The United States Military Academy at West Point, New York is known for the “Long Gray Line.” This historic institution of higher learning provides the country with the second best military officers in the world (I am a Navy Officer!). At West Point, Cadets learn the finer things of military life: how to march in straight lines, how to eat in squares, how to wear silly hats and how to use “Hooah” as a verb. It is a tough life I am sure.
However, one of the things this institution can boast that its brothers down South in Annapolis (USNA) lack is their own campus ski slope! Even the “Johnny-come-lately” flyboy school (USAFA) located in the Rocky Mountains cannot claim that!
The Victor Constant Ski Area is located on Army property just outside the gate. Although it is a Department of Defense facility run by Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR), it is open to the public. In case you are wondering, like military golf courses, the ski area operates with non-appropriated funding and aims to be revenue sustaining. Thus this is not your tax dollars at work.
They have been skiing on Silver Deposit hill at West Point since 1939. The hill is named for the US Mint that is located at the foot of the hill. The ski area itself is named after Captain S. Victor Constant, who built the slopes and was the founder of the West Point Academy ski team. The area has a single triple chair and rope tow. The chair is painted in the home team colors of black and gold!
There is just over 500 feet of vertical drop on the hill and six named runs. At the bottom of the hill is the Class of 1948 Lodge, a beautiful old school day lodge with a large fireplace serving light fare and hot chocolate for just a dollar.
I skied same day as the Army/Navy ski race. Both schools have club-level sport teams that compete at the collegiate club level. Not going to say who won but having your own slope on campus is probably an advantage. Either way it was cool to see my future co-workers racing down the slopes.
Once the races were over the slopes were turned back over to the general public. Thanks to recent storms the coverage was excellent. Over a couple of hours, I managed about ten truly enjoyable runs.
I can see if you’re in the area maybe learning how to march and say “Hooah” all the time, learning how to make “Pizza & French fries” might be a welcome diversion. For me it certainly was.
Robbie Allen is an avid small hill skier. He has written several articles on the many small hills he has sought out.
Great report and photos on an area I've long known about, but never skied. That lodge looks great. It's likely you skied Rodney H. Smith trail. It is named after an Army officer KIA in Vietnam who prior to going into combat helped refine some of the trails. He is the late father of long time DCSki poster Rod Smith aka Telerod. The father passed on the skiing gene to the son: