The Epic History of Stowe Mountain Resort

SKI CAPITAL OF THE EAST STARTED IN A ROUGH OLD LUMBER CAMP

by Brian Lindner

Of the more than 100 trails, two famous ski trails at Stowe are named after visionary men who, more than eight decades ago, saw Mount Mansfield as the ideal location to promote an entirely new industry in Vermont. Another trail is named after the man credited with eventually making Stowe "The Ski Capital of the East" and a fourth is named for the man who helped finance major improvements.

Charlie Lord, in black sweater, with his CCC crew in the winter of 1933/34 while cutting The Bruce on Mount Mansfield. The Bruce was Vermont’s first purpose-cut ski trail. The man with a sandwich second from left in the back is Paul Barquin of Springfield who skied down The Bruce the day it was completed making him the first person to ski down a cut ski trail in Vermont.
(Photo: From the collection of Brian Lindner)

Stowe Mountain Resort had its earliest beginnings in a rough old lumber camp in Ranch Valley to the west of today's Vermont 108 — several miles from today's main resort. The only ski trails remaining near the former site of Ranch Camp are those from the resort's Cross Country Center. All downhill skiing long ago migrated further up the road to where the resort sits today at the south entrance to Smugglers Notch.

Nobody knows exactly when the first skis glided across the winter snow in Stowe but it was almost certainly in the mid to late 1800s. Stowe was a farming and logging community after the Civil War and loggers sometimes traveled through the winter woods on long boards with upturned tips.

Brian Lindner is a member of the Mount Mansfield Ski Patrol and historian for Stowe Mountain Resort.

Read the complete history, including many more old photographs, at the Burlington Free Press

2012 Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol Annual Refresher

My 10th Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol Season has Begun

This past weekend, November 3rd and 4th, marked my 10th annual Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol refresher! Because our principal responsibilities are for the safety of our guests, it is always a weekend of medical lectures, practicals, and lift-evacuation exercises. We are a skiing and riding organization of EMTs, Paramedics, Nurses, and Physicians.

On January 16, 1934 the Mt. Mansfield Ski Club (MMSC) was legally incorporated with a charter that stated the club was to promote 'good health' and all other facilities for winter recreation in Stowe, Vermont. Thus was laid the beginnings of the Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol (MMSP), which remains as the oldest ski patrol in the United States.

The MMSP led to the creation of ski patrols across the country, which led to the creation of the National Ski Patrol. During World War Two, the National Ski Patrol was the driving force behind the formation of the famous 10th Mountain Division - the only ski troops fielded by America. You can read more about MMSP at Stowe Mountain Resort here.

Here's the only photo I took of our traditional lift evacuation exercise. The cold and snow overnight continued on Saturday, forcing Smugglers' Notch, which became impassable, to be closed before the end of the day.

2012 Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol Refresher - Lift Evacuation Exercise - November 3, 2012

March 28, 2012: Season #9: My Last Ski Patrol Day

Chuck Talks in the Over Easy at Stowe Mountain Resort

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdUd0TrgKUI

 

Chuck Talks on Easy Street Line Check at Stowe Mountain Resort

http://youtu.be/MA0ZEugOn1o

Beach Weather at Stowe Mountain Resort

This is me on Wednesday, March 21, 2011. It was in the high 70s to low 80s all day. I'd received an eMail from my son Jeff, who lives in Colorado, telling me that his ski season and ended and he was now focusing on mountain biking. He even included a photo. So, I asked my friend, T. Lane, to snap a photo of me, with my iPhone, outside our patrol station, which I sent right back to Colorado. Just about every patroller skied all day in a T-shirt!

Charlie Aronovici at Stowe Mountain Resort 3-21-2012

Yes, there is a new Quad, but I bet you weren't expecting this

While there's been a lot of coverage about the replacement of the FourRunner Quad this summer at Stowe Mountain Resort, you might be surprised to to see our soon-to-open Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol station. It replaces the original one that had to be moved as part of the Quad extension up hill, which is now closer to the Stone Hut and access to Nosedive. Visitors are always welcome in Patrol stations resort-wide. Stop in and say hello! My 9th season as a Patroller begins November 5th and 6th with our annual Refresher. See you on the hill!

2011-10-24 The New Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol Station at the top of the Quad
2011-10-24 The New Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol Station at the top of the Quad

Thanks to Bill Schaaf, Patrol Director, for the photo

And this year’s winners are:

Our Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol annual end-of-season “Prom” was held this past Saturday evening. For the 3rd year in a row, Stowe Mountain Resort’s own Gary Gendimenico and his band, PB Jr. and The Blues Busters rocked us with their blues originals and covers!

  • Volunteer Patroller of the Year: Chris Nelson (class of 1992)
  • Rookie Patroller of the Year: Henry Bender
  • Patroller of the Year: Chris Bowles, Paramedic (class of 2005)

And, yours truly won the award for having responded to the most accidents (by a part-time patroller)!

And this year's winners are:

Our Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol annual end-of-season "Prom" was held this past Saturday evening (a special hello to Jen, a faithful Stowe Patrol reader, and John Davis, who were just leaving the Commodores Inn as I arrived.) For the 2nd year in a row, Stowe Mountain Resort's own Gary Gendimenico and his band, PB Jr. and The Blues Busters rocked us with their blues originals and covers!

  • Volunteer Patroller of the Year: Charlotte McCormack
  • Rookie Patroller of the Year: Carl Wrighton
  • Patroller of the Year: Jan Axtell

Male, Left Knee

On Monday morning, first trail check, first run, 4" to 7" powder on top of overnight machine tilled, it wasn't the satin I expected, and it felt just a tad rough. I felt 'something' underfoot and the next thing I knew, I was going down, and heard (or was that felt) "the pop." The dreaded ACL/MCL tear?      I got up and skied to the base, with some pain in each turn to the right (weight on my left, downhill ski.) I caught up with Craig, my hill captain, at the lift and told him I couldn't go back up. He had seen my fall, but to him it looked like I went into a right turn and sat down. I headed to our base station to start icing my knee, while Craig went back up to take a look at my tracks. They were untouched, since the lifts weren't yet open. Later, when he joined me at our patrol station, he reported that my tracks were clean, with no marks to indicate I'd had a "phantom foot" fall.

Now I was the patient, with Craig completing our "blue form," the NSAA (National Ski Area Association) injury report. Then calls to dispatch and the supervisors, and I was sent home with instructions to continue icing and take ibuprofen. Dispatch would check in with HR and initiate the Worker's Comp. process; and, a couple of hours later, Guy (former MMSP Assistant Director and now a Medical Assistant) at Mansfield Orthopaedics called me at home. He ordered x-rays and we made an appointment for me to see a PA on Friday afternoon. "Continue with ice and ibuprofen," he said, "and, try to walk straight line so you don't torque your knee and cause additional damage to your ligaments."

I just got back from Copley Hospital, where a series of digital x-rays were taken. The pain was at its worst on Monday evening/night. And, there's been no swelling. But, all along, my knee has felt weird, not necessarily unstable, but like it wants to be independent of the rest of me. There's a fraction of stiffness, and pain only if I make a sudden movement off center.

After my Mansfield Orthopedics appointment on Friday, I'll know for how long I'll be off skis. I was supposed to be at the Mountain today (and tomorrow.) I'm already missing it.

Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol turns 75 Today

Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol LogoOn January 16, 1934, the Mt. Mansfield Ski Club (MMSC) was legally incorporated with a charter that stated the club was to promote "good health" and all other facilities for winter recreation in Stowe. Thus was laid the beginnings of the Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol (MMSP), which remains as the oldest ski patrol in the United States. Read the complete history here. Read, "Stowe's Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol - Oldest in the Nation" by Brian Lindner.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hUHAXYwIIg

  • Filmed January 14, 2010
  • Opening scene: Will League (L) and Sebastian Groskin (R)
  • Tour: Mike Jolley
Will League and I were in the 2003-2004 Rookie Class together
Sebastian and Mike were in the 2007-2008 Rookie Class together

Read more about Stowe, the Mt Mansfield Ski Club, and the Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol in Peter Oliver's "Stowe: Classic New England."

New Year's Eve - 2009

Here it is, January 8th, and I've finally found some time to get back to posting. I've just finished my 4th week on Ski Patrol (3 days per week) and am in the middle of all the details behind selling a home after the P&S; has been signed, but prior to the expiration of contingencies (Attorney Review, Property Inspection, Radon, Water Potability, etc., etc.) I patrolled on New Years Eve, and two photos I took have been nagging at me, because I like them so much and have been looking forward to getting them posted. Ski Patrol is responsible for riding all the lifts and checking all the trails prior to each day's opening. And, at the end of the day, the Patrol "sweeps" all the trails. That is, we ski all trails, with a sometimes complex pattern of checkpoints, to ensure that no guests have been left behind.

New Year's Eve - Morning Trail Check - 8:17 a.m. at Stowe Mountain Resort

New Year's Eve - At the end of Sweep - 4:58 p.m. at Stowe Mountain Resort

New Year's Eve - At the end of Sweep - 4:58 p.m.

Merry Christmas

I was on Patrol yesterday, Christmas Eve. It was the most beautiful Christmas Eve at the Mountain, with incredible cloudless blue skies and unseasonably warm temperatures. We were so busy, though, that I didn't take my first photo of the day until the lifts closed at 4:00 p.m. and all was quiet, and peaceful. By then, the clouds had descended on the mountains and I saw the beauty in the stillness. This scene, with its colorful blaze seemed festive in an understated way.

Christmas Eve • Ski Patrol Sweep • 4:13 p.m.
Wishing You a Beautiful Holiday Season
and a New Year of Peace and Happiness.