Skiing Terry Peak - 1949

Posted by Samuel Parkinson on
A skier on Terry Peak in 1949
Still frame from the film

Terry Peak is located in the northern Black Hills of South Dakota, near Lead. The history of organized, recreational skiing on Terry Peak dates back to at least 1938 and a group of area ski enthusiasts calling themselves the Bald Mountain Ski Club. The Bald Mountain Ski Club installed a rope tow up on Stewart Slope, and so began Terry Peak Ski Area.

The 1949 film shows young skiers competing in a slalom competition, older skiers in slalom and downhill competition, a very speedy rope tow, and a group of skiers flying off the ski jump on the slope at the time.

young skier at Terry PeakThe film shows a young skier on a slalom course

IOTP-TerryPeak49-clothing.jpgStill frame from 1949 Terry Peak film

terry peak tow rope 1949Terry Peak tow rope - 1949. The first chair lift wouldn't be installed until 1952.

houses on Terry PeakA view of houses on Terry Peak in 1949



Terry Peak stands at 7,064 feet from top to bottom. In 1952 Ed Keene, Ken Keller, Ken Stormo, John Finola, and Richard Morcom formed the Black Hills Chairlift Company. The first winter chairlift went into operation in 1954. Due to unpredicatbale winters in the Black Hills, Terry Peak produces snow for the mountain, starting in the 1970s.  In 2000 the first Half-Pipe was installed and has since grown into the Terrain Park. Terry Peak is South Dakota's largest ski area, boasting over 25 trails and 600 acres of skiable terrain. 

Looking out at the Black HillsLooking down off the mountain and out into the Black Hills from Terry PeakCourtesy: Terry Peak Ski AreaSki Lift Terry Peak.jpgCourtesy: Terry Peak Ski Area

For Teachers: Activity idea is available at SDPB's Digital Learning Library.

Terry Peak hosts many events throughout the winter season including the Riders Cup, Lunar Run, and the Free Heel Festival. 

Read more about the history of Terry Peak skiing.

Read one skier's thoughts about the Terry Peak experience in this "South Dakota Magazine" article by Lee Schoenbeck.

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