Capital Region Brewery Competing For U.S. Toboggan Championship
There’s something about an old-fashioned wooden toboggan sled. Discs and runners have nothing on the smooth, flat line racing across the snow. Now a Capital Region team is vying for ultimate glory on their wooden beauty this weekend.
Indian Ladder Farms Cidery and Brewery in Altamont has crewed a four-person toboggan team for this weekend’s U.S. National Toboggan Championship Race. Since it’s the only traditional wood toboggan race in the United States, that makes it the de facto championship.
The event is hosted at Camden Snow Bowl, a mountain resort about an hour and a half north of Portland, Maine. Camden Snow Bowl actually has a dedicated toboggan chute that racers glide down, not unlike a bobsled run (just in a straight line).
The bottom of the chute is covered in layers of ice in the nights leading up to race day by a custom-made water pouring device for the hill. Once coated, and with a waxed-up toboggan, racers can hit speeds as high at 40 miles per hour down the 70-foot-tall, 400-foot-long slope.
The first U.S. National Toboggan Championships were held in 1991. Since then, the event has grown to include scores of teams wanting downhill glory and has been covered by Sports Illustrated and the New York Times.
Every five years, Camden Snow Bowl hosts the Worlds Race on the toboggan hill. If the Indian Ladder Farms team wins first place, they can come back to the Worlds Race in perpetuity as long as one of the original team members competes.
The Indian Ladder Farms C&B toboggan is crewed by Head Brewer Scott Veltman, Cider Maker Alex Gill, Aaron Bailey, and the brewery’s Co-Owner Stuart Morris. The Championship runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Run fast and bring home the gold!