Two of the main rope tows at Meany Lodge,named “Worm” and “Mach”.




“When it gets going, it can rip your arms off.”

Chuck Wilder’s words rattle around my brain as I struggle to grip the frozen cord. The rope tow hadn’t looked like much from afar—an electric motor-propelled pulley system crescendo-ing up into an idyllic pine forest. Frankly, the warning had felt a little dramatic, even for a storyteller like Wilder. Plus, I’d already watched a group of five-year-olds make it look easy. Piece of cake.

My shoulders are the first to rebuff my ignorance, muscle and tendon straining to keep appendages in their proper sockets. The hands follow. Wrapped in gloves and an outer pair of shredded leather mittens to prevent rope burn, my fingers cramp while clawing for something, anything to keep me on the line. Nicknamed a “nutcracker,” the metal rope gripper attached to my harness—a prerequisite to board this carnival ride—swings menacingly between my legs. A foreign twinge of panic lodges in my stomach as the track steepens. My arms are just too torqued to lock the gripping mechanism into place. Near defeat, I lean forward and squeeze.

Buy issue

Subscribe to start your collection of The Ski Journal.


The Ski Journal Mailing List

We respect your time, and only send you the occasional update.