Race to the bottom at Chemung Hill

A legendary, dangerous slope has invited daredevils for years.

> To listen, go to Two weeks ago, on the Sunday after the big snow, I drove down to Stoughton to check out Chemung Hill, a legendary sledding slope famous for its steep grade. The first two things I heard after getting out of my car were these: “Oh, my God. Look how fast that guy’s going!” and “Holy crap!” Indeed, daredevils young and old — holding on for dear life to snow tubes, plastic sleds, and various other contraptions — were flying down the hill at insane speeds, kicking up plumes of white powder with a whoosh. Expletives, too, were coming fast and furious, as were screams, which seemed to fall right on that line dividing delight from terror. Spectators winced as sledders skidded into a thicket of shrubs or wiped out in cinematic fashion. Chemung Hill, which sits behind Hansen Elementary School, has long hosted black-diamond sledding. On a Facebook page dedicated to “Chemung Hill Sledding Survivors,” alums post tales of broken bones, bloody gashes, concussions, and worse: In February 1972, a 10-year-old girl died after hitting a pole. Throwing yourself down the hill requires an act of bravery, yes. But remember: So, too, does saying no thanks.

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