My understanding is the first "Front Four" trail was cut in the early 1950s..."The National", as it was then called, was finally completed in early 1952, in time to be the site of that year’s U.S. National Skiing Championships. 

But the "Front Four" didn’t actually come to fruition until 1960, when Stowe completed the cutting of Goat and Starr (the later named after the resort’s co-founder, C.V. Starr).  By Eastern U.S. standards, all four trails are fairly steep...of course, steepness isn’t just a matter of pitch...length (and grooming) certainly count too.  Top-to-bottom, ungroomed Goat is considered by many to be the most challenging named trail at Stowe.  Starr, which starts with a dramatic 37 degree pitch, then eases up a bit to end at 34 degrees, but ends little more than halfway down the mountain when it hits Lookout.

Actually, Nose Dive encompasses much of the history of U.S. skiing in one trail.  Back in the day, everyone hiked to the summit, then skied a steep, narrow chute snaking down the front face of a mountain.  Eventually the Nose Dive was tamed, widened, and made lift accessible in 1940 with the installation of the single chair lift.  While no longer the challenge it once was, Nose Dive remains an historically significant trail.  None of Stowe's legendary trails -- Nose Dive, The National, Goat, Starr and Liftline -- follow their original routing exactly, as Wes pointed out in his thread.

--John 

-----Original Message-----
From: Sharon Lives [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2008 11:46 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [SKIVT-L] Partee story - told to a different audience

While my only experience at Stowe is at the skivt-l partee extravaganzas for the last few years, I had previously heard of the "Legendary Front Four". I had imagined these were pretty darned challenging trails, but IMO, they are just a bunch of steeper runs, some ungroomed, some groomed. Goat is the only one that is somewhat narrow, but only at the top. So, what I'm thinking, is that Henry may be correct in that these used to be much narrower, classic New England trails, that truly were much more challenging back in the day, hence the "legendary" status. Can anyone verify? -Sh On Thu, 17 Apr 2008 08:14:08 -0500, Barboza, Henry <[log in to unmask]>wrote: > >Wes stated: > >>WHile I am amazed that, considering I was choosing the route for most >of the descents, I can't recognize many of the >places where Ben >and Kevin's photos were shot, I do recognize that one. It is the top of >"Old National," the original >trail. That entrance has been >officially closed ever since they built the Lookout Double around 1978, >and bulldozed the >cat track from there to Lift Line, brutally slashing >across the original trails. This rcontouring officially closed upper >>National and Lift Line, since they now terminate in small ledge drops >onto a busy traverse with blind openings. Only in >the last year or so >have I seen the rope there occasionally missing, indicating that it >might actually be a real trail >again -- much like pper Lift Line has >made a recent comeback. It certainly skis better than it did, say, 10 >years ago -- >somebody has cleaned up some (but not all) of the 30 years >of forest progression and regeneration. > >Finally, these short little trails off of the upper traverse make sense. >I had thought at one time that both the run under the quad chair at the >very top and the next run over from that (skier's right), were simply >trails that the locals had maybe made up and kept cleared, especially >considering the ugly dropoffs at the end of each of them where they >spill out onto the traverse above today's National and Lift Line. I can >see now how both must have at one time simply led straight done onto >National and Lift Line, and that the lower traverse really was a huge >cut into the side of the mountain. I would also guess that both >National and Lift Line were at one time much narrower then they are >today (at least judging by the way they are at the very top). They must >have really been something back then, probably both much more similar to >Goat then what they currently are. I also thought that Nosedive was a >lot more radical too then what it is today. That too looks like it had >some major recontouring with the bulldozer. > >By the way, and I think this has been discussed before, but what's the >history behind the trail off the top of Goat? I have heard this >referred to as Old Goat and Pipeline 1. Was this the original Goat? If >so, I can't imagine how they use to ski it with the equipment they had >years ago as this is one steep and narrow trail. > >Henry > > >This e-mail, including attachments, may include confidential and/or >proprietary information, and may be used only by the person or entity to >which it is addressed. If the reader of this e-mail is not the intended >recipient or his or her authorized agent, the reader is hereby notified >that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this e-mail is >prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify the >sender by replying to this message and delete this e-mail immediately. > >- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - >SkiVt-L is brought to you by the University of Vermont. > >To unsubscribe, visit http://list.uvm.edu/archives/skivt-l.html - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SkiVt-L is brought to you by the University of Vermont. To unsubscribe, visit http://list.uvm.edu/archives/skivt-l.html
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