Photo by Salt Water New England

Monday, December 2, 2019

Vermont Skiing, 1970s

Photos by My Father




















25 comments:

  1. Going up to Mad River Glen on Spring Break with my college roommates. Great memories.

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  2. Just going by the boots, these photos have to be very early 1970s, if not late 60s. By the mid 70s, they were all plastic. Bindings are early, too, I think.

    Loved skiing Mad River Glen. I went to college in Vermont. Back then, we could buy a mid-week season ticket for about $50.00. Most of the ski areas had this offer: Mad River, Smuggler's Notch/Madonna, Sugarbush all had them. We tried hard to arrange our classes to all be on Tuesday and Thursday (I was able to do it one year). That way, we could ski Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Oh how I long for the simple life!

    Aiken

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    1. You are right on the money. These are shots from the ‘60’s. By the early ‘70’s lace up boots and cable bindings were history.
      We also skied Mad River, in the early ‘70’s, as students. Though we paid $115 for a season pass. The difference in price allowed us to ski on the weekend and - gave us a locker at the basebox. There, we stored our boots, skis, and poles.
      We shuttled back and forth from campus carrying nothing but one dollar ($1) in our pocket. This was the budget used to contribute to the gas fund and buy a couple of cans of Genny Cream Ale for the ride home. They were 25 cents each at the general store in So. Starksboro.
      Much has changed. But Mad River the mountain, trails and lifts, of course, has not. Can you think of another ski area where you look up at the mountain, from the base, and can’t see any trails? It was designed thusly, “so only those who ski the mountain, know the mountain.”
      Sample other ski areas, why not?
      But when you return to Mad River, a ride on the Single Chair, above the Chute, Camel’s Hump in the distance, is like coming home.

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    2. I thought the photos were a little before before I started skiing. My first pair of plastic boots were made by Koflach. They were stiff as boards.

      At Mad River, when the conditions were brutally cold, which was often, frostbite was a serious concern. The ski area had people stationed at the top of the lift checking your face for frostbite. My favorite trails were the Fall Line and Upper Glade. I loved skiing through the trees. Madonna and especially Mt Mansfield had great glades, too.

      I think the name of the bar we would go to in downtown Burlington was the Airliner. Five beers for a dollar during happy hour. Always Genesee Cream Ale or Old Milwaukee, as they met our single criterion: what is the rock bottom, cheapest beer we could buy? That's when a dollar was a dollar and a phone call was a dime.

      Aiken

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    3. In 1968, the cool things to have were Head skis with your name and town engraved on them, and buckle boots. By 1970, you would have been ashamed to still have lace-ups. I remember, because I was in sixth grade, and we discussed this endlessly. Love this photo, though. I’m guessing it’s from 1965-66.

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    4. In 1968, the cool things to have were Head skis with your name and town engraved on them, and buckle boots. By 1970, you would have been ashamed to still have lace-ups. I remember, because I was in sixth grade, and we discussed this endlessly. Appreciate these photos so much, though. Priceless. I’m guessing they’re from 1965-66? I had forgotten about stretch pants... I had a new black pair on my very first day of skiing in 1966.

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    5. Ha! You were robbed! My college bookstore sold Genny Cream Ale for $0.99 a six pack. Geneseein' is believin'!

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    6. That was a bargain, and your college bookstore, too! Ours didn’t sell beer. We did have what we called the “beer warehouse” where we were able to buy beer cheap. I had never seen anything like it. I was used to little package stores that had a small beer section. The warehouse was huge. It was like going into Home Depot, but everything is beer. I had never seen anything like it. This was in ’73 or ’74.

      With the clear motivation of cheap beer, we were pretty enterprising. At the warehouse, we could buy a keg of Old Milwaukee (definitely a couple of steps below Genny) for about $30, maybe $35.00, I think. We brought it back to our house (frats were banned, which is another story, but it was similar) and had a party charging people a dollar for all the beer you could drink. We even built a bar. We were able to get costs way down. With the money we saved in beer, we could ski more. It all made sense.
      Aiken

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    7. I knew an enthusiastic cross-country skier (a fellow Land-Rover owner) in college in the late 60s but no others. However, a man who had been a teacher in a one-room school (this was West Virginia) told me to get all my classes in the morning. That way I'd have my afternoons free, although he probably wasn't thinking of my going skiing.

      Worst advice I've ever had!

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  3. Skiing is better now: shorter,faster lift lines, less people, better, safer equipment. Back then, lift lines were long waits (see the 13th picture). The combination now of less people skiing and high speed lifts means old guys like me can ski ourselves to exhaustion in 3 hours.

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    1. You must have found a "secret" spot; it seems after Vail and Aspen have bought up so many ski areas and issued their Ikon and Epic passes, trails are more crowded with people on too wide skis hacking downhill with little control, and lift lines are long... granted lifts are more efficient but those 30-45 minute lines in Vail for example past years were not impressive...

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  4. Oddly, I woke this morning (5am) from a vivid skiing dream. Cross-country, but still. So far, not enough to strap 'em on our feet here in mid-Michigan.

    Best Regards,

    Heinz-Ulrich

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  5. Superb! Thank you so very much for the photos.

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  6. Ah, yes. Head metal skis, Raichle lace-up boots, Dovre cable bindings, and leather ski mittens. All long, long gone except for the mittens, which I've kept in usable shape (for snowblowing) for 50+ years by not abusing them and with generous applications of Limmer boot grease.

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  7. Good old days... teaching at Mt Snow, Sugarbush and Mammoth... skis were long, boots generally ill fitting, nobody used a "brain bucket", hamburgers in cafeterias were gray and awful, none or little snowmaking... But skiers were generally 'civil' and behaving, something that seems to have gone downhill (pardon the pun) these days...

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  8. The Keg and Kettle ; No minors allowed . What minimum age is that there ?

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    1. At the time of these photos, it was 20 in Vermont. When I was there in the mid-seventies, it was 18. It went to 21 in the mid-eighties due to the National Minimum Drinking Age Act passed in that decade. That is where it is now.

      Aiken

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    2. Many thanks for that information . Interesting that it's so high compared to voting/marriage/conscription ages in the USA

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    3. By the mid-eighties, I was over 21 and I didn't really pay much attention, so this could be only part of the story. I think that accidents and fatalities involving alcohol and 18 - 20 year olds (male, mostly) rose dramatically in the prior decade after many states lowered the drinking age to 18. I also remember Mothers Against Drunk Driving was an influential factor, as well.

      Aiken

      Aiken

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    4. Part of the issue was bordering states with differing legal ages had "blood borders" - like NY and CT.

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    5. I went to a school that had, at the time, something of a drinking reputation. But stronger beer like Rolling Rock had to be brought in from over the state line just a few miles away.

      I believe that in Germany, the drinking age is lower but the age to get a driver's license is higher than in the U.S.

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  9. Yes, engraved black Head skis with yellow bottoms. Nordica(?) buckled boots. I also remember a heated pool at Mt. Snow. Is that the one in the photo? It wasn't long after those days that I gave up skiing. Too expensive.

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  10. Also Marker bindings and gold Scott ski poles. Bogner clothes.

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  11. What an absolutely glorious series.

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