The highest peak in New England is Mt Washington. It's an incredible place in winter, but a circus during the rest of the year. There's a steam engine that takes tourists to the summit. You can also drive your car or motorcycle all the way to the top on a paved road and buy pizza or hot dogs in a cafeteria overlooking the mountains of the Presidential range. It's an abomination.
The same story is repeated on many other peaks across New England where ski runs slice through forest ecosystems reducing majestic mounts to amusement parks. You need to hike over Jay Peak, Killington, Wildcat, Canon, Sunapee, Bromley, Bolton, Madona, Pico, or Stratton in spring, summer or fall to truly appreciate how a ski resort mars a mountain and destroys its majesty and wildness.
Imagine you've been hiking all day, relishing in a splendor of lush green forest and the cleansing challenge of a climb, only to pop out of the woods at the foot of a chair lift, looming over you like a giant bug, straight from the set of War of the Worlds.
Seriously, why the rush to the top?
There was a time in the not to distant past when the only way to the top of the high peaks was walking and ski runs were less invasive. Skiers had to climb up a mountain first before they could zoom down it. Thunderbolt Ski Trail on Mt Greylock was such a run not long ago, and Tuckerman Ravine on Mt Washington is one of the few remaining in New England today.
What have we really gained by scarring a mountain to get to the top faster? The memory of a view fades quickly, but the memories of a challenging journey to a summit remain imprinted in my mind forever.