The ski it if you can motto was in full swing this weekend at Mad River Glen, where the wits, stamina and skills of its most dedicated ski aficionados were tested in the tenth annual Triple Crown contest, a series of three unconventional competitions over the course of one month. The first leg, the Unconventional Terrain Contest, was held on Saturday, with 53 people, both male and female, age 7-67, competing in an event based not on speed, but on style and creativity in maneuvering through the difficult Liftline terrain directly under Mad Rivers trademark single chair lift. Competitors leaped off cliffs, rocketed over rocks, and turned 360s off ledges, as they tried to impress judges with the most unorthodox line imaginable. Andy Weiss took top honors in the Mens Alpine division, Annika Holton leads the Womens Alpine division, and Paul Lesure won the Mens Telemark. The Vertical Challenge, the next event in the series, will take place on Friday, February 15, testing skier stamina as competitors try to rack up the most runs in one day down the 2037 vertical feet of the demanding Chute/Liftline course. The final event, the Mogul Challenge, will wrap up the competition on Saturday, March 15. Points are awarded in this event for smoothness, line choice, control, and jumps. Mad River Glen, located near Waitsfield, boasts the only running single chair lift in the country, and is the nations only cooperative skier-owned mountain. Mad River became a cooperative in 1995 in order to preserve and protect the forests and mountain ecosystem of General Stark Mountain in order to provide skiing and other recreational access and to maintain the unique character of the area for present and future generations, as stated in their mission statement. Roland Palmedo, the founder and original investor at Stowe, opened the mountain for business in 1948 to build a ski community where profit would not be the primary motivation. A ski area is not just a place of business, a mountain amusement park, as it were. Instead it is a winter community whose members, both skiers and area personnel, are dedicated to the enjoyment of the sport, Palmedo is remembered for saying. After the Triple Crown competition, a king and queen of this unique Vermont ski community will be coronated, giving them one year of rights to entice their friends to beat me if you can.