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The small central Vermont ski area near Woodstock is the latest to announce intentions to change its name due to concerns about mental health issues. Suicide Six shared on its website that a new name will be unveiled in the next few weeks.
“Our resort team embraces the increasing awareness surrounding mental health and shares the growing concerns about the insensitive nature of the historical name,” wrote resort management on June 28. “The feelings that the word ‘suicide’ evokes can have a significant impact on many in our community.”
The original name came from resort founder Wallace “Bunny” Bertram, who installed a rope tow on a modest slope called Gilbert’s Hill in 1934. After one season there, he moved it to an adjacent ridge known as Hill 6, but changed the name to Suicide Six due to the steep pitch of one of the runs. He modeled his primitive rope tow after the ferris wheel pulley system. Bertram has since been credited with opening the first modern ski area in the U.S., and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1981.
The 100-acre ski area has been utilized largely as a race hill for the Dartmouth Ski Team from the late 1930s to the early ’60s, and has hosted such storied racers as Tom Corcoran, Brooks Dodge, Dick Durrance, Betsy Snite, and Gretchen Fraser. Today, the hill boasts 23 runs served by three lifts, and is a popular local spot known of its learning programs, uphilling, and a mom-and-pop communal vibe that’s ever harder to find these days.