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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Skiing in New England

This shot taken is from the ski lift chair at Ski Butternut in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. There are nearly 70 ski resorts in New England, some larger operations with more challenging conditions, and a share of smaller ski areas that are less challenging to the advanced skier, but just fine if you rarely ski.

Ski areas in New England, particularly southern New England, were hit hard in the years of warmer temperatures and less snowfall, and some, like Mt. Tom in Holyoke, Mass., went out of business. These were neighborhood ski areas. Not the grand resorts with challenging slopes one might find in the western states, but the kind where from the top of the hill you can see the grammar school you attended.

New Hampshire leads among the New England states with the most ski resorts, followed by Vermont of course, and then Maine. But you can find skiing in all six New England states, as even Rhode Island, where the highest elevation in the state is only 812 feet, has one ski area.

For more on the early days of skiing as an American popular pastime, have a look at “Skiing in Massachusetts” by Cal Conniff and E. John B. Allen. It can be obtained from the publisher’s website.

Been skiing in New England? Let us know.


PB said...

hi! i came here via your movie blog. you know, it's funny, i grew up in MA and never once went skiing. i always wanted but i think i'm just too afraid i'll go zipping down the slopes a la bridget jones.

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Hi, PB, thanks for stopping by and crossing over from Another Old Movie Blog. It's not too late to try skiing. Most of these ski areas have one trial beginner lesson you can take, and they start you on gentle inclines before they even take you on the beginner hill. But always take a lesson from a pro, never have a friend teach you. You're less apt to try to be too brave, and they won't let you besides.

Usually the worst thing that can happen is when some 5-year old shoots past you like Jean Claude Killy and makes you feel foolish. I'm only a beginner myself. Lots of small children have skied past me like champions. And octegenarians. Come to think of it, it is a pretty humiliating experience.

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