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History of Skiing

Explore New Hampshire's rich ski history.
In New Hampshire, we’re not afraid of firsts. In fact, when it comes to skiing, we’re known for them.  Blame it on our impressive snowpack, our famed routes, or our can-do attitude towards all things winter, but one thing is for sure: when you come skiing in the Granite State, greatness happens.
New Hampshire Skiing Through the Years:
  • 1914: John S. Apperson and several Dartmouth Outing Club members participate in the first recorded use of skis on Mount Washington’s Tuckerman Ravine.
  • 1925: The first downhill racing slalom course is created by Professor Charles A. Proctor for Dartmouth College’s Winter Carnival.
  • 1929: Hannes Schneider’s famed Arlberg technique makes its way stateside when the first Arlberg ski school is opened at Peckett’s Inn in Sugar Hill, NH.
  • 1931: Charlie Proctor and John Carleton complete the first known run down the headwall of Tuckerman Ravine’s perilously steep slopes.
  • 1934: Work is completed on Cannon Mountain’s Richard Taft Trail, the first ski trail attempted on a mountain exceeding 4,000’.
  • 1935: George Morton invents the first cable ski lift in the country for Black Mountain’s 1935-1936 ski season.
  • 1936: The Nansen Ski Jump opens in Milan, NH. With a drop of over 225 feet, this behemoth steel structure is the largest ski jump of its time.
  • 1937: Dartmouth ski coach Walter Prager uses dynamite charges to trigger avalanches prior to a race at Tuckerman Ravine. This is the first known attempt at avalanche control in the East.
  • 1938: The first Olympic ski jumping trials are held at the Nansen Ski Jump.
    • Cannon Mountain opens the first aerial tramway for skiers in all of North America.
    • The first group of paid ski patrollers in North America is hired for Cannon’s 1938 winter season
  • 1939: North Conway businessman Harvey Dow Gibson convinces Nazi officials to release Austrian ski legend Hannes Schneider. Schneider moves to North Conway and takes on the role of Skimeister, transforming the town into the epicenter of ski instruction for the entire United States.
  • 1940: Cranmore Mountain implements the first comprehensive snow grooming program in the country.
  • 1958: Wildcat installs the first gondola lift in North America.
  • 1991: Julie Parisien wins the World Cup giant slalom at Waterville Valley Resort.
  • 2017: American ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson takes a remarkable jump at a now-restored Nansen Ski Jump. The leap was the first jump at Nansen in 32 years.

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