Up until 1947 Bromley was considered an area for experts and good intermediates; there were no novice trails. The relatively light snowfall in southern Vermont harshly limited the length of their season. Sitting with Pabst in Chanticleer one evening, Hannes Schneider, the late Austrian ski great, predicted: "The first area In the East to make its hills smooth so they can be skied on light snowfall will have it."
What Schneider had said made sense, and Pabst went ahead. He waited for the driest months, late summer, and took a good look at the shrubs growing on his mountain: the green turned yellow near the ground; the soil needed fertilizer; the mountain needed grass. On a novice slope named Lord's Prayer he planted a catch crop of oats and winter rye, red top and timothy, and a year later the slope lay smooth as a golf green under a scant four inches of snow—and people were actually skiing on it. Each year, then, for the next five years, one more trail received the same treatment, and today Pabst can boast, "We're the only mountain in the East you can ski on four inches of packed snow."
The mountain grows
Whatever they did, on the mountain or below it, there was an interrelationship. Improved trails brought more skiers. The more skiers, the more food, and the more people to serve the food, were needed. And then still more facilities were needed for the added employees. Bromley is still growing; Pabst is still complaining and Sally is still patient. The chair lift is in, a result of incorporation In 1954 and stock sales four years later. A new parking area is going In across Route 11. Glade and Spring, two new trails, were added on the west side of the mountain, an S curve was cut from Blue Ribbon and Pushover was pushed wider and more level. An annoying gully has been eliminated at the mountain top. In all, Bromley will use up close to $160,000 this year alone.
Pabst, sitting in his pine-paneled press room, looking out on the workmen moving earth across the lower part of Lord's Prayer teaching slope, recalls a day many years ago, when his parents visited the mountain. " Frederick!" his mother said, watching flushed skiers sweep down the broad hills and flash to a stop, laughing, breathing steam. "I think it's wonderful! You're rebuilding the health of the nation!" "That may be," said his father, who could never understand the investment of money in something as changeable as the weather. "But let's make it pay."