Tuesday, February 9

magic mountain -londonderry, vt


Had been meaning to post on Magic for a while, and since the Boston Globe ran a piece yday a bunch of people emailed it to me; iron/hot etc...

Magic Mountain in southern Vermont was part of the golden triangle of Bromley, Stratton, Magic in the heyday of the so called Austrian invasion of the 1960's and 70's (when it seemed every innkeeper and ski instructor around was Austrian or Swiss or at least European, see The Nordic Lodge, The Swiss Inn, The Berkenhus, The Three Clock Inn etc). Grade schools in Vermont did, and still do run, various winter programs to get kids skiing. Wednesday afternoons were at Magic in the lower grades then Friday afternoons at Bromley for the slightly older kids. Might be remembering that wrong... The program also gave you a free pass to the mountains on Sundays; start 'em young etc...

I was a transplant from England by way of Boston so a late starter... was 5 years old and had not skied yet! That first winter all my pals were in a more advanced class. Still, we were all in full tuck, bombing runs, and hitting rollers by season end.

10e at Magic, circa 1978. Bamboo poles -see those kids.
Rainbow hat was standard issue (note kid in background).
We had timed races at end of season in each class... can still remember them calling our class out and my name not getting called till 4th, 3rd place, 2nd place ... wait a second... Franz Klammer time!! Fox pulls a first. (Promise that is the last time I will claim/spray on this site... pretty great memory for a young kid though, they had a podium and the whole bit). Course the next year I fell in the trials and thought that meant disqualified (didn't realize they only give up in the Olympics because down to the 100th of a second so a fall realistically ends your chances)... Man, crushed to see others fall and carry on. Stupid me. Googles hide those tears pretty well... Oma took us to Grandma Frisbee's for pizza after.

Magic closed for many years in the 1990's after (a) not investing in snowmaking enough and (b) Stratton expanded enourmously with their condo/village concept. Magic is now back open and attempting to become a co-op (further reading) to keep going. What is the draw though??? Long/short, Magic has a few of the steeper trails around southern VT, some of the best woods/glades (by virtue of it being non-crowded too) and without a shadow of a doubt is THE place to be after a storm. V limited grooming, insane views, bumps and cliffs in the woods and a serious old school vibe in the lodge +cheaper tickets natch'. If you are up at Stratton or Bromley and it snows -try Magic once...

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