Our Skiing Heritage

During their concert singing days, Vermont was always home base for the Trapp Family Singers. The strength and beauty of the Green Mountains played a major role in shaping Johannes’s youth and character. By the age of four, the family’s passion for outdoor activities had made him an accomplished skier.

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He especially loved the quiet and solitude of the snow filled woods. He liked to loosen the bindings on his downhill skis so he could traverse the old roads and trails around his home, which would eventually become the Trapp Family Lodge. As a young man at Dartmouth College, Johannes’s roommate was a Norwegian cross-country skiing enthusiast, Richard Fuglesang. Richard frequently joined Johannes on ski weekends in Vermont. Their adventures on the primitive woodland trails planted the seed for a future cross-country ski center for guests of the already thriving Trapp Family Lodge.

In the early 1960’s, Johannes bought a few dozen sets of skis and boots, for rental to Lodge guests, and began making improvements to the trail system. Meanwhile, Richard placed an ad in a Norwegian newspaper – “Wanted: A cross-country ski instructor to go to America.” In 1967, Johannes flew to Oslo to interview the hundreds of ad respondents. The process didn’t take long. He was so impressed with the first interviewee that he hired Per Sorlie on the spot. Per immediately flew to Vermont to take part in trail development; linking logging roads, hiking trails, and bridle paths.

In the winter of 1968, the Trapp Family Cross-Country Ski Center opened as the first full service center of its kind in America. With success came longer trails and construction of the Slayton Pasture Cabin as a destination lunch and warming facility.

Our 2008-2009 winter season celebrated our 40th anniversary, offering more than 60 kilometers of groomed trails with linkage to another 30 kilometers of Stowe area trails, a professional ski school, equipment rentals and service, and a fully stocked retail shop. We are proud of all that has been accomplished, and especially grateful for the thousands of wonderful cross-country friendships formed over the past 40 years.

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