The skiing industry will hit a significant milestone in January with the 90th anniversary of the country’s first ski lift. With the help of a Ford Model T, an early rope tow ran up a hill a couple miles north of Woodstock, Vermont, on a farm belonging to Clinton Gilbert.
Among the people who helped get that lift up and running was Rhode Island native Wallace “Bunny” Bertram, who, a couple of years later, would run a rope tow up Hill No. 6, the steeper north side, whereas the original rope tow on the Gilbert’s farm faced south.
Despite a summit elevation of about 1,200 feet and just 550 vertical feet, it quickly became a hotbed for early ski racing. Bertram owned and operated Suicide Six — which was rebranded as Saskadena Six in 2022 — until selling it to Laurance Rockefeller in 1961.
Today, there are 28 trails serviced by three lifts, with plenty of rustic charm that larger resorts can’t replicate.