Ian Clarke, 19, Ski Mountaineer
Ski mountaineering, a race that takes skiers up, down and across all terrain, is a relatively new sport—aiming for Olympic inclusion in 2022—and growing. And growing right with it is University of Vermont junior, Ian Clarke.
Clarke, who grew up near Killington and raced alpine at Killington Mountain School, didn’t pick up ski mountaineering (ski mo) until last year. Since then, he’s placed in just about every event around New England. In February, 2017, Clarke was the only junior named to the U.S. national team and invited to compete at the World Championships in Italy in March. He finished 23rd there against some of the top Europeans.
More than just a competitor, Clarke has been a booster for the sport. He organized the first SkiMo and Mountaineering Club at UVM and has been working with the Catamount Trail Association and other groups to get others involved in the sport.
While the alpine background has helped Clarke on the downhills, his experience as a road cylcist has built up endurace for the uphill portions of the race.
This past summer, racing Cat 2, Clarke earned a second, third and fourth in three stages of the Green Mountain Stage Race. And when he’s not on his bike, he’s a commercial glider pilot and instructor at Sugarbush Soaring in Warren.