Home is where your skis are ...
“A Hausberg, or ski commons, is a place to re-affirm the roots of the sport, born not of commerce, but of athletic and aesthetic idealism, something that’s done not for money but for love, for the physical ideal it represents, pure and simple.”
By Bob Berwyn
* some interesting comments on this essay at a Telemarktips discussion thread.
In German-speaking Alpine regions of Europe, many towns have a place name for their local ski hill; it’s called Der Hausberg, translated literally as the House Hill, or home mountain. These proper names probably evolved from a generic term simply describing the mountain closest to town.
Often, these slopes aren’t the biggest bump on the local horizon. The main criteria is easy access from the heart of the village, within walking distance of homes, schools and shops.
A few mountain towns in the American West are also favored with in-town ski areas that could fall under a similar definition. Howelson Hill in Steamboat Springs comes to mind, as does Snow King Mountain, in the heart of Jackson Hole, and even Aspen Mountain.
But cultural and economic development patterns in the American West, along with a more expansive mountain topography, led to a municipal grid that’s markedly different from the cozy villages nestled in narrow Alpine defiles. Instead of dense residential clusters around a central market square or church, our exurban Western towns are more often spread lengthwise along a highway, for ease of commerce, or sprawled expansively across broad mountain valleys, where you can live the ranchette dream. Indeed, many Old World immigrants came here for those wide-open spaces. I know I did. (more…)
Filed under: Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Dave McCoy, Ernie Blake, Hausberg, Mammoth Mountain, roots of skiing, skiing and riding, skiing community, Summit County News, Summit County skiing, Taos Ski Valley | 3 Comments »