To The Editor:

The Along the Fall Line article in the December 22, 2022, edition of The Valley Reporter brought back fine memories for me.


You may recall that in the very early 1970s (December 16, 1972), the gondola (now Heaven's Gate) burned to the ground early in the season. At that time, I was a bonafide ski rat in my high school freshman year. I got my training from a gaggle of similar local kids (Kathy P, Jay R, my brother Peter, plus a few others whose names escape me).

Anyway, as to be expected, there was a large snowstorm that blanketed the three areas (yes, there were three areas at the time). I had just come home for vacation (those were three-week vacations allowing ski legs to form) from my schooling down in the flatland (Rhode Island). Let's see -- a non-working gondola, trails with a hefty dose of fresh snow and unskied deep base, Castlerock chair still operating, intimate local knowledge, no fear bred from youth or ignorance -- that led to an idea: ski-hike the Long Trail from Castlerock to Paradise.

Off we went. An hour or so later (after crossing the cliffs), we were at the top of Paradise with untracked deep powder below.

No rope in those days. No one was crazy to do that stuff back then anyway.

What a sight. Needless to say, we took good advantage of our efforts and did the conditions justice (did I say I had my ski legs well-conditioned, playing hockey didn’t hurt either).

There were several other ski pranks we pulled back in the day, but that one kind of stands out for me.

Memories still inspire!

David Slingluff
Capistrano Beach, CA