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Schenectady Wintersports Club

90th Anniversary of the SNOW TRAINS

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The Ski Patrol Award Ceremony
The Ski Patrol Award 2024
Wolf Hollow Brewing
Wolf Hollow Brewing

Celebrating  the Snow Train 90 years later

My husband and I have enjoyed many of the Snow Train presentations during the month of February, leaving each one with an even greater admiration for our SWC founders. SWC continues to enjoy the benefits of the scientists and engineers, Langmuir, Suits, Apperson and Schaefer whose outdoor endeavors resulted in the creation of not only the Mohawk Valley Hiking Club, but also Schenectady Wintersports Club and the Snow Train. The history of these individuals and their accomplishments have been beautifully presented by Jim Schaefer, son of Vince, and Bill and Greg Schaefer, sons of Carl. Many of the presentations included recent photos and movies as well as those recorded decades ago. It never gets old watching the skiers try to escape The Bear (a Carl Schaefer creation) when it suddenly appears on a narrow trail. It never stops being impressive to look at the photo of the first Snow Train in 1934, arriving in North Creek with 378 skiers. I think of the entire community of North Creek opening their doors to host those skiers. Total strangers destined to become family friends. The more current photos and videos presented are equally impressive. Our entire family worked at Schenectady Ski School and Maple Ski Ridge in the late 1990’s. We enjoyed working with Freddie and Andy, and later with Christina. Knowing them makes it impossible to watch the video of Freddie’s last run at Whiteface, at the age of 95, without a lump in my throat. I was in attendance, at Tannery Pond, for the presentation of the Lois Perret Schaefer Memorial Ski Patrol Award to Anne Dingman of the Gore patrol. Imagine the forethought and planning that was necessary to build the first aide stations, outfit toboggans, create safety kits and train the volunteers. The National Ski Patrol grew from that effort. Fortunately, the massive amounts of Snow Train and SWC history continue to be archived and maintained by our own Schaefer members, to continue the legacy. Articles celebrating the Snow Train and SWC can be found in the Schenectady Gazette and ADK Explorer. There are still more events scheduled leading up to the actual 90 year Snow Train Anniversary on March 4 2024. On March 2, 9:30-11:30 A.M.: A presentation on snowshoes at the North Creek Depot Museum in North Creek. On March 3, 3 P.M.: A Johnsburg community recording session and launch of the North Creek walking tour at the Tannery Pond Center in North Creek. Additionally, through March 4: An exhibit of the 1934 Schenectady Snow Train and the history of skiing in the Schenectady County towns of Rotterdam and Glenville.

Submitted by Karen Simmons

"Schenectady Wintersports Club Inc." is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization. P.O. Box 2072, Wilton New York 12831

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