Copyright 2014 Bigschuss Productions
All Rights Reserved
Purple Mountain Majesty was produced in 1999 by Blair Mahar, a
biology teacher at Hoosac Valley High School in Adams,
Massachusetts.  Mahar's love of history and skiing spawned the
idea to make a documentary film about Mt. Greylock's (3,491 ft.)
Thunderbolt Ski Run.  Funded by a grant from the
Fund for Adams,
he and roughly 20 students spent a year filming and documenting
the rich history of the trail.   
Mahar on the Thunderbolt
Student interns made production equipment in Hoosac Valley's
metal shop, conducted historical research, and produced some of
the film's artwork.  During filming, students transported skiers and
film crews to the summit on snowmobiles, they skied on the trail,
and they were behind the lens doing the filming.
Hoosac Valley High School student
intern, Jon Peterson, behind the lens
of the Super-8 mm high-speed camera.
From left to right, Hoosac Valley High School student interns
Dave, Mike Talora, and Joe Milesi transport film crew and skiers
(HVHS student  Matt Todd) to the summit, January 1999.
Hoosac Valley High School interns (L to R) Josh Chittenden, Matt
Todd, Rich Adamczak, and Jeremy Lipka on the Thunderbolt
during filming, January 1999.
Mahar filming skiers on the
Thunderbolt using a 16mm camera.
Mahar (left) talking to skiers prior to a shoot.
The film was shown at the
Adams Memorial Middle
School in July of 1999 to a
standing room only audience.
It has since gone on to wide
acclaim and has become a
back-country ski classic.  
Purple Mountain Majesty has
been referenced as a primary
source in several books, and
was the influence behind
Charlie Sanders'
The Boys of
Winter: Life and Death in the
U.S. Ski Troops During the
Second World War.  
The book
is about one of Adams' local
legends, Rudy Konieczny, an
Olympic hopeful who died
fighting with the 10th Mtn. Div.
in WWII, and whose life was
chronicled for the first time in
Purple Mountain Majesty.
A History of the Thunderbolt Ski Run
A Film by Blair Mahar