by | February 16 2024

From The Vertical Challenge to Competitive Ski Racing

The Bermant Family

As many of our loyal followers know, the Vertical Challenge operates solely for the benefit of its families and the ski community. It is a place for young skiers to be introduced to racing, for families to enjoy their day at the mountain, and to engage with new healthy products. Some say the Vertical Challenge can be the gateway to ski racing. This is exactly what happened with Cody Bermant and his family.

Stumbling Upon a Love for Ski Racing

Cody started skiing when he was just five years old. His brother and dad would always ask him to go to the mountain, but Cody opted to stay home with his mom when he was young. Finally, Cody decided to give it a try and slowly fell in love. He was a very quick learner and by just eight years old he was doing helicopters!

The Bermant family’s home mountain is Ski Butternut and this is where they stumbled upon the Vertical Challenge five years ago, when Cody was just eight years old. Cody signed up to race and gave his first run a shot. As is it for many, the first run was rough. The conditions were icy and definitely not ideal for a first time racer. Cody fell many times, but always persisted to get back up and keep trying. Tears were welling in Cody’s eyes, but Tyler Bredbury, the hill crew leader, was encouraging Cody from the side lines. Finally, Tyler skied down to Cody and they decided to go down the remainder of the course together. Tyler had Cody follow him down the race course, going in and out of each turn. They successfully made it to the bottom and celebrated. Tyler didn’t want Cody to end the day on a bad run, so he made a deal that if he went again he would give him some special sponsor goodies. Cody went down the course again, this time with no falls. That was the beginning of a beautiful mentorship and lifelong friendship.

Talent for Ski Racing Uncovered

Fast forward five years, Cody is now thirteen and is a dedicated, competitive young ski racer. Just one year after his introduction to ski racing, Cody came in first place in his age category at the Vertical Challenge and it has only accelerated from there. He races at Ski Butternut competitively and his family is very involved at their mountain. Their dad is a ski instructor and does the timing at the mountain. Cody’s older brother is a junior ski instructor as well. This year Cody finished top 10 in the parallel slalom race at Ski Butternut and has been invited to other competitions at Gunstock. Cody even beat Tyler racing this past season during our Vertical Challenge race.

A Forever Friendship

Before Cody’s races he consults Tyler the night before. Since the day they met, their bond has grown closer and Cody feels open to talk to him about racing, his confidence, or if he’s just having a bad day. One day Cody hopes to give back and mentor young racers, just as Tyler did for him. Cody could even picture himself potentially racing in college. Though one thing is for certain, he said he will never stop skiing and it will be in his life forever.
H2: Transforming Young Skiers to Avid Racers

When asked if their family would recommend the Vertical Challenge to others, they exclaimed undoubtedly, yes. Cody said that he “would have never raced if it weren’t for Tyler”. He shared that the Vertical Challenge provides the opportunity to transform young skiers and can “ turn them into avid young racers”. Cody insisted that the Vertical Challenge is a “gateway to racing”. Additionally, Cody’s family has discovered amazing brands through the Vertical Challenge and still has products all throughout their house. They love the no-risk sampling opportunities and they are more willing to support a product that is a sponsor of something they love, like the Vertical Challenge. For instance, their mother has particularly dry lips and Dermatone’s lip balms are the only thing that alleviate her painful chapped lips. Therefore, they have turned into avid customers.

A Festival Inclusive For All

Whether it’s a way to learn about ski racing, spend time with your family, or try new products, the Vertical Challenge has something for everyone. The best thing is it is totally free! This is an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. For Cody, the Vertical Challenge was a wake up call and put his love for ski racing into drive. Check out our Winter 2024 Schedule and stop by a mountain close to you to see what the Vertical Challenge can do for you!
If you have a story to tell, we are all ears! Please email

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