One of Our Favorite Places:
Caroline and Rachel Corbally
Sisters Caroline and Rachel Corbally – 22 and 19 – from
Westport, Connecticut, have both grown up on the Quechee Ski Hill, just like so
many others have and will continue to do so. They have been coming up on winter
weekends with their parents for 17 years. Caroline noted that their family
friends, the Thomson’s, also from Westport, introduced them to the area.
“We moved into the house down the street from them in Westport, in 2001 and met them the week we moved as they have three children around the same age as Rachel and I. They owned a house in Quechee and invited us up to ski on a couple of occasions. My parents must have fallen in love with the place, the people, and the idea of their children skiing up there over the winters, so soon we were renting and then owning a condo and have been there ever since.”
hel and Caroline Varsity High School Race
Both Caroline and Rachel fell in love with skiing
immediately. Caroline was up on skis at age four and on the Quechee Ski Hill at
five. Rachel began skiing when she was three and a half. I asked Rachel about
her earliest memory of skiing, and it was a beautiful dad-daughter moment,
caught in the magic of snow.
“I remember skiing with my dad [Mike],” she recalls, “when the Quechee chairlift was a double! And we would play I Spy on the chairlift.”
Lucky for Mike and Rachel, ski hills are filled with bright equipment and equally brightly dressed people. Otherwise, I Spy may have been limited to things white, brown, or green! Of course, those colors are a wonder all their own when one arrives at the top, with the snow and the trees.
Currently, neither sister gets to visit Quechee as much as they would like. Caroline has recently graduated from Middlebury College and lives in Boston, where she works as a Data Analyst, and Rachel is a sophomore at Georgetown University. Neither has much time to ski as they did before, but before college, both of them spent a number of years on the Quechee Ski Team.
Rachel started racing at five and a half and continued through age 13, although she kept training until she was 15. Caroline began as a “Devo” at eight and went straight through until she graduated from high school.
I asked Caroline if she kept skiing competitively for college, but she ended up doing something just as cool.
“I skied competitively for my high school but did not continue when I went to Middlebury College. Instead, I became part of Middlebury Ski Patrol, so I was still able to ski a lot, but also had the opportunity to help others at the Middlebury Snow Bowl.
“Middlebury College has a D1 ski team, so I was also able to see and meet a lot of very good ski racers throughout college and my time on the Middlebury Ski Patrol.”
Of course, everyone has other favorite things about the area. For Rachel, “I love going into Woodstock and walking around the town. I also just enjoy being able to relax. Quechee is associated with relaxation, and a break from home, and so I have always felt like Quechee was my reset button.”
And Caroline? “I think I like the people and the atmosphere of Quechee the most. Some of my best friends today I met through the Quechee Ski Team, and we all still stay in contact and communicate when any of us are up in Quechee, so it is nice to be able to see them when I am up there. We all still try to make it to Quechee every Thanksgiving and Christmas with our families. I love that Quechee has become a base to see people that are all doing different things now after college.
“I have so many fond memories of growing up in Quechee that whenever I arrive, I feel calm and happy almost immediately. It is this reason that I think Quechee is one of my favorite places in the world,” she adds.
For both Caroline and Rachel, Quechee is the kind of magical place that takes them back to childhood again, that puts the reset button on stress, that is blissful. Shouldn’t we all be so lucky?