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It’s True (We Think): Was Gore Mountain’s Ski Patrol Really First?

Well...maybe not technically, but, almost.

Gore Mountain’s 1934 ski patrol wasn’t the world’s first, but it served as a model for many patrols to come.

Anyone who’s been to a ski resort in the last, oh, nine decades or so, has skied with the knowledge that if they took a tumble, ski patrol would be there to pick up the pieces. But what was the first mountain to implement a ski patrol? Allegedly, North Creek’s Gore Mountain.

“The ski patrol at Gore Mountain, formed in 1934, was the first of its kind and served as a model for patrols all over the world,” writes Vincent Schaefer, the Schenectady Wintersports Club’s first president, in the December 1929 edition of Ski News. Schaefer goes on to describe a “clean-up crew” headed by Lois Perret, a registered nurse and his future wife, that would sweep the trails at the end of the day to make sure there were no injuries.

According to Jeff Leich of the New England Ski Museum, though, “The 1934 Schenectady Wintersports Club trip in March 1934 did have a very well-equipped patrol, but it only operated for one weekend. It wasn’t a patrol that operated throughout a ski season like those that followed.” Furthermore, a 2007 article written by Leich describes how American ski resort developer Roland Palmedo traveled to Davos, Switzerland, to observe its patrol (which had been in operation since 1930) and brought the idea to Stowe, VT during the 1934-35 season.

While Gore may not have had the world’s first ski patrol—or even the country’s first season-long one—Lois Perret and her clean-up crew were certainly pioneers. So, what are you waiting for? Drop that cliff. Gore Mountain ski patrol will be there if you fall.


Gore Mountain By The Numbers

Gore Mountain may not have had the first ski patrol in the world, but it does have…
439 skiable acres, the most in New York State
14 lifts, the most in New York State
110 trails, the most in New York State
2537 vertical feet, the second most in New York State (after Whiteface Mountain)
1 gondola, and was the first in New York State to install one
14,589 solar panels, the largest solar array dedicated to a ski resort in the US

Natalie Moore
Natalie Moore

Natalie Moore is the managing editor at saratoga living.

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