The Wall of Fame Inauguration Celebration is planned for Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6. Friday evening will include a video presentation, storytelling and live music in the Courtyard Room of the Gate House Lodge. On Saturday, the celebration is planned for the Lincoln Peak base area and will include an awards ceremony, live music and fireworks.

Saturday’s event isn’t just a launch party for the Wall of Fame, it’s the end of year celebration of Sugarbush’s 60th Anniversary ski season. Pond skimming starts that morning at noon and the reception will be followed by a free firework show at 8:30 p.m. at Lincoln Peak’s base area.

Registration for the pond skim will be open from 9-11 a.m. in the Lincoln Peak Courtyard. It’s limited to the first 110 competitors and costs $20. Awards will be announced at 3:30 p.m. in the Lincoln Peak Courtyard. Costumes are highly encouraged for the competition, which features a 120-foot pond at the base of Lincoln Peak.

Featured Photo Caption: Damon and Sara Gadd in the gondola at Sugarbush in 1958. Photo courtesy Sugarbush Archives.

Lisa Lynn

Editor of VT SKI + RIDE and Vermont Sports.

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