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James Niehues and Mad River Glen celebrate their partnership with the release of a new trail map and over $120,000 raised

October 5, 2020 | 0 Comments

Fayston, Vt. (Oct. 5, 2020) — Open Road Ski Company ( marked the end of their successful campaign in partnership with James Niehues ( and Mad River Glen ( over the weekend, releasing a first look at the hand-painted trail map and raising a total of $121,327, surpassing their initial goal by over 1,500 percent.

Open Road Ski Company, the company that created The Man Behind the Maps, led a Kickstarter campaign for a new Mad River Glen trail map hand painted by James Niehues. The campaign ran for one month with an initial goal of $7,500, which was surpassed within the first hours after launch. The campaign finished on Mad River Glen’s Green and Gold weekend, the traditional kick-off to the ski season. All profits will benefit the Stark Mountain Foundation.

“This partnership took off immediately and absolutely blew us away with its success,” says Mad River Glen’s marketing and events director Ry Young. “Not only do we now have a stunning hand-painted trail map from the best in the business, but we’ve also raised a sizeable nest-egg we can use to help with all-new, on-mountain signage and other mountain projects utilizing the artwork.”

The artist behind Mad River Glen’s new map, James Niehues, has created a career as the premier trail map painter. James photographs the mountain from all angles, and then interprets the different perspectives into a single flat painting—something not easily replicated by computers. Through his process James paints everything down to the individual trees and rocks with unmatched accuracy.

“Mad River Glen has been an absolutely fascinating project,” says James. “There are so many intricacies to the mountain. An important rock here, and a lightly cut glade there — the mountain is dotted with features that make it unique and prove why it’s such a deeply loved mountain.”

Now that the Kickstarter campaign has been completed, all 514 backers will receive prints in the coming weeks, with maps available online later in the year. The money raised will go to Mad River Glen and the Stark Mountain Foundation to help with on-mountain projects related to the artwork for years to come.

“Ben and I are thrilled with the results. We are proud to have raised so much money for Mad River Glen and The Stark Mountain Foundation,” says Todd Bennett, co-founder of Open Road Ski Company.

Learn more about the legendary ski artist James Niehues at

See the completed Kickstarter and learn more about the collaboration here: (


About The Mad River Glen Cooperative (MRG)

The Mad River Glen Cooperative aims to forever protect the classic skiing experience by preserving low skier density, natural terrain and forests, varied trail character, and a friendly community atmosphere for the benefit of its shareholders, personnel, and patrons. It boasts the only single chair in North America and it’s the only skier-owned cooperative in the US. The Mad River Glen Cooperative has always been and intends to remain fiercely independent. More:

About The Stark Mountain Foundation

The Stark Mountain Foundations is a charitable organization with a mission to preserve and protect the environment and ecosystem of General Stark Mountain, including its recreational access and historic value, and to support programs that promote and sustain that environment for the enjoyment of present and future generations. More:

About Open Road Ski Company

Open Road Ski Company was formed by two passionate skiers, Ben Farrow and Todd Bennett, in 2018 to create a book cataloguing Niehues’ life work. With over 200 hand painted trail maps and 292 pages, the hardcover coffee-table necessity The Man Behind The Maps: Legendary Ski Artist James Niehues, was funded as a Kickstarter project and raised more than $590,000.00 making it the #1 Art Illustration campaign of all-time. More about James Niehues and Open Road Ski Company:

About James Niehues

James Niehues has painted over 200 trail maps that are used by hundreds of millions of people to navigate ski resorts across the world. As everything goes digital, Niehues maintains his analog approach, hand painting every trail, tree and rock, with details so accurate the maps can be used to navigate unmarked and unnamed areas of the mountain. He was recently inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and has defined the look of an entire sport, capturing the unique character and soul of mountains worldwide.

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