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Echo news 305c.indd


                                                                   THE                            Special Election Edition

                                                                 The Voice of the Mad River Glen Community
March, 2005                                                      In the “Snow Corner of New England”

  Board Recommends
  Refurbished Single Chair
  Shareholders to Vote at Annual Meeting
    After more than a year of study,    uphill capacities. These options        the options considered
the Mad River Glen Co-op’s Board        were an aggressively refurbished            The shareholders have already
of Trustees has formulated its          single chair or a brand new double      received their ballots and the final
recommendation to the Co-op’s           chair. Based upon a detailed en-        vote will be taken at the Annual

                                                                                                                                                               Photo credit: John Williams
shareholders regarding the future       gineering study, feedback from          Meeting. If you agree with the
of the Single Chair. The sharehold-     shareholders and guidance from          Board’s recommendation, vote
ers will be asked to vote on this       the Co-op’s By Laws and the Stra-       YES. If you believe that the ‘Rebuilt
recommendation at the Annual            tegic Plan, the Board unanimously       Single’ is the wrong choice, vote
Shareholders Meeting to be held         recommends the ‘Rebuilt Single’         NO. In either case there is space
on Saturday April 2nd.                  option. The decision is now in the      on the ballot for shareholders to         The upper mountain is setting up
    Throughout the process the          hands of the shareholders. The          add a comment to the Ballot, in-          for some great spring skiing. Come
Trustees reviewed a wide variety        purpose of this special edition of      dicating any reservations or ideas        join us. The annual Shareholders
                                                                                                                          Meeting is Saturday April 2nd and
of possibilities and identified two      the Echo Newsletter is to give the      that you might have regarding the         remember that all Shareholders
final possibilities with identical       shareholders all of the facts about                      -continued page 4        ski free that day.

MRG Featured in Ski Magazine
     Mad River Glen was the subject                                             out just how good a skier you really           “...That’s what you expect at
of an article in the February issue                                             are...” (Page 74)                         Mad River. The unexpected. In
of Ski Magazine. The seven page                                                                                           January, after dropping my kid off
feature written by Nat Reade is                                                     ❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄                          at the ski school, I carved GS turns
entitled True Believers – Slow lifts.                                                                                     into the commodity that Mad River
Little Grooming, Less snowmaking,                                                    “...Secreted away in Fayston, Vt.,   supposedly doesn’t offer: the king’s
No boarders. Vermont’s defiant                                                   Mad River is the most surprising          corduroy. The next day I found
Mad River Glen breaks all the                                                   ski area in the East, defying almost      boot-top, windsift freshies in the
rules and still has the world’s most                                            every tenet of modern resort man-                         -continued page 13
loyal skiers. Go figure. Nat really                                              agement theory, yet also inspiring
nailed Mad River’s feel and sense of    Nothing better than a cold “Single      incredible loyalty. (Page 74)
                                                                                                                                                               Photo credits: Ski Magazine - February issue

community as he wove Mad River’s        Chair” in good old Gen. Stark’s Pub          “But for the most part, this
story with the experiences of his       after another epic day of skiing        system not only has succeeded,
3-year old son Henry, who was           at MRG.                                 it has helped the resort become
learning to ski for the first time. It                                           perhaps one of the most enlight-
really was a wonderful piece that             “...With its tiny parking lot     ened in the industry. Almost all
truly captured the essence of Mad       (about 500 spaces), 1950’s lodge        the things you’re not supposed to
River Glen. Be sure to check the        and low-speed, non-detachable           do, Mad River does. And - surprise
newsstand for a copy. Here are a        lifts...Mad River is often derided      - it works. Every winter morning
few snippets:                           by the ignorant (or the willfully       as cars jam the parking lot, Mad
                                        clueless) as a living museum of         River reminds that not all progress       Art Clifford & Joe Koch taking a
                                        skiing’s formative years. But, in       is forward...” (Page 75)                  respite after a hard spring day on
                                        fact, it’s the last best place to find                                             the slopes.
Letters to the Editor
Nature Calls                           “He’s only 12 years old for God’s
To the editor of the Mad River         sake”. They continued with jabs
Glen Echo,                             like, “Go ski at Sugarbush” – “Guess
    Today I read my January issue      you can’t read the sign.” Where am
of the “Echo”. I was amazed that       I? I thought. Not where I grew up,
the single chair options 2 & 3 were    I don’t … think.
even a consideration. I guess there          Linda and Mike O’Toole pointed
are those who consider change          out in their recent letter, is Mad
at Mad River inevitable and, the       River still a “family ski area?” Has
sooner the better. I for one, very     Mad River Glen Ski It If You Can”
much do not want to see the            given rise to a bunch of Nuevo
character of our mountain’s uphill     skiing egos with thumbs in their
transportation changed and have        suspenders bragging that they
base wheel houses that reflect the      “CAN” ski Mad River and that we
like of Vail and Breckenridge’s        need more sophisticated uphill
– (sort of the Disney World’s of       transportation with a suggestive
American skiing).                      funky old flare?                            Three amigos enjoying a sunny day on the Basebox deck.
    I sat and pondered how options           Being one who first skied our
2 & 3 even came to be considered.      mountain when I was eight years
Then I remembered a day 4 years        old (I’m 57 now) and who puffed up          commended is Pete DeFreest, whose       contrivance produced, at best, a
ago when I was in line with my         inside when I was finally allowed           mechanical wizardry and diligent        somewhat edgeable surface having
family for the single. It was a        to go up on the single alone; one          behind-the-scenes efforts keep           the consistency of, well, crushed
weekend and we were actually           who remembers when Pop made                our two Pisten Bullys, as well as       ice cubes, which was somewhat of
enjoying the 15 to 20 minute wait      some deal with Roland Palmedo              all our other vehicles, earth-mov-      an improvement, but not much. It
when my 12 year-old son leaned         for his six kids to ski one day if         ing equipment, and machinery,           was a far cry compared to today’s
over and said. “Dad, I need to go to   we side step packed the Fall Line;         in top, ready-to-go mechanical          sophisticated powdermakers.
the bathroom.” I told him to take      one who bolted to Mad River and            condition. An expert welder, Pete            The Tucker itself, driven by a
off his skis and to hurry up. I had     ski bummed at The Barn in 1970             has also fabricated a heavy-duty        flathead six cylinder Dodge engine,
not seen a poorly written sign on a    for Alice and Les Billings when he         hoist capable of lifting the heaviest   wasn’t powerful enough to tackle
ratty piece of cardboard that said     graduated from college: also as one        components from our groomers            anything very steep, so the expert
something like ‘No leaving and         who thoroughly enjoyed the John            and other machines, ensuring            trails, after a snowstorm, would be
returning to line’. When he came       Westfall show when he showed up            ready access to any parts in need       footpacked by trail crews and the
back to the line some “Mad River       with his fiberglass “Bud Phillips           of repairs or replacement.              patrol. The old Tucker, interestingly,
Glen Ski It If You Can” skiers (term   skis”, I want to share with each                What a far cry today’s grooming    is now owned by MRG skier and
used loosely) began making a huge      fellow shareholder, let’s do our           is compared to the primitive way        shareholder Peter Laskowski, who
scene about his re-entry. I mean a     best to leave our egos and plans           it was done years ago, when Jack        uses it in the winter to get to and
MAJOR scene! I, very much out of       to change Mad River on Route 17            Larrow would drive the noisy, old,      from his unique, off-the-grid house
character, was at a complete loss      before we get here. Lets leave our         gasoline-powered Tucker Snowcat         way up on Dana Hill Road.
for words. My wife said to them,       unique mountain and its character          with the four tracked pontoons all           Today’s sophisticated groom-
                                       as much the way it has been as we          night long, without any means of        ers, which produce that beautiful
                                       can. And, there can be no decent           communication in an emergency,          corduroy, can transform even
  The Echo                             reason to make our young skiers            towing a roller or a large studded      bulletproof surfaces into a very
    The Echo is the shareholder’s
                                       feel badly because nature calls            steel screen, or both, in an heroic     skiable cover. But knowing when to
  newsletter for the Mad River Glen
                                       when they are in line.                     effort to pack new snow or create        groom, what to groom, and to what
                                             John Hart                            a somewhat edgeable surface out         extent to groom without tearing
    All shareholders are encour-
                                             Stockbridge, MA                      of blue ice.                            up a trail, are skills acquired only
  aged to make submissions to The
                                                                                       An earlier version of a “pow-      through much experience. So, in
  Echo or to share your thoughts
  with fellow share-holders. We
                                       Kudos to Our Groomers                      dermaker” entered the picture           view of the thin cover we’ve had
                                           Thanks mainly to the skill and         a few years later. This simple          much of this winter, we all should
  will print as many letters to the
                                       persistence of our snow grooming           device consisted, essentially, of       take our hats off to our snowcat
  editor as we can. Material can be
                                       crew, Mad River has come through           two identical steel-meshed rollers,     drivers for creating some really fine
  submitted to:
                                       this whacky winter in surprisingly         about 2 ½ ft. in diameter, which        skiing on the groomed runs.
     Mad River Glen                    good shape. What could have been           were attached to each other at               Not only do we have the best
     PO Box 1089                       a disastrous season has been               their ends and towed in tandem.         mountain for skiing, we also, in
     Waitsfield, VT 05673               salvaged time and again by expert          But the axes of the rollers were        my opinion, have the best groom-
     Attn: Echo Newsletter             grooming by snowcat drivers Travis         slightly different, so that one or       ers, whose untiring, almost daily
     Email:                            Michaud and brothers Nate and              the other roller was always scuff-       efforts have kept Mad River Glen             Chuck Martin, all of whom have             ing and chewing on any surface          open throughout the thick and
                                       many years of grooming experi-             the rollers were passing over. The      thin of a crazy winter. Thank you
  Submissions for the next edition     ence under their belts and who             “powder” part was an intentional        groomers! We all appreciate your
  of The Echo must be received by      all put in many sleepless nights           misnomer -- when towed over             dedication and prowess.
  April 15.                            getting the job done. Also to be           ice or extreme hardpack the                  Bill Heinzerling
                                                                                                                               Fayston, VT
Information Regarding the               A Plea for the Single
Shareholder Directory,                  Dear Editor,
     It was my understanding that            As we all know the fate of our
we had the go ahead to do this          beloved single chair hangs in the
valuable Shareholder community          balance -- to tear it down, forever,
building project. That as long as       or rebuild it, is the million dollar,
participation was voluntary, we         plus, question.
did most of the work within the              Imagine what Mad River Glen
S.D.Task Group and did not trouble      would look like, or be, without Old
the office staff, especially for Direc-    Faithful, our jewel-in-the-crown,
tory maintenance, all was fine. An       our most significant signature,
info tear out was even included         embracing its throngs of skiers
in the May Echo. I received many        every winter, as it has for the past
entries, via both e-mail, and snail     57 winters, since 1948. Imagine a
mail, for both yellow and white page    beautiful mansion, with its once
type listings. (Thank you!)             magnificent interior, gutted. Imag-
     I am sad to announce, that after   ine taking a 1903 Silver Ghost Rolls
years of work to make this a reality,   Royce and scrapping it because it
at the final stage of formation, it      has a lot of miles on it, or tearing
is now stopped. The office did not        down the Brooklyn Bridge because
want to “bother” our web guru, and      a modern steel and concrete bridge
the Board will not give any directive   would be more practical.
on it, as it is “neither a Mountain          Now imagine a new single or
nor a Board project”. It is an inde-    double chairlift, with the jazzy,
pendent Shareholder project, and        Star Wars-looking bottom and
as such will have no support or         top stations, and the non-descript
help from either Mt or Coop. This       chairs and tubular towers, in place
is true of ANY independent Share-       of our Single. Imagine our icon, our
holder project, not just this one.      trademark, the thing which, more
The Shareholder Directory is            than anything else, epitomizes Mad
stopped, until the Task Group can       River Glen itself, gone for good,
find someone else who wishes to          never to be rebuilt, at Mad River
use their computer to run a totally     or anywhere else.                           Edie Corse, our “Queen of the Parking Lot” seems a little
separate web site (hopefully secure)         No, I can’t imagine it, not            exasperated about the old parking situation. Near record
to accommodate it. The idea of the      after riding on Old Faithful for            snowfall in February kept Edie hopping. Lets all hope she
Directory was to get to know each       52 years, now. And not after                enjoys some nice sunny days in the lot this Spring.
other, support our businesses, but      seeing and hearing how fervent
not to allow access to information      and adamant most of the Mad
for mailings etc.                       River community is, in favor of
     I still hope to see this project
happen as I believe it will be a
                                        rebuilding Old Faithful.
                                             Is this an impassioned plea to                      It’s your Co-op,
                                                                                               so be sure to vote!
valuable Shareholder community          rebuild the old girl? You bet it is!,
building tool. Community building       from someone who’s had more
is part of the Coop¹s Vision and        than a passing acquaintance with
Values Statement.                       her workings and operation.                                       Saturday, April 2
     Among the data I did get, there         With Mad River Glen -- the
were interesting contacts for every-    mountain, the Single, the Basebox,                             See page 10 for details
thing from hand built rowing sculls,    the trail system, the wonderful
telecommunications, sign makers,        brotherhood of loyal Mad River                   YES      NO                                        YES        NO
a preventative medicine professor,      skiers -- Roland Palmedo has cre-
a translator/interpreter, to dis-       ated and passed onto us a totally
count doorknobs, tools and more.        unique and lasting legacy. Are we
I am writing in hopes that another
Shareholder might pick up where
                                        going to cherish our mountain,
                                        and everything about it, as he                          Ski School
I leave off, and find someone
with computer space, who also
                                        did? Are we going to honor the
                                        skiing heritage which he passed                   Special for Shareholders
believes in this Directory. Contact     on to us when he created Mad
me at 802-496-4475, or e-mail           River Glen?                                   Shareholders who reserve a private lesson in advance can
                                                                                                                                       FREE.                       Please don’t let Old Faithful
     Thanks to those who volun-         pass into oblivion. Please vote                  bring a friend to your private lesson for
teered to help with this project, and   to rebuild!
                                                                                          Available any midweek (non-holiday) day during the season.
to all the Shareholders who sent             Bill Heinzerling
or emailed in their data wanting             Fayston, VT
to be part of the Directory.
     Wendy K. Bridgewater
     Fayston, VT
                                                                                3                             Coupon Required
Board Recommends                                                                   A Look at the Options
Refurbished Single Chair- continued
project. A simple majority of the     · The refurbished single option
shareholders voting is required         was quoted as a 50-year fix. It
to pass the authorization of this       would be every bit as reliable as
capital expense.                        either the new single or double
                                        chair options
     The question on the ballot       · The existing design of the single
asks;                                   chairs themselves would be used
     Shall the Board of Trustees        in either the refurbished or new
be authorized to make a capital         single options.
expenditure exceeding $300,000
for the purpose of rebuilding the
Single Chair to meet all regulatory   Features of a Refurbished
codes, facilitate maintenance, en-    Single Chair
sure reliability, and preserve the          The proposed refurbished
look and capacity of the current      single chair would have the current          Fig. 1
lift, at a cost not to exceed $1.4    lift capacity of 500 skier/hour and          With the proposed single chair restoration the existing single base
million?                              would look almost identical to the           station would remain as is. It would house the new vault drive. (see
                                      existing lift to the untrained eye. It       fig. 2 - Vault Drive drawing)
                                      would have all new components.
A Review of the Options               The only existing equipment that
Considered                            would be re-used would be the
* See the photos below to see the     wire rope and the lattice towers
difference between the drive sta-      and return station framework. The
tions of the various options          towers and framework would be
                                      removed, sandblasted, re-painted,
                                      and re-installed on their new bases.
Other Key Facts                       Other features of a refurbished
· Doing nothing is not a viable       single chair would include;
  option. In 2007 the single chair
  will need major upgrades to         · New Single Chairs – Identical
  meet new Vermont Tramway              design to existing chairs
  code requirements. This would       · New Sheave Assemblies –
  require a minimum of a $400,000       The wheels on the towers
  expenditure.                        · New Tower Bases
· All of the options considered       · New Safety System
                                                                                   Fig. 2
  would have electric drives with     · New Bull Wheel & Carriage                  This is a drawing of the new vault drive station that would be part of
  diesel back-up.                                                                  the single restoration. This vault drive would be inside the existing
                                                                                   housing (see fig. 1).

   Any shareholder that would like any further
clarification on the issues involved is encouraged to
contact Jamey Wimble, the mountain’s President. He
can be reached via email at Jamey@madriverglen.
com or by phone at (802) 496-3551 ext. 114.

                                                                                   Fig 3
                                                                                   This is a photo of the Single Chair on opening day in 1948. Notice
                                                                                   the similarity of the look of the drive to the drawing of the proposed
                                                                                   drive in Fig.2

                                                                                Terry’s Ski Tip
                                                                                    Are you skiing two-footed? You
                                                                                should be! Powder and soft snow
                                                                                separates the real skiers from
                                                                                the wannabes. Practice entering
                                                                                your turns with a 50/50 weight
                                                                                distribution. The deeper and more
                                                                                challenging the snow - the more you
                                                                                want to maintain this two footed
                                                                                move throughout the turn. Skiers
                                                                                who always put “all” their weight
                                                                                on the outside or “downhill” ski are   Terry Barbour, Mad River Glen’s
                                                                                limiting their control in a variety    Ski School Director
                                                                                of snow conditions. Ski two-footed
                                                                                for better balance, more power            To learn more ask Terry or
                                                                                and fewer crashes!                     anyone of our instructors.

Fig. 4
This is the existing return station. The refurbished single chair project
would involve sandblasting, re-painting, and re-using the existing
framework. It would look identical to the way it does currently.
                                                                                The Most Honest Snow Report
                                                                                Because it Comes From You
                                                                                    Mad River Glen has long laid       the forum, click on the day that
                                                                                claim to “The Most Honest Snow         you skied, read the report, click
                                                                                Report in the Business,” and now       on “Post Reply” and you’re all set!
                                                                                we’re offering the ultimate way to          Our major goal for the In-
                                                                                back it up. MRG has created an         teractive Snow Report is to give
                                                                                “Interactive Snow Report” (affec-       skiers a forum wherein they can
                                                                                tionately known as the ISR) which      comment on the accuracy of our
                                                                                allows skiers to respond to our        snow reports. Along those lines
                                                                                snow reports each day. Each day        we would not like the forum to
                                                                                when we have the final trail count      become an open discussion of
                                                                                and conditions from patrol, we’ll      Mad River Glen.
                                                                                post the snow report in the Inter-         Please note that we are still
                                                                                active Snow Report forum. Once         beta-testing the forum and it’s
                                                                                that’s up, everybody can head to       look, feel, and function. If you
                                                                                the forums and reply to the report     have any comments, suggestions
Fig. 5                                                                          with their reactions and opinions.     or problems with the ISR, please
This is an example of a modern carriage drive. This is what the bottom               Not only that, but it’s easy!     don’t hesitate to contact our chief
of the lift would look like if the shareholders decided on either the           There are no hoops to jump             snow reporter, Neal Berwick, at
new single or new double options.                                               through, you don’t have to login Click
                                                                                or register; you don’t even have       on Snow Conditions to access
                                                                                to tell us your name. Just head to     the ISR.

                                                                                         2 for 1 Pub Coupon
                                                                                         Buy 1 lunch entrée
                                                                                       in General Stark’s Pub
                                                                                     and get the 2nd for ½ price.

Fig. 6                                                                                 Valid any midweek (non-holiday) day during the season.
This is an example of a modern return station. This is what the summit
of the lift would look like if the shareholders decided on either the
new single or new double options.                                                       Coupon Required

The Future of the Single Chair- Frequently Asked Questions:
    Over the past few months, many good questions regarding the
Single Chair project have been sent to the Board. Many of them have
already been posted to the ListServe, but for your convenience, they
are compiled and included below:

Q: Why are we considering                favor it. The current options as-
a Double? Why doesn’t the                sume, therefore, the same uphill
Board just go ahead with a               capacity and the cable, towers,
                                         drive, return and other compo-
restored Single?                         nents are being selected for that
                                         degree of load. If we were to ‘keep
A: A fundamental commitment of
                                         the option open’ of increasing the
the Board is that the decision will
                                         capacity of the main lift (whether
be made by ‘fair process’. Although
                                         single or double), we would need
there is strong support for a re-
                                         to significantly overbuild the new
furbished Single, there are many
                                         lift and radically change the top
Shareholders who might prefer a
                                         station (blasting to flatten and
new Double. During the process,
                                         enlarge the unload area, etc) to
the details of each option will be
                                         anticipate a higher flow. The
presented to the Owners for a

                                                                                                                                                                Photo credit: Ski Magazine - February issue
                                         environmental and financial cost
decision. The Board’s working as-
                                         would be considerably higher.
sumption is that the Single should
                                              All three options under consid-
be refurbished and that any details
                                         eration would result in the same
that affect safety, reliability and
                                         uphill capacity. If the members of
long-term maintenance over the
                                         the Coop would like to increase
next 50 years should be upgraded
                                         the uphill capacity, then a Bylaw
to the highest quality of current
                                         change would need to be put in
technology. We are also planning
                                         place before we complete the
to conduct a detailed analysis of a
                                         current design process!                     James Donaldson, our Rental-Repair Shop Manager adds another Single
New Double and New Single (tube
                                                                                     Chair photo appearance to his portfolio. This image appeared in the
towers, modern top and bottom                                                        February issue of Ski Magazine. James has also appeared on the cover of
‘arch drive’, etc). Our focus has been                                               Boston Magazine posed on The Single 2 years ago.
the ‘Single Refurbishment’ option        Q: Wouldn’t a refurbished
because it is the most complex           Single be less reliable than a
                                                                                     consideration would have both a         does now when compared with
to research. Shareholders will be        new Double?                                 diesel and an electric drive with       the double).
given the opportunity to consider                                                    independent transmissions. Either
the details of each option and we        A: The ‘refurbishment option’
                                                                                     one would be capable of being the
will present our recommendation          is very aggressive 50-year plan
                                         regarding safety, reliability and
                                                                                     primary drive. We should be able        Q: Another option discussed
for the approval of the ownership                                                    to provide many details during
before implementation begins. We         long-term maintenance. We are                                                       was doing the Refurbished
                                                                                     the Town Meeting. There may be          Single with a new (more
have encouraged all Shareholders         planning to replace virtually every
                                                                                     some areas still unresolved, but        modern) top return station,
in favor of a new Double or a new        moving part with ‘Dopplemayr
                                                                                     most of the detailed have been
Single to share ideas with fellow        quality’ modern components.                                                         instead of using/keeping the
                                                                                     ironed out.
Shareholders or submit letters or        Our goal is to address all issues                                                   old framework and counter-
postings to the ECHO or ListServe.       of safety, reliability and long-term                                                weight.
We would like to ensure that all         maintenance in such a way that
                                         we will have nothing but routine            Q: The refurbished and the
views are well considered prior                                                                                              A: Replacing the lattice structure
to the decision.                         maintenance for the next 50 years.          new lift option descriptions            of the top return station with a
                                         For example, most of the tower              do not include any reference            modern return such as that on
                                         bases seem to be stable and test            to relative operating and               the Double has been considered
Q: Would a new Double give               well, but there is no way to evaluate       maintenance expenses over               and there are advantages such as
us higher uphill capacity?               possible corrosion effects on the            the 50 year projected life.             an easier exit from the chair and
                                         pins that connect the bases to the                                                  a reduction in staffing at the top.
A: Our Bylaws state that we should       underlying ledge. Our ‘50 year plan’        A: All options should have the          The major factor against such
not increase our uphill capacity.        would replace all bases. Although           same maintenance expenses,              an approach is that the aesthetic
A 2/3 majority of Shareholders           the Single would generally appear           since the refurbished single option     experience of arriving at the top of
would be required to override this       to be unchanged (other than fresh           includes a complete replacement         the Single would be dramatically
limitation. In several Board Meet-       paint), a keen eye would notice             of all mechanical components with       different. Overwhelming feedback
ings and Town Meetings, the idea of      that every functional component             new components. The operational         from the ownership, as well as the
increasing uphill capacity has been      (tower bases, return station bear-          expenses will be slightly higher        guidance from the Strategic plan,
shared, but the general response         ings, tower pulleys, drives, safety         for the traditional Single, since       supports preserving the traditional
of those present did not seem to         switches, etc) would be state of            the ‘side exit’ top station will        structure. Also, a modern return
                                         the art. The current design under           require an additional ‘liftie’ (as it   station would require an increase
in the height of the lift, additional   Q: The estimates for a double              Q: Why are we switching to             mode. Generally, was the grid to
load to the towers, and an increased    include a big jump in cost                 electric as the primary drive?         go down, the crew would run the
risk of wind shutdowns. Regarding       from 500 skiers per hour to                Can Green Mountain Power               Single until it was emptied.
maintenance and reliability issues
with the traditional design, a keen
                                        1000 per hour. Is there some               handle the additional power
eye would notice that all mechanical
                                        middle ground that will allow              demand?                                Q: I believe the decision
details such as footings, bearings,     for changes in capacity? For                                                      should be based mostly on
bullwheel and safety features would     the double option, what’s the              A: Electric is more economical and
                                                                                                                          the finances. After all, the
be of modern design.                    cost of having a heavier cable,            reliable. We have been working
                                                                                   with Green Mountain Power for          chairlift is just a means of
                                        capable of more capacity,                                                         transportation to do what
                                        even if for the foreseeable                the last five years on the increased
                                                                                   load requirements and it will be       many of us love most - to ski
Q: I know the process is in its         future it is used at lower ca-             no problem.                            down Stark Mtn. These days,
final stages, but I wonder if            pacity, but provides for future                                                   even building a new double
the option was ever consid-             expansion?                                                                        would be unique and in the
ered of purchasing a used                                                          Q: I must say that several             spirit of the past.
double from another area                A: A higher capacity lift would
                                                                                   times in the last 10 years I
and turning it into a single,           require higher capacity compo-
                                        nents. Towers, drives, and all
                                                                                   recall GMP being down and              A: We agree that the finances are
either by recycling the existing                                                   the single running (which is           very important here. The Double
single chairs, or by replacing          other structural components
                                        would be different. A higher uphill         great as I’d rather be on the          would be 20% less. Either way,
the double chairs with new                                                         mountain than in the lodge),           the price is still above $1 million
                                        capacity would also require a bit
single chairs?                          of ‘landscaping’ at the summit to          so I am not sure about the             and the fund raising effort is still
                                        accommodate the increased skier            reliability assertion.                 a big task. The feedback we have
A: Our goal is to select an option                                                                                        received indicates that there is
                                        traffic. So, if we are to increase our
that would result in high reliability                                                                                     strong support for the aesthetic
                                        capacity, we need to determine             A: We’ll also have a complete Diesel
and low maintenance cost. A used                                                                                          and historical aspects of the Single
                                        that before we begin. The Coop-            backup including an independent
lift would require major refurbish-                                                                                       and the fund raising may well be
                                        erative Bylaws state that we will          transmission, so we could run on
ment. The details of our installation                                                                                     more successful for the Single even
                                        not increase uphill capacity. Open         Diesel only. The other issue with
(tower heights, line profile, etc.)                                                                                        with the higher price tag. In both
                                        discussions in Town Meetings,              grid failure is that so much of
would probably require that a                                                                                             cases, the uphill capacity, safety,
                                        Board meetings, ListServe and              the facility depends on electricity
used lift be modified to the point                                                                                         reliability and long-term mainte-
                                        other forums indicated that there          that we would be in ‘limp home’
where such an approach would                                                                                              nance would be the same.
                                        was little support for increasing
be as expensive as any other. It is
                                        uphill capacity. A 2/3 majority of
unlikely that a used lift with such
                                        shareholders would be required
extensive modifications would
                                        for such a change.
meet our reliability, maintenance
of financial objectives.
                                        Q: Why are we buying
Q: Why was the initial esti-            new chairs?
mate of the double option so
                                        A: At a minimum we would have
much lower, and that of the             to rebuild the chair heads to adapt
single so much higher? When             to the new style grip. Most of the
the numbers jump around so              current chairs are over 50 years old
much I have to question their           and will provide safe service for a
reliability.                            while to come, but our refurbish-
                                        ment plan is to provide reliable
A: Before Jamey Wimble and Jan          service for the next 50 years.
Leonard, the consulting lift engi-      Over time, internal corrosion can
neer, began to examine the Single       weaken the joints and eventually
and detail out the specific costs        the current chairs would need to
of refurbishment, a conservative        be put out to pasture. We also be-
(high side) estimate was made.          lieve that the retired chairs might
As the details of that option were      be auctioned off to help fund the
revealed by careful analysis, the       project. The exact design of the
higher confidence estimates al-          old chairs will serve as the blue-
lowed the total cost estimate to        print for the new chairs with the
drop. The initial estimates were        exception of specific mechanical
cautious. The current estimates are     improvements such as the clamps
supported by detailed analysis.         and the latching.
                                                                                                                                         Photo credit: TJ Greenwood

The View from the Chair
A Message from Co-op Board Chair, Alan Moates
Fellow Shareholders;                                                            is not approved, then the Board,      fewer than we originally thought.
     The Single project has pro-                                                the Shareholders and Management       For the ‘new lift’ options, the
gressed rapidly. Jamey Wimble,                                                  will need to begin the process of     traditional base station, lattice
the mountain’s President, and Jan                                               defining an alternative plan.          towers and top station would be
Leonard, our consulting engineer,                                                    If the Ballot Question were      replaced with an ‘arch drive’, tube
have completed an exhaustive                                                    approved, the next step would be      towers and a modern top station
engineering analysis of the Single                                              to design the financial plan. The      like the one on the Double. The
and have prepared an excellent                                                  ‘Campaign for the Single’ would       new tube towers and line would
plan for a ‘50 year rebuild’. The                                               pursue many potential sources         have a different profile (required
proposed rebuild would preserve                                                 simultaneously. Our Single Reserve    by Tram regulations) and would be
the soul of the Single and provide                                              fund, our ongoing capital spend-      a bit more prone to wind closure.
us with the reliability, safety and                                             ing, Coop Bond issues, charitable     The new Double option would
low maintenance of a state-of-the-                                              contributions, proceeds from the      have widely spaced double chairs
art modern lift. They are ready                                                 sale of the old chairs and possible   and would be 20% less expensive
to go as soon as we, the Owners,                                                low-interest commercial loans are     than the Single options, since there
approve the plan and put the          Despite the rigors of being the           all being considered. We will also    would be half as many chairs of
                                      Board’s Chair Alan Moates gets to
financing in place.                    enjoy some ski (and deck) time at
                                                                                be looking at potential grants for    a less expensive design. When
     We are very fortunate that Jan   the mountain. Alan is finishing up         engineering projects of a Historic    comparing the traditional single
Leonard, CEO of Dopplemayr/CTEC,      his tenure on the Board. The entire       nature. The Board encourages          option to the new Single option,
the preeminent builder of modern      Mad River Glen community is               Shareholders with fundraising or      we realized that the current base
lifts, took a personal interest in    thankful for his years of dedicated       financial planning experience to       station, lattice towers and top
our project and was eager to sign     service to the mountain. Thanks           join the Campaign!                    station are reliably overbuilt and
on as our consulting engineer. At     Alan! Now maybe you can get a bit              You may wonder how the           will easily give us another 50 years
                                      more SKI time in.
the outset, we expected him to be                                               Ballot Question was formed. Last      of service. Thus, we could see no
biased in favor of an upgrade to a                                              summer, we began the project          reason to pursue the ‘new single
modern lift. In fact, after a care-   worked for a division of US Steel         by studying 3 options, a restored     option’, since there would be no
ful analysis, he enthusiastically     before starting my lift engineering       Single, a new Single and a new        perceivable advantage over the
endorsed our dream of rebuilding      profession, it now has a special          Double. We expected to present        traditional single option at the
the original Single. In December,     place within me also.” (US Steel is       these three options at the Annual     same price.
in the preface to his engineering     the parent of American Steel and          meeting for guidance from the              So, as the details of the deci-
evaluation report, Jan stated that    Wire, the builder of the Single).         Ownership.                            sion emerged, it came down to
he strongly believed that the             Over the next month, you will              As the project progressed, we    a choice between a Single Chair
Single “should be preserved as        have the opportunity to participate       discovered that the three options     with traditional lattice structures
close as possible to its original     in the most significant decision           began to converge. They would         and a Double Chair with modern
configuration, but bringing it up      since the founding of the Mad             all have the same uphill capacity,    tube structures. Based on feed-
to current codes, and at the same     River Glen Cooperative. If the plan       equivalent mechanical components,     back from Shareholders during
time modernizing it to reduce         receives the required simple ma-          the same reliability and the same     Town Meetings, Board Meetings,
maintenance and insure its reli-      jority approval, then we will begin       projected maintenance costs. It       ListServe discussions, direct
ability”. He concluded by saying      putting the financing in place and         became apparent that the differ-       communications to the Board and
“Since I was only one year old when   Jamey and Jan Leonard can begin           ences among a new single, a new       personal encounters at Mad River,
this lift was installed, and I also   scheduling the work. If the plan          double and a rebuilt single were      the ‘rebuilt Single’ option seems to
                                                                                                                      have significantly stronger support,
                                                                                                                      so the Board unanimously decided
                                                                                                                      to recommend the ‘Rebuilt Single’
                                                                                                                      option as developed by Jamey
                                                                                                                      and Jan.
                                                                                                                           We realize that there are 1600
                                                                                                                      individual owners and many differ-
                                                                                                                      ent views of exactly what should
                                                                                                                      be done about Lift # 1. We respect
                                                                                                                      those owners who would prefer a
                                                                                                                      new double as well as those own-
                                                                                                                      ers who might prefer to continue
                                                                                                                      to make ‘as needed’ repairs and
                                                                                                                      retain the current lift as is. Our
                                                                                                                      challenge, as your Board, has been
                                                                                                                      to propose a single plan that is the
                                                                                                                      most desirable for the Co-op.
                                                                                                                           Kind Regards

Telemark Festival Celebrates 30th Anniversary
    The North American Telemark                                                                                       opportunity to demo all the latest
Festival, celebrating its 30th anni-                                                                                  skis, boots, and other equipment.
versary this season, is the world’s                                                                                   There are various competitions
oldest and largest gathering of                                                                                       including the World Champion-
Telemark skiers. Historically as                                                                                      ship Berserkebeiner Race and the
many as 1,400 “freeheelers”                                                                                           World Championship Bump Buffet.
descend upon the slopes of Mad                                                                                        Saturday’s après-ski highlight is the
River Glen during the annual                                                                                          infamous Tele-Dance Party. The
weekend-long celebration.                                                                                             weekend’s grand finale is the an-
    “The Tele-fest is always one of                                                                                   nual world record group Telemark
our biggest weekends of the year,”                                                                                    turn attempt, where skiers make
says Mad River Glen President,                                                                                        a one big tele-turn arm in arm in
Jamey Wimble. “Mad River is the                                                                                       a celebration of tele-unity.
‘Mecca’ for Telemarkers in New
England and the festival really                                                                                           For more information about
helps bring this to the public’s                                                                                      the North American Telemark
attention.”                                                                                                           Festival contact Mad River Glen
    During the weekend Tele-                                                                                          at 496-3551, The North American
markers are treated to clinics                                                                                        Telemark Organization at 496-4387
                                       Could North American Telemark Festival founder Dickie Hall, be
ranging from beginner to radical       any happier? Congratulation to you and “Tele-Nation” on 30 years of            or visit NATO’s website at www.
terrain skills. All the major Tele-    Festivals. Mad River Glen is proud to have hosted the vast majority of
mark equipment manufacturers           these events and is looking forward to another 30 years of Tele-fests.
are on hand to give skiers the         Thanks Dickie and keep on turnin’.

MRG’s Stars Shine at nextXsnow Event
     Mad River Glen sent five          an 84, Peter Holtan an 83, Susan
representatives to the Sports          Campbell an 82, Rebecca Packer
Illustrated for Kids nextXsnow         scored a 76 and John McGlenn a
Search held from February 4th          71. Cole Derrick made the first
to the 6th at Keystone, Colorado.      round to compete with 65 other
They were part of an elite field of     skiers and snowboarders on Day
155 competitors from around the        2. He had a strong run down the
country who earned the right to        Big Mountain bump run and the
represent their areas. The 2004        race course. By Day 2 he’d gained
Mad River Glen nextXsnow Team          confidence and had his strongest
included Cole Derrick, Peter Holtan,   run down the Superpipe.
Susan Campbell, Rebecca Packer              The 3 day competition was
and John McGlenn. They were            action packed with events every
chosen based on their results in       evening. MRG highlights in the
the Mad River Glen Junior Mogul        Superpipe and Slopestyle competi-
Challenge and on their response        tions were Rebecca Packer going
to an essay question.                  for it in the pipe but coming up a
     All the competitors took part     bit bloodied on the chin, and Susan
in the first day of competition and     Campbell pumping it up reaching           Peter Holtan, Rebecca Packer, Susan Campbell and Cole Derrick
                                                                                 represented Mad River Glen in this years nextXsnow Compewtition
with those results the judges nomi-    the lip of the pipe and doing a 180
                                                                                 in Keystone Colorado.
nated 50 finalists to compete in        to awe the crowd. Other highlights
the final. One Mad River Glen skier,    of the weekend included: Extreme          tried and loved snow biking. Peter   ship. It’s not just a competition
Cole Derrick (age 9) qualified for      Bingo, the Big Air competition on         Holtan rode in a snow cat for some   - style, attitude, and personality
the finals and two additional days      Saturday evening, a laser light           bowl skiing. John McGlenn hiked      are also factors. There is only
of competitions. Not surprisingly,     show, rock concert, torch light           for some great tree skiing The       one class, everyone competed
the Mad River Glen competitors         parade, fish tacos and the awards          kids made good friends and did       together. Boys and girls, skiers
rocked in the Bumps segment on         ceremony. Johnny Mosely was on            an outstanding job of distributing   and snowboarders and adaptive
Day 1. After a practice run, the       hand to sign autographs. The days         Mad River Glen bumper stickers       athletes are all represented. NBC
Mad River kids negotiated the          were packed with skiing, bungee           all over Colorado.                   Sports will televise the finals of
snowboarder shaped bumps with          trampoline jumping, swimming                   The nextXsnow SEARCH is the     the “Sports Illustrated for Kids
ease. The high score in the competi-   & hot tubbing outside après ski.          first all-mountain, all equipment,    Next Snow SEARCH” on Saturday
tion was 90, Cole Derrick scored       Susan Campbell and Rebecca Packer         all kid’s snowsports champion-       March 12th.

                                    Co-op Board Election
                                               In-State Candidates
                                                   (Vote for 2)

Steve Mackenzie                     Rick Moulton                  Colin Rehkugler             Ron Shems

          Out-of-State Candidates                               The Co-op Board of Trustee election will be held
                  (Vote for 1)
                                                             at the Annual Meeting on Saturday, April 2.
                                                             You should have already received the announce-
                                                             ment of the Annual Meeting along with candidate
                                                             biographies and a ballot. These are also available
                                                             on the “shareholder-only” portion of the website
                                                             along with a transcript of the Candidate Forum
                                                             that was held in February. It’s your Co-op, so be
  George Hall                    Mark LaMont                 sure to vote!

  Vote of Owners to Authorize Capital Expenditure To Rebuild Single Chair

       Bylaw Article II, Section 2.5 requires a vote of owners to authorize capital expenditures
       exceeding $300,000.00.

       Shall the Board of Trustees be authorized to make a capital expenditure ex-
       ceeding $300,000.00 for the purpose of rebuilding the Single Chair to meet all
       regulatory codes, facilitate maintenance, ensure reliability, and preserve the
       look and capacity of the current lift, at a cost not to exceed $1.4 million?

   YES            NO                YES        NO                  YES         NO            YES          NO

Share Sales Update: We Need You!                                                    Important Shareholder Information
  Shares Sold in FY ’05 to Date:                                   35               Advanced Purchase for                Do I Need a
  Share Sales Budgeted for FY ‘05:                                 40               2004-2005Season                      Shareholder ID?
  Shares Tendered in FY ’05:                                        8                    Your Advance Purchase               If you are a shareholder who
                                                                                    Requirement (APR) for the            does not opt for a season pass
  Shares Converted to Pres. Cert’s:                                10               2004/2005 season was due on          you should come into the office
  Net Gain in Shares/ P.C.’s:                                      27               September 30, 2004. If you have      and have your photo taken for a
  Total Shares Sold to Date:                                     2008               not paid your APR a $25 late         Shareholder ID. This will enable
                                                                                    charge has been assessed to          you to receive your discount at
     The Co-op has become stable       lion in capital and paid off the              your account. In order to vote       the Alpine Options retail shop
and overcome many of its initial       mortgage. Those are tremendous               in this April’s election, you must   and identify you as a shareholder
obstacles, but new share sales are     accomplishments, but the work                have purchased a share before        in good standing when making
still vital to the Co-op’s future.     is far from over. By 2010, the 20            February 2, 2005 and you must        purchases.
This year we budgeted for 40 new       year capital plan calls for another          be current in your APR and share
shares to be sold with a net gain of   $1.5 million to be spent on capital          payments.                            Have a Question or
20, accounting for attrition among     projects including the likely refur-                                              Concern?
our shareholder base.                  bishing of the Single and a new              What’s the Story With                    You are encouraged to be-
     We work hard to minimize          Patrol/Ski School building.                  Mad Money?                           come involved with the Co-op
the number of shares tendered               Share sales are critical as we               Our Co-op structure requires    and your input is important to
by appealing to the shareholders       move forward grappling with the              us to track the spending of our      us. However, we ask that you
affinity to Mad River Glen, encour-      future of the single chair. The              shareholders. That is why we         do not confront Mad River Glen
aging them to transfer their shares    shareholders are our best resource           have Mad Money. Mad Money            employees directly with your
or to convert to a Preservation        and we need your help to meet our            should be purchased for any          comments or complaints. Please
Certificate. Realistically we must      share sales goals. If even half of           transaction shareholders make        use the following liaisons to field
expect to have shares tendered         our shareholders could help sell             on the mountain. If you do not       your questions, comments and
each year due to deaths, finances,      ONE share each, we could easily              purchase Mad Money for your          concerns:
relocation or a number of other        secure the mountain’s financial               on-mountain purchases, we
reasons. To date we are seeing great   future. It’s that simple! If you know        can not accurately track your         Eric Friedman
progress in this effort as have only    someone who may be interested                spending. This will affect any         Marketing Director
tendered 8 shares while 10 have        in purchasing share please send              potential patronage rebates 
been converted to Preservation         contact information to Eric Fried-           authorized by the board in            (802) 496-3551, ext. 111
Certificates.                           man in the Co-op office (802)                good seasons. It is also valuable
     In the Co-op’s first nine years    496-3551 ext. 111 or via email:              tool for management so we can         Jamey Wimble
we have reinvested over $2 mil- .                      determine the actual spending         General Manager
                                                                                    of our shareholders as opposed
                                                                                    to the general public. Sharehold-     802-496-3551, ext.114
                                                                                    ers should be aware that it is
                   Welcome to MRG’s                                                 important that they identify
                                                                                    themselves when making pur-
                                                                                                                         Office Hours
                  Newest Shareholders                                               chases in the ticket office and
                                                                                                                         Winter Office Hours
                                                                                                                         Daily - 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
                                                                                    at the Ski School Desk.
      The following individuals have purchased share(s) in the                                                           Shareholder-Only Website
   Mad River Glen Cooperative since the start of the fiscal year.                    Want to Spend More Time                  Be sure to visit the share-
   Welcome to the community and thanks for helping to protect                       Skiing & Less Time in the            holder-only website at madriv-
   and preserve Mad River Glen.                                                     Ticket Office?               for meeting minutes,
                                                                                        We encourage shareholders        Co-op policies and more!
           Patricia Gonnella                 Robert Baron                           to pre-purchase ticket vouchers
           Steven Clancy                     Michael Dumont                         and Mad Money in advance              Username: single
           Claire Mooney                     Lisa Lovejoy                           and have us mail them to you.         Password: gogogo
           Ronald Snider                     Chris Lamonia                          This will allow you to breeze
           Liyun Hsu                         Jeremy Dobish                          through any lines that may
           SC Hsu                            Mark Baril                             occur during busy periods. To
           Ray Thomas                        Aaron Dobish                           place orders simply call (802)
           Christopher Stevenson             Robin Jackson                          496-3551 x110.
           Elizabeth Hicks                   Annelise Jackson
           Tristram Coffin                     Patrick Jackson
           Rick Worrell                      Alexandra Jackson
           Jeffery Heineman                   Amy Coffin
           Shannon Parks                     Yvette Hammel
           Harry Reynolds                    Dean Scarpa                                                                 Satisfied shareholders enjoying
           Jean Marchant                     Paul Livingstone                                                            their investment..

Triple Crown Heats Up
    With its legendary bumps,         cism of a skier like the Triple Crown                                                captured third place.
challenging trails and abundance      can,” says perennial Triple Crown                                                        The ladies from Middlebury
of unconventional terrain, Mad        competitor, Mary Gallicano.                                                          College swept Women’s Open Divi-
River Glen attracts some of the            The 2005 Triple Crown kicked                                                    sion. In another display of family
hottest skiers in the East. While     off with the Mogul Challenge on                                                       togetherness the sisters, Sabra
there have always been various        February 12th, testing bump ski-                                                     and Lea Davison went one-two,
mogul and extreme contests, the       ers’ skills on the moguls rated the                                                  both accumulating 24 runs and
question of who was the best          best in North America by Skiing                                                      48,888 vertical feet of skiing. Their
overall skier remained. Seven years   Magazine.                                                                            good friend and Middlebury Ski
ago the Triple Crown Competition           First-time Triple Crown com-            while 12 year-old Silas Chicker-        Team member Dorothy Muirhead
Series was initiated to answer that   petitor, Matt Groom, wowed the               ing-Ayers captured third place          snatched 3rd place to complete
question by combining the Mogul       crowd with “old school” air and              highlighted with a switch 540 off        the Middlebury sweep.
Challenge, the Unconventional         perfect form to capture the Men’s            the jump.                                   The Men’s Telemark division
Terrain Competition, and the Verti-   Alpine division and earning the                  Anna Eberle, Mad River’s Free-      was won by crowd favorite, Craig
cal Challenge. “No single race or     highest overall score of the day.            style Team coach, nailed first place     Augastinsky, who skied 24 runs
extreme competition can measure       Hunter Mountain skiing superstar,            in the Women’s Open Division.           amassing 48,888 feet of vertical.
the all-around ability and athleti-   Bobby Smith, grabbed 2nd placed              Anna’s protégé, Kelsey Boleski,         Ben Bloom took the silver medal
                                                                                   earned second place in the divi-        with 21 runs and was followed Greg
                                                                                   sion, while Cori Leigh Dahlstrom        O’Donnell for third place.
                                                                                   finished third. The Men’s Telemark           The final leg of the Triple
                                                                                   division was won by 2nd year            Crown, the Unconventional Ter-
                                                                                   Telemarker, Greg O’Donnell. Ben         rain Competition will be held on
                                                                                   Bloom took the silver medal fol-        March 19th. This event challenges
                                                                                   lowed by perennial Triple Crown         skiers to tame the bumps, cliffs,
                                                                                   competitor, Dave Bouchard.              jumps and other obstacles on Lift
                                                                                       It was a family affair as the        Line below the critics riding above
                                                                                   Triple Crown continued with the         on the famous Single Chair. High
                                                                                   leg-burning Vertical Challenge          scores are awarded for quality
                                                                                   on February 18. This demanding          turns, good use of the terrain, and
                                                                                   event tests how many runs skiers        creativity. “The most successful
                                                                                   can rack up in one day riding the       competitors are the ones who
                                                                                   Single Chair and skiing Chute and       know the terrain and can milk it
                                                                                   Liftline. The skiers accumulate         for all its worth, not the psychos
                                                                                   as many vertical feet of skiing as      hucking themselves off the ledges.
                                                                                   they can between 9 AM and the           We truly appreciate quality skiing
                                                                                   last chair at 4 PM.                     here at Mad River,” explains long-
                                                                                       The brothers Ayers, Silas           time event judge, Jerry Goto.
The brothers Ayers, Silas and Lars made it a family affair going 1-2 in
                                                                                   and Lars, skied together all day            The winners of the 2005 Triple
the Vertical Challenge.
                                                                                   long to capture first and second         Crown series will be crowned in
                                                                                   place, respectively. They both ac-      General Stark’s Pub on March 19th
                                                                                   cumulated 25 runs each; totaling        after the Unconventional Terrain
                                                                                   50,925 vertical feet of skiing. Mogul   Competition.
                                                                                   Challenge Champion, Matt Groom,

                                                                                                                                           Photo credit: TJ Greenwood

The ladies from Middlebury, Sabra Davison, Lea Davison and Dorothy
Muirhead, swept the Women’s Division of the Vertical Challenge. We don’t
know who the guy is, but we sure hope he can ski to keep up with these
ladies. Go Panthers!

Easter Festivities at MRG
     Mad River Glen’s traditional
festivities will take place on
Sunday, March 27th. The day
kicks off with a Mountaintop
Easter Service at 8 AM. Those
attending can ride the lift up
beginning at 7:30. The ever-
popular Easter Egg Hunts will
commence at 10 AM. The first
hunt, for “Slushwalkers,” (ages
5 and under) takes place in
front of the Basebox, while the
“Liftriders” (ages 6 to 12) will
search for their eggs on, of
course, Bunny. Prizes are            Not a lot of guys could have
awarded to the best egg hunt-        pulled this off, but he did.
                                     Another great shot from Mad
ers. Mad River Glen’s unique
Costume Parade follows the egg       River Glen’s archives.                      MRG Welcomes Home
hunts, beginning at 12 noon.
Costumes are judged in many          costume that best represents Mad            VT Guard Troops
categories including best overall,   River Glen. The festivities conclude
best group, most humorous,           with a Chicken Barbecue right after             We recently heard from Stephen     relationship with a lot of the guys.
best hat, best couple and the        the parade.                                 Joslin, a life-long resident of the    It seemed like the right thing to
                                                                                 Mad River Valley, big skier and        do to honor their service.”
                                                                                 Vietnam era Veteran, and he had            Mad River Glen is offering free
                                                                                 an idea. He noted that when he         skiing to all Vermont Veterans (and
                                                                                 returned from Vietnam the man-         their immediate families) of Opera-
                                                                                 agement of Mad River Glen offered       tion Enduring Freedom, Operation
                                                                                 free skiing to him and his family.     Iraqi Freedom and Operation Noble
                                                                                 He thought it would be a great         Eagle. To qualify all they have to
                                                                                 idea to acknowledge the service        do is present their military ID and
                                                                                 of veterans returning from Iraq        a copy of their deployment orders
                                                                                 and Afghanistan. We agreed, and        to receive their free passes. What
                                                                                 have decided to make a similar         better way for these Vermonters
                                                                                 offer to Vermont soldiers return-       to reconnect with their families
                                                                                 ing home. Mad River’s President,       than on the slopes of Mad River
                                                                                 Jamey Wimble, notes, “The Vermont      Glen? Mad River Glen also offers
                                                                                 National Guard has been training       a 50% discount to all active and
                                                                                 on the slopes of Mad River Glen        retired military personnel from
                                                                                 for years and we have developed a      any other state.

Tanner and Anna Skilton enjoying Easter a few years back.

                                                                                 MRG Featured in Ski Magazine- continued
                                                                                 eddies, and I hadn’t even tasted       Austrian lectured me on technique.
                                                                                 the trees. I felt no need to counter   But on the sidelines of Mad River’s
                                                                                 boredom by totaling up “verts” on      Rockin’ Robins program, I watched
                                                                                 an altimeter watch. Other moun-        preschoolers rush from their parents
                                                                                 tains may feel as adventurous as       to meet their familiar skiing pals.
                                                                                 descending a tilted golf course;       Even the parents knew each other.
                                                                                 here, when you hit the bottom,         And it was a bargain.My son Henry’s
                                                                                 you feel like you’ve accomplished      class consisted of six kids and three
                                                                                 something...” (Page 76).               instructors, which allowed Patty
                                                                                                                        Beaupre to give him the attention he
                                                                                     ❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄                       needed as a newcomer. She showed
                                                                                                                        him pizza wedges. Two runs later,
                                                                                     “...I used to hate attending       Henry made the first turns if his
                                                                                 ski school as a kid, standing in       life while clutching a stuffed pink
 The world-famous Easter Costume Parade has been a tradition                     the middle of a trail while some       pig...” (Page 118).
 since the beginning.

By Bill Heinzerling
      After digesting last September’s
ECHO, you now know, dear reader,
how the single chairlift evolved
from a banana-carrying endless
conveyor to a skier-carrying
chairlift, and that it was originally
called an “aerial ski chair ropeway”
by its inventor, James Curran, in
      You also know, thanks to a let-
ter in the January ’05 ECHO from
Jim Briggs of Williamstown, MA,
that the first single chair was not
built on Bald Mountain (Mt. Baldy)
at Sun Valley (as I thought it was),
but rather that it was installed
and became operational in 1936
on Proctor Mountain, which is a
few miles from Mt. Baldy, and
that three other singles appeared
within the Sun Valley complex in         This is a shot of construction of the Single Chair and the original Basebox Lodge. Notice the woods that now
rapid succession -- the second on        are the Practice Slope.
Dollar Mountain in 1937, the third
on Ruud Mountain in 1938, and            beams anchored vertically in the             also founded the prestigious           spring, summer, and fall of 1947,
the fourth on Mt. Baldy in 1939.         ground, rather than the lattice type         Amateur Ski Club of New York on        which was when Roland, who was
And, of course, you remember             typically used by American Steel             April 2nd, 1931.)                      now the president of the newly-
that it was the Pittsburgh-based         and Wire. Because of the relatively                With all this in the way of      formed Mad River Corporation,
American Steel and Wire Company          moderate grade of the liftline, there        spellbinding background, let’s         along with fellow Amateur Ski Club
that provided the designs for and        were very long spans between some            now fast-forward to Fayston,           members J. Negley Cooke and his
fabricated the components for all        of the towers -- in one place, the           VT, during the summer and fall         renowned ski-racing wife, Nancy,
of these lifts.                          span appears to be about half the            of 1946. Roland had recently           Robert Schwarzenbach, one of the
      But did you know that our sister   length of the Chute.                         completed the purchase of the          directors of the Corporation, and
state, New Hampshire, has the                The Gunstock single chair                original 1,600 acres of Mad River      Charlie Lord, a veteran ski trail
distinction of being the site of the     operated continuously from 1938              Corporation land from the Ward         designer from Stowe, laid out and
first chairlift in the east -- the fifth   through 1977, making it the oldest           Lumber Company and some other          oversaw the construction of the
such lift, nationwide -- on 2,384        continuously operating chairlift             owners. The proposed liftline of       first five trails at Mad River Glen.
ft. high Mt. Belknap, overlooking        in the country at the time of its            the Single, from the base to the       These were the Catamount, Lift
beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee in          decommission in 1977 (39 years               summit of General Stark Mountain,      Line (later renamed the Chute), Fall
Guilford, NH, in 1938? At that time      of operation). One of its chairs             was surveyed by Charlie Lord, of       Line, Porcupine, and Grand Canyon,
the ski area was known as the            was saved during its dismember-              Stowe, and then cut. Next, a work      which were all cut, dynamited,
Belknap Recreation Area. Today           ment and is now on display at the            tram -- a timbered and toggled-up      jackhammered, bulldozed and
it’s called Gunstock (but what’s the     New England Ski Museum at the                affair with a thin haul rope (you saw   seeded under Roland’s watchful
significance of that name?).              Cannon Mountain ski area near                a picture of it on the cover of the    eye, and according to his exacting
      The chairs, which were identical   Franconia, NH.                               January ’05 ECHO) -- was built on      standards.
to ours, were spaced about 100 ft.           The sixth single chairlift in            an alignment parallel to and about          The real push came that sum-
apart (not good for holding conver-      the country was installed on                 20 ft. south of the proposed lift.     mer and fall, when -- in conjunction
sations), so it had a ridiculously       Mt. Mansfield in 1940 by the Mt.              This tram was used the following       with the trail cutting -- the single
low uphill capacity of 235 skiers        Mansfield Lift Company, which                 spring and summer to transport         chair, “Stark’s Nest” warming hut
per hour. And the towers, as best        was established and headed up                lift parts and other supplies up the   at the summit, and the small,
as can be determined from the            by our own Roland Palmedo, who,              mountain during the construction       original “Basebox” base lodge were
old photos, appear to have been          six years later, would become the            of the Single.                         all constructed in anticipation of a
tubular, or perhaps heavy steel          founder of Mad River Glen. (Roland                 Then followed the frenetic       December, 1947 grand opening.
     Sandy McIlvane, an Amateur          well-wishers, on that cold, barren,
Ski Club architect from New York,
designed and oversaw the construc-
tion of the Basebox and the very
                                         wintery day. Old Faithful was fired
                                         up and all the celebrities, along
                                         with a handful of hardy skiers,
                                                                                         Summer 2005 Naturalist
innovative, attached, “solar shelter”
(referring to the four big, south-
                                         made the 1 1/8 mile trip to the
                                         summit, where George Neill, who
                                                                                            Adventure Camp
facing, Thermopane windows in            is also from Warren, VT, and who
                                                                                          Mad River Glen’s Naturalist Adventure Camp will give chil-
the Basebox fireplace room). Also         also started at MRG in 1947, met
                                                                                      dren the opportunity to challenge themselves with exciting
during that time Charlie Lord was        each of them with a big smile and
hired as the clerk-of-the-works, and     a kindly “hello.”                            adventures, skill building lessons and a new awareness of the
Howard Moody, who headed up                   The skiing was marginal, to say         natural world around them! The Naturalist Adventure Camp
the first ski patrol at Stowe during      the least, during that December and          combines the excitement of rock climbing, kayaking, mountain
previous ski seasons, was hired as       January, and stumps abounded                 biking, canoeing, hiking, swimming and camping with naturalist
the first resident manager.               -- it was skiable, but only for the          skills such as observation, wildlife tracking, birding, ecology and
     Things all came together very       most hearty. By February, 1949,              more! The camp specializes in small groups and a low camper
nicely during the fall of 1947.          however, conditions improved to              to instructor ratio (7:1 max.)
Except that, unfortunately, Mother       a “good” status, and, finally, dear
Nature didn’t cooperate -- there was,    old Mad River Glen was off and                Ages 7 to 12
ironically, too much snow to open        running. And she hasn’t looked               June 13th to August 19th
for the 1947-1948 season!                back since.
                                                                                      Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
     All that winter it just snowed           The following few years, snow-
and snowed and snowed in epic            wise, were nothing to write home
                                                                                      8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
amounts, and things, including           about, but the skiers came, and
the unpaved “Mountain Road”              the word gradually got out that                  For more information, go to
(Rt. 17), just couldn’t be plowed        here was a pristine new ski area             or contact Sean at or (802) 496-3551,
or adequately dug out to enable          -- unfettered by commercialism               ext. 117.
Mad River to open. Curses!               and profit-making motives (unlike
     So everything was put on hold       a competitor to the north) -- that
in anticipation of a December, 1948      truly was unique. It had a bonanza
grand opening. But once again the        of challenging and interesting
fickle snow gods thwarted the             trails, as much vertical as any
best-made plans of mice, men, and        ski area in the east, a high-speed                      logo
Mad River pioneers -- it snowed          chairlift which whisked an amaz-
very little that November and            ing 220 skiers per hour -- riding
December, albeit the Single was          in a total of 69 chairs (there are
officially christened and opened on        158, now) -- to the summit in eight
December 11th, 1948, at 10:30AM.         minutes (it now takes twelve or
Sandy McIlvane, dressed in the role      more minutes), a rope tow, built
of Revolutionary War hero General        in 1951, which took skiers to the
Stark (for whom our mountain is          top of the first steep pitch of the
named), Roland, Vermont Governor         Practice Slope, an excellent (Bud
Ernest Gibson, Miss Vermont pin-up       Phillips) ski school, and, above all,
girl Jean Peatman (who’s a cousin        a feeling of genuine getmütlichkeit
of long-time -- since 1947 -- MRG        und kameradschaft. In the words
employee, Bill Peatman, Sr., of War-     of our founder, Roland Palmedo,
ren, VT), J. Negley Cooke, Charlie       it was “a particular place for par-
Lord and Howard Moody were all           ticular skiers.” As, indeed, it was,
in attendance at the base of the lift,   and still is -- now, perhaps, even
along with a large contingent of         more than ever.

This bulldozer, like much of the early equipment on the mountain, was
military surplus. This rig was originally designed to be parachuted into
combat areas.
                                                                                                                Winterstieger Tuner
Upcoming Events
                                                                                                                Added to Ski Shop
DATE             EVENT                                                                               TIME
March 1          Town Meeting Day Special                                                                           Skiers will be psyched about
March 4          Starline Rhythm Boys                                                         2:30 - 5:30 PM    the Rental/Repair Shop’s off-
March 5          Co-op Board of Trustees Meeting                                                     5:00 PM    season acquisition. The guys
March 5          62nd Annual Family Tournament                                                       1:00 PM    are now proud owners of a new
March 5          Montclair Ski Club Race                                                           11:00 AM     Winterstieger Ski Tuner that will
March 5          Signs of Spring Snowshoe                                             10:30 AM and 1:30 PM      give skiers a much higher quality
March 6          Wildlife Tracking Trek                                                       10:30 AM Only     stone grind. They also improved the
March 12-13      North American Telemark Festival                                                               Grindrite Mini-Edger to give more
March 12         Black Bear Ramble                                                    10:30 AM and 1:30 PM      accurate edge geometry. Tune Up
March 13         Signs of Spring Snowshoe                                             10:30 AM and 1:30 PM      Value Passes are the best deal for
March 17         St. Patrick’s Day 2-for-1                                                      9:00 to 4:00    tune-ups and are available in the
March 18         Ski with The Point Day                                                         2:30-5:30 PM    shop or online. 5 tunes cost $100
March 19         Starline Rhythm Boys                                                    2:30 - 5:30 pm (TC)    and 10 tunes are only $175. Feel
March 19         Triple Crown Mogul Challenge                                                                   the difference a quality tune can
March 19         MRSC End of the year race and banquet                                                          make in your skiing!
March 19         Snowshoe Demo Day                                                       9:00 AM to 3:30 PM
March 19         Family Snowshoe Adventure                                            10:30 AM and 1:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Photo credits: TJ Greenwood
March 26         SKIRACK - MRG Backcountry Challenge          Registration 8:30 to 9:45 AM. Race at 10:00 AM
March 20         Signs of Spring Snowshoe                                             10:30 AM and 1:30 PM
March 25-26      Full Moon Snowshoe Trek                                                             7:00 PM
March 26         SKIRACK - MRG Backcountry Challenge          Registration 8:30 to 9:45 AM. Race at 10:00 AM
March 27         Easter Festivities                                                         8:00 AM Services
March 27         Northern Forest Snowshoe                                             10:30 AM and 1:30 PM
April 2          Co-op Shareholders Annual Meeting                                                   5:00 PM
April 1          April Fools Day 2 for 1
April 2          Signs of Spring Snowshoe                                             10:30 AM and 1:30 PM
April 3          Wildlife Tracking Trek                                                       10:30 AM Only
April 9          Co-op Board of Trustees Meeting             8 AM or 5 PM if the mountain is open for skiing.
May 7            Co-op Board of Trustees Meeting                                                    8:00 AM
                                                                                                                     Ski Tune Up
                                                                                                                  $5 off a Full Tune Up
                                      Visit for a
                                      comprehensive listing of events                                                   Regular Price $30
                                      throughout the Mad River Valley.
                                                                                                                      Visit the Rental Repair
                                                                                                                      Coupon Required

                                                                                                                             First Class
                                                                                                                            U.S. Postage
                                                                                                                             Permit #13
                                                                                                                            Waterbury, VT
Mad River Glen                                                                                                                 05676
P.O. Box 1089
Waitsfield, VT 05673
FAX 802-496-3562

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