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 Deanna Kersey
 Bob Pidacks
 Deanna Kersey
 Poised for an exhilirating run at the summit of Black Mountain.
dedication to the mountain’s survival is fundamen- tal to its longevity. He began, “I was a five-year-old with a single mom. My uncle was an avid skier who started me out in my yard. Then I started walking to Scotty’s with my friend Dave Glazier. When Black Mountain was finally built, I joined the ski team. There was always a parent to drive me to meets. I was a racer. When I graduated in ’67, I wanted to apply to Middlebury to ski, but my guidance counselor said I’d never get in, and should pick a trade. I went to Maine Maritime Academy, and didn’t ski for four years. I got an engineering job in Boston, but finally came back in 1978 and started Community Energy. I got my sons on skis in 1982. My grandson is eight, and his passion and love for skiing is strong.
“There have been multiple generations here, but the story is still the same: it’s affordable and family friend- ly. We know that we’re a feeder mountain for Sugar- loaf and Sunday River, but we’re building skiers who grow up to be great people. We were the model for junior programs, and areas looked at Chisolm because it worked. Now the hills in Farmington and Auburn are thriving, because the demographic in Rumford has changed; it’s harder for families to support their kids in skiing now.
“Unfortunately, we have so few doing the work. But, larger numbers of people from away are coming to the mountain. Its rise will likely be in that contingency. They’re buying property here, too. We’re growing, and I’m optimistic that we’ll survive, and pull people in on a competitive level. Three years ago was our first prof- itable year after the Libra Foundation deeded it back to us. But we could quadruple our number of skiers before we’d be maxing. Our Angry Beavers have been cutting glades that rival the best ones in New Eng- land. They number in the hundreds, and at least 12
to 15 work every day. Right now, the Back Country Alliance, which is New England-wide, is collaborating with them on a nine-mile trail that ends in East An- dover. The new glades are on Mahoosuc Land Trust land. The partnership has brought us recognition and exposure. We’re also growing uphill skinning. You put skins on the bottoms of your skis to walk up the hill, and take them off to come down. We need to capture some revenue for this, because basically it’s free, but we still have to groom the trails.
“I have friends from all over the world because of skiing. It’s the nature of the sport, this camaraderie, because you can do it all your life and pass it on to family. I’m in it to give back to the people. I know we’ll rise again.”
“The Hill” will rise again, like all great institutions, and the sun at dawn. Black Mountain always was, and remains today, the little mountain that could. ✶
Above: A force to be reckoned with, the bold women of the Chisolm Ski Club after a day on the slopes at Black Mountain of Maine, circa 1966.
Below: Gerry Marcoux, one of the founders of the Angry Beavers, takes a break from cutting glades with his furry friends.
U.S. Ski Team from 1988 to 2016, and spent seven years in the Calgary Olympic Development Associa- tion in the foothills of the Rockies. In 2004, I accept- ed a job in the Olympic Park in Utah. But now, I re- cently opened a brewery with a friend of mine who was an Olympic ski-jumper. But, it’s the culmination of time spent with Herbie Adams, Tom Grace, Chendy Chenard and Jeff Knight that provided me with the realization that skiing could be my lifelong career. Because of these mentors, skiing is in my blood.”
I could not complete this article without interviewing Roger Arsenault, president of the board of directors of Black Mountain, to better grasp where the be- loved mountain is now, and where it’s going. Roger’s
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