When Warminster, Pennsylvania, native Karl Hausch was 12-years-old, he began his skiing journey – a journey that would lead him to ski his 100th mountain by the time he was 50.
Surprisingly, Hausch did not take to skiing like a fish to water, but his rough start did not deter his love for the sport.
“I remember crashing a lot,” he said. “I whined and cried and carried on like a twelve-year-old would, and I was very unhappy. I know there was snow all over my face, crashing multiple times. It was very difficult. It was not the way to start skiing.
“As miserable a time as I was having – conditions were cold and freezing – something made me move toward the trail again. I kept getting on the chairlift by myself, with no assistance from my family members. That’s the start of my ski venture story. Ever since then, I’ve skied plenty.”
It wasn’t until he was in his 20s that Hausch decided to keep a record of the mountains he skied, as well as the trails at each mountain or resort.
Due to his job, Hausch is a weekend skier and never thought he would get to 100 different mountains, but by the time the 2019-2020 ski season began, he was so close he could feel it.
“Basically, for twenty-five years, I kept a list,” he said. “I had roughly eight or nine to go in the 2018-2019 season. That season, I had a lot to do. I had to cover so many mountains in one year. I was going every single weekend, and it took a toll on me.”
When it came time to ski mountain number 100, Hausch had his eyes set on a resort in Vermont, but didn’t get a sense of welcome from the area.
So he set out to find a new place and landed on Snowshoe Mountain Resort.
“I always wanted to go there,” Hausch said. “I called them, and I had nothing but kindness from them. The people who answered the phone – I don’t even know who they are – they listened to me, they gave me to the proper person. If they didn’t have the answer, they would tell me where to go.
“It just felt right to go there,” he continued. “That’s how I chose Snowshoe, because of the warm greeting they gave me and their interest.”
Hausch traveled to Snowshoe in early March, but due to some bad timing, he was unable to ski at Snowshoe, so he went night skiing at Silver Creek.
“I skied Whitewater Park trail,” he said. “This is the part that I love the best –when I chose the trail, I actually took a video of me skiing down the hill. I videoed myself talking about how exciting it was, and I was having such a good time.”
Hausch’s good time wasn’t just on the trail. He said he met a lot of interesting and nice people in the area, including the employees at the Why Not Shop and Route 66 restaurant at the bottom of the mountain.
“I can’t say enough,” he said. “They did everything possible. They were so wonderful. The people that run the operation, they made my day. They made it pleasant for me.”
While there were some ups and downs, and plans changed a little, Hausch said skiing his 100th mountain was an incredible experience.
“Everything worked out perfect,” he said. “I really wanted to ski the main area, but that gives me something to come back for.”
What’s next for Hausch?
“I’m not sure,” he said. “Being a weekend skier, most mountains require driving at least four hundred miles from my house. The way to rack up the mountains more is to go on vacation. I could see myself getting to a hundred twenty-five. A hundred- fifty would probably be the next goal. That would be incredible.”
Hausch said he would like to ski in every state that has ski resorts. Of the 36, he has skied in 21, so far.
In the meantime, he has his memorabilia, photos and videos.
Hausch has a stick pin for each mountain he has skied.
He proudly displays his 100-pin collection in his home.