February 10, 2013

Spruce does it simple

By Deirdre Fleming dfleming@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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With the defunct mills along the Androscoggin River a reminder that this is an unpretentious place, Spruce Mountain has long kept afloat on a shoestring budget and a simply priceless robust army of volunteers committed to community skiing.

Deirdre Fleming photos

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Were it not for Spruce, many kids in Franklin County might never have learned to snowboard or ski – skills they can acquire here at affordable prices, and on some challenging terrain.

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"On a good day, we get 30 to 40. What with the economy, people don't ski as much. And it's almost like kids don't go outside anymore. But for the kids that do, this gives them a place to go," Cloutier said.

Jillian Buote, 13, learned to snowboard at Spruce Mountain, and might not have learned if it weren't for the mountain just minutes from her home. Were it not for Spruce, Buote might not know the joy of riding her board down toward the Androscoggin River, where on a sunny day bald eagles soar above the mountain.

"I fell on my face a lot when I started out. But now I'm comfortable. I can hit jumps here," Buote said proudly.

In this place where the painted signs are as old as the lift shacks and the rope tow engines are older than anyone, the key to staying open is a constant turnover in the volunteers.

Somehow at Spruce that tradition has never wavered.

"It depends a lot on the volunteers. It's more work than I thought when I started three years ago. In the fall they always need more, to cut the brush, get the mountain ready. But some volunteers stay long after their kids are grown," DiPompo said.

Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:


Twitter: Flemingpph


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Additional Photos

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With lift tickets just $10, skiing and snowboarding are most affordable at Spruce Mountain, which does wonders in attracting kids to the slopes.


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