Alice Waterhouse

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to make any turns on the Heart Lake ski slope this winter yet. The limited snow accumulation hasn’t allowed it. I still pass by the ski slope frequently this time of year and every time I go by I pass a sign at the bottom with the inscription, “This Ski Slope is Dedicated to the Memory of Alice Waterhouse.” I had always wondered who Alice Waterhouse was and why the ski slope was named after her. I finally found an answer last week while I was looking through old Adirondac magazines. There was an obituary about Alice Waterhouse written by William E. Endicott in the September 1984 issue. The obituary is below.

In Memoriam of Alice Waterhouse 1898-1984

On June 11, 1984, Miss Alice Waterhouse, a long-time member of the Adirondack Mountain Club, died in Albany, New York.  Alice had been a continuous member of the Club since 1935.  She joined as a member of the Albany Chapter, to which she belonged until 1957 when she became a member of the Keene Valley Chapter.

Alice, a staunch supporter of the Forest Preserve, worked tirelessly and quietly on behalf of the Club and her chapters.  She was the first editor of Albany Chapter’s Cloudsplitter, which first appeared as a four-page single sheet issue.

An ardent hiker and skier, Miss Waterhouse was a constant user of Adirondak Loj.  In winter she skied its trails and schussed the ski slope.  But for her efforts, the ski slope would long ago have returned to the woods.  She personally would spend hours with a sickle working on its slopes and would cajole Loj managers and the Loj Operating Committee to keep the slope free of growth of saplings and bushes.

Alice was always a well-prepared hiker.  Carrying an ample rucksack, she could meet the emergency needs of a fellow hiker or skier with a warm sweater, a replacement toe strap, or first-aid equipment.

Alice served as a constant and faithful member of the Loj Operating Committee from 1959 until the late 1970s.

She became the sixteenth Forty-Sixer on October 8, 1939.  She served many years as a member of the National Ski Patrol, wearing #19 on her jacket.  She taught a generation of Albany ski patrollers the Red Cross annual refresher course.  As a member of the Helderberg Ski Club, she taught skiing to many scores of would-be skiers.  She was employed as a chemist in the New York State’s Department of Agriculture and Markets for 42 years.

ADK is richer for Alice’s persistent effort in skiing and hiking recreation.  We will miss her urgings to do better.

Some of my curiosities about Alice Waterhouse have finally been answered.   ADK is full of dedicated members like Alice.  It is important to remember member’s efforts both past and present.  I’m certainly appreciative of what she did to maintain the Heart Lake ski slope.  We just need a little bit more snow!