Buck Hill

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For Roger "Buck" Hill or the Buck Hill summit of the Alleghany Mountains, see Buck Hill (musician) and Savage Mountain.
Buck Hill
Location Burnsville, Minnesota, U.S.
Nearest city Minneapolis
Coordinates 44°43′26″N 93°16′59″W / 44.724°N 93.283°W / 44.724; -93.283Coordinates: 44°43′26″N 93°16′59″W / 44.724°N 93.283°W / 44.724; -93.283
Vertical    262 ft (80 m)
Top elevation 1,211 ft (369 m)
Base elevation    949 ft (289 m)
Runs 16 total
Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg - 6 easiest
Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg - 6 more difficult
Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg - 4 most difficult
Lift system 2 quad chairlifts
1 triple chairlift
3 rope tows
2 magic carpets
1 snowtubing tow
Snowfall 60 in (150 cm)
Snowmaking yes
Night skiing every night
Web site buckhill.com
BuckHill is located in United States
BuckHill
Buck
Hill
Location in the United States
BuckHill is located in Minnesota
BuckHill
Buck
Hill
location in southeastern Minnesota

Buck Hill is a ski hill in the north central United States, in the city of Burnsville, Minnesota, a suburb south of Minneapolis. It is one of three ski areas located within the Twin Cities metropolitan area, the others are Afton Alps and Hyland Ski and Snowboard Area. Buck Hill opened in 1954 and offers ski, snowboard, and tubing trails. Artificial snow is often utilized for maintaining the slopes, because while Minnesota's winters are cold, the snowfall is relatively low for a ski area, averaging less than 60 in (150 cm) per year.[1]

Buck Hill faces east, overlooking the adjacent Interstate 35. The ski area is lighted for night skiing, and operates three chairlifts (2 quads, 1 triple) and multiple surface tows (trail map). The base area consists of a parking lot and a short strip of lodges. The ski runs use the east face of the physical hill, with the other sides occupied by residential housing, and a municipal water tower sharing the summit. The vertical drop of the ski area is a modest 262 feet (80 m).[2]

History[edit]

Buck Hill was named by early settlers, who noticed its summit was a gathering spot for Mdewakanton Dakota to watch male deer (bucks) drink at Crystal Lake.[3]

The ski area was started by Chuck Stone, who discovered the sport as a child recovering from polio, and had worked as a lift attendant at Suicide Six in Vermont. Returning to Minneapolis, he wanted to start a ski area, and went to the public library to search out viable topography. The present ski area of Buck Hill was the tallest hill close to the Twin Cities, but was on private land, part of a remote farm owned by Grace Whittier. Stone (and his fiancée Nancy) convinced Ms. Whittier to lease them the property, succeeding where previous wooers had failed, and the ski area began operating in 1954. Ms. Whittier left the property to St. Olaf College, in Northfield, Minnesota, upon her death.

World Cup racers[edit]

World Cup ski racers Kristina Koznick and Lindsey Vonn learned to ski and race at Buck Hill.[4] Koznick, now retired from international competition, was a top slalom racer. Vonn (née Kildow)[5] races in all five disciplines and is dominant in the speed events. She is among the best female ski racers in history, with four overall World Cup titles (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012) and was the gold medalist in the downhill at the 2010 Winter Olympics. She was also a double gold medalist in the speed events at the 2009 World Championships, taking the downhill and super-G. As of March 2014, Vonn has 59 World Cup victories.

Both were coached by Erich Sailer,[4][5] an energetic octogenarian from Austria who has been the racing coach at Buck Hill since 1969. Sailer was inducted into National Ski Hall of Fame in 2006.[6]

Pro racing[edit]

The ski area hosted the pro skiing tour in early February 1973 as part of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival. It was raced in a head-to-head parallel format in elimination brackets for both giant slalom and slalom. Two-time defending season champion Spider Sabich won the slalom on Sunday at the McDonald's Cup at Buck Hill.[7] That year's season champion, Olympic triple gold medalist Jean-Claude Killy,[8] won the Saturday giant slalom and was the fastest qualifier in the slalom, but did not place.[7] Killy and Sabich earned $2,500 each for their wins.[9]

Hugo Nindl of Austria won both pro events at Buck Hill in January 1974. He bested Sabich in the slalom final,[10] and went on to win the season title.[11]

Winter activities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Historical Climate Data". 
  2. ^ by Rob Story (2008). "Believing in Buck Hill". SKInet. Retrieved 2008-11-05. 
  3. ^ Dakota County Historical Society (2005). "Historic Sites: Burnsville". Retrieved September 8, 2007. 
  4. ^ a b Dampf, Andrew (January 10, 2005). "Koznick caps successful week for U.S. ski team". Post and Courier (Charleston, SC). Associated Press. p. 7C. 
  5. ^ a b Baum, Bob (February 10, 2006). "Kildow leads U.S. women's team with speed, charm". Ludington (MI) Daily News. Associated Press. p. 3, Winter Olympics. 
  6. ^ "Erich Sailer’s Contribution to Ski Coaching in the U.S.". austrianinformation.org. 
  7. ^ a b "Spider Sabich takes slalom competition". Lodi (CA) News-Sentinel. UPI. February 5, 1973. p. 11. 
  8. ^ "Killy pro champion". Montreal Gazette. April 9, 1973. p. 18. 
  9. ^ "Colorado skier whips Austrian". Victoria (TX) Advocate. Associated Press. February 5, 1973. p. 2B. 
  10. ^ "Nindl sweeps Buck Hill meet". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. January 21, 1974. p. 7, part 2. 
  11. ^ "Top pro Hugo Nindl wins in final slalom". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. April 4, 1974. p. 23. 

External links[edit]