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Waterville Valley Resort: Birthplace of freestyle skiing
As you're driving along Route 49 and about to enter the village of Waterville Valley, you're greeted by this sign:
If you Google "birthplace of freestyle skiing," you won't find Waterville Valley or resort founder Tom Corcoran mentioned anywhere. Instead, those bigger, glitzier, more famous areas -- Sun Valley & Heavenly Valley -- get all the recognition and glory.
Waterville Valley Resort has always been a bit of a secret to the greater world (shhhhh...that's how many of us like it!). This is apparently the case with the world's understanding of where freestyle skiing was born!
In author Grace Bean's history of Waterville Valley, The Town at the end of the road, she wrote that "Waterville Valley became the first [ski] area to offer freestyle instruction. A freestyle program was started in 1969-70...Freestyle classes were offered at all levels, including the Kids' Ski School..."
Bean also noted that "Tom Corcoran and Doug Pfeiffer, editor of Skiing Magazine, organized the First National Open Championships of Freestyle Skiing at Waterville Valley (February 28-March 1, 1970)...Herman Goellner, an experienced skier from Vermont, was the 1970 winner. The event was ... more
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