Muleski

Skiing the powder
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Great thread.

I grew up in New England, too. In Eastern MA. There was a pretty decent hill, Boston Hills, in North Andover, about 20 minutes from our home. It was NELSAP'd in the 1980's as I recall. Less than 300 feet of vertical, one double chair and two J-bars. Closed after a couple of lousy snow winters. The real estate has largely been developed since. There were also the small ski hills in a number of neighboring towns....all rope tows. All long gone. The local high school in our hometown raced in a league that trained and raced at all of them. 1970's. They all race at Bradford, Nashoba, and Blue Hill these days.

My dad was a hard core skier, and he was an engineer by education. We owned an older farmhouse, which was across the road from the original farm land. Behind our house was a pretty great hill. About 100 feet of vertical at most. My dad decided that it would be a good midweek thing to have a rope-tow, and lights, and one "trail". So as a family project we built one. Cut the trail, blasted some rocks, and found an old Slant-6 Dodge to power it. My mom was a former racer and instructor, and college lacrosse coach. She loved kids, and she took no prisoners. She was very comfortable running that lift, and serving hot chocolate. So, while we skied in New Hampshire every weekend, we also logged a lot of miles at home. I was just a little guy 4 to 6, and it was fun. My dad then worked out a business deal that put us in Switzerland for the next five years. He took down the rope tow, when they sold the house. My uncle kept it all stored in his barn....forever.

When we were looking a high schools for me {before the days of the first ski academies}, skiing was a big focus. Most of the schools that we visited had their own ski hills. Holderness had their own {though the racers trained at the "new" Waterville Valley}, as did Berkshire, Deerfield, Eaglebrook, Vermont Academy, New Hampton, Hebron, KUA, Tilton, . Gould skied at then small Sunday River, but also had their own small hill. All are gone. Proctor still operates Blackwater, and Kent's Hill in Maine has their own area. Both pretty viable. All these schools also had their own ski jumps. Those are very long gone. You could still see Gould's on the access road into Sunday River until about 10 years ago.

A lot of New England colleges also had small ski areas, that are no longer running. Of course, the two big ones still are: The Dartmouth Skiway, and the Middlebury Snowball, which are very legitimate. Big enough to hold "real" FIS races, etc. The lodge at Dartmouth is spectacular. They are the only ones left. Williams had this slalom hill which abutted their golf course, and it was the steepest thing I ever skied. Like a cliff. Had this crazy handle tow. St. Lawrence had their own hill back then. They also all had jumps. Norwich had a great ski area. They had a very solid D-2 ski team, as well. They, and the town, put in a 3500' double chair, and they could do some real racing there. As I recall, things like insurance made the town and the school get out of the business, and sell off the lifts. Newfydog and I both raced downhill there i the 70's....more like a SG of today. Our school, Colby, had a pretty neat little area that's no longer operating, but there is talk that it may be brought back to life. WE spent more time at Sugarloaf. Colby's hill might have been 200' feet of vertical, with one T-Bar and a rope tow that never ran. The school still owns the land, and there's interest between the two and the school in making it happen. The jump...not so much. The jumps at Dartmouth {on the golf course}, and Middlebury disappeared decades ago.

Colby-Sawyer college, in New London, NH skied at King Ridge. Neat area, with the lodge and parking at the top. That one closed around 1995. Really to bad, as it was about 500' of vertical, and some fun terrain, and decent lifts. They went belly up, and it was auctioned off. All of the lifts went elsewhere. For a long time, the cut trails were very visible, even in the summer, when you drove up I-89. That one closing was a surprise to me. I think that Sunapee being so close was the killer for them.

NELSAP.org is fun to look at if you're into this stuff. Lots of info there.
 

Warp Daddy

Getting on the lift
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Living up here in NNY close to the Adirondacks , i have skied many of the Regional Nelsaps,. The St Lawrence U Snow bowl both downhill and Xc , same with Clarkson U's Seven Springs again both disciplines , Indian Lake ski hill, ,Paleface ,Big Tupper and the st lawrence state park ski area in our hometown. Lots of Hall doubles , or Tbars and Thiokols .
 

Xela

On the way to Squaw
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Beautiful Mount Airy Lodge, your host with the most in the Poconos...

Scan-130531-0003.jpg


The picture must have been taken around 1980. My parents didn't take to skiing; so, that was our first and last family ski trip.
 

Warp Daddy

Getting on the lift
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Beautiful Mount Airy Lodge, your host with the most in the Poconos...

View attachment 3430

The picture must have been taken around 1980. My parents didn't take to skiing; so, that was our first and last family ski trip.

Wow thast a flashback , when i was in undergrad we had our senior winter weekend and ball at Mt Airy , was nice back in the day !
 

pete

not peace but 2 Beers!
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I own this which is a pretty good summary of former Colorado areas that you can still get to if you're willing to earn your turns.

http://www.amazon.com/Powder-Ghost-Towns-Backcountry-Colorados/dp/089997466X
very cool, just ordered this for some easy reading ...


View attachment 994

Trailridge Ski Area/Nebraski

Long gone ski area between Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska. Skied here a few times but usually went to Iowa for the "BIG" hills. If you have traveled across Nebraska to ski Colorado you have driven right by it -- just not too visible from the Interstate.
funny, drove by (~mile marker 428.5) but as noted, since you can't see it .. never knew.

good story on Gretna Breeze from 2 years ago:
http://www.omaha.com/sarpy/gretna/s...cle_c35a3505-f1f6-57c9-b9e8-ac06b4cb3558.html
 

lone pine

Putting on skis
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Southport, NC
Living up here in NNY close to the Adirondacks , i have skied many of the Regional Nelsaps,. The St Lawrence U Snow bowl both downhill and Xc , same with Clarkson U's Seven Springs again both disciplines , Indian Lake ski hill, ,Paleface ,Big Tupper and the st lawrence state park ski area in our hometown. Lots of Hall doubles , or Tbars and Thiokols .

Here is a flashback in the annals of Adirondack skiing. My wife grew up near South Colton, and skied the Snow Bowl as a youth. Years ago after it closed, we took our kids up there and hiked around, discovering these old tickets in the deserted "lodge" building. The tickets were stapled to your garment.

P1040109.JPG
 

Dave Petersen

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funny, drove by (~mile marker 428.5) but as noted, since you can't see it .. never knew.

good story on Gretna Breeze from 2 years ago:
http://www.omaha.com/sarpy/gretna/s...cle_c35a3505-f1f6-57c9-b9e8-ac06b4cb3558.html[/QUOTE]

For years after they closed you could see the top of the chairlift from the interstate, but then they finally took it down.

Especially for the Midwest I don't think Trailridge (later named Nebraski after Sapp Brothers purchased it) was oriented the ideal direction for snow preservation.

image.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Dave Petersen

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Just purchased this book - it is excellent. There is a second book covering Northern Colorado and front range ski areas which I still need to get.
image.jpeg
 

Dave Petersen

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good story on Gretna Breeze from 2 years ago:
http://www.omaha.com/sarpy/gretna/s...cle_c35a3505-f1f6-57c9-b9e8-ac06b4cb3558.html[/QUOTE]

“I couldn’t even walk up and ski a run or two,” he said, “but at least I now know where Nebraska’s one and only ski hill used to be.” Arnie Wilson may need to stop back...

Actually Nebraska has had a least 3 skis areas -- Prarie Hills in Kearney, Nebraska (early 90s), and Devils Nest up by Gavenspoint Dam in Northeast, Nebraska (early 70s).

Below photos from the internet of Devil's Nest Ski Area-sometime I need to drive up there and check it out.
DevilsNestSkiLiftAbandonedNebraska1.jpg

Devils-Nest-Devils-Nest-Ski-Trail-Map.mediumthumb.jpg
 

Dave Petersen

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I think Devil's Nest could make a go of it today (with modern snowmaking) if it were closer to a larger population base (which it is not). I believe their thought at the time was to make a four season resort with vacation homes.
 

John Webb

mdskier
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Rudi Riet

AKA songfta AKA randomduck - a USSS coach, as well
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In the same vein College Mountain Ski Area Emmitsburg MD never opened. Trails were cut but
Ski Liberty bought the guy out 25 years ago. New owners had no intention of opening it. They
were 10 miles away and didn't want competition !
That's part of the story. As i've heard it from locals in the area:

College Mountain was originally developed by the same folks who originally owned Charnita (i.e. Liberty Mountain Resort by its original name). They negotiated a deal with Mount St. Mary's College to cut trails, and did just that. What they lacked was a good base lodge, parking area, and snowmaking pond. The locals of Emmitsburg, MD, weren't too keen on the increased travel on what are typically residential roads, so they voted to block the construction of said amenities.

When the current owners of Liberty Mountain "inherited" the resort, they decided not to pursue things any further. The trails have, by and large, grown in. This aerial photo from 1994 shows the basic trail layout. It would've sported about 720' of vertical (100' more than at Liberty), with steeper terrain and far better snow retention with a full northern exposure.

As an aside, there's at least one trail at Liberty that has been allowed to grow in: the original White Lightning, which was skier's left off the Alpine (front side) lift, behind what is now the patrol house at the summit, emerging at what is now the West Side Terrain Park. It's easy to spot by the comparatively younger tree growth. It, along with the now permanently closed liftline trail under the Alpine lift, was one of the resort's original steep trails.
 

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John Webb

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That's part of the story. As i've heard it from locals in the area:

College Mountain was originally developed by the same folks who originally owned Charnita (i.e. Liberty Mountain Resort by its original name). They negotiated a deal with Mount St. Mary's College to cut trails, and did just that. What they lacked was a good base lodge, parking area, and snowmaking pond. The locals of Emmitsburg, MD, weren't too keen on the increased travel on what are typically residential roads, so they voted to block the construction of said amenities.

When the current owners of Liberty Mountain "inherited" the resort, they decided not to pursue things any further. The trails have, by and large, grown in. This aerial photo from 1994 shows the basic trail layout. It would've sported about 720' of vertical (100' more than at Liberty), with steeper terrain and far better snow retention with a full northern exposure.

As an aside, there's at least one trail at Liberty that has been allowed to grow in: the original White Lightning, which was skier's left off the Alpine (front side) lift, behind what is now the patrol house at the summit, emerging at what is now the West Side Terrain Park. It's easy to spot by the comparatively younger tree growth. It, along with the now permanently closed liftline trail under the Alpine lift, was one of the resort's original steep trails.
Charnita was the first area I ever skied !

Interesting that the Emmitsburg/ Mt St Mary's locals helped Kill College Mt. NIMBY's in action.
Bethany Beach locals (only 200 in off season) voted to ban beer on the beach to the dismay of 10' s of thousands of summer 20-30 somethings -many with beach houses..

You are correct and I've skied the "origional White Lightning" run 40 years ago. also the upper lift line -both were steep and almost never open.
 

Dave Petersen

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Great thread.

I grew up in New England, too. In Eastern MA. There was a pretty decent hill, Boston Hills, in North Andover, about 20 minutes from our home. It was NELSAP'd in the 1980's as I recall. Less than 300 feet of vertical, one double chair and two J-bars. Closed after a couple of lousy snow winters. The real estate has largely been developed since. There were also the small ski hills in a number of neighboring towns....all rope tows. All long gone. The local high school in our hometown raced in a league that trained and raced at all of them. 1970's. They all race at Bradford, Nashoba, and Blue Hill these days.

My dad was a hard core skier, and he was an engineer by education. We owned an older farmhouse, which was across the road from the original farm land. Behind our house was a pretty great hill. About 100 feet of vertical at most. My dad decided that it would be a good midweek thing to have a rope-tow, and lights, and one "trail". So as a family project we built one. Cut the trail, blasted some rocks, and found an old Slant-6 Dodge to power it. My mom was a former racer and instructor, and college lacrosse coach. She loved kids, and she took no prisoners. She was very comfortable running that lift, and serving hot chocolate. So, while we skied in New Hampshire every weekend, we also logged a lot of miles at home. I was just a little guy 4 to 6, and it was fun. My dad then worked out a business deal that put us in Switzerland for the next five years. He took down the rope tow, when they sold the house. My uncle kept it all stored in his barn....forever.

When we were looking a high schools for me {before the days of the first ski academies}, skiing was a big focus. Most of the schools that we visited had their own ski hills. Holderness had their own {though the racers trained at the "new" Waterville Valley}, as did Berkshire, Deerfield, Eaglebrook, Vermont Academy, New Hampton, Hebron, KUA, Tilton, . Gould skied at then small Sunday River, but also had their own small hill. All are gone. Proctor still operates Blackwater, and Kent's Hill in Maine has their own area. Both pretty viable. All these schools also had their own ski jumps. Those are very long gone. You could still see Gould's on the access road into Sunday River until about 10 years ago.

A lot of New England colleges also had small ski areas, that are no longer running. Of course, the two big ones still are: The Dartmouth Skiway, and the Middlebury Snowball, which are very legitimate. Big enough to hold "real" FIS races, etc. The lodge at Dartmouth is spectacular. They are the only ones left. Williams had this slalom hill which abutted their golf course, and it was the steepest thing I ever skied. Like a cliff. Had this crazy handle tow. St. Lawrence had their own hill back then. They also all had jumps. Norwich had a great ski area. They had a very solid D-2 ski team, as well. They, and the town, put in a 3500' double chair, and they could do some real racing there. As I recall, things like insurance made the town and the school get out of the business, and sell off the lifts. Newfydog and I both raced downhill there i the 70's....more like a SG of today. Our school, Colby, had a pretty neat little area that's no longer operating, but there is talk that it may be brought back to life. WE spent more time at Sugarloaf. Colby's hill might have been 200' feet of vertical, with one T-Bar and a rope tow that never ran. The school still owns the land, and there's interest between the two and the school in making it happen. The jump...not so much. The jumps at Dartmouth {on the golf course}, and Middlebury disappeared decades ago.

Colby-Sawyer college, in New London, NH skied at King Ridge. Neat area, with the lodge and parking at the top. That one closed around 1995. Really to bad, as it was about 500' of vertical, and some fun terrain, and decent lifts. They went belly up, and it was auctioned off. All of the lifts went elsewhere. For a long time, the cut trails were very visible, even in the summer, when you drove up I-89. That one closing was a surprise to me. I think that Sunapee being so close was the killer for them.

NELSAP.org is fun to look at if you're into this stuff. Lots of info there.

Great story!
 

Rudi Riet

AKA songfta AKA randomduck - a USSS coach, as well
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You are correct and I've skied the "original White Lightning" run 40 years ago. also the upper lift line -both were steep and almost never open.
While it's nigh-on-impossible to ski the original White Lightning trail, the liftline under the Alpine quad is still kept clear. During the blizzard this winter, there were only a handful of skiers at Liberty - about 100 in total, mostly members of the ski team (including me), ski patrollers, and ski instructors. Mountain management turned a bit of a blind eye to all of the ropes that were ducked, including the permanently-closed Alpine liftline trail. It skied well, though fatter skis were best, as a narrow racing ski would slice through the 26-30" of fresh down to the rocks underneath.

Overnight, the mountain groomed almost the entire mountain (both for snow retention and to not perplex the more typical skier at the mountain, who wouldn't cope well with 2+ feet of chopped powder), and they strictly enforced the closed areas. But for one day, it was bliss for the skilled skier.
 

New2

Getting off the lift
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Spokane
There's a good amount of information out there about the ski areas of yesteryear...
  1. Colorado Ski History (includes info about other Rocky Mountain lost areas)
  2. NELSAP (New England Lost Ski Areas Project)
  3. Skiing History Magazine (has all sorts of cool stuff, including some about lost areas)
  4. Lost Ski Areas of Washington forum
There are several cool paper-form books out there, too. Any other great resources about lost ski areas to share?

There are a couple lost ski areas that I haven't been able to learn anything about. Anyone know anything about either?

Mystery Ski Area, Southwest Montana

The first is about 10 miles northwest of Big Sky, 10 miles east of Ennis. Coordinates: 45.347099, -111.551076

The Fan Mountain Topo Map (from 1982 aerial photos, field checked 1985) shows a ski lift of ~850 vertical feet.
lostmttopo.jpg
1995 footage from Google Earth shows the lift line and at least one trail still in pretty sharp relief. The power lines that seem to cut across the bottom portion of the lift line went in around '87 or '88, so the lift was likely already gone by then.
lostmt1995aerial.jpg


Mystery Ski Area, Southeast Wyoming

This one's about 30 miles northwest of Laramie. Coordinates: 41.524440, -106.140092

The Arlington, WY Topo Map (from 1956 aerial photos, field checked 1958) shows a ski lift (~600 vertical feet) and a ski slide.
lostwy56_58topo.jpg

Google Earth's historical footage from 1994 shows the path of both pretty clearly, though more recent imagery makes it look like the lift line's fading fast.
lostwy1994aerial.jpg

A brief blurb on a Laramie Steakhouse's website lists four lost areas near Laramie; the link there used to work, although I can't find it archived now. My memory is that Inspiration Point was just west of the current Snowy Range ski area; Libby Creek was just south of the current Snowy Range ski area; and both Happy Jack and Summit Tavern were near the current Happy Jack Nordic Center east of town. But no information about another resort in the vicinity. Anyone know anything about it?
 
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