Text Size: Small Medium Large

Stories from the Slopes

A Skiing History of Western New England

Stories from the Slopes: A Skiing History of Western New England

*A Localy Produced Documentary*

Fifty or sixty years ago, western New England was a skiing mecca, with nearly 80 different ski areas across four counties. Today, there are fewer than a dozen.

Using archival film, historical images, and interviews with folks once part of the local ski scene, Stories from the Slopes chronicles the thousands who once traveled by train to the Berkshires for what was then a new winter sport. It explores lost trails, revisits past ski-centric social norms, and pays tribute to some of the major resorts no longer in operation. It also visits and celebrates the region’s still-active ski areas.

Where Did All the Local Skiing Go?

In addition to celebrating the golden age of skiing in our region, Stories from the Slopes also asks, “Where did all the skiing go?”

While the Industrial Revolution first sparked the sport’s popularity in the ’30s and ’40s with the invention of the rope tow and other lift systems, it also eventually contributed to the sport’s decline.

“As the automobile grew in popularity and the highway system was developed, people left the smaller hills of western Massachusetts for bigger adventures in the north,” says film producer Dave Fraser.

“Thousands of people learned to ski at places like Mt. Tom or Brodie Mountain,” he adds. “Anyone with memories of these places — or with a love for skiing in general — will enjoy reliving their stories and seeing their pictures.”

Producer: Dave Fraser

Videographers: Mark Langevin and Dave Fraser

Runtime: 40 Minutes

Copyright © 2017 WGBY-TV

WGBY is part of the WGBH Educational Foundation.