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Essay: Memory lane is littered with splintered boards

Old school! PHOTO COURTESY THE CREATIVE COMMONS.

Every pair of skis has a story …

By Bob Berwyn

Thinking back over more than 40 seasons of downhill sliding, I sometimes wonder what ever happened to all the different skis I used over the years. After all, nearly every pair has a story. I know that some of them were handed down to my brother, two-and-a-half years younger, who has had a complex ever since. Others ended up in sacrificial bonfires.

But what about that set of red wood boards I used when we skied the Taunus Mountains, just outside Frankfurt, back in the 1960s? I was about six or seven, and our skis had front-throw cable bindings. They came in handy, since the lift was about a mile from the parking lot. To ski along the forest road to the base, we freed the cable from the rear guides, creating a touring setup. I don’t remember the make or model, but I know that the metal edges were screwed into the bottom. On warm spring days, I hand-rubbed soft silver wax into the grainy base, smoothing the finish with my gloves. Those skis contributed to an early sense of independence on the mountain, as my parents encouraged me to hike up past the top of the lift to explore the forests and meadows beyond. Continue reading

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Colorado’s ‘Lost Resorts’

Colorado Ski Country USA is releasing an updated version of a 'Lost Resorts' poster.

Updated poster helps keep memory of historic ski areas alive

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado’s ski resorts are an integral part of the state’s modern history, helping to shape the culture and economy of mountain towns. And while we all take our favorite ski area for granted, an updated version of the Lost Resorts poster, created by Colorado Ski Country USA, helps commemorate some of the areas that have come and gone over the years.

The latest edition of the poster accounts for 169 Colorado ski areas, including about 140 areas that were once in operation but have now ceased to exist, showing their location on a state map and giving a brief description of the their history. In addition to lost resorts, the poster shows the location of resorts currently in business as well as town areas still operating. Click here for more information. Continue reading

Norwegian ski pioneers honored in Breckenridge

Trygve Berge, Sigurd Rockne and Olav Pedersen helped Breckenridge grow from a semi-abandoned mining camp into one of the world's leading ski resorts.

Trygve Berge, Sigurd Rockne and Olav Pedersen to be recognized for their contributions to Breckenridge ski area with a park dedication

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado’s rich skiing heritage predates the advent of our lift-served resorts by several decades, back to the late 1800s, when miners of Scandinavian origin brought “snowshoes” from their native Norway and Sweden to the Colorado mountains. During the long winters, they raced down powder-covered slopes and held ski jumping contests, never dreaming that their passion would help fuel a multi-million dollar industry that’s a big part of Colorado’s modern economy.

This weekend, the town of Breckenridge will honor the contributions of three ski pioneers from Norway: Tryve Berge and Sigurd Rockne, who helped convince a lumber company executive to build a ski area on Peak 8, and Olav Pederson, an early ski instructor at Breckenridge who went on to create the Ski for Light program that brings cross-country skiing to the visually impaired.
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Vail to rename trail for Lindsey Vonn

Lindsey Vonn will have a trail named in her honor at Vail Mountain. PHOTO COURTESY U.S. SKI TEAM.

Trail names often offer a glimpse of skiing heritage and history

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Lindsey Vonn’s gold medal downhill run at the Vancouver Olympics will be memorialized with a trail name at Vail Mountain, according to a press release from Vail Resorts.

The expert “International” trail on Vail Mountain will be renamed Lindsey’s.  A new trail sign will greet skiers and snowboarders today.The trail was used for women’s speed events during the World Alpine Ski Championships at Vail and Beaver Creek in 1989 and 1999.

Read more about historic ski trail names after the break. Continue reading

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