Flyin' into Sugarbush

Dana Allen

Ryan Hawks competing on the Freeskiing World Tour last year.

The Flyin' Ryan Hawks Foundation, a new non-profit set up in memory of freeskier Ryan Hawks, will be hosting its first on-mountain freeride clinic this Saturday at Sugarbush, Vt. Hawks passed away last March from injuries sustained during the Subaru Freeskiing World Tour at Kirkwood, Calif.

Initially conceived by Mountain Sports International, the organizing body for the Freeskiing World Tour, the Flyin' Ryan Hawks Foundation is now run by Hawks' father Peter and sister, Samantha Stetson.

Over the summer, the two laid the groundwork for the foundation, whose mission is to "extend Ryan's humanness in an effort to enrich the lives of young adventurers and make the world a better place one person, one value, one decision at a time." The mission statement is based on Hawks' 13 core values, which he wrote down on his laptop and were discovered by his father after his death. The values include "live every day, all day," and "never stop exploring life."

In their first year as a registered non-profit, the Vermont-based foundation has already awarded two $750 scholarships to local children so that they can attend Vermont's Mad River Freeride program. For the on-mountain freeride clinics, which will take place throughout the winter at resorts around the country, the foundation has partnered with many of Hawks' friends, including FWT champions Lars Chickering-Ayers and Angel Collinson, to serve as coaches.

In addition to teaching the fundamentals of big-mountain skiing, the clinics are "principally designed to expose, inspire and teach Ryan's core values," says Peter Hawks. "I do believe at this point that we are onto something of real value that deserves consideration. This coming season our plan is to make sure that our existing programs are well-oiled and running smoothly."

For more information on the Flyin' Ryan Hawks Foundation, please visit

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