Mount Bellew: A Season of Hope


Ron Dull

Other works by Ron Dull include: Go With, Sea Story, and Climbin’ Fences.

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When Hermann Olsen initially left the kidney-bashing back road of Route 226 in the Wasatch range of Utah and limped stiffly into the Mahogany Ridge Club, he was simply looking for a cold beer, some companionship, and a place to escape the omnipresent western dust. He soon makes the acquaintance of the rough ranchers who frequent the town’s favorite watering hole, and hours later he becomes the dubiously proud owner of a dilapidated tavern, an out-of-commission ski hill, some ancient chairlifts, and a fat old search-and-rescue dog more renown for her gas than for her work ethic.

Hermann’s plan is simple: put just enough money into the area in order to revitalize it as “a place for the locals,” and then leisurely sit back and watch life go by from the tranquil banks of the teeming trout streams.

Good plan. But life is a roller coaster ride with its own ideas of what is in store for us, and despite our best intentions and our worst flaws, we sometimes experience unexplained success. The seriously out-of-the-way hill known as Mount Bellew soon attracts a cult of hardcore skiers and snowboarders who are enamored with its legendary lack of facilities and un-groomed slopes. Mount Bellew explodes beyond the edges of Hermann’s dream, and in a very short expanse of time, the ex-hippie finds himself attempting to manage a lively and bustling ski resort. “Desperate times call for desperate solutions,” Hermann believes. He soon surrounds himself with the colorful and equally desperate characters that make up his personnel staff.

Told through the viewpoint of a simple bus driver who is looking back on his youth, Mount Bellew shows us how all of our heroes are seriously flawed, struggling through individual changes and challenges in their lives, and how every life is a unique season of hope.

“Men do change, and the change comes like the wind that ruffles the curtains at dawn, and it comes like the stealthy perfume of wildflowers hidden in the grass.” — John Steinbeck

How we handle it all is the measure of the man. How Mount Bellew survives the growing pains is the richly entertaining story to be told . . .


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