Our favorite senior citizen, Mad River Glen, celebrates its 65th birthday with a gala party this weekend.
Founded by Roland Palmedo, the Fayston ski area opened on December 11, 1948. Palmedo wanted to create a ski area that was "not just a place of business, a mountain amusement park as it were. Instead it is a winter community whose members, both skiers and area personnel, are dedicated to the enjoyment of the sport."
And judging by the passion and devotion of its uncountable numbers of avid and regular skiers, he was successful.
Everyone loves their favorite ski areas and visiting them becomes multi-generational for many families. But it is even more so at Mad River Glen. There's a connection to the ski area, to each other, to The Valley and Vermont among Mad River Glen skiers that you don't see at many other resorts.
When Truxton and Betsy Pratt took over ownership of Mad River Glen, they fostered that sense of community and when the ski area became the first and only skier-owned cooperative in the country, it became a completed circle.
The trails are narrow, winding and steep. The bumps are huge and often scary. There are cliffs and rock walls. The woods are fair game. The lifts are not high speed and they are not triple or quads.
With its reliance on Mother Nature for most of its snow, its well-known and historic Single Chair and "Ski It If You Can" slogan, and its refusal to allow snowboarders, the ski resort is truly a one of a kind in the country.
Who remembers that Mad River Glen allowed snowboarding for the 1986-1987 season? Mad River Glen instituted a complete ban on snowboards in 1991-1992. The riding community was not – and still is not – happy about that, but the skiers are.
Happy Birthday, Mad River Glen.
Ski it if you can.