South Pomfret ski area to improve name, citing psychological overall health consciousness

Snow recedes at the Suicide Six Ski area.
Snow recedes at the Suicide Six ski place in April 2021. File picture by Jennifer Hauck/Valley Information

The South Pomfret ski location Suicide 6 declared Tuesday it would retire its “insensitive” title, with plans to expose a new identify later this summer.

“Our resort workforce embraces the expanding awareness bordering psychological health and shares the escalating concerns about the insensitive character of the historic identify,” a assertion on the ski area’s web page reads. “The thoughts that the word ‘suicide’ evokes can have a significant effect on many in our neighborhood.”

The first rope tow was put in at Suicide 6 in 1936 on so-known as “Hill No. 6,” from which the area derived its name. Right now, the smaller ski location, positioned a short drive north of Woodstock and south of the White River, has a few lifts and 24 trails. Through the warmer months, the mountain serves as a popular mountain biking desired destination. 

According to the statement, a new name has currently been picked out.

“Though some could obtain the modify tricky, we stand by our conviction that this evolution is warranted for an legendary treasure and, far more importantly, essential to continue on its wealthy background of inclusion and accessibility,” the assertion continued. 

The name adjust is not the to start with of its variety. Last yr, the famed Lake Tahoe ski resort previously recognised as Squaw Valley, which hosted the 1960 Wintertime Olympics, transformed its identify to Palisades Tahoe. In a statement unveiled in September, vacation resort officials acknowledged that the previous identify had been “derogatory and offensive.” 

The Woodstock Ski Runners, a neighborhood ski club that has been snowboarding Suicide Six considering that it opened in the 1930s, has its clubhouse on the slope. Jason Merrill, the club’s board president, explained the new title would not improve much.

“Regardless of the title, we are associates in training kids how to ski and creating superior ski racers,” he mentioned. “We’re likely to assist the mountain as we usually have carried out.”

Alison Krompf, deputy commissioner of the Vermont Office of Mental Overall health, applauded the ski area’s decision, and the rationale driving it. 

“Suicide has touched so a lot of men and women in Vermont,” she reported. “If you discuss to your friends and spouse and children, it really is incredibly exceptional for somebody to not know someone, or at minimum be shut with somebody who misplaced a cherished just one to suicide.”

A identify change like this 1 is not intended to stifle conversations about suicide, but alternatively to protect against earning mild of suffering, Krompf stated.

“You should not be scared to communicate about (suicide),” she stated, noting the damaging myth that talking about suicide tends to make it much more very likely. 

In the previous two several years, the suicide amount in Vermont has increased far more than 37%, and Krompf explained that, nationwide, ski towns experience disproportionately. She pointed to a 2016 Nationwide Geographic posting, which outlines the improved suicide fee in quite a few ski resort towns and the doable causes, these kinds of as wealth disparity, a seasonal economy and the transient nature of neighborhood social lifestyle. 

The South Pomfret ski area’s move could be a phase in a optimistic path, Krompf mentioned, and “I’m happy they thought about it.”

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People & Areas

Tags: Pomfret, ski field, snowboarding, Suicide 6, Woodstock Ski Runners

Ethan Weinstein

About Ethan

Ethan Weinstein is a basic assignment reporter focusing on Windsor County and the bordering space. Earlier, he labored as an assistant editor for the Mountain Times and wrote for the Vermont Normal.