"Our own rope tow!’
Ultimately, my father volunteered to work year-round for the Civilian Conservation Corps, a government program that put otherwise jobless men to work building parks, beaches, hiking trails and shelters in the magnificent American wilderness.
Father’s job as a civil engineer and maker of relief maps took him to Bartlett, N.H. To be near him in the summers, Mother, Christine and I rented a farmhouse on the hills above town. Eventually, his absences became too painful and we left Sharon to live full time in New Hampshire.
It was a boon to my skiing, I can tell you that. In our backyard were wide open slopes and a rope tow. Our own rope tow! We probably lived in one of the first ski-in/ ski-out homes in the U.S.
I began winning local ski races when I was 15. Soon I had even mastered that steepest of skiers’ paradises: Tuckerman Ravine on Mount Washington.
For the next several years, I was a tiger on the hill – tough, grim, and determined to win every competition I could. At the time, I thought winning ski races was the ultimate test of ability and spirit. God, how wonderful if that were true. Entirely too soon I would learn the truth about human nature in response to real conflict.
The following is the 15th installment of the Vail Daily’s serialization of “Vail: Triumph of a Dream” by Vail Pioneer and Founder Pete Seibert. This excerpt comes from Chapter One, entitled “The New England Years.” The book can be purchased at the Colorado Ski Museum, as well as bookstores and other retailers throughout the Vail Valley.