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Vintage Backcountry Skiing

Vintage Backcountry Skiing


AMC members long enjoyed skiing and our
archives are home to a number of home videos.
Here we are at AMC’s Pinkham Notch Camp on a busy day,
circa 1950. Here we see a couple skiers crossing the
bridge at the Cutler River on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, headed up
to ski in the Ravine. On to the Tucks ranger station formally known as Howard Johnsons.
And here you see Huntington Ravine with a wind blowing up
off the crest, although otherwise a beautiful day.
And here some ant-like skiers heading down the lower head wall. Up in Tuckerman Ravine itself you have some slalom races going on, probably hosted by the U.S. Eastern Amateur Ski Association.
And ski lifts were readily available at this time, yet
people still kept coming back to Tuckermans because it was so far out, so rugged, and such a huge challenge The Ravine itself was a challenge; the
other test was skiing back down the trail to Pinkham NotchCamp.
These folks seem to be handling it pretty well. Solid stem Christie turns and snowplow. Heading south a New Hampshire we come to Alexandria, the home of AMC’s Cardigan Lodge.
The lodge and area around it was scouted in 1929, specifically
for skiing. We purchased the old farmstead in the
’30s, improved the lodge, and the little house that’s right next to it, that you can see in the background of some of these shots. And it became an instant ski Mecca. Cardigan was a place for all kinds of
parties, square dances ski races of all kinds, including in costume. All kinds of ski trials and trainings,
junior weekends— just a place to come during the winter
and really have a good time. Cardigan’s a great place to learn to ski. It has gentle slopes and they would have
weekends that would cater just to that sort of thing.
If you were just a beginner it was a terrific place to try out this new
sport.

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