Category Archives: Ski Areas

Summer Skiing: Mount Hood

mount mt hood timberline tucker snocat ski skiing summerIs anyone headed to Mt. Hood in Oregon, the Southern Hemisphere or another destination for summer skiing?

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Road Trip: Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse

grossglockner austria high alpine road hochalpenstrasse alpsA splendid view of the high alpine road leading to Austria’s highest peak, the Grossglockner (3798m).

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Powder Ridge: The Festival That Never Was

powder ridge ski area music festival concert 1970 connecticutAmong other things, I am amused to learn that the ski lodge roof was intended to serve as the concert stage!

powder ridge festival connecticut 1970 ski charilift leonard freedA very different use of a Hall double chairlift.  Photo by Leonard Freed.

powder ridge festival connecticut 1970 ski charilift  freedFestival View. Photo by Leonard Freed.

powder ridge festival connecticut 1970 ski area leonard freed Life at Powder Ridge. Photo by Leonard Freed.

powder ridge festival connecticut 1970 ski leonard freed Campsite at the Powder Ridge Rock Festival.  Photo by Leonard Freed.

powder hill ski area middlefield connecticut scofieldPOWDER HILL SKI AREA  Middlefield, Connecticut – Home of Early Bird Skiing. 3 Chair Lifts, 2 T-Bars, Tows, Ski School, Night Skiing, Snow Making, Steak House and Cocktail Lounge. Overnight Lodging. Pre-1970 postcard, photo by Clifford Scofield.

A couple weeks ago at Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market, I came across this reproduction concert poster for the ill-fated 1970 music festival at Powder Ridge Ski Area in Middlefield, Connecticut.  I was surprised and delighted with the find and also thought it would make for a varied yet quick blog post.  Well, I was wrong about the quick part – I am totally lost in what was intended to be cursory research of this event.

Growing up just a couple towns away from Powder Ridge, the festival has always been a bit of local lore but I never stopped to find out the specifics.  To me, it was primarily of interest because of the ski area venue.  I am very late to realize, nearly 44 years after the fact, that this disaster of a festival was national news.

The short version – in the wake of Woodstock, the three days of music at Powder Ridge was poised to be the next big festival — a roster of top billed acts helped sell 100,000 $20 tickets — just days before the start of the festival, the concerned residents of tiny Middlefield fought for a court injunction to stop the festival — headlining acts never arrived (save for one, Melanie Safka) but thousands of fans did despite attempts by the state police and town to turn away attendees — the most common estimate seems to be that 30,000 people came, camped and essentially drugged away the music-less days at Powder Ridge – drug use was rampant and not the happy, peaceable marijuana high of Woodstock but a more angry and dangerous version with unprecedented numbers of bad trips (~ 50 people an hour) thanks to free-flowing tainted hallucinogens – lack of food, utilities and bathroom facilities added to the chaos.

A simple Internet search reveals no shortage of articles, accounts, photos and video of the Powder Ridge Festival.  I am captivated by the photos by Leonard Freed, an esteemed photojournalist who spent most of his career documenting civil rights and social issues.  Adding a wonderful layer to his stunning images and talent is that his wife, Brigitte, was his photo developer – an art itself.  I love the practical and romantic dynamics of creative spouse partnerships – go team!  (Click here for a lovely NYT article about the couple.)  In keeping with the ski theme of this blog, I have selected photos featuring chairlifts – but please follow these links to see a wider presentation of Freed’s extraordinary portfolio and documentation of this event which now resides at The Davison Art Center at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, only a few miles away from the festival site.

As for Powder Ridge, the ski area shut down in 2007 but is currently in the process of rebuilding and resuming operations to become a year-round mountain park and resort.

If any readers attended this festival or have anecdotes, please write in as a comment to share!

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Stowe: Ski Racing Heritage

Ski racing runs deep in Stowe, Vermont.  Every level of alpine racing has graced the slopes of Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak from international championships to the beloved Sugar Slalom.  The Mount Mansfield Ski Club, the oldest ski club in the country, has assembled a detailed history and timeline of racing in Stowe.  Please click here for the MMSC website.

toni sailer austria stowe vermont ski race 1957 vintage3/17/1957 Press Photo:  SAILER OF AUSTRIA WINS – Toni Sailer of Austria shown crossing the finish line here today as he won the men’s downhill event of the American-International Ski Races being held here on Mount Mansfield. 

stowe ski race andrea mead lawrence buddy werner 19553/20/1955 Press Photo:  STOWE, VT., DOWNHILL SKI CHAMPIONS – Buddy Werner, 19-year-old University of Denver freshman who won the International Downhill race down Mt. Mansfield today is flanked by tie winners of women’s race.  Andrea Mead Lawrence, 22, (left) of Parshall, Col. U.S. double Olympic champion and Madeleine Berthod, 24, (right) of Switzerland tied at 2:08.7 for the 1.2 mile course.  Werner topped American and European champions for time of 2:07.5 for 1¾ mile course.

stowe vermont ski race sepp ruschp othmar schneider1/14/1963 Press Photo:  Othmar Schneider (left) world’s ski champion from Austria after a fast run down Mount Mansfield, Stowe, Vt., with Sepp Ruschp (center) and Karl Fahrner, a Mansfield ski instructor.  Schneider is favored to win the Vic Constant Memorial Downhill, Slalom and Combined races this weekend (Jan. 17-18) at Mansfield.  Ruschp is general manager and newly-named president of the Mount Mansfield ski resort and Fahrner is a former European champion skier.

jean claude killy france wins ski race stowe vermont 19661966 AP WIREPHOTO:  STOWE, VT., MARCH 19 — FLYING FRENCHMAN – Jean-Claude Killy of France leans into a high speed turn as he flashes down Mount Mansfield to win International Giant Slalom championships at Stowe, Vt., today.  Killy, gasping for air, is “stepping up” or shifting weight from right to left ski for turn towards next gate to his left.  Killy ran course of just under a mile in 1:45:67.

billy kidd stowe vermont downhill val gardena italy2/15/1970 Press Photo:  Val Gardena, Italy – Bill Kidd of Stowe, Vt., flying in air during today’s Alpine World Championships downhill event in which he placed fifth.  He won the Combined Alpine trophy beating top favorite France’s Patrick Russel.

stowe vermont spruce peak ski race slalom hill vintage postcard richardsonCertainly the most enduring and beloved ski race in Stowe is the annual Sugar Slalom.  It is a celebration of spring complete with racers in spirited costumes and fresh maple syrup on snow.  The 2014 edition of the Sugar Slalom is this weekend, April 5-6, with races running Saturday and Sunday on Spruce Peak’s Slalom Hill, pictured here many years ago.  Vintage real photo postcard by Harry Wendell Richardson of Newport, Vermont.

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Vermont: Maple Sugar Season

vermont maple sugar sugaring syrup season vintage postcard

It’s that time of year again.  Maple sugaring activities are underway in the north country, especially in Vermont – the Green Mountain state produces the most maple syrup in the nation.  On March 22 and 23, more than eighty farms will open their sugarhouses to the public for the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association’s annual open house weekend.  Click here for details to plan a sweet little excursion.

If you are too busy skiing next weekend, hold out until April 5 and 6 to enjoy maple syrup on snow at Stowe’s famous Sugar Slalom race celebration.

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On the Snow: Burke, Vermont

rapha arcteryx ski bike bruce rychlik burke vermontRapha on snow!  More precisely, Rapha on Bruce Rychlik on top of Burke Mountain after a morning skin up.  Was thrilled to see this coveted brand of cycling apparel and lifestyle put to use on snow.  Combined with Arc’Teryx – it was a technical and stylish knockout.

pj dewey owner racestock sports ski shred helmet slope sidePJ Dewey of Racestock Sports wears the Shred Half Brain D-Lux helmet in the very Vermont Slopeside edition.  The maple sugaring graphics are by Shawn Rice (of Magic Hat graphic design fame), the artist who created the excellent packaging for the Cochran family’s Slopeside Syrup brand.

kathy herde burton snowboard bonfire plaid bikeKathy Herde is mad about plaid!  Bonfire ensemble, head to toe, to ride her Burton snowboard one day after riding her Surly Pugsley fat bike at Winterbike.

bogner one piece ski suit red edelweiss luxuryIt was the edelweiss that lured me in – but this classic Bogner one-piece suit reminded me of the German brand’s history in the Northeast Kingdom.  In 1973, Willy and Sonya Bogner moved to Newport, Vermont to open a manufacturing facility for their family’s luxury ski apparel brand. I believe production was maintained for more than a couple decades.  Sadly, but not surprisingly, Bogner no longer maintains production in the U.S. (Check out M. Miller of Boston for luxury ski apparel proudly made in the U.S.A.)

camels hump sunset burke mountain vermont northeast kingdom ski areaCamel’s Hump, Vermont’s third highest peak, seen through a hazy sunset from the top of the Mid-Burke Express.

burke mountain vermont ski area snow report sherburne express quad base lodge Last weekend was a good one at Burke. . . I am ready for another!  Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend.

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MooVM: Where do you Moo?

Introducing MooVM!  The husband and wife team of Chris Rose and Sarah Baker saw an opportunity to celebrate the role of dairy farming in New England and Upstate New York with the iconic cow pattern.  The graphic black and white “cow-moo-flage” of Holstein cattle is the foundation for distinctive baseball hats that carry a variety of classic and custom logos.

Working with New England Dairy Promotion Board, 8.02% (Vermont’s area code) of profit returns to support local farms by way of Must Be The Milk’s Keep Local Farms Fund.  Please visit the MooVM web site to learn more about the brand story and mission.

moovm hats caps cow print vermont vt 802 dairy farm localMooVM baseball hats in classic Vermont designs are available at the MooVM Store, click to visit the web store.

moovm hat cap custom uvm stowe vermont cow print Custom MooVM hats are available at a growing list of resorts and schools such as University of Vermont, Stowe Mountain Resort, Jay Peak, Mount Snow and Middlebury College.  Contact MooVM directly for custom orders and wholesale inquiries.  Minimum order quantity for custom logo is very reasonable.  In addition to being a unique retail item, MooVM hats are an excellent fundraiser for schools, sport teams, events.

moovm founders sarah baker chris rose amos hobbs vermont burkeMooVM founders Sarah Baker and Chris Rose with Amos and Hobbs in East Burke, Vermont.

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On the Snow: Burke, Vermont

lilias ide dps skis flylow color powder snow purple seafoamLilias Ide, all-around ripper and Program Director of Kingdom Trails, on her DPS skis for a fresh snow ski day!  Love all the color of DPS and Flylow gear.

astis mittens peak performance jacket pants swedenMaryanne in her pretty Astis Sacagawea mitts and Peak Performance kit.

astis erling mitts mittens rossignol experience burke vermontMe keeping warm in my Astis Erling mittens.

sacha mcguire skhoop skirt snowboard burke vermontSacha McGuire snowboarding in her colorful and cozy Skhoop down mini skirt.  Local Northeast Kingdom retailer, Village Sport Shop carries Skhoop.

burke mountain ski patrol mallory cody chain saw husqvarnaMallory and Cody of the Burke Mountain Ski Patrol cleaning up the trails with a Husqvarna.

vintage rainbow ski sweater burke mountain j bar ski liftRetro rainbow ski sweater working the retro j-bar lift.

burke mountain ski area lift mechanic operations cabelas transalaska boot Lift mechanic Chris swears by Cabela’s Trans-Alaska III Pac boots for warmth during long shifts on the mountain.

snowboard ski vermont 802 smith goggles helmetFull-on Green Mountain State park style.

nike snowboard jacket native patternLove the zing of this unexpected color combo and a unique Nike jacket.

spyder ski race suit julia mancuso squaw valley trail mapBurke is a ski racing hill.  Lucky for me, I love all that goes along with that – including ski racing fashion.  Spyder Julia Mancuso race suit featuring trail map graphics of Squaw Valley, her home mountain.

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On the Snow: Jay Peak, Vermont

jay peak vermont ski freestyle terrain park Bold color in the Jay Peak 180 mini park.

raised jay peak from vermont helmet oakleyRaised Jay grom waiting for the tram.

jay peak vermont snowboard instructors snow school burton uniform ringlet parkSnowboard instructors in fresh uniforms.

jay peak vermont snowboard instructors snow school burton uniform ringlet parkNice sleeve placement of Burton Riglet Park logo.

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Greetings: Sun Valley, Idaho

sun valley greetings vintage linen postcard ski Greetings from Sun Valley, Idaho

sun valley idaho lodge vintage ski woman mrs montgomery orr 2/8/1951 Sun Valley News Bureau Photo:  MIDWINTER HOLIDAY AT SUN VALLEY, IDAHO – Mrs. Montgomery Orr, Wayne, Ill., leaves the Lodge for a day of skiing on the snow-covered slopes.  Mrs. Orr will be a guest at the famous western skiing village until February 10.

sun valley idaho ski racing vintage 1958 junior championships 4/5/1958 Sun Valley – Union Pacific Photo:  AT SUN VALLEY, IDAHO, Friday, the Washington boy’s American Legion Junior team won second place in team standings in the Giant Slalom held on Baldy mountain in the 15th annual Western States American Legion Junior Championships being held this week end.  From left:  Jim Brule, Yakima; Mike Buckley, Yakima; Brent Whiteman, Yakima; Erik Giese, Seattle; and coach Walt Taulbee, Seattle.

dick durrance dartmouth sun valley open idaho ski race 3/31/1939 International News Photo:  DARTMOUTH SKIER, POINT-SCORER AT SUN VALLEY  Sun Valley, Idaho. . . Dick Durrance, of Dartmouth, two-time winner of the Harriman Cup, pictured in action during the third annual Sun Valley Open Skiing Tournament recently.  Durrance placed fourth in the Open this year and won the national four event combined race.

sun valley idaho ridge chairlift vintage postcard roundhouse baldy mountain“On the way to the top,” the Ridge lifts and the Roundhouse, Baldy Mountain, Sun Valley.  Photo: Lou Holliday

sun valley idaho ski warming hut baldy mountain vintage postcardWARMUP HUT Baldy Mountain Sun Valley, Idaho  Photo: Union Pacific Railroad

sun valley idaho vintage ski holiday run postcardSKIERS AT SUN VALLEY, IDAHO  Coming down Holiday Run, Sun Valley can be seen in the background.

sun valley idaho ski resort vintage school busSUN VALLEY, IDAHO  Crowds of skiers at this famous resort.  Photo: Union Pacific Railroad

sun valley idaho trail creek cabin vintage postcardTRAIL CREEK CABIN  SUN VALLEY, IDAHO During the summer months Trail Creek Cabin is a popular place for horseback parties to take early morning breakfast.  It is also the scene of picnic parties, steak fries and barbecues.  In winter it is a favorite goal of bobsled parties for late supper, followed by dancing.

The handwritten note on this vintage postcard reads:  July 1, 1952 Tuesday  This is a very exciting place.  There are things to do every minute.  This afternoon we went for a swim in a beautiful pool, also went bike riding.  Tonight there is dancing and ice skating.  Tomorrow morning we’re going horse back riding.  Love, Reeva

sun valley idaho dog sled vintage photo jigsaw puzzle tuckExciting thrift store find – vintage jigsaw puzzle with exquisite Sun Valley dogsled scene.

sunvalley-label-vintageVintage hotel luggage label:  Sun Valley, Idaho America’s Foremost Year ‘Round Sports Center

I have lost my favorite East Coast ski buddies for a couple weeks to their vacation in Sun Valley, Idaho.  So this post is a kind of reverse postcard to them.  Greetings from home – hope you are having fun, sun and lots of bottomless turns!

Built by the Union Pacific Railroad and home to the world’s first chairlift (1936) – the role of this resort to ski development and heritage in the U.S. and abroad is beyond compare.  I am not going to tackle any Sun Valley history or anecdotes at this time – so please let these vintage images tell some of the story.

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