Three years ago, Magic Mountain was in danger of closing. Again. A small, steep, raw and natural mountain, it is worlds away from nearby resorts like Stratton and Killington. With mostly natural snow, no village, few skiers and a laid back if you can see it you can ski it mentality it is a diamond in the rough in Southern Vermont- A virtual time machine that brings you back to when skiing was skiing.
Faced with looming costs and crumbling infrastructure, Magic’s management took a bold move- to opt for a co-op ownership, much like Mad River Glen to the north. Loyal skiers took notice and ran with it- finding ever-evolving ways to raise funds by selling shirts, baselayers, coozies, wine and even donating for group owned shares. Volunteer operations sprang up, and I have put in hundreds of hours each year helping to maintain existing tree skiing areas and hiking to scout and make new ones as well as assembling people, helping to organize their efforts. This season Magic skiers and volunteers have already pledged enough money to repaint their beloved Red Chair, with every intention of developing no less than two new tree skiing areas for the coming season.
The camaraderie this translates to during the season simply cannot be put into words. Magic has become a family of sorts. A team of people all 110% committed to preserving a valuable piece of skiing history and a way of life- a mountain that places the preservation of classic skiing over the profits that is run by skiers and not suits- a virtual impossibility these days. We spend our summers working to make Magic a better place every year and have a blast doing it. We spend our winters scouring the internet for potential Magic skiers and showing them a great time when they come out. Magic has literally overtaken my entire life. The people that work and ski there have become my family. Helping the mountain to grow, whether by training welders on the hill, donating to fundraisers to improve the hill or leading 20 volunteers into the steeps to clear after ice storms, has become my personal mission and obsession and it feels great to be a part of something positive that provides so many with something constructive to be a part of.
Magic has been called “Cheers on skis” for good reason. I can tell you the name of every employee, as well as 75% of the people in the bar on any given night. It is a friendly place. The kind of place that’s glad you drove past the regular resort for and although it is certainly a raw environment, skiers looking for a challenge (not coddling) and some good laid back rowdy fun on the hill without the crowds, pretentious skiers, expensive tickets & village or lift lines come to Magic and never leave. But don’t take my word for it- come see for yourself why Magic has become home to so many.