“Suicide Six” will be no longer.
The Vermont ski area isn’t going anywhere, but its name, one that its resort team recognizes as “insensitive” in a time of increasing awareness surrounding mental health, is being retired this summer.
Suicide Six made the announcement in a post on its website Tuesday, acknowledging “the feelings that the word ‘suicide’ evokes can have a significant impact on many in our community.”
“The Suicide Six Ski Area has an enduring legacy spanning nearly nine decades, and it is vital that the name better represents and celebrates what makes it a beloved and vibrant part of this community,” the ski area posted. “Though some may find the change difficult, we stand by our conviction that this evolution is warranted for an iconic treasure and, more importantly, necessary to continue its rich history of inclusion and accessibility.”
Recognized as one of the oldest ski areas in the country, Suicide Six has a rich history that includes America’s first rope tow, introduced on nearby Gilbert’s Farm in 1934. That evolved into the opening of Suicide Six in 1936. It earned the name “Suicide Six” when Rhode Island native Wallace “Bunny” Bertram suggested it would be “suicide” to ski straight down the face of what was then called “Hill No. 6.” The nickname stuck for almost 90 years.
The Pomfret, Vt. Ski area has an elevation of of 1,200 feet and a vertical of 650 feet. It is home to 100 acres of skiing and snowboarding on 24 trails and slopes suitable for all skill levels.
Suicide Six is only the latest ski area to decide on a name change. California’s Squaw Valley decided to change its name to Palisades Tahoe last year. In Maine, the mountain known as “Big Squaw” was re-named “Big Moose Mountain” after the state banned the word from public place names like towns, mountains and lakes.
The word, “Squaw,” is recognized as a derogatory term for Native American women.
Suicide Six said that it will announce its new name in the coming weeks.
Eric Wilbur can be reached at email@example.com.