Vermont Ski Resort Changes NameNov 17, 2022 04:46PM ● By Virginia Dean
“This is more than renaming this place,” says Don Stevens, chief of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk-Abenaki Nation. “This is recognizing the original stewardship of this land and providing cultural education to those who visit this standing mountain.” According to a statement on the ski area’s website, in the Abenaki language, saskadena means “standing mountain.”
The first rope tow in the country was installed at the mountain in February 1934 on Hill No. 6, from which the area derived its name. The hill was located on Clinton Gilbert’s farm. The rope tow was originally powered with a Ford Model T engine. By the following month, Wallace “Bunny” Bertram (a former ski coach at Dartmouth College who had helped build the original rope lift) took over the operation and installed a more reliable electric motor. Bertram allegedly once joked that to ski down the nearby Hill No. 6 would be suicide. Two years later, the resort was opened using this name. In 1961, Bertram sold Suicide Six to Laurance Rockefeller, and the development continued in conjunction with Rockefeller’s nearby Woodstock Inn.
“Much time, care, and thought have been invested in the process to choose a name more representative of our values, one that celebrates its 86-year history, honors the Abenaki tradition, and will welcome future generations,” says Courtney Lowe, president of the Woodstock Inn & Resort, which continues to own the ski area. “While the name might be changing, the experiences offered on this beloved mountain are not.”
Today, the ski area, situated a short drive north of Woodstock and south of the White River, has three lifts and 24 trails. It is host to the longest running ski race in North America, the Fisk Trophy Race, which is a rite of passage for serious eastern ski racers. Notable past winners include Bode Miller, Chip Knight, Jimmy Cochran, Shane McConkey, and other Olympians, US Ski Team members, and NCAA champions.
The 100-acre skiable area has a vertical drop of 650 feet, a top elevation of 1,200 feet, and a base elevation of 550 feet. For further information, visit www.saskadenasix.com.