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Lost Areas #13 - Published 2 Feb 1994

LOST "COLORADO" SKI AREAS  -  EDITION 13

 

Greetings from THE COLORADO SKIER

 

Researching "lost" Colorado ski areas is the hobby of THE COLORADO
SKIER.   But now we have run out of lost areas in Colorado.  So we
have started on another region of the country, namely the southern
Mid-Atlantic states.  This is another transition issue, with a few
Colorado areas and a few more from the Mid-Atlantic region.

 

For more info on skiing and ski areas, check out our separately posted
companion articles entitled:   "THE COLORADO SKIER - TRIVIA"  (with
skiing trivia questions),  "THE COLORADO SKIER - SKI NEWS"  (current
ski area news), and our latest effort  "THE TCS LISTS"  which contains
statistics on ski areas (and other related subjects).

 

            LOST "COLORADO" SKI AREAS  -  EDITION #13    

 

EDITOR'S REMARKS:  

 

 A. We can't seem to let go of Colorado.  In this issue (and next)
    we'll talk about PLANNED Colorado ski areas along with some more
    lost Mid-Atlantic areas.   (Hang in there, New Hampshire is next.)

 

 B. Semi-instant trivia:  Where is the very old but little known
    UNDINE FALLS ski area?  Answer later.

 

1.  MORE ON LOST COLORADO SKI AREAS

 

    {Copyright 1994, The Colorado Skier.  All rights reserved.}

 

  Here is our "take" on the four currently viable PLANNED areas:

 

LAKE CATAMOUNT   (Steamboat Springs), [planned],  Located just south
  and west of Rabbit Ears Pass.  Spectacular setting overlooking the
  Yampa Valley and "Lake Catamount".  Planned to be a very large
  destination resort with 3000 feet of vertical, many chairlifts, and
  a huge base village.  Original planning started in the early 70's
  and the lake was actually built, by damming the Yampa River.  The
  original investment group folded.  The former owners of STEAMBOAT
  (now owned by Japanese interests) took over and are currently
  proceeding thru the permit process.  (still active, 1993)

 

Opinion:  The most likely to succeed.  "Steamboat" wants this area.  
  The SKI AREA needs a second major ski area in the vicinity to build
  a destination complex to compete with the Summit County, Vail/Beaver
  Creek, and the Aspen group.  The TOWN needs it for the business.
  There is a small group of no-growthers and some environmental outcry
  but there doesn't seem to be a Snail Darter or Spotted Owl lurking
  about.  The usual elk grazing of course.  The U.S. Forest Service
  has given preliminary approval.  We think it will make it.

 

ADAM'S RIB   (Eagle), [planned],  To be located ten miles south of
  Eagle on Adam Mtn and Mt Eve (cute name!).  Intended to be a very
  large destination resort with 17 chairlifts and 2 gondolas.  Has
  been in the planning and permit process since 1970.  Won Forest
  Service approval in 1982.  Currently seeking County approval, and a
  wetlands disturbance permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.  

 

Opinion:  Vail doesn't want this new competition (they already have
  Beaver Creek and Arrowhead).  The Eagle River Valley is already too
  crowded.  The town of Eagle is against it.  There is a wetlands
  disturbance problem with the access road and the golf course.
  However the developers have been very persistent and do have State
  and Forest Service approval.  Now they have to satisfy the County
  and the Corps of Engineers.  It has been a long process and one
  wonders how deep are the pockets of the builders (HBE Corp).

 

EAST FORK   (Wolf Creek Pass), [planned],  A planned major area on the
  west side of Wolf Creek Pass up the East Fork road.  Now in the
  permit process with stiff opposition from environmental groups.
  This is a separate area from "Wolf Creek Valley", also planned (and
  now dormant) for the same vicinity.  (still active, 1992)

 

Opinion:  Nobody needs this area.  It could be the best terrain and
  the best snow in the state, but - It is far from any population
  center, really far from an airport, and has virtually no local
  support (because there are no locals except a few ranchers).  There
  is environmental outcry altho no specific issues.  The developer,
  American Express, has big bucks, but seems to be listening to the
  anti-factions.  We don't think it will fly.

 

SEVEN UTES   (Walden), [planned],  A California developer wants to
  build a major ski area up near Cameron Pass (on Hiway 14 west of
  Fort Collins, CO).  It would be called "7 Utes Resort" and would be
  located below Seven Utes Peak (just west of the pass) and extend
  into the Ranger Lakes area a few miles east of Gould.  There would
  be a major hotel, skating rink, golf course, spa, tennis, etc.  This
  ski area would be located on Colorado State Forest land, therefore
  the U.S. Forest Service isn't involved.  So far the local residents
  are against it even tho the region is sparsely populated and barely
  survives on hunting and fishing (and ranching).  

 

Opinion:  The locals are against this one even tho there is no winter
  business in the region.  The area would be quite a way from
  population centers:  Fort Collins 90 miles, and Denver 155 miles,
  both over a two-lane pass.  Recently the State Forest "land board"
  rejected the proposal, so the project may be dead.

 

2.  THE LOST SKI AREAS OF THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES

 

    [Note:  TCS defines "Mid-Atlantic" as Delaware, Maryland, D.C.,
    Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.]

 

2A.  Here are ten "lost" areas from the last issue:

 

 BALD NOB   (Beckley, WV),  [obscure],  Located 20 miles south of
    Beckley.  Only appears in a 1968 reference.
       Vertical Drop:  300 ft      Top:           Base:
       Lifts:  2 rope tows

 

 BLOWING ROCK   (Blowing Rock, NC),  [name change],  Former name for
    APPALACHIAN SKI MOUNTAIN until 1969.  
       Vertical Drop:  350 ft      Top:  4000     Base:  3635
       Lifts:  1 T-bar, 2 rope tows

 

 CHEROKEE   (Linden, VA),  [closed],  Located on VA 55 in Linden, just
    off I-66.  Relatively new area.  Opened for the 1990/91 season,
    then was closed in 1991.  Tried to reopen in 1992 but failed and
    the equipment was reclaimed by creditors.
       Vertical Drop:  1053 ft     Top:  2178     Base:  1125
       Lifts:  2 quad chairs, 1 triple chair

 

 CHESTNUT RIDGE    (Morgantown, WV),  [closed 1980],  Located 12 miles
    east of Morgantown in the Cooper's Rock State Forest on WV 73 off
    US 48 (now I-68).   Operated from 1966 to 1980.  Some sources in
    the early seventies show more vertical and more rope tows.
       Vertical Drop:  170 ft      Top:  2270     Base:  2100
       Lifts:  1 rope tow  

 

 DEEP CREEK LAKE   (Cumberland, MD),  [name change],  Probably an
    early name for WISP until 1968.  Actually located nowhere near
    Cumberland, but near Deep Creek Lake, at McHenry, according to the
    1972 Rand-McNally atlas.  WISP overlooks "Deep Creek Lake" near
    the town of McHenry.    [see Section 3]
       Vertical Drop:  500 ft
       Lifts:  1 Poma, 2 rope tows

 

 GOLD MTN ENTERPRISES   (Franklin, NC),  [very obscure],  The only
    reference was in 1966.  Franklin is very near the location of the
    current SAPPHIRE ski area (open 1968) but the other facts don't
    jibe.
       Vertical Drop:  797 ft
       Lifts:  1 chairlift

 

 HIGH MEADOWS    (Roaring Gap, NC),  [closed 1980],  Located on US 21,
    9 miles south of Sparta.  Operated from 1968 to 1980.
       Vertical Drop:  80 ft       Top:  3280     Base:  3200
       Lifts:  2 rope tows                  100% snowmaking

 

 MATTAPONI   (Croom, MD),  [obscure],  Croom is a little town on hiway
    382 (off US 301) about 20 miles southeast of Washington, D.C.  We
    only found one reference, in 1968.
       Vertical Drop:  67 ft
       Lifts:  2 rope tows

 

 MOUNTAIN RUN   (New Market, VA),  [closed 1979],  Located north of
    New Market, off I-81.  Opened in 1972.
       Vertical Drop:  250 ft      Top:  1800     Base:  1550
       Lifts:  1 chairlift

 

 MOUNTAINTOP   (Terra Alta, WV),  [name change],  Located on WV 46, 3
    miles east of Terra Alta.  Probably former name for ALPINE LAKE.
    Operated in the mid-seventies.   [see Section 3]
       Vertical Drop:  450 ft      Top:  3000     Base:  2600  
       Lifts:  2 Pomas

 

2B. Who remembers THESE lost ski areas?

 

       Oregon Ridge                Ski Way

 

       Rapahannock                 Skyline

 

       Snaggy Mountain             Strudel Run

 

       Shawnee-Land                Tory Mountain

 

       Sheepback Mountain          Weiss Knob

 

2C.  Comments from faithful readers:

 

  1) CAROL (VA) was kind enough to write and tell us about BRADDOCK
     HEIGHTS SKI WAY, MD.  The lifts (T-bar, ropes) are still visible.
     The region was originally quite countryish and sort of a weekend
     retreat/summer colony for D.C.  However the creeping suburbs have
     attacked and now the ski area is just another city park.

 

  2) AMIE (SC) wondered about some other obscure areas which, as it
     turns out, are still open.  Here is a quick rundown of areas
     still open in NORTH CAROLINA (we will cover the other states next
     time):  APPALACHIAN, BEECH, CATALOOCHEE, HAWKSNEST, HOUND EARS
     CLUB, SAPPHIRE VALLEY, SCALY MTN, SUGAR MTN, and WOLF LAUREL.  

 

     (Note:  MILL RIDGE apparently just closed last year and will be
     added to our "lost" list.)

 

3.  THE CARE AND FEEDING OF LOST SKI AREAS  (OR LOST IS A FOUR LETTER
    WORD)

 

    When we start researching a new state for lost ski areas, some
    facts are easy to

 

 

 


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