The 1930s mark the beginning of organized skiing in Stowe. Trails were cut on Mt. Mansfield. The era saw the formation of the club, the hiring of Stowe’s first professional instructors and the formation of the nation’s earliest ski patrol. Racing arrived in Stowe and so did lift service.
- Over Washington’s birthday, 1932, Roland Palmedo and Jose Machado, of the Amateur Ski Club of NY, come to Mt. Mansfield looking for a place to bring their ski club. Craig Burt sends his son to guide the visitors around the Mt. Mansfield area. Palmedo promised Burt that skiers from his club would be up any weekend that beds were available.
- The Stowe Ski Club was revived. On March 6, the club put on a winter carnival, whose downhill race drew 300 spectators. A 300 foot long ski jump, a toboggan run, and a bobsled run had been constructed.
- Stowe electric train stops service on May 2, 1932.
- The Stowe Ski Club expanded the Winter Carnival events to include slalom and cross-country races and an exhibition of ski jumping on one ski by W.C. McNamara of Norwich University. The turn-out of 1,000 spectators showed there was still interest in these winter activities.
- Craig O. Burt fixes up his old logging camp in Ranch Valley into ski accommodations. He retained his lumberjack cook, George Campbell, as chef and manager. “Ranch Camp” would operate through the 1949-50 season.
- Perry Merrill instructs the Civilian Conservation Corps (under the direction of Charlie Lord) to cut trails on Mt. Mansfield.
- In December 1933, a group of C.C.C. boys had finished cutting the Bruce Trail on Mt. Mansfield. The four and a half mile trail ran from near the top of the Toll Road down to near Ranch Camp. The trail was named for an old lumberjack that had operated in that area for many years. The C.C.C. would then cut two trails in Ranch Valley, the Conway and the Nebraska.
- Craig Burt, Frank Griffin and other local skiing enthusiasts felt that the Stowe Ski Club needed to shift focus to downhill skiing on the mountain from cross-country skiing in and around town. So the Stowe Ski Club was reorganized and formally incorporated on January 8, 1934 as the Mt. Mansfield Ski Club. By-laws specify purpose as “The objects of the club are to provide, maintain, and improve skiing facilities in the Mt. Mansfield region of Vermont; to assist members in obtaining the most enjoyment from these facilities; to further the technical skill of members; to promote ski competitions; and, generally, to cultivate an interest in skiing”.
- Frank Griffin is elected the Club’s first President, and Ranch Camp becomes the Club’s first headquarters.
- The Bruce Trail saw it’s, and Mt. Mansfield’s, first “down mountain” race February 11, 1934. It was MMSC vs. Roland Palmedo’s N.Y. Amateur Ski Club. Jack Allen of Burlington won in 10 minutes and 48 seconds for the 3.5 mile course. Charlie Lord was second, followed by Craig Burt, Jr. in third.
- The first “sanctioned” race at Mt. Mansfield is held on the Bruce Trail on February 25. Dick Durrance is the winner by more than a minute. He also won the slalom and jumping held in town.
- MMSC Board directs Craig Burt, Frank Griffin and Charles Lord to begin looking at forming a volunteer ski patrol along the lines of what Roland Palmedo had seen in Switzerland.
- In Woodstock, Vermont, the nation’s first rope tow is built. First rider is Bob Bourdon.
- Abner W. Coleman produces the Club’s first publication, the “Mt Mansfield Ski Club Bulletin”. Volume 1, Number 1, appeared on January 25, 1935.
- MMSC hires Jim Trachier (of Hanover, NH) as first ski instructor. Trachier is a former cross-country ski racing and ski jumping titleholder. Rates for 10 lessons are $4 adults and $3 juniors.
- The Nose Dive trail (originally laid out by MMSC directors Charlie Lord and Abner Coleman) is cut and would soon become one of the most famous trails in the annals of down-mountain skiing. The old Chin Clip, and Smugglers Trail were also cut.
- The chairman of the Club’s Jr. Competitions Committee, Howard Prestwich, organizes first inter-scholastic ski meet in Vermont. The Club would host every Vermont high school championship between 1935 and 1942. In 1939, the Vermont Headmasters Club would finally take responsibility for these races as one of its recognized activities.
- The Amateur Ski Club of New York held their annual championship meet February 9-12. Forty-seven members arrived by train and competed in a four day program that included third class tests, down-mountain races, slalom races, and no-fall races.
- Winter Carnival is held February 22-24. Downhill is held on Chin Clip, slalom and jumping events are held in Stowe village.
- Construction begins on the Stone Hut. A wooden structure is completed for use during 1934-35 season.
- Bill Mason is elected Club president.
- Stowe hosted the first sanctioned race on Nose Dive on February 23, the Eastern Downhill and Slalom Championships. Bob Bourdon descends 1-3/4 mile trail in 2 minutes, 35 seconds. The race was sponsored by the Amateur Ski Club of NY.
- MMSC appointed Charlie Lord and Craig Burt Sr. to be the Mt Mansfield Ski Patrol leaders. Both men obtained their Red Cross First Aid certification and then implemented a rule that to be a member of the MMSP, one had to first obtain the proper certification.
- A warming hut was built at the Toll House. This would eventually serve as the Club’s second headquarters. The Toll House was under the management of the Club Director Frank Griffin.
- The Nose Dive ski appeared on the market. One of a line of Ski Sport skis; it was manufactured by the Derby & Ball Co. of Waterbury, Vermont. (Club directors, Bill Mason & Dan Ryder, are owners)
- The Club’s popular ski instructor, Jim Trachier, is back for a second year.
- Charles Minot (”Minnie”) Dole breaks ankle on the Toll Road on January 2, 1936.
- The Stone Hut was completed.
- The Lodge opens for its first winter season. Dr. Ernst Wagner is hired to instruct guests.
- Wesley Pope, of Jeffersonville, constructs first Stowe rope-tow (1,000 ft.) at Toll House in October. Due to poor snow conditions, commercial operations begins on February 7th. The T-bar was powered by a 1927 Cadillac engine. Fifty cents bought an all-day ticket and for $5.00 the skier could ride it all season.
- In December of 1936, Sepp Ruschp arrived from Linz, Austria. He was hired by the Club to teach skiing at the Toll House.
- Vermont State Downhill Championship is held on the Nose Dive.
- February 22, 1937 – The Eastern Downhill Championships transferred to the Nose Dive due to lack of snow at Mt. Greylock, Massachusetts. The race was won by Dartmouth’s Jack Durrance. An estimated 10,000 spectators and 3,000 cars were on hand for the event, and it was reported to be after midnight before the local and state police were able to untangle the traffic jam on the mountain road.
- Jacques Charmoz, 1935-36 French Olympic Team member, is hired to instruct guests at The Lodge.
- At least 12 toboggans are placed by the Club on various trails at strategic spots.
- Nose Dive is designated by the USEASA as one of the four official time-trial courses in New England.
- First chairlift in world installed in December at Sun Valley.
- The Stowe community organizes the Stowe-Mansfield Association to handle the commercial phases of winter sports like accommodations and transportation that are outside the Club’s jurisdiction.
- Sepp Ruschp brings wife, Hermine, back from Austria. They reside at the Toll House, which is the headquarters for the Mt. Mansfield Ski School under his direction. Edi Euller, who is also an Austrian state qualified instructor, serves as Sepp’s assistant in charge of the Underhill branch of the school.
- Jacques Charmoz returns to The Lodge to instruct guests for a second season.
- Frank Griffin opens a second rope tow (2,500 ft.) behind the present base lodge at Mt. Mansfield (lower North Slope area). He establishes a ski school there, with Willi Benedict, Herta Richter, Henry Simoneau, Andy Ransome instructing.
- Stowe hosts Men’s National Championships on March 5-6 (1,800 spectators are on hand). Ulrich Beutter, from the University of Garmisch, is the DH and Combined champion. Dick Durrance is 2nd in the downhill with Walter Prager in 3rd. Ed Meservey is first in the slalom, followed by Dick Durrance and Ulrich Beutter. (Sepp raced, fell and dislocated ankle and finished 14th)
- The first ever Women’s National Championships in U.S. are held at Mt. Mansfield on April 9-10. Marian “Sis” McKean wins the women’s downhill and Grace Lindley of Sun Valley wins the slalom. 13-year old Stowe native by the name of Marilyn Shaw finishes 11th in the slalom.
- With the coming of the National Races on the Nose Dive, people from across the U.S. were so impressed by the level of the Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol professionalism that Charles “Minnie” Dole and Roger Langley agreed to use the MMSP as the model on which to build the entire National Ski Patrol System.
- “Frenchy” replaces George Campbell as Ranch Camp caretaker.
- The (old) Perry Merrill trail and the Steeple trail were completed in fall of 1937. The original Perry Merrill trail was an experimental glades trail – first of its kind.
- Management of Ranch Camp is taken over for the Burt Company by Tremaine Conkling and his wife Bertha. Rates, per person, for food and lodging are $3.00 per day for the Tempi, Stem and Telemark cabins or $2.50 per day for the Igloo Club members get ten percent discount.
- The Mt. Mansfield Ski Club at the close of its sixth season has a total membership of 243, about one-third of which is from outside of Vermont.
- Fifteen toboggan caches are installed by C.C.C.
- The Club organizes a ski team, and agrees to pay entry fees for the eight members that registered for the team.
- Eastern men’s Downhill, Slalom and Combined Championships held on Nose Dive.
- On February 4, 1939, and electric timer used on Nose Dive slalom race – a first – supplied by Dartmouth. (Charlie Lord notes)
- The first Sugar Slalom was held April 30, on the Nose Dive trail. 57 competitors compete on a course set by Sepp Ruschp from top of the “Corridor” to the Houghton Trail. Milton Hutchinson (MMSC) and Marian McKean are the winners.