The strange and unique beginnings of the CSC
In 1803 Thomas Jefferson sent Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s Corps Sur Continent to find a water route to the Pacific and explore the uncharted West. He believed woolly mammoths, erupting volcanoes, and a mountain of pure salt awaited them.
What they found was no less mind-boggling: fantastic mountains to the North in Vermont, New Hampshire & Maine. Since they carried skis, schussing down a few unmarked runs was a fine way to start the day and rustle-up an appetite for Le Petit Dejeuner. They marked off areas as in-bounds and, sadly enough, Out-of-Bounds. We are still fighting to have some of these areas re-opened to this day. The saga of skiing pioneers never ends and we rarely sleep.
The Corps Sur Continent became today’s CSC, the Connecticut Ski Council, but we have since changed the entire purpose. Instead of looking for a route to the Pacific, we search daily for a way to find more Snow and more new friends with whom to celebrate the Winter season. Ski & Snowboard lessons and racing for young-and-old has been a plank of the new CSC platform for many seasons.
One final story from the Old CSC seems timely today:
It is told that Meriwether Lewis was quite the nature-person, be-friending many squirrels, porcupines and even a rare Bear.
William Clark, on the other hand was all about morning skiing and killing things for food. He spent five days a week hunting for animals to feed the entire CSC. He was quite the hunter. The other two days he spent preparing his hunting equipment; rifles, bullets and especially the gunpowder. That darn powder never kept dry enough for the entire week even though he spent most of the two off-days attempting to do just that.
One day, while preparing his equipment, a large & tasty Bear stumbled into camp, near the Day Lodge. Meriwether Lewis was way across camp, building a rad kicker, when he heard his friend the Bear come into camp. He knew this was trouble so he started skating over to the Day Lodge. William Clark had just dried some powder for his rifle when he spied the Bear thru his vermillion-lensed Carrera Goggles. He rodeoed off the Day Lodge balcony, took aim with his newly-cleaned rifle, and fired. The dry powder was phat. The shot was a score. The damage gnarly.
Meriwether Lewis stopped Clark from firing again by throwing his body in front of the Bear, his great friend. He screamed “William, William, why did you shoot my friend, the Bear?” Off-handedly, William Lewis commented that “There are no friends on a powder day!”
That Rule carries on to this Day in the New CSC.
Constitution & Bylaws