July 9, 2010
You asked: "Have you ever ridden a rope tow?". Would you know that my first ever day of skiing, I was at Liberty, and the beginners area was serviced by a rope tow. As a rank beginner, I almost had my arms pulled out of their sockets, since I was not familiar with the use of that device. Also, that same year and a few years after, Wisp also had a rope tow at their beginners area. Since then, the Wisp beginners area has been developed as their half-pipe terrain park area. So,yes, I've used rope tows before, at Liberty and at Wisp. However, when I skied Gray Rocks, they had already installed a giant T-bar, which transported two skiers at a time up the initial section of their 600 vertical hill, Sugar Peak. Each skier supported their "behind" on one arm of the t-bar. The spot where you download, is relatively flat, was their ski school meeting place, where skiers stand around and are assigned to ski classes appropriate to their level by the famous SSD Réal Charette, founder of CSIA. The assignment was done by him and his assistants just by looking at your stance on skis. No "ski off" was performed (at least the four times I was there). Usually, the assignment was dead on, although an hour or two into class, ski school supervisors would check each group to ask the instructors if the group "hung" well together and whether any fine tuning was necessary. After that, a skier stayed with the same class for the week. I am attaching a more modern version of the black and white picture which you posted, taken from the top of the rope tow (t-bar) unloading area, the ski school meeting area. You can see in the background, the modern lodge which ski weekers stayed, Lac Quimet and Mt. Tremblant. For our Northern Bears, I am also including a picture of Réal Charette. The little badge he is wearing on the middle of his pullover is the Gray Rocks Ecole de Ski crest. Big guy, more than six feet, 200 plus lbs.
By the way, examining his skiing, I'm guessing that Gary Cooper is somewhere in the middle of a "Royal Christie" in the shot taken at Aspen 1949. If so, can you imagine the difficulty of this maneuver on hickory skis that stiff and that long, with soft leather ski boots and bear trap type binidings? Can anyone confirm that he is pulling a Royal Christie or performing some other maneuver?
ps: can't seem to be able to get the picture of Réal Charette to load. My apologies.
Edited by CharlieP - 7/9/10 at 10:28am
Originally Posted by Jamesj
Very cool identification CP. Have you ever ridden a rope tow? At Gray Rocks or elsewhere?