In January 1934, the first ski lift in the U.S. was installed on a low-angle south-facing slope in South Pomfret, Vermont. It was a rope-tow powered by a Ford Model T motor and didn't travel more than 500 feet uphill. If you aren't paying any mind you'll whiz right by one of the most historic ski areas in the country on your way to points north, where ski areas now have high-speed six-packs and water parks.
At Suicide Six, there are no fancy high speed lifts; it has limited snowmaking; a whopping 650 feet of vertical drop; and 88 annual inches of snowfall. But what it lacks in amenities it more then makes up for in character. Just ask the locals who call it home and never seem to tire of runs like The Face or Perley's Peril.
Back in 1982, "The Six" earned its place in history as the birthplace of competitive snowboarding when Paul Graves organized the National Snowsurfing Championships. Tom Sims walked away with the win and $300 for his troubles. Graves passed the event to Jake Burton Carpenter and in 1985 it became the U.S. Open of Snowboarding, which was held at Stratton Mountain, Vermont for 27 years until it moved to Vail, Colo. in 2013. [words + photos] Justin Cash