Warren, Vermont's Keith Berkelhamer skied 200 consecutive days.

By Ted Polubinski

Around the Mad River Valley, black trucker hats with the numeral “100” are the coveted prize worn by the handful of skiers and riders who log 100 ski days in a Sugarbush season.  But when Keith Berkelhamer, 60, of Warren skied his 100th consecutive day in early February 2024, he was just getting started. 



On Wednesday morning, May 22, Berkelhamer hiked up the Racers’ Edge and Snowball trails at Sugarbush’s Lincoln Peak.  Under a brilliant blue sky and in shorts and a T-shirt, he slipped on ski boots, clicked into his skis, and picked his way down the dwindling, but still skiable patches of snow that remained on Stein’s Run.  In doing so, he did what most skiers and riders have never even dreamed of: He skied his 200th consecutive day.

Starting in early November and culminating last Wednesday, Berkelhamer skied at least one resort run or its equivalent every calendar day.  Most of those days were skied at Sugarbush Resort or Mad River Glen. And aside from a single, four-day trip to Utah in February, Berkelhamer skied each of his days in Vermont.

Jeff Polubinski, Moretown, joined Berkelhamer for his 200th day. 

“The remarkable thing about this from my perspective is that not only did Keith ski 200 days, but he skied those days consecutively.  Not one day off,” Polubinski marveled.

 Polubinski went on, “I think about all those days that I felt sick, sore, or lazy, and other days when the mountain was crowded, rainy, or bulletproof.  Keith skied on every one of those days.”

Skiing 200 consecutive days poses a logistical challenge for a Valley skier. The lifts at Sugarbush Resort spun this year for 164 days, more than a month short of Berkelhamer’s goal. Mad River Glen ran its lifts for 121 days. 

Berkelhamer solved these problems in various ways.  Before Sugarbush’s opening day on Friday, November 17, Berkelhamer skied at Killington, beginning on November 5.  For nearly two weeks before the Gate House lift at Sugarbush’s Lincoln Peak opened, Berkelhamer endured the hour-long trip in each direction, as well as the shoulder-to-shoulder skiing on the crested ribbons of frozen granular that comprised the runs off North Ridge Quad with other early season fanatics.


The four days of skiing in Utah also created obstacles. 

As Berkelhamer’s wife, Ginger, explained, “Keith dressed in his ski pants on our 9:30 a.m. flight from Salt Lake City, which landed in Boston at 4 p.m.” They traveled home from Logan Airport without stopping, and Berkelhamer was able to skin up the Lincoln Peak evening uphill route and be off the mountain by the 10 p.m. closing time.

Ginger summed it up, “I will not publicly call him crazy, but you can draw your own conclusion.”

On other days -- like those last week -- there were no viable lift-served options during most weekdays in Vermont.  So, Berkelhamer skinned or hiked to ski a run.  Berkelhamer estimates that he got himself up the mountain on his own steam for nearly 25% of his 200 days.

The days he skinned or hiked Lincoln Peak and Mount Ellen in late April and May were some of Berkelhamer’s favorites.  On those spring days, the mountains are quiet.  The lifts are not running, and the base lodges are closed.  The snow -- previously scarred by large moguls and deep ruts -- mellows, with little skier traffic.  Through days of freeze and thaw cycles in the longer spring days, the remaining snow relaxes into easy, rolling swells, like the ocean days after a storm.  On these days, there is often a magic hour in the late morning with a solid base and an inch-thick layer of smooth, carveable corn snow on the surface.

But spring in The Valley can also be vindictive, especially in a rainy spring like this one.  And, of course, there are the bugs.

“At the end, [Berkelhamer] fended off angry swarms of black flies and dodged thunderstorms when nearly everyone had forgotten about skiing,” explained Jeff Polubinski, his companion on that last day, as he scratched the angry red spots on his own lower legs.  “That’s dedication.”


John Hammond, Sugarbush Resort’s president and chief operating officer, is also impressed. “To ski 200 days in a year shows commitment, but to ski 200 days in a row on the East Coast is an incredible achievement.”

Berkelhamer is not a full-time skier. 

But he is a man of obscure obsessions, with flexible work hours. He is an expert on indoor, salt-water coral reef tanks. He runs a company called ReefBum, the self-described goal of which is “to help hobbyists create the reef tank of their dreams.”  He operates a website and sells equipment and live coral, which he cultivates in massive saltwater tanks in the basement of his home in Warren.  He also hosts a weekly live stream/podcast on his YouTube channel for reef keepers. His day job keeps him busy, but it has been flexible enough to permit him to nurture his devotion for skiing.

What is next for Berkelhamer? Will he hang it up? Not likely.

As he posted on Facebook after his 200th day: “Well, today I accomplished my insane/nitwitted goal to ski 200 days in a row during this ski season, an immaculate season. Many thanks to my wifey, Ginger Berkelhamer, for putting up with this idiotic quest. Now we can winter together in Florida, NOT!”

Ted Polubinski lives in Fayston and met Berkelhamer through their shared love of skiing and skied with him for many of his 200 days. Jeff Polubinski is Ted’s brother and also an avid skier.