Skiingpastandpresent.com was created by Scott Andrews, a longtime snowsports journalist, photographer and ski historian.
My central idea is simple: To visit ski areas and resorts and to highlight some historical aspect. Sometimes that means lifts, trails, facilities and amenities. Other times it means personalities, organizations, economic circumstances and cultural influences.
My purpose is to showcase the history of our sport with special reference to today’s skiing (and snowboarding) experience.
My over-arching philosophy can be summarized briefly in one (compound) sentence: “Every mountain has a history, and every trail has a tale.”
I’m not only thinking about the well-known resorts with the storied histories — the ones that got started before World War II and have already celebrated their 75th anniversaries. To be sure, Mount Cranmore, Stowe, Sun Valley and Mount Baker are among the skiing destinations with wonderful stories to tell — usually told in excellent books.
Ski areas established in the post-war period also have histories. So do some of their individual trails, lodges, lifts, ski schools, restaurants and so on. Or maybe there’s a colorful personality or event that should be remembered.
An example is my home hill, Sunday River Mountain Resort in western Maine. Now Maine’s busiest ski resort, Sunday River’s origins can be traced to 1947, when a group of local enthusiasts got together to build a rope tow. Today Sunday River draws 600,000 skiers and snowboarders per year and has hosted two World Cup competitions.
Sunday River exemplifies the explosive growth of skiing in post-war America, and its network of 130-plus trails — spread across seven interconnected peaks — is featured as the banner photo on this website.