Over Fifty Years of Skiing
(written by Anita Doering, Archives Staff)
While we hear from our friends in Norway and Finland that their winter has been warm and rather lacking in snow accumulations, La Crosse, on the other hand, seems to be experiencing more snow and colder temperatures than an average winter. Among the many winter sports we enjoy here in western Wisconsin include skiing.
It wasn’t until 1959, however, that several groups came together to make a more modern ski hill that still thrives today. Ted Motchman leased 200 acres of land from the Town of Shelby south of the city of La Crosse for the ski area, yet one more acre was needed at the top of the hill to secure the life apparatus. To save the project and buy 40 acres, several people pooled together and purchased that land for $6000. The contributors were Lee Swett, Paul Morris, Ted Motschman, William Gerrard, Gerald Heberlein and Robert Stephan. The remainder of $50 was contributed jointly by the Chamber of Commerce and the South Side Businessmen’s Association so the project could move forward.
This photo of Mount La Crosse ski chalet was taken in 1970 by photographer and journalist James O. Holmlund
The new ski area, dubbed Mount La Crosse, opened in December 1959 and Ted and Sue Motchman owned the facility for over 40 years, selling it to Todd and Cindy Schini in 2000. Today the ski hill serves local area ski teams, snowboarders, recreational skiers and all ages and abilities with programs for children with special needs, using adaptive equipment.