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Lost Areas #16 - Published 18 Aug 1994

Greetings from THE COLORADO SKIER

Researching "lost" Colorado ski areas is the hobby of THE COLORADO SKIER. But we ran out of lost areas in Colorado. So we decided to cover the whole country. We've completed the SOUTHEAST and are now working on NEW HAMPSHIRE. Is your state next?

For more info on skiing and ski areas, check out our separately posted companion articles entitled: "THE COLORADO SKIER - TRIVIA", "THE COLORADO SKIER - SKI NEWS", and "THE TCS LISTS".

 

LOST "COLORADO" SKI AREAS - EDITION #16 (8-18-94)


EDITOR'S REMARKS:

A. Lots of responses and feedback to SKI NEWS 9. 2nd highest all-time response count. Once again we thank you for your support.

B. Poor LOIS - She said: "Now that you've finished NH, how about doing VT?" We probably mislead her with our alphabetical order technique of doing "A-L" in the first batch and "M-W" in this batch. That adds up to 24 lost NH areas. Actually there are 70! So it will be a while before we finish NH. Sorry about that.

C. Some of the data in this post was obtained from "THE WHITE BOOK OF SKI AREAS", which is copyrighted by Inter-Ski Services, Inc.

 

1. THE LOST SKI AREAS OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

{Copyright 1994, THE COLORADO SKIER. All rights reserved.}

Here is the info on the twelve NH ski areas we listed last time:

MONADNOCK (Jaffrey), [obscure], Located 3 miles west of Jaffrey off NH 124. Called "Monadnock Bible Conference Ski Area" in 1968 & 69. A 1949 reference said: "Winter sports area." By 1979 it was "X-C only".

     Vertical Drop:  125 ft	    Top:  1200	    Base:  1100      Lifts:  1 rope tow 

MONTEAU (Woodsville), [closed], Located 7 miles east of Woodsville on Hiway 112. Called "SWIFTWATER VALLEY" until 1979. Opened sometime before 1978 and closed in 1990.

     Vertical Drop:  635 ft	    Top:  1475	    Base:  840      Lifts:  1 double chair, 1 rope tow 

MOOSE MOUNTAIN (Brookfield), [closed], Located on Hiway 109 off Rte 16. Reputed to be "One of the first ski areas in the state" (opening date ??? before 1964). Closed after the 1986/87 season.

     Vertical Drop:  1220 ft	   Top:  1850	    Base:  630      Lifts:  1 double chair, 2 T-bars          Night Skiing 

OAK HILL (Hanover), [closed], Located 1 mile north of Hanover on Hiway 10. "The J-bar was introduced here in 1936." Closed 1983.

     Vertical Drop:  300 ft	              Lifts:  1 T-bar

PINNACLE MTN (Keene), [closed], Located 5 miles east of Keene on Hiway 9. Operated from before 1964 to 1978.

     Vertical Drop:  330 ft	              Lifts:  1 T-bar, 1 Poma      

RICHARD TAFT RACING TRAIL (Franconia), [very obscure], This is the name of the first "ski area" at CANNON MOUNTAIN way back in 1932. It was not lift served until the tram was built in 1938 and a rope tow was added on the upper, slalom portion. There is still a trail by this name at CANNON.

[OK, we were reaching here. The "area" never had its own lift before CANNON MTN opened so, by our own rule, it was not a ski area. However, the trail was so significant to early NH skiing that we thought it deserved its own listing.]

ROSEBROOK (Bretton Woods), [name change], Original name for BRETTON WOODS (still open) from 1972 to 1974. Note that the current ski area is located on "Mt. Rosebrook".

SNOW CREST (Lebanon), [name change], Located 4 miles south of Lebanon on Hiway 120. Changed name to WHALEBACK (still open) in 1971 or 72.

     Vertical Drop:  500 ft   	           Lifts:  2 T-bars

SNOW'S MOUNTAIN (Waterville Valley), [merged], Was the original ski area at Waterville (1952). Still open. Located adjacent to and owned by the current WATERVILLE VALLEY which opened in 1966. Available for rentals. The Kennedy family used to rent it. The newer area was built on the site of the "Mt. Tecumseh Racing Trail". Snow's had separate snow reports in the seventies.

     Vertical Drop:  583 ft	    Top:  2103	    Base:  1520      Lifts:  1 double chair 

TENNEY MOUNTAIN (Plymouth), [closed/name change], Located 7 miles southwest of Plymouth on Hiway 3A. Opened before 1964. Last operated (as Tenney) for the 1989/90 season. Reopened as LOOKOUT MTN (still open) in 1992. (and later closed)

     Vertical Drop:  1400 ft	   Top:  2150	    Base:  750      Lifts:  1 triple chair, 1 double chair, 1 T-bar, 1 rope tow 

TYROL (Jackson), [closed], Located 2 miles north of Jackson on Hiway 16B. Opened in 1968. Closed around 1981.

     Vertical Drop:  1000 ft	   Top:  2450	    Base:  1450      Lifts:  1 double chairlift, 1 T-bar, 1 Poma 

WILDERNESS (Dixville Notch), [name change], Early name for BALSAM'S WILDERNESS (still open). Was also called WILDERNESS AT THE BALSAM'S in the mid-seventies.

     Vertical Drop:  1000 ft	   Top:  2700	    Base:  1700      Lifts:  1 double chair, 2 T-bars 

 

2. WHO REMEMBERS THESE LOST NEW HAMPSHIRE SKI AREAS?

          Amherst-Bedford          Berlin Ski Jump           Brookline                Copple Crown           Gorham                   Highlands Mountain           Intervale                Mt. Whittier           Peckett's on Sugar Hill  Rockhouse Mountain           Spruce Mountain          Woodbound Inn  

 

3. LOST SKI AREA FOLLOW-UP

a. CROTCHED MOUNTAIN - JOSHUA and TED, two of our regular NH readers, both pointed out some errors in our Lost CROTCHED listing in LOST 15. The area MIGHT have changed its name to EVERGREEN if a certain sale had gone thru. However the sale never happened and the area closed under the "CROTCHED" name. Also, the ski area closed after the 89/90 season, not 90/91. Thanks, guys.

b. THE WHITE BOOK - We told Ted that our "Evergreen" info came from "The White Book" (TWB) and he said "What is that?" For him and all of you: "The White Book of Ski Areas" contains a listing for (almost) every operating ski area in the U.S. and Canada, plus helicopter operations, plus data on several areas in South America. [There is also a "Blue Book of European Ski Areas".]

For each area the data include: Top, Base, Vertical, acreage, snowmaking acreage, lifts, lift capacity, season, hours, prices, location, phone numbers, etc. Depending on their size, each area gets a quarter, half, or full page listing. Some pix and trail map renderings. The book has been published yearly since 1976 by Inter-Ski Services, Inc. It comes out yearly in the Fall and costs about $16.95. We have never seen it in a book store or library, but any good book store can order it for you. JAN-ERIK says he always consults TWB before skiing a new area.

c. THE WRECK OF THE HESPERUS - ILANA (CO) has been keeping us posted on the status of the "lost" HESPERUS ski area, west of Durango, CO which operated for several years after being dropped by TWB. Now Ilana reports that the area failed to pass its state tramway board lift inspection and it did not operate for the 93/94 season. Probably dead (whoops, we mean officially "Lost").

 

4. OTHER LOST SKI AREAS

Our list of "lost" U.S. ski areas just passed the 1000 mark. We have covered about 200 in these newsletters. To help pick up the pace, here are some extras:

RHODE ISLAND [Still Open: YAWGOO VALLEY (Exeter)]

DIAMOND HILL (Cumberland), [closed], Located 1 mile north of Cumberland on RI 114 in Diamond Hill State Park. We sense a death and rebirth here. Early on (1968 to 1976) there were 2 chairs. Then the area closed and seemed to reopen with just 3 rope tows in 1977. By 1981 there was only one rope tow listed and the ski area was operated by the "Rhode Island Division of Parks and Recreation". Not listed since 1982.

     Vertical Drop:  290 ft	    Top:  500	     Base:  209      Lifts:  2 chairlifts, 3 rope tows           Night skiing 

PINE TOP (W. Greenich Center), [closed], Located north off Hiway 165, 2 miles south of Escoheag. Operated from about 1967 to 1981.

     Vertical Drop:  280 ft	    Top:  580	     Base:  300      Lifts:  2 T-bars, 2 rope tows	             Night skiing 

SKI VALLEY (Grant Mills), [closed], Located 1 mile north of Grant Mills, on Hiway 121. Operated from about 1965 to 1986.

     Vertical Drop:  275 ft	    Top:  475	     Base:  200      Lifts:  1 double chair, 1 Poma, 5 rope tows Night skiing 

MISSOURI [Still Open: HIDDEN VALLEY (Eureka), SNOW BLUFF (Brighton)

SNOW CREEK (Weston)]

MONACO (DeSoto), [obscure], 1 rope tow. One reference - 1968.

TAN-TAR-A (Osage Beach), [closed], Located west of US 54, southwest of Ozark Beach, on the grounds of the huge "Tan-Tar-A" resort (900 rooms). The ski area opened in 1964. The entire resort was acquired by Marriott in 1978 ("Marriott Tan-Tar-A") but the ski area was closed about 1982.

     Vertical Drop:  175 ft	              Lifts:  1 T-bar, 1 rope      tow

 

5. SKI AREA NEWS - FOLLOW-UP

(Thanks for all the info)

a. WOE IS STOWE - The grandiose upgrade plans are on hold. Seems the local zoning folks didn't care much for the mini-mall concept and said that the base lodge couldn't be open in the summer. Yoicks! There goes the summer business and conventions, etc. So the base lodge is definitely on hold - for re-design. It seems to us that the snowmaking and new quad chairs could proceed independently but the 94/95 plans are uncertain.

Also, the "base connector" CHAIR across Hiway 108 may have to be a GONDOLA - for safety reasons. FWIW the base connector CHAIR at LOVELAND (CO) crosses a U.S. highway which is open in the winter. There is a net under the chair to catch skis and snowballs, etc. At Stowe, Hiway 108 (as we recall) isn't even open in the winter! Stay tuned for further updates. (Thanks WES and new reader ED)

b. SUNDAY RIVER - CHARLIE reminded us that this thriving ski area in Maine now owns ATTITASH, in New Hampshire. The connector lift will be the world's longest gondola. :-)

c. THEIR MAGIC IS A LITTLE RUSTY - We thought that the MAGIC MTN, VT chairlifts had been removed by STRATTON. Wrong, twice. BRIAN (MA) has hiked the area and the chairs are still standing. He reports that the whole area looks like they just turned off the power and closed yesterday. Unfortunately the chairs haven't received any maintenance and looked a little rusty. And it was BROMLEY that bought the area, not STRATTON. Hey, Bromley, Stratton - same place, right? Some of you may object to us saying that but we bet most of you can't tell the difference between PURGATORY and TELLURIDE, or BRIGHTON and SOLITUDE, or ALPINE MEADOWS and NORTHSTAR. Think about it.

d. UTAH - MICHAEL (Dusty, UT) reports the following Utah changes: PARK WEST has been sold and has changed its name to WOLF MOUNTAIN. A new base lodge at BRIGHTON. No evidence of the proposed new "Baby Thunder" quad west of SNOWBIRD. (Would this be the first step in the long awaited expansion into the "White Pine" area?)

e. DEER VALLEY - and PARK CITY, UT are roughly on adjacent ridge complexes with the undeveloped "Empire Canyon" separating them. DEER VALLEY has struck a deal with a mining company which owns the canyon and intends to develop it with 7 new chairs and 47 new runs (doubling Deer Valley's size). The town is starting to panic about the crowds and the infrastructure needed, etc. Park City (town) is rapidly turning into an Aspen with rampant building, rising prices, and crowded streets. Still a nice town to visit, tho (as is Aspen).

f. KILLINGTON - is planning to replace their 25 year old gondola with a bigger, faster version (finally - it was not only the longest lift in the U.S., it was the slowest!). BTW, there are other old gondolas still operating at Park City, Mammoth, and Vail.

g. SUGARLOAF, ME - We guessed wrong. The new quad is not replacing the gondola. It will start at the base to the right of the double runner chairs (near the First Aid bldg) and climb up between "Skidder" and "Competition Hill" and end above Skidder. Looks to be over 2000 feet of vertical. Also there will be two new runs to the right of Skidder. Thx, to new reader, LARRY.

h. A-BASIN, CO - Stays open longer in the spring (late June) than any other area in CO and sometimes the whole country (not counting TIMBERLINE). This they do without any snowmaking, just depending on altitude and snow depth. Now, the parent "KRMI" (owners of Keystone and Breck) is planning on adding snowmaking on the upper slopes so that they can stay open all summer! Sounds like fun!

i. SKI THE SUMMIT - is alive and well with ALL FOUR areas included, despite rumors to the contrary. This we hear from a long time reader who is actually employed by one of the Summit ski areas.

j. WE SURRENDER! - Courtesy of various Mooselets, we now have 3 copies of the Burlington Free Press articles about the MRG sale. Thank you. [P.S. To Jon - we loved the Tuckerman Ravine articles. Way cool.] [P.P.S. - "Dr. Quackenbush" is a Director of MRG? Be serious! That's a name made up by Groucho Marx!]

 

6. TRIVIA FOLLOW UP

a. THE SALT LAKE CITY OLYMPICS - In re X-country at high altitudes, we stated that the events would be held at about 6900 feet near Park City. MICHAEL (Gritty, UT) points out that altho the bob, luge, jumping, etc, will be held at the new Utah Winter Sports Park, the XC events will be held further "down" towards SLC at a place called "Mountain Dell" at 6000 ft. (Would that be near the old PARLEY'S SUMMIT ski area?) Michael (Silt, UT) suggests that the chance for good snow there is nil.

We knew someone would bite: No, Tom, SLC has not yet been selected to host the Olympics, but they are odds-on favorites for 2002.

b. SKI WITH THE BEATLES - JEFF (CO) wanted to know where to find a picture showing THE BEATLES in ski togs (for his ski shop). A little research revealed that they skied in the movie "Help", the scenes were filmed in Austria, and among the "still" photographers on the set were Paul's brother, who has a book with many early (B&W) Beatles pix, and Linda M, who was doing her first serious "shoot". None of this helped us find a picture, tho. However, we did eventually (see item c, below) find a pic showing the "Fab Four" in identical black outfits, with lace boots, and one very long scarf wound around all four of their necks.

c. TRIVIA IS EVERYWHERE Department -

(1) We were thumbing thru a1968 ski magazine and came across an article on "skiing celebrities". Sure enough there was a picture of The Beatles (see above) which we had been searching libraries for, for weeks.

(2) When we mentioned that we keep lists of tourist gondolas and trams, "John R" of NM, said how about the "gondola across the Mississippi River" built for the World's Fair in New Orleans. Wow! We didn't know about that one. But guide books don't list it. We were about to send our two Lafayette, LA readers off to The Big Easy to do field research (No, it's over the river guys, not Bourbon St!) when we came across an article about "World's Fair, ten years later". The article said that the gondola failed as a commuter/tourist system, the cars and cable had been removed, and the towers were about to be demolished. Too bad.

(3) We were reading a golfing magazine about an upstate Michigan golfing resort called "Treetops". It has three famous designer courses (e.g., Jones, Fazio). In the middle of the article it stated that there was also an old ski area there. It was originally called "SYLVAN KNOB", and now the whole complex is called "Treetops/Sylvan".

Trivia is everywhere!

 

7. POTPOURRI

a. FRIENDS & FAMILY - Mark told JON that he was receiving two TCS issues because we E-Mail him one and we E-Mail to the Moose (Ski-VT) network which sends him another one. Solution? Simple, we cancel our copy, so he can continue on Ski-VT. Wait, he says plaintively: "Maybe two copies isn't so bad - I would still like to be included in the list of folks reading and contributing to TCS". What a nice thought! Thank you.

However, we don't really look at it that way. The E-Mail list is simply a delivery method, no different than posting. We keep a separate "Friends and Family" list of 280 readers who have E-Mailed To TCS with some interesting comment, criticism, or question (JON qualifies). That's the "A" list. In fact there are about 30 names on the E-Mail list which aren't on the "F & F" list because they haven't yet given us any feedback.

So, write to us and you are a friend for life (shudder); ask to be on the E-Mail list - sure, "junk mail is us". ;-)

b. CONDOS VS LIFTS - Tom Moore wrote a lengthy treatise about the CROTCHED MOUNTAIN demise where he said that the problem with them and several other Eastern ski areas was that the owners spent more money on condos (trying to make a quick buck) than on lifts, snowmaking, etc., and eventually the skiers stopped coming. Then BRIAN voiced a similar comment: "I'm willing to bet that MAGIC MOUNTAIN, VT could be a going concern, if run as a ski area, rather than a condo development".

We agree. The worst dead ski area we ever saw was STAGECOACH (near Steamboat Springs, CO) which had completed condos, half-completed condos, and foundations for condos. Talk about ugly! Meanwhile the lifts were still standing but there was NO BASE LODGE. What a dumb approach! Skiing should come first. Now you might argue that the condo sales help finance the ski facilities, and possibly even help keep lift ticket prices down. Wrong! Repeat - WRONG. See ALTA.

c. ALTA PRICES - "Alta Ski Lifts" runs one of the best ski operations in the business. They own no land, no restaurants, no hotels. They operate chairlifts and they operate a ski school. They provide parking. That's it. The on-mountain restaurants are leased to operators. Until a few years ago, the only "base lodge" was in the basement of a separately owned hotel. And they make money - RUNNING A SKI AREA! And how does this affect lift ticket prices?

Consider this. ALTA has a vertical drop of 2000 feet, 8 chairlifts, and the best powder snow in the country. For this they charge, on average (pay attention, now) one-half the price that VAIL charges! ONE-HALF. Here are some examples (dollars):

     1977    Vail 14    Alta  7         1986    Vail 30    Alta 15      1981    Vail 20    Alta 10         1989    Vail 36    Alta 19      1984    Vail 25    Alta 12         1993    Vail 45    Alta 23 

Enough said.

d. "ARDUOUS"? - How about damn scary! Two folks responded to our comment that the road to SKI APACHE, NM was the most arduous we had ever driven. One person said "way cool". The other said "Arduous? Obviously you have never driven it in a whiteout." No we haven't. Sounds pretty scary to us. BTW, for you folks from the East, Southeast, and Midwest - "Mountain highway guard rails" is a scientific breakthrough yet to be discovered in the West.

e. WHAT WE THINK - We think that we are getting old. Van Cliburn (concert pianist) is on tour. He started his tour at the HOLLYWOOD BOWL to commemorate the start of his very first tour, many, many years ago. We were at the BOWL for his original tour. Please don't look up the year!

Instant Movie Review: "Clear and Present Danger". See it!

Someone told us that there is a baseball strike. So? They already had a very short season, from the end of the NBA Playoffs in late June to the start of football season Labor Day weekend. So what's two less weeks? Big deal!

 

8. EPILOG

a. Please provide your CITY NAME in your first E-Mail to TCS.

b. If you would like to be ADDED to the TCS (direct E-Mail) mailing list, notify MARK at: "mwallace@nyx.net"

c. Due next: "TRIVIA.16" (about 15 Sep)

Cheers from THE COLORADO SKIER

THE OLD MAN OF THE MOUNTAIN - "Up near Cannon Mtn, NH, there is a pile of rocks which, when viewed from just the right angle, looks exactly like a pile of rocks."   --   Dave Berry


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