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Buck Hill Dedicates Rope Tow to Local Legend Lindsey Vonn

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
September, 24 2019
Lindsey poses with fans
Lindsey Vonn poses with happy fans at her home hill - Buck Hill - in Burnsville, Minn. after they recognized Lindsey by officially naming the rope tow "Kildow's Climb" in honor of her ascent to the top of the sport. (Claire Brown)

The world may know her as Lindsey Vonn, but the Minnesota community that watched her grow into one of the greatest ski racers in history still remembers little Lindsey Caroline Kildow climbing up Buck Hill’s simple rope tow. Vonn, the daughter of a local ski racer Alan Kildow, got her own racing start at the Burnsville ski area at a young age. Patrons remember seeing her soaring down the hill when she was only 2 years old, and just five years later she began riding up the rope that will now bear her name.

On September 23rd, at her home hill of Buck Hill, in Burnsville, Minn., Lindsey's ascent to the top of her sport was recognized formally, with the official naming of "Kildow's Climb" rope tow. "All of us at Buck Hill are very happy and excited to honor Lindsey by renaming our lift on the race training hill in her name," said Dave Solner, owner of Buck Hill.

September 23 was also declared “Lindsey Vonn Day” in Burnsville, Minn.

"Obviously being from Buck is not the most likely of paths to become Olympic downhill champion, but I think I proved that anything is possible" said Vonn at the ceremony. "So, for all of you kids that are still racing here, just keep believing in yourself and anything is possible. And listen to Erich (Sailer), even though he's not always around anymore, but he's probably still yelling from somewhere. I wanted to name the rope tow after my family. My grandfather was the one who taught us how to ski. He built a rope tow in Wisconsin, and started my dad skiing, and the whole family. Then my dad taught me, and Erich taught my father and taught me. Kildow is my family name, and I wanted my family name to stay here at Buck, so 'Kildow's Climb' is here to show you that anything's possible."

Vonn finished her speech by encouraging the young ones in the crowd to follow in her footsteps, "So, keep the Buck name alive, and hope to see you guys in the Olympics someday."

Under the guidance of Erich Sailer, legendary ski racing coach and founder of the Buck Hill Ski Racing Team, who has produced some of the world’s most successful skiers, Vonn started on a path towards international fame, medals, and awards.

Highlights of Vonn's:

  • Four World Cup titles (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012)

  • 82 World Cup victories (more than any other female ski racer in the sport's history)

  • The gold medal in downhill at the 2010 Winter Olympics

With her trademark grit, courage, and determination, Vonn has inspired a whole new generation of young athletes who now hope to climb to the top in her footsteps.


About Buck Hill
Buck Hill is the place to be if you want to have fun outside any time of the year. Take advantage of our year-round offerings from skiing and snowboarding to mountain biking, camps, development teams, and live music! Whether you’re training in downhill, or gaining speed while tubing, Buck Hill is the place to be Outside Yourself.

Release courtesy of Buck Hill