Mad River Glen first cranked up its now famous Single Chair on December 11, 1948. Roland Palmedo, the founder and an original investor at Stowe, envisioned a ski area where sport not profit would be the overriding concern. Roland believed that " …a ski area is 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." Mad River Glen developed over the years with this vision of community as its foundation.
In 1972 a group led by Truxton Pratt purchased Mad River Glen, and his wife Betsy Pratt took over controlling interest of the Mad River Corporation upon his death in 1975. She \
worked hard to maintain Roland’s vision and acted as Mad River Glen steward protecting it from the many changes in the ski industry. When Betsy decided to sell the ski area she sold it to the only people she felt she could trust, Mad River Glen’s loyal skiers.
On December 5, 1995 a new era began when the Mad River Glen Cooperative was formed. Mad River Glen became the first and only cooperatively owned ski area in America. This meant that the Mad River Glen’s famously loyal skiers owned their mountain and controlled the destiny of the legendary ski area. The sale of Mad River Glen to its skier occurred in an age when the ski industry was consolidating and becoming homogenized. Mad River Glen bucked the trend by remaining independent and preserving a ski experience that exists nowhere else.
Shareholders in the Mad River Glen Cooperative came together to fulfill their mission; "…to preserve and protect the forests and mountain ecosystem of General Stark Mountain in order to provide skiing and other recreational access and to maintain the unique character of the area for present and future generations." The mountain is managed by the hired staff with direction and leadership provided by the Board of Trustees elected by the shareholders.
In April of 1998 the Mad River Glen Cooperative fulfilled its purchase agreement with the previous owner by selling its 1,667th share. Mad River Glen is now owned outright by its dedicated skiers and today more than 1,800 individuals own nearly 2,200 shares. Since the advent of the Co-op Mad River Glen has invested more than $5 million in capital improvements. Unlike other ski areas Mad River’s goal is to maintain and preserve the experience rather than overhaul or upgrade it. Both the skier-owners and the management understand that skiers come to Mad River for the unique combination of legendary terrain, sense of community, low skier density and intimate atmosphere.
The best place to learn more about Mad River’s past I by checking out our amazing coffee table-style history book “A Mountain Love Affair – The Mad River Glen Story”. Author, Mary Kerr.not only chronicles the history of one of the most beloved and hollowed ski areas in America, she also captures its true essence. Using extensive interviews, primary source materials, and 25 years of first-hand knowledge she weaves an incredibly compelling tale. This full color, hard cover is available at the General Store.
MAD RIVER GLEN THROUGH THE YEARS
1947-48: Initial trails cut: Catamount, Lift Line, Fall Line, Canyon and Porcupine. November snows stop construction and the opening is postponed for a year.
1948-49: Trails improved, work tram, lift and StarkÂ’s Nest built. Opening ceremonies were held on December 11, 1948.
1949-50: No Stop No Fall and Easter Parade traditions begin.
1951-52: Father and Son Race moves to MRG from Stowe and evolves into the Family Tournament
1952-53: Jack Murphy becomes General Manager, Ken Quackenbush starts his career at MRG. Chalet 10 (little house across from Amateur Ski Club house) is built.
1953-54: Hartford Ski Club builds house at MRG
1954-55: Practice Hill Rope Tow is installed. MRG hosts the NCAA Downhill Championship Race. 68 new chairs are added to the 65 all ready on the Single Chair's line more than doubling the lifts capacity.
1955-56: The Base BoxÂ’s first addition (the east end) is built.
1957-58: McCullough Turnpike (current Route 17), the road over the mountain is finally completed.
1958-59: New tower is added at the bottom of the Single Chair. Beaver trail is cut. T Bar goes in on the Practice Slope. Sugarbush Valley ski area opens.
1959-60: First Ski Shop is built over the brook.
1960-61: First Tucker Snow Cat is purchased. The second Base Box addition (currently Gen. StarkÂ’s Pub) is completed. Trails were cut for proposed Sunnyside double chair.
1961-62: Sunnyside Double Chair opens. First Green & Gold Weekend. The infamous Parachute Race into Catamount Bowl.
1962-63: A new trail, Quacky, is added and named for Ken Quackenbush.
1963-64: Lower Antelope opens. Another 25 chairs are added to the Single Chair making it a total of 158 chairs on the line.
1964-65: Upper Antelope opens.
1965-66: The last season for the Bud Phillips Ski School
1966-67: Birdland Trails open. Rudi Maier Ski School opens. Touring trails open.
1967-68: Birdland Lift opens. 10th Annual Kandahar Race. Base BoxÂ’s third addition, the upstairs, is completed
1968-69: Birdcage Opens. Last season food and beverage are served at StarkÂ’s Nest. Saturday night movies!
1969-70: National Slalom held at MRG. Four tracked vehicles used on mountain.
1970-71: Junior Nationals held at MRG. VermontÂ’s Act 250 development law is passed ending land sales on the mountain. Tennis courts built at Mad River Barn.
1971-72: T Bar dismantled and replaced by new Double Chair Lift. Mad River Junior Racing Program starts.
1982-83: Sunnyside Double Chair drive replaced.
1986-87: Snowboards first allowed at MRG.
1991-92: Snowboard ban begins at MRG.
1995-96: Mad River Glen Cooperative purchases mountain an December 5, 1995 and the mountain opens with ceremony at the Single Chair on December 7.
1997-98: The Ice Storm of 1998 hits Mad River Glen, causing a great deal of damage to the mid-mountain forest. Clean-up crews and volunteers have the mountain re-opened within a week.
1998-99: Mad River Glen celebrates 50th Anniversary with a re-creation of the original opening day. Just like the original opening the Governor, Miss Vermont (both 1948 and 1998) and George Neill were in attendance. 50th Anniversary Gala held in January 1996. Sunnyside Double Chair is replaced.
1990-2000: The Co-op sells the 1,667th share to pay off its mortgage. The mountain is now owned outright by the Co-op.
2000-01: CallieÂ’s Corner Handle Tow Area is added and Stark's Nest is renovated. Over 325 inches of snow allows skiing to continue until April 29, 2001, the areaÂ’s latest closing date on record.
2005-06: The Mad River Glen Cooperative celebrates 10 years of skier ownership of the mountain.
2006-07: On Easter Sunday, April 8, the original Single Chair brought it's last skiers to the top of Gen. Stark Mountain. The last rider was long-time Mad River Glen GM, Ken Quackenbush. Fittingly the Single Chair was ushered out of service in a snowstorm that ended the season in a fabulous powder day.
2010: Mad River Glen submits application to be included in the National Register of Historic Places - Check out this informative document!
New England Ski Museum - Franconia, NH
Sugarbush Resort History - A brief outline of the History of Sugarbush, our little sister to teh south.
Vermont Historical Society - History's Be All and End All in the State of Vermont
Vermont Ski Museum - Stowe, VT
- Lundi 8;00 to 4;00
- Mardi 8;00 to 4;00
- Mercredi 8;00 to 4;00
- Jeudi 8;00 to 4;00
- Vendredi: 8;00 to 4;00
- Samedi: 8;00 to 4;00
- Dimanche : 8;00 to 4;00
|Novice Skiers||Intermediate Skiers||Expert Skiers|
Beginners can ski Mad River Glen. In fact, with uncrowded slopes, a great ski school and your own lift and area, there is no better place to learn. From the base area ride the Sunnyside Chair and follow the "Easiest" signs to Fox and then Snail to the "Birdland" novice area. Once in Birdland, simply follow the snowflakes (on the map) marking the easiest way down. Here you will discover the charm and diversity of Mad River skiing.
Mad River Glen offers a lifetime of interesting intermediate skiing. You can ski off any of the lifts, just look for the "More Difficult" signs which indicate trails that are right for you. Quacky from the top of the Sunnyside Chairlift is an all time Mad River favorite leading to Porcupine and a number of other enticing trails. Off the Single Chair, Antelope is the ultimate intermediate experience offering two miles of intrigue and challenge. Enjoy!
Mad River Glen is home to the most challenging skiing in the East, bar none. Natural snow, legendary bumps and narrow gladed trails create an ever changing test of skiing ability. If the thrill of challenge is what gets you going, you’ll find it off the Single Chairlift on Chute, Fall Line, Glade and Liftline. But why limit yourself? Ski the whole mountain, develop your own favorites and remember: