At the time that Proctor students cut ski trails on Slalom Hill (late-'30s) and Patterson Hill (mid-'60s), the impetus was simple: real alternatives didn't exist. America's first commercial hill, at Sugar Hill, New Hampshire, was much too remote and Mt. Sunapee, Ragged and Okemo didn't open until 1948, 1964 and 1955. It was not until recently, with the expansion and elevation of Proctor's USSA Program, that the unique advantage of Proctor Ski Area came into focus: immediate accessibility to top-quality snow eliminates conflict between rigorous athletic training and rigorous college preparation.
Over the past decade, Proctor's commitment to its hill has grown exponentially. A good ski hill has become a great ski hill. And, in a notion out of Field Of Dreams, ("Build it, and they'll come,") we attract top student-athletes as never before.
Snow making has been enhanced (repeatedly!); the original lift has been replaced; a second lift accesses the first; lighting has been installed from top-to-bottom, and trails have been lengthened, widened and contoured to comply with standards established by FIS, the Fédération Internationale de Ski or International Ski Federation.
Now, as if to punctuate the point, we have acquired a Prinoth BR-350 grooming machine designed to meet the needs of much larger hills, thereby enabling Garry George and his crew to maintain the finest snow conditions anywhere.
To meet the training demands of the most aggressive competitors, our USSA/FIS skiers start training in August and September in El Colorado, Chile. They continue in November and December on the glacier at Tignes, France. By the time the race season winds down, our most competitive ski racers have been on snow seven out of eight months between August and March.
Then, back at school for the winter trimester, they balance an academic workload with race training that prepares them for careers at the nation's top D-1 colleges and universities. When classes end after lunch, you're on snow. Immediately.
A new website dedicated to the USSA/Eastern Program quotes a veteran coach saying, "The Proctor Ski Area is doing more for snowsports--vertical foot for vertical foot--than any other mountain in New Hampshire. Period." It certainly is meeting the needs of our student-athletes!
Yarrow's Lodge, open for night skiing.
Game changer: The Prinoth BR-350.
The O'Connor lift provides enough elevation to access the T-bar.
The new T-bar once serviced the White Rabbit at King Ridge.
The new start house was built by Geoff Bonewald '09 and Alex Bertrand '09. Geoff returns as a member of the UNH Carnival Team.