The Mountain Meisters Race League, which holds its weekly races at Cranmore Mountain Resort in North Conway, N.H., is the longest and largest-running community ski race league in the United States.
More than 30 teams and 300-400 racers participate each Wednesday throughout the winter schedule, building points throughout the season. This past winter was the league’s 51st.
As the resort likes to note, being a Meister is being a local. It is a badge of honor for residents of Mount Washington Valley to be part of the ski racing community at Cranmore each week.
To celebrate its heritage, Cranmore has released a short film about the Mountain Meisters, chronicling the history of the program from its beginnings in the early ‘70s to present day. According to the Conway Daily Sun, the race was originally called the “Local Yokel” when it was started by then-Cranmore general manager Herbert Schneider and director of skiing Steve Sherlock. When Sherlock left the mountain, he took the Local Yokel name with him. For the past 40 years, the program has been celebrated as Cranmore Mountain Meisters.
Cranmore general manager Ben Wilcox gives a nod to the Eastern Slope Ski Club in the film, crediting it with innovative ways to get people skiing starting in the 1930s. The Mountain Meisters Race League started with the same story of ingenuity, trying to come up with a way to attract locals to the hills during the middle of the week.
It’s a cool little look back at an important corner of Mount Washington Valley history. You can watch the 10-minute feature below.