Pulaski High School - Oriole Yearbook (Pulaski, VA)

 - Class of 1937

Page 34 of 96

 

Pulaski High School - Oriole Yearbook (Pulaski, VA) online yearbook collection, 1937 Edition, Page 34 of 96
Page 34 of 96



Pulaski High School - Oriole Yearbook (Pulaski, VA) online yearbook collection, 1937 Edition, Page 33
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Page 34 text:

Skiing Trip I HAD READ and heard much about the craze that sends hundreds of New Yorkers gaily up into New England every week-end in the winter time, so I determined to find out what it was all about. I purchased a pair of white ash skis, seven and a half feet long, and two ski poles. I also bought a pair of heavy ski boots, cap and wax. I learned from a friend that Pittsfield, Mass., is a good place to go for skiing, so I decided to go there. Weather reports for skiing are published every Friday in the New York Times, and one Friday morning I read this report for Pittsfield: “Skiing excellent, snow 20 inches, loose surface, temperature 15, sky clear.” This was what I had been waiting for, so I got ready and left on the early afternoon snow train. Late in the afternoon I arrived in Pittsfield, and after eating a large dinner — for the cold climate makes good appetites — I spent the night in a hotel. I awoke with the dawn of a cold clear day, and after eating my break- fast I went out to the practice slopes. At first I could hardly stand up on those slippery pieces of wood, but after many downhill slides and falls, I gained some measure of balance and control. The sun had risen rather high and it became quite warm, so I shed my jacket, though the tempera- ture of the air was about 20°. I now sought out the help of the hotel expert. He taught me how to double-stem, which is the underlying principle of ski control. I had a book on skiing which gave me instructions for making turns so I set about to teach myself how to make such turns as Christianias, Telemarks, stem-turns. These terms are imported from Norway. By dusk I had managed to make a few fairly decent turns. I now considered myself pretty good, so I decided that I would try some down mountain running on the morrow — Sunday. I think I nearly ate out the hotel that night and I was asleep before I hit the bed. The next morning I was very stiff and sore, but I took the bus for Mt. Greylock. Mt. Greylock is not far from Pittsfield and is the highest moun- tain in Massachusetts. It is 3,505 feet in height. A ski trail is cut twisting down the sides of this peak and it is termed “Thunderbolt,” one of the most difficult trails in New England. This is what the Berkshire ski map says about the run: “Thunderbolt ski run; east slope of Mt. Greylock; class,



Page 35 text:

advanced; length, 1.55 miles (racing trail, 1 mile and 1,050 feet); vertical descent, 2,060 feet (racing track, 1,760 feet); width 18-60 feet; maximum grade, 35 degrees; exposure, north, east and southeast; depth of snow necessary, 5 inches.” The drive on the bus was beautiful. The sun was shining brightly on the deep-packed snow. Occasionally we passed through pine groves which were laden with glistening snow. As we approached the mountain we caught glimpses through the frosty bus windows of the jagged scar cut down the side of the mountain. Leaving the bus, I started climbing up the trail. It was some job plowing through the snow. Finally, after many rests, I reached the top. The view was stupendous. I could see miles and miles of snow and forests. Away down to the south, I could see the smoke from New York. I fastened on my skis and pushed off. I was flying in the first ten yards. The speed took my breath. The first turn loomed ahead. Now I must stem-turn. Good Lord! I seemed to forget all I ever knew about turning, so I did the only sensible thing — I fell sideways. I went off the trail in a cloud of snow. As it happened, I was not hurt. I was quite abashed. I had not reckoned on such speed, so I stemmed the rest of the way down, taking the turns slowly. I tell you I was relieved when I reached the foot of the mountain. I again boarded the bus and returned to Pitts- field, where I took the train back to New York. I ' m still reading the weather forcasts. I am going to have another try at Thunderbolt. Tommy Combilhs, ' 37.

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