Holderness School Receives $6M Gift for Snow Sports, Athletics

Andy Herring
Affirming Holderness School’s position as the premier snow sports school in the country and committing to the school’s multi-sport athletic philosophy, the New Hampshire boarding school recently received a transformational $6 million gift.  Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, Holderness School is able to jumpstart fundraising initiatives that will better support world-class outdoor athletic facilities and impact every athletic team and snow sports discipline.
The $6 million gift will further define Holderness School as a leader in independent school athletics by elevating outdoor athletic facilities to support the school’s commitment to developing student-athletes while continuing to grow its legendary snow sports program.

This gift will catalyze the fundraising and subsequent construction of the following projects:

  • 5-kilometer homologated cross country skiing venue with lights and snowmaking
  • A jumping venue designed for freeskiers and snowboarders that includes an impact-absorbing safety air bag
  • Mittersill Performance Center at Mittersill Slopes at Cannon Mountain
  • Two best-in-class turf fields with lights 

“This unexpected but very timely anonymous gift will have an instant and broad impact,” says Head of School Phil Peck.  “Every Holderness School student and team will benefit from this generous commitment to our school.”

Cross-Country Skiing Venue
Holderness School will improve its already highly-regarded cross country trails, developing a 5-kilometer homologated cross country skiing venue that will incorporate 2 kilometers of lighted trail and 2.5 kilometers of state-of-the-art snowmaking. The homologation process establishes an international standard that provides guidelines for course design, construction, and competition. In addition to hosting Lakes Region races, an improved, homologated trail system will allow Holderness to not only host USSA events such as the Eastern Championships but also FIS-level competitions, like college carnivals and national championship events.   

Freeski and Snowboarding Air Bag
The school’s freeski and snowboarding teams will also realize incredible gains with the addition of an on-campus air bag that will give student-athletes the ability to safely progress from the existing trampoline to competitive on-snow aerials. The air bag offers approximately 1800 square feet of impact-absorbing cushion, significantly improving the safety of the training environment. Skiers and snowboarders will be able to train in all seasons with greater effect and to throw more technical tricks with the addition of the air bag.

Mittersill Performance Center
This gift supports the imminent construction of the Mittersill Performance Center at Mittersill Slopes, home to Holderness School’s Eastern Alpine ski program and a designated US Ski Team training site.  The Mittersill Performance Center is a 9,500 square foot facility that will house dedicated space for gearing and warming up, fitness and stretching, video analysis, coaches offices, and equipment tuning and storage. Offering an 1800-foot vertical drop, dedicated Super-G trail, and a high-speed T-bar, Mittersill Slopes is one of the top ski training venues on the East Coast and is made possible through a partnership between Holderness School, Franconia Ski Club, US Ski and Snowboard, the State of New Hampshire, and Cannon Mountain.

Turf Fields
The two turf fields will give a clear home-field advantage to the school’s fall and spring teams, and the inclusion of lights will ensure that Holderness can host night games and other outdoor evening events.

“While some additional fundraising is required,” says Head of School Phil Peck, “our vision for athletics can move much closer to a reality in the coming year.”

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    Elections are kind of a big deal in New Hampshire.  The Granite State treasures its first-in-the-nation primary status just as much as it loves its pristine lakes and mountains.  It’s a privilege to catalyze any presidential race, and New Hampshire goes all out. Our roadsides are littered with campaign signs, our televisions are clogged with advertisements.  Stand outside long enough, and you’re bound to be greeted by an overzealous canvasser or candidate doing their best to convince you to mark their name on your ballot. 
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    Changing the status quo can be an uncomfortable task – especially if you benefit from it. That was the message to students from the Rev. Peter Jarrett-Schell, the school’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day speaker and the white author of Seeing My Skin, a personal examination of the role of whiteness in his own life.
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Holderness School
33 Chapel Lane, Holderness, NH 03245
mail P.O Box 1879 Plymouth, NH 03264-1879
phone (603) 536-1257