By Berne Broudy
Winter after winter, all winter long, Mickey and his kids ran gates and trained obsessively. It paid off. Since then, over generations, ten Cochrans have represented the United States in the World Cup and six have been Olympians. “It’s like the book stone soup,” says Jim Cochran, a former US Ski Team member, former Olympian, Mickey’s grandson and now the ski area manager. “You start with nothing, and people come together and create something amazing.”
The last Friday of the season is also the annual Ropeathon. Two hundred skiers race to log a million vertical feet in an evening—400 feet up and 400 feet down--to raise money for Cochran’s programs. The rope tow clangs at full tilt—it’s 30 seconds of glove-shredding, arm burning focus to get to the top. At the base, wise guy high schoolers hockey stop, spraying their friends, then take another lap.