Mike Toohey? My dude! This hooligan pretty much runs the town, mountain and snowboard scene of Stowe, VT, all while—as Rome points out below—sporting the best ‘stache in NorMont. Having lived there for the past few years, I could definitely tell you some crazy stories of that bastard … but above all, Toohey’s well-known for being a good human, epic karaoke singer, and one of the most consistent and talented snowboarders in the Green Mountains. And he listens to death metal.
Stowe is about 20 minutes from the Rome office here in Waterbury, Vermont, so it’s no surprise that most employees here claim it as their “home mountain”. When we picked someone to fit the bill for “Locals Only”, although there are a ton of great locals over there, Toohey stood out to all of us.
Toohey’s one of the most positive, glass-half-full guys you’ll ever meet. With a constant friendly smile framed by what is undoubtedly the best mustache in the Central/ Northern Vermont area, he’s a hard guy not to like.
So give us a quick run-down of how you became a Stowe local.
I moved to Stowe from Hardwick, VT when I was 18 to work at the mountain as an instructor. After spending a few years here I left for the west like most snowboarders in the Northeast eventually do. It was fun but was missing something that the East Coast had. East is amazing…
Where have you worked here in Stowe?
Gee whiz… My first two jobs were in Stowe. I was a housekeeper at Trapp Family Lodge at 14 before working in a dish pit at a restaurant that went under a few years ago. I worked for a few years instructing at the mountain, was hired on at Darkside when they opened in Stowe as the assistant manager. After that it was a start up agency for amateur up and comers called Knew Mgmt, pizza delivery driver, karaoke host, Stowe Mountain contest MC, volunteer terrain park staff, and Snowboard coach. I think that might be it.
How’d you like coaching?
I loved it. I’m really going to miss it this season. We had a great crew of kids with Mount Mansfield Snowboard Club, all rippers and all such cool people. I love shredding with my peers and going for the gusto on a daily basis, but it really is awesome to slow it down and be able to just goof off with the kids and push them to progress. I had a blast coaching.
Congrats on the new job you’ve had a new 4 days now, tell me about?
I’m managing Darkside Snowboard shop in Stowe; I’m super excited to be here. This is the only real snowboard shop in town and Darkside is such a huge symbol of East Coast snowboarding that I feel really lucky to be in the driver seat. I just want this place to be where everyone wants to go hang out, skate the mini, watch videos, play Super Nintendo, spend oodles of cash, whatever… I love this town and the shred community within it; I just want to provide that community with a hub.
Bummer on the knee injury man.The knee injury sucks, not being able to do the things that I enjoy is tough, but it is what it is, no regrets. I always knew when I was younger that one day I would smash my teeth out and/or blast my knee to pieces. The teeth were a few years ago so I knew it was only a matter of time! It’s okay though; I can really focus on the store this year, and maybe be able to spend time out at Hood next summer. I’ve been riding hard for almost thirteen years; maybe it’s just time for me to take a little break.
What was your set-up last season?
I ride a Rome Mod 56, all kinds of awesome camber on that snowboard… 390 binders and Libertine boots. I back Rome…
What are a couple of your favorite things about riding Stowe?
Well, it’s deep, gnarly, almost always icy, when it snows it dumps, and on a pow day you practically fist fight your way to first chair. You get to hang out with John Wilson too.
Do you have any beers?
Yeah in the Gatorade cooler right behind you, can you grab me one?
Thanks man, I just saw photos of the Darkside Killington‘s new skate ramp, any ramp envy?
Nah, ours is indoors, I have no ramp envy. Stoked they have something rad going on down there though. It’s tough being a skater in these sleepy mountain towns, nowhere to skate. Having ramps at two of our stores is really cool, kids are always comin’ in to skate, I love it.
Best place in Stowe to eat and drink after riding?
Piecasso for sure. They got the best looking waitresses/bartenders in town and everyone there is super nice. The owners are awesome and the pizza rocks. * (Toohey is currently DJing karaoke there a couple times a month, this shout-out may be contractually obligated)
Anywhere we can get the hook-up by dropping your name?
Anywhere in Stowe that doesn’t sell skis.
You have $5 to spend at McDonalds, what’s it going to be?
Gonna have to go with 2 McChicken, McDouble, are we chargin tax here…? Throw in a hot fudge sunday and I’ll be okay…