|Bill Trudgeon jumps through the Hoop of Fire off the old K86m at Gunstock.|
Story No. 19
Gunstock Mountain Resort
My admiration for the sport was sparked when I wrote the book, The History of Gunstock: Skiing the Belknap Mountains. Few know that the history of Gunstock is steeped in the richness of the sport – and that ski jumping is where it all began for Gunstock.
I am not a skier jumper, nor would I ever even consider being daring enough to jump from even the smallest of jumps. My admiration for the sport blossomed when I researched the history of Gunstock Mountain Resort in Gilford, NH. The sport of ski jumping and the construction of Gunstock’s 60-meter jump gave birth to the successful resort that remains with us today.
My research taught me about the great Torger Tokle, Mezzie Barber, Art Devlin, Bill Trudgeon, and all the other incredible ski jumpers that have jumped at Gunstock. It led me to Olympic Medalist, Penny Pitou, who fearlessly jumped from the 20-meter jump at the recreation area. Jumping was part of her training that made her one of our country’s top female Alpine skiers. Bernie Dion, a member of the Amazing Jumping Dions, has told me endearing stories of his ski jumping days and the time when he was a mentor and coach to numerous ski jumping superstars; so many of those stars came up through the ranks as he stood nearby cheering them on.
I have gained the greatest admiration for ski jumpers and those involved in the sport. There is certainly a community involved in the sport with a passion that is second to none. It is an amazing sport that should be preserved – right along with its history.
Editor’s Note- With Carol’s support (and others including Bernie Dion) funds have been found to begin to resurrect the Gunstock jumps. It is hoped that the 10m and 25m hills will be up and operational this winter. USASJ’s Dan Warner, Mike Holland, Walter Malmquist, Gil Delaat have been supporting this effort.