CHESTERTOWN Dynamite Hill is 50 years old, and recollections of the days when the ski slope was young are now being sought from people who grew up and enjoyed the venue as youngsters.
The North Warren Chamber of Commerce is now planning a celebration of 50+ years of history of the Dynamite Hill Recreation Area to coincide with the annual Krazy Downhill Derby scheduled for Feb. 22.
Any photos of skiers and skaters using the hill in the early years, and stories of what it was like to spend weekend hours there in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s are of interest and will be shared during the celebration. The Chamber is compiling remembrances as well as creating a display of photos for everyone to enjoy that day.
Developed primarily by the Chestertown Rotary Club, Dynamite Hill opened with a 300-feet-long tow rope powered by a gear box at the top of the hill.
Skiers were challenged to make it to the bottom of the hill safely — hoping to stop before they flew through the woods into the Chester Creek beyond the end of the ski run, old-timers have said. Turning on skis with early bindings was more of a challenge in those days, not to say anything about navigating the makeshift ski jumps that the teenagers constructed at the bottom of the first slope to add excitement to the ride, they’ve said.
A fire kept burning by volunteers in the ski hut helped to dry out gloves that were wet from gripping the icy tow rope — and hot chocolate served up by the Rotary Club were appreciated by skiers taking a break.
Night skiing provided additional excitement for everyone and attracted out-of-town guests who were drawn to the bigger slopes during the day.
Those raised in Chestertown and surrounding communities are urged to dig out their photos, reconnect with their memories and email their recollections to: firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, a Dynamite Hill Facebook page has been set up for people to share stories.