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January 25, 1995

Lost Areas #17 - Published 25 Jan 1995


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".




A. Howdy gang. Happy New Year. We are looking forward to a great year for The Colorado Skier - hope you are too. TRIVIA 16 (19 Dec) received the most responses of any TCS issue yet published. We probably had more fun reading your stuff then you had reading ours. See Section 6 for some follow-up.

B. In this issue it's back to our "core business" of researching and writing about "Lost Ski Areas". We are still doing New Hampshire, plus a few extras.

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.



{Copyright 1995, THE COLORADO SKIER. All rights reserved.}

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

AMHERST-BEDFORD (Bedford), [closed], Located southwest of Manchester on Hiway 101 between Amherst and Bedford (4 miles west of Bedford). Operated from about 1968 to the mid-70's.

       Vertical Drop:  200 ft	              Lifts:  1 rope tow 

BERLIN SKI JUMP (Berlin), [obscure], Located 5 miles north of Berlin on Hiway 16. Had a jumping hill as early as 1940. There was a ski tow in 1949 and a rope tow in 1977. The jump was still operating in the 80's but it's not clear that the lift survived. Sometimes called the "Nansen Ski Jump" after the local ski club which was named after the famous Norwegian skier, Fridtjof Nansen.

BROOKLINE (Brookline), [closed], Operated from before 1964 to about 1984. Used the name BIG BEAR from 1973 to 1980. Finally changed name to MUSKET MOUNTAIN in 1983 and closed in 1984.

     Vertical Drop:  600 ft     Top:  1250	    Base:  650      Lifts:  2 T-bars, 2 rope tows 

COPPLE CROWN (New Durham), [closed], Located off Middleton Rd. Operated from about 1966 to 1976.

     Vertical Drop:  400 ft        Lifts:  1 T-bar, 2 rope tows	        Night skiing 

GORHAM (Gorham), [closed], Located on US 2 in Gorham. Operated by the town of Gorham. Originally called The Gorham Outing Club. Operated from the thirties to about 1979.

     Vertical Drop:  300 ft 	             Lifts:  1 rope tow 

HIGHLANDS MOUNTAIN (Tilton), [open, sometimes], Located southeast of the Northfield exit off I-93. Opened around 1968. Closed briefly during the late eighties. Also called HIGHLAND, HIGHLANDS, and THE HIGHLANDS. Re-opened for the 93/94 season.

     Vertical Drop:  800 ft      Lifts:  Borvig triple chair, 2 T-bars, pony lift, rope tow 

INTERVALE (Intervale), [closed], Located 3 miles north of No. Conway on Hiway 16A. One of the oldest NH areas. Minnie Dole mentioned it in 1936, and it was listed in a 1940 reference. Closed as an alpine area around 1975. Still used for cross country.

     Vertical Drop:  600 ft               Lifts:  1 T-bar, 1 Poma 

MT WHITTIER (West Ossipee), [closed], Located at the junction of Hiways 16 and 25. Opened in the early 60's and closed about 1983. The gondola was operated for summer sightseeing for several years thereafter. Gondola towers and cable still standing.

     Vertical Drop:  1200 ft    Top:  2100	    Base:  900      Lifts:  1 four passenger gondola,  3 T-bars,  1 rope tow 

PECKETT'S ON SUGAR HILL (Sugar Hill - Franconia), [obscure], Started by Kate Peckett on Daddy's farm. Probably had the first "ski school" in the U.S. Had professional ski instructors in 1929 (no lifts). Minnie Dole learned to ski here in 1933. Skiing eventually migrated to the "Taft Racing Trail" on nearby Cannon Mountain.

ROCKHOUSE MOUNTAIN (FARM) (Eaton Center), [very obscure], Located on NH 153, 6 miles south of Conway. Operated in the late 70's.

     Vertical Drop:  100 ft	              Lifts:  2 rope tows 

SPRUCE MOUNTAIN (Jackson), [very obscure], Operated from about 1966 to 1975. A boy's school operated the lift in the late 70's.

     Vertical Drop:  210 ft               Lifts:  1 Poma 

WOODBOUND INN (Jaffrey), [closed], Located east of Jaffrey off Hiway 124. Family resort hotel. Also featured cross-country trails (still operating). Downhill skiing closed around 1983.

     Vertical Drop:  600 ft  	  Top:  1330     Base:  730      Lifts:  2 rope tows 

[Note: Loyal reader JOSH, who has skied and/or taught skiing at every New Hampshire ski area, will now review the above data and then point out the discrepancies to us and we will then publish the corrections in the next newsletter. :-) If we had half a brain we would send the data to him first! ]



          Arrowhead Skiway         Belknap           Big Bear                 Birchwood           Blackwater               Brickyard Mtn Inn           Campton Mountain         Eastman Pond           Kidder Mountain          Lord's Hill           Meriden                  Mt Rowe 



In order to finish the 1000+ lost ski areas before the end of the millennium, we are throwing in extra states from time to time. Here is the Fruitcake, er, uh, "Nutmeg" state.

BROOKLYN (Brooklyn), [closed], Located 2 miles northeast of Brooklyn, off US 6. Operated from about 1968 to 1978.

     Vertical Drop:  200 ft	              Lifts:  3 rope tows 

LAKERIDGE (Torrington), [obscure], Located north of Torrington near Burrville. Private ski area limited to residents and guests. Info available from 1977 to 1981. Current status uncertain.

     Vertical Drop:  300 ft	              Lifts:  1 chairlift 

OHOHO (Woodstock), [closed], Located on Hiway 171 in West Woodstock. Operated from about 1977 to 1989.

     Vertical Drop:  300 ft	    Top:  900   	  Base:  600      Lifts:  1 T-bar, 3 rope tows   Night skiing,  snowmaking 

MOUNT HOPE (Mansfield Center) [very obscure], Located 4 miles north of Willimantic off CT 89. 5 tree lined slopes. Operated in the 60's. Night skiing.

     Vertical Drop:  350 ft	              Lifts:  2 rope tows 

POWDER HILL (Middlefield), [name change], Old name for POWDER RIDGE (still open) until 1970.

SKI RATTLESNAKE (Somers), [obscure], References, mid-sixties.

     Vertical Drop:  300 ft	              Lifts:  3 rope tows 

SATAN'S RIDGE (New Hartford), [name change], Opened around 1966. Changed name to SKI SUNDOWN (still open) in 1970.

TAPAWINGO (Woodbury), [name change], Located 4 miles north of Woodbury, off CT 47. Opened around 1966. Changed name to WOODBURY (still open) in 1977.

     Vertical drop:  225 ft 	             Lifts:  1 T-bar, 2 rope tows 



a. HIGHLANDS MOUNTAIN - Some of you chided us for calling this a lost area since it is still open. OK, we won't; consider it found.

b. THE WHITE BOOK (TWB) - Until recently we had never seen TWB in a book store. A few of you wrote to say that you have seen it in ski town book stores in the East. Actually we saw about 50 copies during our first visit to "The Tattered Cover", in Denver. That is the biggest and best book store we have ever been in. Inside of 5 minutes we had taken notes on two lost Colorado ski areas. Of course we prefer libraries and used book stores (for cost reasons) to new book stores, but we still managed to buy four items on this visit!

c. LOST COLORADO - So what did we learn? The following:

CHAUTAUQUA MESA (Boulder), [closed], Located in Chautauqua Park in Boulder. Opened in 1947. Operated intermittently until 1962. Limited vertical. One rope tow.

FERN LAKE (Estes Park), [very obscure], We were always puzzled by this reference as it seemed to be a long way from an auto road. Turns out, that was the point. Folks used to hike, ski, or sleigh into the "Fern Lake Lodge" and then do some cross-country. This was all back in the teens and twenties, before lifts. As downhill skiing and better roads developed, the (private) lodge was abandoned. The Park Service attempted to save the lodge as a historic relic but vandalism took its toll and the (burned) lodge has now been removed.

d. LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN (Plymouth), [closed], In our listing on TENNEY MOUNTAIN we said that it had closed and then reopened as LOOKOUT in 1992. JOSH points out that now LOOKOUT is closed, probably permanently. {Editor: But Tenney reopened in 1996.}


5. SKI AREA NEWS - FOLLOW-UP (Thanks for all the info)

a. SNOWBIRD, UT - The planned new "Baby Thunder" lift did NOT get built. "Permitting" was not completed. Also, as of December, the new base lodges at BRIGHTON and SOLITUDE were not open. Thanks to two MICHAELs (UT) for their input.

b. SNOWBASIN, UT - BORIS brought us a brochure which touts this area as the location for the 1995 (March) U.S. Alpine Championships, and the site for the 2002 Olympic downhill. The latter course will be held in the new "John Paul" area with a new lift (not built yet).

c. CUCHARA VALLEY, CO - Had planned to open on 23 Nov this season but as of late-Jan was still not open.

d. STEAMBOAT, CO - Someone asked about their expansion plans. We found an article: From 1995 to 1999 they will spend $21 mill to add 770 new acres and new lifts behind the "Storm Peak" area.

e. KIT CARSON, CA - Both DEBBIE and TOM, from the bay area, reported that this renamed and reopened ski area actually did open, on 21 Dec. Debbie and Tom are now official Field Agents (Ta Da). BTW this area is NOT showing up in the snow reports. ??

[FWIW, we love the name Debbie. Is it because of Debbie Reynolds? Or that we have a niece named Debbie? Or that our favorite secretary was named Debbie? Or was it "Debbie does Dallas"? Whatever.]

f. TELLURIDE, CO - The Feds have finally relented and have separated the NEW GONDOLA permit from the "wetlands" violation issue. The gondola construction will now proceed and it will surely be operational next season, possibly even this summer. {Not till 96.}

g. CRESTED BUTTE, CO - Has announced more expansion plans. Next year the "Keystone" triple will be replaced by a quad and the triple will be moved to the East River area. After a little more fine tuning of lifts and base area CB will proceed to expand on the north side where the super steep terrain is located. The early season "free skiing" operation will be curtailed even further. It is too crowded. Probably we will see daily ticket "sale" limitations.

h. ATTITASH, NH - Added a new peak with a fixed grip quad and several runs. The new area is called "Bear Peak" (or "Bear Pea" in space limited snow reports!).

i. OLD SNOW NEWS - In the last newsletter we should have said that MT BAKER, WA also had a 100+ inch base in early Dec and KIRKWOOD, CA joined the ranks in mid-Dec. (Now we are talking 200 inch bases!)

j. NEW SNOW NEWS - Conditions are about the same as we indicated in Dec: Lousy in the East, Fair in CO, and Great in the Far West. Friend Sissy said the heavy rain on New Year's Day destroyed NH. Our stockbroker said they were playing golf at NASHOBA VALLEY in MA. A news item said several areas in New England had closed. We have noticed missing snow reports for: Sugarloaf, Sunday River, Attitash, Waterville, Wildcat, Bromley, Jay Peak, and Sugarbush. Are (were) all these areas really closed?

There was very little snow in CO in December. By early January conditions were getting bad. Since then there has been a fairly steady series of small snowfalls, but many areas are still just approaching an acceptable 40 inch base. Of course most of you probably think we poormouth CO skiing to keep YOU out of OUR lift lines - you are right! But really, with maybe 1000 readers and perhaps 100 of you coming to CO to ski, what are the odds we would be at the same slope on the same day? No, you expect great skiing in Colorado and we just don't want you to be disappointed.



a. SAY AGAIN? - Once again we have misworded a question and confused about half of you. Question "e" should be reworded as follows: "Name 3 or more SKI AREAS at which the ONLY day skier access between the parking lot and the base area is a tram or gondola." What we are trying to say is that you can't get to these ski areas without riding an access lift, first. We did NOT mean to include those areas whose PRINCIPAL (i.e., first choice) lift might be a tram (such as Jackson Hole or Squaw). Two of the answers were easy as we had mentioned them in the newsletter. Other candidates are more obscure.

b. THE CORIOLIS EFFECT? - We can't resist a preview of the answer to the question: "Do most chairlifts run CW or CCW?" Here is a compendium of your answers: The answer, of course, is CCW. But the real question is why? The reason involves the Eastward rotation of the Earth which causes an increased torque to chairlifts running CCW in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, the chairlifts run CW. And of course at the Equator, chairlifts can't run at all. Which of course is why you find no ski resorts near the Equator! ;-) [We love it when a joke comes together!]

c. A DEVILISH GONDOLA - We asked you guys to run up to Stateline, NV and gather data on the PRIVATE GONDOLA running from "The Ridge Tahoe" resort to the HEAVENLY ski area. Don't bother (trivia is us).

While thumbing thru a Lake Tahoe brochure we found a picture of the gondola with the caption: "Winter guests of the Ridge Tahoe have a private 10 passenger gondola direct to Heavenly's Stagecoach Lodge."

Stagecoach is the left-most (furthest East) of the two base areas on the Nevada side. We spent a lot of time studying maps and ski area brochures and concluded that as you drive up to the Stagecoach base area The Ridge Tahoe is up on the ridge to the left (East) of the parking lot. So the gondola ride must not be very long. Probably only one or two gondola cars. From the picture the lift looks the same as the ones at KEYSTONE and STEAMBOAT (CWA?).

d. NOT SANFORIZED? - HEAVENLY is shrinking. During our gondola research we discovered that there used to be (mid-70's) another lift ("Wells Fargo") well below the current Nevada side lift complex. The "Galaxy" and "Men's Downhill" runs used to continue down to that lift. Back then the Heavenly brochure gave the vertical drops as Nevada - 4000 ft and CA - 3600. Now it is NV - 2840 and CA - 3500 ft. Maybe that's why Heavenly used to bill itself as "America's Largest Ski Area" - the 4000 ft of vertical. Amazing what a little research reveals!

e. SKI LIFTS OVER ROADS - Several of you wrote to mention that the KILLINGTON gondola travels over a mountain road. MARC remembers it being called "Roaring Brook Road". He is right. It branches off the access road to the Bear Mountain parking lot, goes thru a housing area and then continues thru Killington Village to the Snowshed area. The trail which crosses the road over a bridge is "Great Eastern", one of the longest runs in the country. Also, there are lifts over roads and skier bridges at DEER VALLEY, UT. (BTW, we are only including winter-use roads in this survey - MANY ski areas have lifts over summer-time roads.)

Someone suggested Chair 8 at Lionshead, at VAIL. We believe that it just misses the housing road off to the left. BTW, VAIL chair 8 does travel over a river (okay, a stream). We have often looked down thinking that it would be a really bad place to fall out of a chair! Of course we never use safety bars - but that's another story. Jonathan (CA) mentioned an even scarier situation. There is an access chairlift at SUGAR BOWL, CA which passes over the Union Pacific mainline tracks! Now there is a headline we have never seen: "SKIER KILLED BY ONRUSHING TRAIN!"

f. BUTTON, BUTTON (Here comes the Housemother!) - In our "Poma = Platterpull" segment we said that folks from Canada and New Zealand called them 'button' lifts. Two more readers: GEOFF, from England, and MARCUS, from Scotland confirmed that 'button' is a popular name for platters in those countries. (Pearlies?)



a. WHAT'S IN A (DUMB) NAME? - COPPER ran a contest to NAME their new HS Quad which replaced the I and J lifts. Could you have won? Here are your clues: The new quad replaced the I and J lifts (actually the early brochure called it the "I & J Quad"); it is the farthest "west" lift (but not forever); the runs underneath are "I-Beam" (cute) and "Windsong"; the other two quads are called "American Eagle" and "American Flyer"; there are "copper" themes ('Coppertone' and 'Copperfield'); and there are "mining" themes ("Main Vein" and "Overlode"). Give up? You had better. The winning name was: "TIMBERLINE EXPRESS" - Go figure. [BTW, our choices were "Quadzilla" and, using the "American" theme: "Federal Express".]

b. ANOTHER LOST GONDOLA - We keep a list of non-skiing tourist type gondolas and trams. The list has been reduced by one. On a recent visit we observed that the DISNEYLAND "Skyway" gondola connecting Fantasyland and Tomorrowland is no more. It still appears on the handout map so we guess it was removed in late 1994. The ride was almost 40 years old and probably just wore out.

c. CAPTAIN WHO? - We were surprised that no one asked who "Captain Marvel" is (He was created by Marvel Comics to compete with DC Comics' Superman). Sneaky trivia: What color costume; Who was his alter ego, How did he change from alter ego to super hero, Who was his arch enemy?

d. WHO'S NUMBER TWO? - Everyone knows that the FIRST chairlift in the world was a single chair built at SUN VALLEY in 1936. Loyal reader JAN-ERIK (who postulated the correct answer) wanted to know where and when the SECOND chairlift was built. It took us a while. First we consulted our list of chairlifts operating in 1940 (we are still trying to work that into a trivia question). There weren't many and we eventually found a reference: TIMBERLINE, OR: "The original Magic Mile lift (since replaced) was the world's second chairlift when it opened in 1939." We thank Jan-Erik for pointing us toward a rewarding trivia search.

e. CAR TALK - HOT CARS - There was a tremendous (mostly negative) response to our comments about heated gondola cars and wind chill factors. Look for our rebuttal in the next newsletter as it will take us another month to prepare our defense (F. Lee Bailey seems to be tied up at the moment! {line written during the OJ trial}



a. THE BACK DOOR - Those of you planning to ski ASPEN, or BEAVER CREEK, or VAIL who don't want to deal with airport uncertainties or the Denver/I-70 traffic, should consider flying into Grand Junction. From there it's only about 125 miles of easy "no mountain pass" driving - mostly Interstate. As you drive down Horizon Drive from the airport to I-70 make sure you stop and eat at the "South West Cafe". They serve a "breakfast burrito" that is to die for.

b. HOLIDAY SIGHTSEEING - In 1989 our family went to DISNEYLAND on 26 Dec. It was a disaster. Too crowded to move and 45 minute lines for most attractions. In 1991 we tried it on 24 Dec. Nobody there - we were waiting at the gate when they opened at 8 and had covered 4 major attractions by 10 am. From then on we were relaxed and we didn't even mind 15 minute waits for the roller coasters. This year (1994) we tried Xmas Eve again with the same result. Maybe 15 minute waits at most for the most popular attractions.

However, to prove a point (not intentionally), we went to UNIVERSAL STUDIOS on 26 Dec. Once again, it was a disaster! Their theatre shows are OK, just show up 15 minutes before they start ("The Flintstones Show" was great). However, Universal has "rides" now. A 45 minute wait for the 4 minute "Back To The Future" ride (great simulator). 52 minute wait for "Backdraft" which was boring (and yes we do time them and keep records). The worst wait was 78 minutes for a charming, but not worth it, "E.T." ride.

Point of all this: Go BEFORE a holiday, not after. Another example: Boston Aquarium (excellent) on a random Saturday - crowded; went on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving - nobody there. As for skiing, back when we skied a lot, we always skied VAIL on the Saturday before Christmas - quiet time. Saturday is the traditional "travel day" and every out-of-state skier is in a rental car on I-70!

c. LAS VEGAS WILL TAKE YOU FOR A RIDE - There are two amusement parks in Las Vegas, at CIRCUS CIRCUS and the MGM GRAND. The latter now has free admission - once inside you can buy ride tickets or an all-day ticket or just wander around. As you probably know by now we like all kinds of mechanical rides, not just skilifts. There is a monorail connecting the MIRAGE and TREASURE ISLAND hotels. There always seems to be a crowd waiting to board but the device has huge subway-type cars and everyone waiting always fits onboard. Very efficient.

OTOH we have never seen the monorail between the LUXOR and EXCALIBUR hotels in operation. We finally asked a hotel spokesperson: "Broke, closed, and probably abandoned", he replied. This monorail has cars which hang from the tracks and we asked if it was built by a skilift manufacturer. Nope - it was built by BEA, the same company which built the baggage handling system at DIA! (Just kidding) {Note - this monorail has now been removed - a complete failure.}



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