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SKIING Scene: And Who Needs Metal Edges, Anyway?

posted: 02/25/2000
by Paul McMorris

Change doesn't go over big at Vermont's cooperatively owned Mad River Glen. At a recent meeting of the ski area's 1,500 shareholders, an infidel foolishly proposed that the area's ban on snowboarding be lifted. From the back of the emotionally charged room came an immediate response: "Get the rope!"

Then there was the dicey issue of upgrading the area's 1948 American Steel and Wire Company single chairlift. When the suggestion was made to replace the current, grease-dripping sheave assemblies with ones that wouldn't ruin clothing, at least one member was vehemently opposed. This seasoned skier felt that grease dripping on one's clothes was part of the "Mad River experience" and feared that with new sheaves, skiers would feel free to start wearing blasphemously bright clothing.

Despite such objections, it was decided that the historic chair (fastest money could buy in '48) would get a new $150,000 drive system for 2000¿2001. The snowboarding ban will remain intact, however, and bright ski clothes are expected to continue to be frowned upon.

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