YESTERDAY $275 WAS MATCHED! ($22,463 of MATCH REMAINING)
MAKE A DONATION TODAY- CLICK HERE!
John Upton showing perfect form in the ’75 Dartmouth Winter Carnival his senior year… and sporting a ribbed leather helmets that Norwegian teammate Christian Berggrav brought from Norway for the team.
Dartmouth Outing Club
Cape Elizabeth ME
In 1971, in my freshman year at Dartmouth, I attended the annual on-snow training camp held that December at Cannon Mountain. I was very pleased that all of the fall dryland training was over and I gladly packed my jumping gear. The team stayed at a dormitory in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire, and the first morning coach Al Merrill got us up and announced that the team would run to breakfast 4 miles down the road. When I confided to Al that I did not pack running shoes, thinking for sure I would get a ride in the van, he told me to make my way in my jumping boots. By the time I lumbered in, breakfast was over and I was warmly greeted by the knowing upperclassmen. It did not get any better.
At the end of the training camp, Al organized a meet on the natural hill (long overgrown) for the team and some recent grads. All the wooden jumping skis were standing up in deep snow near the knoll. When I got up to the top of the hill ready to take my first ride, I realized I grabbed the wrong skis. Walking back down to exchange them, I was greeted to another round of merciless cheers.
When classes resumed in early January, sensing I might be a little overwhelmed, Al gave me the key to the chain across the Dartmouth jump and suggested that a few of us freshmen spend an unsupervised Sunday afternoon getting a little more settled. I must have taken a million jumps that afternoon and turned the page in my college career. Al told me to hold onto the key which I still have.
I try to keep my skis mostly on the snow these days but the jumping friendships from college are still strong. Al was succeeded by Jim Page the next year who was a wonderful mentor. My great friend and teammate John Lowell and I have reconnected with Jim, who is still a demon on the alpine slopes in Colorado. I still regularly trade photos of big trout with Don Cutter, and Arnie Nielsen and Christian Berggrav relived many stories not quite appropriate to this forum at their 40th class reunion travelling further than anyone to make it.
KEYS TO THE KINGDOM- Everything changed the day Al Merrill handed the keys to John and fellow freshman… keys he still holds.GREEN FLYERS UNITE- John Upton (L) at a recent Dartmouth reunion with Norwegian ski jumping teammates Christian Bergrav (C) and Arne Nielsen (R).
ANOTHER REUNION- this one with fellow Dartmouth jumper John Lowell (L), former Dartmouth skier and coach and USST Nordic program director Jim Page (C), and John (R).