Rochester Area Sports Trail Alliance (RASTA) was founded in 2013 with a mission to provide safe and sustainable multiple use trails and glades for the enjoyment of area residents and visitors.
During the fall of 2013 RASTA approached Paul Kendall, Sharon Rives and the New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF) to see if they would be interested in working together to create backcountry glades on the 1,547 acre Braintree Mountain Forest property in Braintree, Vermont. In the fall of 2014, 35 RASTA volunteers spent a weekend cutting what was to become RASTA’s first backcountry glade off the north face of Skidoo Mountain. The new glade drops 1000 feet in elevation and ends at the Bell Gates Cabin.
This past spring RASTA volunteers spent two days and two nights cutting a skin track and establishing two additional glade zones off of Skidoo Mountain, and this fall they hope to add an additional glade–or two–off the adjacent summit of Twin Peaks.
RASTA’s BMF BC ski project is proving to be a major asset by bringing our local community together as we work to provide additional recreational opportunities (more powder for all!). It also provides an economic boost as visitors from afar now stop at local businesses to grab a bite to eat, fill their gas tanks and spend the night at one of the beautiful local inns.
This project is a model for future BC skiing development in Vermont and beyond. It shows how proper planning, landowner negotiations and organized volunteers can create sustainable BC skiing that will be enjoyed for years to come. Additionally, the Catamount Trail Association (CTA) and Vermont Backcountry Alliance (VTBC) are helping lay the groundwork for future BC skiing chapters around the state to follow RASTA’s footsteps.
This fall RASTA wants to continue building backcountry glades to create what could become one of Vermont’s largest maintained backcountry zones. But they need your support to accomplish the following projects:
Construct a 16+ car parking lot for public use and hire a local plow truck driver to keep it clear all winter.
Renovate the existing Bell Gates Cabin at the base of Skidoo glade zones.
Build a trailhead kiosk for new maps and other important BC travel info.
Hire additional glade work to supplement volunteer sweat equity as they establish multiple glade zones across the Braintree Range
RASTA and the VTBC are seeking financial support and contributions of all levels are important but we have a series of perks available at different levels which include:
- Boot Deep ($10) – Warm Fuzzies knowing you’re helping support Vermont’s backcountry community.
- Deep ($25) – (1) ski raffle entry, stickers, and a BMF Ski Print
- Waist Deep ($75) – (3) ski raffle entries, stickers, and a BMF Ski Print
- Chest Deep ($250) – (8) ski raffle entries, stickers, and a RASTA T-Shirt
- Overhead Blower ($500) – (12) ski raffle entries, stickers, a RASTA T-Shirt, and a Surprise Gift!
Some highlighted raffle prizes include local art work, a pair of Voile powder skis, and the grand prize is a two night stay at a local Air B&B with a two day private guided BC tour for two people!
The continued support shown by our members, volunteers, landowners, and enthusiasts from everywhere is deeply appreciated, and we hope you can join us in the heart of the Green Mountains at our public backcountry ski zone. Special thanks to T-Bar Films for this video, Voile, New England Forestry Foundation, Paul Kendall and Sharon Rives, the Catamount Trail Association & the Vermont Backcountry Alliance for ongoing support. Thank you for your support and see you out there in RASTA country!
For more information about RASTA and our projects be sure to visit www.rastavt.org