By Mike Roth – I started my collection of pins and patches from ski areas about 25 years ago.  That was when it really became a collection.  I had skied for many years previously but never bought pins or patches.  About that time, I started doing the ski blog at the Times Union newspaper, which gave me the opportunity to ski numerous different areas every year.  So, I began collecting pins and patches. 

Now where to put them, as you can see, I would ski in the spring in my chapeau (Photo from Killington about 40 years ago) but never thought of putting the pins on it.   Once the collection started to become voluminous, I dubbed my hat as the place to put it.  

Comments have been made as I would go through the airport and go thru security, but no one at security ever stopped me, just lots of conversations.  Many times, in the plane people would approach me and gave me pins that had meaning for them like Olympic pins.  Once in St. Moritz I was given a pin from 1920’s of the St. Moritz Ski School.

These pins used to poke me in the head until I found a locking device at a motorcycle rally and now all these sharp pins have been ground down to being flat.  There currently are about 120 pins on my hat.  The biggest issue today is that my had weighs over 10 pounds and is no longer comfy to wear skiing or otherwise, so it is semi-retired at this point.  Maybe it should go to the ski museum if they would like to have it?

I still am missing a few pins from way back when I first started to ski like Brodie Mountain, Homestead and Rock Candy Mountain. Most recently I must add Diamond Peak and Mount Rose but there is no room. So, I think I am going to have to get a 10-gallon hat to make more room.