Well-known ski industry retired executive Cal Conniff and historian E. John B. Allen have authored Skiing in Massachusetts, a wonderful book full of photos and stories from the beginnings of this sport in the last century.
Conniff is the former executive director of the National Ski Areas Association and once operated Mount Tom Ski Area in Holyoke, now among the lost ski areas of the region.
The book includes posters and photos of ski areas and ski clubs in Massachusetts, primarily in the Berkshires, dating back to the early 1900s. Skiing began as a rugged endeavor, in which skiers would slog uphill packing their trails and then schuss downhill, less well-attached to their boards than the skiers of today.
Remember long thongs and cable bindings? Well, some of you might.
The early days evolved through rope tows and T-bars to high-speed quads, from snowmaking guns that threw slush to efficient towers and fans, from groomers that left icy rubble in their wake to the carpet-layers of today.
Skiing in Massachusetts looks back across the century in which all those changes happened.
It's a fascinating read, written by a man who took part in much of the action.
Skiing in Massachusetts is published by Arcadia Publishing and sells for $19.99.