He’s also been the guy in the woods this winter laying the last of the
50-or-so miles of tubing between the sugarhouse and the 4,000 maple
trees that they have tapped so far. After a few trips waist-deep in snow,
he knew there was a better way.
“Roger’s probably the first sugarmaker to work on telemark skis,” says
They started boiling sap on February 26 and by mid-March, had made
570 gallons of syrup — hopefully, they say, a quarter of this year’s yield.
Next summer, they plan to bring another 10,000 trees online. The end
goal is to tap every mature maple tree on the property — all 20,000.
With their focus on getting the business — and sap — running, they
have just started to find buyers. Rather than taking business away from
The Slopeside Syrup sugarhouse sits a short ski away from the fabled Vermont training hill.
local sugarmakers, they want to use their ski racing connections to expand the market.
“If we can get into ski shops or go to Europe, we expand the clientele
for syrup,” says Roger. “Would Vail want to use Cochran’s Slopeside
Syrup in their gift shops and restaurants? Or could we be the official
syrup of the U.S. Ski Team?”
So far, Race Stock Sports in Waterbury, Vt., and Peak Performance in
Killington, Vt., have agreed to sell the syrup.
The cousins are also selling it online at slopesidesyrup.com. When he
is asked if they will promote it as the perfect fuel for ski racers, Roger
jokes, “Tim took a shot of our syrup before his second run at NCAAs.”
(Tim won the 2011 NCAA slalom title, jumping from third to first in his
To celebrate the first run of syrup,
they are offering a limited edition
half-gallon “growler” etched by artist Katharine Monstream for $250.
It’s refillable once a year for a lifetime. Whose lifetime, they do not
So what do their parents — Bobby, Marilyn, and Lindy, three of the
original “Skiing Cochrans” — think
of Cochran’s Slopeside Syrup?
“I think they’re pumped,” says Jim.
“But it’s a little bit hard for them to
see the changes to the ski area.
They have such an attachment to
the land and the area.”
Roger and Douglas’s mom, Marilyn, seems unfazed by the changes. “I’m so excited,” she says. “I
wish my parents could come down
for a couple of hours and see what
Thank God for Snowmaking
Slalom Sweeter than Ever
On March 30, the Cochrans hosted
nearly 300 racers for the third annual
Thank God for Snowmaking Slalom,
which raises money for the nonprofit ski
area’s operating expenses, including
snowmaking costs. Jonathan Nordbotten beat two NCAA champions (and two
Cochrans): Tim Kelley and Roger Brown.
“It’s especially nice to beat Tim on his
playground,” quipped Nordbotten of his
UVM teammate. UVM’s Bryana Park
won the women’s race, and the event
raised $10,000. And the winners got to
take home quarts of Cochran’s Slopeside
Syrup. — P.S.
SKI RACING CAMPS
Where we teach, demonstrate,
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Top Coaches & Pacesetters.
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SkiRacing.com APRIL 7, 2011 | 10