The Last Chair
While I was skiing out west with my brothers, we ran into a man wearing a hat from one of the few small town hills still in operation near our hometown in Massachusetts. The three of us struck up a conversation about the ski hills where we learned to ski, and the difference between those hills and the sprawling, luxurious resorts of today, and jokes about all the the hills that we all remembered. Immediately, the three of us lamented that we couldn't represent our lost ski hill, Klein Innsbruck of Franklin, MA. I set out on a mission to find anything I could from Klein and in the process, I uncovered a lost treasure trove of closed ski areas, ski hills, ski jumps, and the stories of a bygone era. There ensued an odyssey of reading anything I could find about the lost ski hills, while longing for that same simple, small town ski experience for my three young sons.
When not skiing in knee deep powder or hauling our gear on a four hour trek up into Northern New England, we strap in and cut two or three turns in our back yard without the luxury of a rope to pull us back up. Because that's what a true passion for skiing will make a guy and his boys do. I know that for all the amazing skiing available at the big mountains, something can still be said for the hills that were all many of our parents and grand parents ever knew, as well the sense of community tied around each of the closed hills.