From Nowness, a brief homage to the single chair lift at one of the oddest and most wonderful ski areas in the US, Mad River Glen in Vermont.
You don’t have a lot of opportunity in life these days to have 10 or 12 minutes alone. Some people think when they come here and they ride the chair, it’s a lonely ride. I never really thought of it that way.
I haven’t checked for sure, but Mad River might be the only ski area in the world with a chairlift that has its own beer.
When we were up in Vermont earlier this month, we rode the single chair to the top of the mountain at Mad River Glen and then hiked down. Before we left, we installed iTrail on Meg’s phone. iTrail uses the iPhone’s GPS capability to track your progress along a trail, jogging path, etc. The reviews at the iTunes Store aren’t glowing but we found that it worked pretty well for us. Here are a couple of graphs generated by iTrail of our hike:
iTrail also allows data export to a Google Docs speadsheet. From there, you can import that data into Google Maps, like so:
It’s not perfect (we weren’t doing 8.2 mph at the beginning of the hike) and GPS mapping apps are hardly new, but I’ve never done this before and it feels like living in the future.
Burton is offering a $5000 prize for the best snowboarding video taken at one of the three remaining US ski areas (Alta, Taos, Deer Valley, Mad River Glen) that don’t allow snowboarding. The intro video is the perfect explanation for why these four areas don’t allow snowboards.
The NY Times covers Mad River Glen, a quirky ski area in Vermont that has the only operating single-seat chair lift in the country, doesn’t allow snowboarders, and doesn’t groom (that often) or make (that much) snow. “Occasionally, snowboarders will hike to the top from a nearby road and ride down. If they tackle the tough terrain with crisp, accomplished turns, the Mad River Glen regulars will loudly applaud at the bottom. If the boarders aren’t very good, the abuse is just as loud. People will come out hooting and hollering from the lodge.” I’ve skiied there a few times; here’s some photos of the mountain and some videos I took. (thx, tien)