times, and was last updated on March 25th, 2013.
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|Rudy Konieczny and his
2nd place medal.
A racer crosses the finish of the second Thunderbolt finish line.
The timing and officials' table at the finish.
Spectators and racers at the
second Thunderbolt finish line.
A look down the steep chute towards the finish line.
A racer plunges down the steep drop to the finish line.
After the 1936 Massachusetts State Downhill Championship race,
Dartmouth head coach, Otto Schniebs, recommended rerouting the
lower third of the Thunderbolt. In two years of racing, it became
apparent that skiers could take the entire Thunderbolt straight
without having to turn. What was needed was more challenging
terrain features that would force skiers to turn and test their skill.
Also, the original 1935 finish line was located in a south-facing river
gully. When it was mild, the finish would not be skiable due to lack of
snow cover. The changes occurred in 1936 and were carried out by
the 107th CCC company and were overseen by Charlie Parker of the
Mt. Greylock Ski Club. By 1937 the Thunderbolt had a new finish
line. The racing trail length increased from 1.2 miles to 1.4 miles,
and the vertical drop increased from 1,760 ft. to 2050 ft. The second
finish line also ended in a river gorge, and the last 30 yards was a
steep chute that plunged racers over a trestle across two rivers. But
this time the lower third of the Thunderbolt ended on a north-facing
slope of Mt. Greylock, and good snow conditions could be found here
well into March and even April.
Today the second finish line can be visited, but is rarely skied. The
modern Thunderbolt Trail brings skiers and hikers right by the big
S-Turn before the steep finish, but most people keep going right by
without ever knowing where the original trail actually ended. Remains
of the bridges can be seen if you look carefully enough.
Contact the webmaster with questions or comments.
"My brother used to say, 'No matter how fast you're going, don't worry.
You'll stop at the end.' Yeah. O.K. Right!"
- Adolph Koniecny
Dartmouth skier Jack Tobin finished his run during the Eastern Downhill Championship on February 25th, 1940.