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September 05, 1996

Lost Areas #22 - Published 5 September 1996

Greetings from THE COLORADO SKIER

Researching "lost" ski areas is the hobby of THE COLORADO SKIER. We have reported our findings on COLORADO, the SOUTHEAST, NEW HAMPSHIRE, and are now doing ARIZONA and VERMONT. Is your state next?

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

LOST "COLORADO" SKI AREAS - EDITION #22

EDITOR'S REMARKS:

A. In this issue we will finish up "Lost ARIZONA" and start "Lost WYOMING". And, we continue with "Lost VERMONT".

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


1A. THE LOST SKI AREAS OF VERMONT

Here is the info on the 10 VERMONT ski areas we listed last time.

{Copyright 1996, THE COLORADO SKIER. All rights reserved.}

APPLE HILL (Chittenden), [closed], Located 8 miles north of Rutland, just north of the town of Chittenden. Located at the "Mountain Top Inn" which features cross-country skiing. Operated from about 1966 to 1979 - now x-country only. Vertical Drop: 900 ft Top: 1750 Base: Lifts: 1 T-bar

BIRDSEYE MOUNTAIN (Castleton), [closed], Located east of Castleton and south of US 4 on the flanks of Bird Mountain. Operated from about 1963 to 1974. Vertical Drop: 500 ft Lifts: 3 T-bars, rope tow, night skiing

BLACK MOUNTAIN (W. Dummerston), [name change], Early name for MAPLE VALLEY (still open) until about 1965.

BRATTLEBORO OUTING CLUB & SKI JUMP (Brattleboro), [obscure], Site of National level ski jumping contests in the 40's, 50's, and 60's. [1949 - 65 meter ski jump] Probably became the LIVING MEMORIAL ski area. Located on Guilford St. which is where "LIVING" is now. [Note: There are several other lost ski areas in the Brattleboro region which will be covered in future "Lost" issues.]

BROWNELL MOUNTAIN (Burlington), [obscure], Located south of Burlington. 1940 - Univ. of Vermont maintains a "sport center" on Brownell Mtn. 1977 - status unknown.

BURNT HILL (Middlebury), [obscure], 1949 - Near Bread Loaf on Hiway 125. Probably the current location of the SNOW BOWL.

BURRINGTON HILL (Whittingham), [closed], Located east of Whittingham just off VT 100. Operated from about 1960 to 1976. Vertical Drop: 240 ft Top: Base: 2000 Lifts: 1 platterpull, 1 rope

CARINTHIA (West Dover), [merged], Located east and immediately adjacent to MT. SNOW on VT 100. Absorbed by MT. SNOW in 1986. Opened around 1963. Vertical Drop: 1100 ft Top: 3100 Base: 2000 Lifts: 2 chairlifts, 1 T-bar

CHAMBERLIN BIRCH (Newport), [obscure], Located 2 miles south of Newport on Lower Glen Road. Operated from about 1970 to 1978. Lifts: 1 rope tow night skiing

CHESTER (Chester), [obscure], 2 rope tows. Ski Jump. Night skiing. 1940 and 1949 references.

MINOR NAME CHANGES - We won't do separate listings for the following minor name changes: Mt Ascutney was once ASCUTNEY MOUNTAIN, Bromley was once BIG BROMLEY, Pico was once PICO PEAK, Killington started as KILLINGTON BASIN, and Stowe is occasionally known by its two mountains - MT MANSFIELD, and SPRUCE PEAK.


1B. Who remembers these Lost VERMONT Ski Areas?

BREAD LOAF MTN SNOW BOWL

BUNNY'S SKI TOWS

CHIPMAN HILL

COLD HOLLOW MOUNTAIN

DANVILLE SKI TOW

DUTCH HILL

EAGLE ROCK

GILBERT'S FARM

GLEBE MOUNTAIN FARM GLENDALE


1C. THE LOST SKI AREAS OF ARIZONA

Here is the info on the 8 ARIZONA ski areas we listed last time.

{Copyright 1996, THE COLORADO SKIER. All rights reserved.}

[There have been only 6 ski areas in AZ. Four are still open, 2 are closed, and the other names are just name changes.]

AMBERIAN POINT RESORT (Greer), [obscure/name change], Probably a 1983 name for GREER (which see). There is a physical landmark named "Amberian Point", just south of Greer. Vertical Drop: 350 ft Top: 9300 Base: 8700 Lifts: 3 rope tows

APACHE SUNRISE (McNary), [name change], Sometime (1982, 83) name for SUNRISE ski area (still open).

BIG CIENEGA (McNary), [closed], Located east of McNary, south of AZ 260, and just north of SUNRISE. Opened around 1964. Closed shortly after SUNRISE opened. Vertical Drop: 427 ft Lifts: Poma, rope tow

BILL WILLIAMS SKI AREA (Williams), [name change], Sometime name in the sixties for WILLIAMS (still open) which is located on "Bill Williams Mountain".

FAIRFIELD SNOW BOWL (Flagstaff), [name change], Sometime name (1984 to 1992) for ARIZONA SNOW BOWL (still open) which is operated by the Fairfield company.

GREER (Greer), [obscure], Located about 7 miles west of Springerville, south of AZ 73 (now AZ 260) on AZ 373 in the town of Greer at a resort called "Amberian Mountain Shadows". Early 80's. Vertical Drop: 250 ft Top: 8750 Base: 8500 Lifts: platter pull, rope tow

SUNRISE PARK (Pine Top), [name change], Sometime name for SUNRISE in the late 60's. SUNRISE is located just south of the small community of "Sunrise Park". Base: 9300 ft Lifts: Double chair, T-bar, Poma

WILLIAMS SKI RUN (Williams), [very obscure], In 1948, locals built a ski jump and ski runs. Both were abandoned when the ski area was moved to a new (nearby) location.

Bonus: Bear Wallow

BEAR WALLOW (Mt. Lemmon), [name change], Early name for the MT LEMMON ski area (still open). {1949}

This concludes Lost ARIZONA


1D. Who remembers these Lost WYOMING Ski Areas?

Americana Snow King

Barrett Ridge

Big Horn

Casper Mountain

Divide

Eagle Rock

Fortification Mountain

Fun Valley

Happy Jack

Jackson


2. LOST SKI AREAS FOLLOW-UP

a. "E-Z" was the name of a planned ski area to be built next to RED RIVER, NM in 1965. When it was built the name changed to POWDERPUFF.

b. MAP RESEARCH - We now have 1935, 1940, 1950, and 1955 highway maps of Colorado. You might wonder what "ski areas" are shown on a 1935 map. There are three: STEAMBOAT SPRINGS SKI CLUB, GRAND LAKE WINTER SPORTS CLUB, and ARLBERG SKI CLUB. The latter club, from Denver, skied at the west end of the Moffatt RR tunnel at the site of the current WINTER PARK. The Arlberg Club still has a chalet at the bottom of the Peak 8 ski hill road at Breck. The 1955 map is our best ever. It has the very obscure MANCOS HILL, is the only map we have with both HOOSIER PASS and MERCURY, and has other obscure areas like APEX, NEDERLAND, and JONES PASS.

c. AERIAL RESEARCH - This year we did our Pikes Peak Auto Hillclimb timing from the very top of Pikes Peak. It was great to watch the sun come up on the Continental Divide and then watch the shadow of Pikes Peak advance across the foothills. When it got light we studied the old mining towns of Victor and Cripple Creek and suddenly noted the ski runs at the old TENDERFOOT HILL ski area. We have tried to find this area at "ground level" but one approach had a large ranch and the other a gravel pit and some ranchettes. From 14,110 feet we observed that the "gravel pit" is actually the ski area parking lot! Now we can go back and check it out (and hope the gravel pit isn't posted).

d. READER RESEARCH - ERIC (NYC) has supplied still more info on the Cog RR on Mt. Beacon in southern NY (actually Eric's Father has all the info, Eric is just a "go between" :} ). There was a scenic cog railway running up Mt Beacon (in the 30's) and eventually to a ski area called MT BEACON which had a rope tow coming down from the top (in the 40's, 50's, 60's). In 1967, another ski area called DUTCHESS was built on another side of the mountain and it did not utilize the cog altho it was nearby. Dutchess was much bigger, 1000 ft vertical and 3 chairlifts. However it closed around 1977.

We have found references to the cog as a summer tourist attraction in 1963 and 1973, but none more recent. Check this out, Eric: One of our ski reference books has a capsule comment by the author about each ski area. For DUTCHESS he says (in 1972): "When I first skied here, I used a WW I vintage ground cableway to make my ascents". Now either he was really thinking about MT BEACON or he tromped over the hill from the cog to DUTCHESS.

e. Reader TOM (CA) asks about the OTHER ski area on Mt Charleston, NV besides LEE CANYON. We are glad that someone finally cares as this one has been puzzling us. One answer is that the area was called KYLE CANYON and it had 2 rope tows back around 1961. The other answer is that it was called MT CHARLESTON and had a GONDOLA in the mid-60's! We won't be happy until we at least understand the geographic relationships. Do you have a detailed map you could copy and send, Tom? Or could you describe the region. We visualize an "H" shape with the (E-W) long legs being hiways 156 and 157 and the cross leg is 158. LEE CANYON is at the upper right with Mt Charleston at the upper left. We don't know where "Kyle Canyon" is. Can anyone help?

f. New loyal reader KATHY (Boulder) asks about two ski areas in Ohio from the 60's. The first one is THE CANTON SKI CLUB, which operated on Starkey's Mountain just outside of Robertsville, OH from about the 40's to the early 80's. We draw a total blank on that one. Anyone heard of it? The other one is about 30 miles southeast of Canton:

HIGH HOPES (Harlem Springs), [obscure], Operated about 1968 to 71. Vertical Drop: 200 ft Lifts: 1 rope tow

g. Loyal Reader DAN (CA) asks about a small ski area in LeRoy, NY he remembers from the 60's. Yes, FROST RIDGE is still open. The current vertical drop is 40 ft.(?) Lifts are a T-bar and two rope tows.


3. TRIVIA QUESTIONS FOLLOW UP

a. SNEAKY TRIVIA QUESTION - What was the original name for the GRANLIBAKKEN, CA ski area? ANSWER: OLYMPIC HILL, near Tahoe Tavern was one of the first ski areas in all of Calif. It had an "upski" in the 30's and was the site of many early ski races and jumping contests. By the 50's it had become known as "OLYMPIC HILL - GRANLIBAKKEN" and by the 60's, just GRANLIBAKKEN, probably because of the "real" Olympics at nearby SQUAW VALLEY.

b. TEASER - "Name the current U.S. owned tire companies." As we might have expected, you folks named every one of the major and minor tire brands we had ever heard of. What surprised us tho, is that you also named foreign companies. MICHELIN is one of the three biggest tire companies in the world. And it is French, guys! Always has been. Here is the teaser: There is only ONE (major) U.S. tire company and, guess what, it isn't Goodrich or Firestone. Details in our next trivia issue.

c. PENNZOIL - Someone asked if this company was once part of Standard Oil. Yes, sort of. In 1889 the "South Penn Oil Co" was set up by Standard to pump oil from PA. In 1911 they became independent. Well, if they still teach history the way we learned it, you know that oil was first discovered in Oil City, PA. So by 1915 or so the oil was mostly pumped dry in PA. "This left South Penn without the one ingredient necessary for a successful oil company - oil!" So they realized that lubricants were their future, not gasoline or heating oil. Meanwhile, another company named "Oil City Oil and Grease", needed a small source of oil. The two companies merged in 1925, under the name PENNZOIL which had been the brand name for Oil City products.

PENNZOIL is perhaps most famous for their epic battle with Texaco. In 1984, Pennzoil tried to buy Getty Oil. Texaco made a higher bid and Pennzoil sued for "interference". After a long and potentially losing court battle Texaco decided to settle out of court in 1988 and paid Pennzoil $3 Billion! This was more than Pennzoil was worth at the time! Of course, to Texaco, it was chump change.

d. SNEAKY TRIVIA - Open question: Reader CHRIS (town?) noted our statement that there was a MT BEACON ski area and also a DUTCHESS ski area ON "Mt. Beacon". He observes that CAMDEN SNOW BOWL (ME) is located on "Ragged Mtn" and there is a RAGGED MTN in NH. He wonders if there are other MOUNTAIN name vs SKI AREA name connections. Here are some:

MT SNOW, VT on Mt Pisgah - MT PISGAH, NY SUN VALLEY, ID on Mt Baldy - MT BALDY, CA BRIGHTON, UT on Mt Majestic - MAJESTIC, WI ALTA, UT on Sugarloaf (Mtn) - SUGARLOAF, ME

Can you guys think of some more?



4. SKI NEWS (Updates only - other news in previous issues)

a. PICO, VT has declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy - the banks own it. This is very sad. PICO is one of the oldest ski areas in the country. They opened about 1936 with rope tows and added the first T-bar built in the U.S. (a Constam) in 1938. The area was run by the MEAD family and daughter Andrea Mead became a successful and famous ski racer. At one time KILLINGTON had planned to purchase PICO and connect the two ski areas but couldn't get permission from the Greenies to use water for snowmaking and to build connecting trails. Too bad.

b. MAGIC MTN, VT - Had planned to re-open this December. However, the Greenies required a diesel fuel spill cleanup and a relining of a snowmaking water storage pond. Doable projects, but not by December. Things still look good for next year, however. One reader said that the backside (Timberside) was not to be part of the current project.

c. APEX, BC - Reader JACK (WA) reports that the BC Provincial Government has "called" a major loan that Apex can't afford to pay off. Their upcoming season is at the mercy of the Government.

d. VAIL - As part of the new Vail Lionshead gondola project, Vail is adding lights for night skiing. VAIL is raising lift ticket prices a whopping 8.3% to $52. The price of their discount "Colorado Card" is dropping from $45 to $10, which should please Denver skiers.

e. Vail Resorts, Inc, which now (almost) owns VAIL, BEAVER CREEK, BRECK, KEYSTONE, and A-BASIN, announced that they are spending $55 million on new ski facilities at the five resorts. The Vail Trail ran a detailed article outlining the $54 mill planned for just Vail and The Beav. That leaves $1 mill for the other three areas! Actually there has to be a bean counting error somewhere as Keystone already announced $5 mill in improvements and Breck is adding a chairlift.

f. FIELD SURVEY - We recently made a swing up I-70 and thru Summit County and observed: LOVELAND VALLEY - the main double chair has been removed and there are towers for a new chair of unknown capacity. LOVELAND BASIN has cut a new expert run on the far left, to the left of "Rainbow". This is the site of an avalanche last season, so with all the trees down they probably figured, why not finish the job. At Breckenridge, the new "access" double chair from the corner of Kings Crown Road and Four O'clock road is proceeding nicely.

g. WHISTLER, BC - Is replacing the "Creekside" HS Quad with a gondola. That was the chair that failed last season, killing two skiers, and injuring several more.

h. DEER VALLEY, UT - The "Wasatch" double will be a HS Quad.

i. JACKSON HOLE, WY - Replaces the Teewinot double with a HS Quad.

j. SUNSHINE, ALB - Is adding another HS quad.

k. MT BACHELOR, OR - Is opening the long planned "Northwest Passage" area with 468 new acres served by a HS quad.

l. GRAND TARGHEE, WY - Is upgrading the Bannock double to a HS Quad and the Shosone double to a FG quad.

m. KILLINGTON, VT - Is replacing the Ramshead double with a HS Quad.

n. CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN, WA - has been purchased by Boyne, USA (MI).

o. WESTERN PACIFIC, the Colorado Springs discount airline, has announced plans for a subsidiary airline called Mountain Air Express (MAX) which will start flying in December to Gunnison (Crested Butte), Montrose (Telluride), Eagle (Vail), Aspen, Durango (Purgatory), and Hayden (Steamboat). Could be some good connections and good prices.


5. BUILDER'S EMPORIUM

a. YAN TANKS - Last time we questioned why ALPINE MEADOWS would replace a relatively new HS Quad with a six-pack and three of you wrote to say that the quad being replaced was a YAN. We could say: "Enuff said", but to review: Last season the cable grip mechanism failed on a detachable YAN quad chair at WHISTLER, the chair slipped down the cable and eventually fell, taking other chairs with it and killing/injuring several skiers. Subsequently, all of the YAN chairs of certain models were shut down for grip inspection. According to the latest ski magazines, this summer all of these chairlifts were replaced or, their grips were replaced by grips from a different manufacturer. One ski mag said that YAN (Lift Engineering) has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and has withdrawn from the ski lift business.

b. SKI CAPRI - You guys really know how to make us work. Someone reported that there is a single chairlift shown in the movie "It Started in Naples", starring Sophia Loren and Rhett Butler. So we had to watch it (on AMC). As usual the scene was at the end, so we had to suffer thru a mediocre movie. Gable was lousy (has he ever made a good movie?), but Loren had some great nightclub song and dance scenes. Just before they rode the chair they also rode a funicular. Actually 4 guide books called it a funicular, one a cog, and the 6th one said it is called a funicular but is really a cog. It operates like a bus, bringing folks from the seaport (Capri Marine?) to the hillside town of Capri. At another part of the island is a tourist type chairlift running to the top of Mt Serano.

Interesting that we were reading guide books from 1996 but the movie was released in 1960. We wonder if the single chair has ever been upgraded. We also learned that Capri is over priced and there is little to see. The infamous "Blue Grotto" is a big rip-off. Pay to ride a launch to the island. Pay again to ride a motorboat to the grotto, and pay a 3rd time to ride a skiff into the grotto - for two minutes.

c. "AERIAL BUS CLIMBS MOUNTAIN" (Say again?) - Long time readers know that we love to find weird ski-lifts. This one is a beaut. In 1951 there was a tram-like aerial "bus" (it looked like a bus and had seats) which ran from Government Camp to Timberline, OR. The bus hung from four fixed cables using 16 wheels. The bus was powered by an on- board bus engine. There were two fixed cables which ran over idler pulleys on top of the bus, then down to power pulleys and back up over idlers. The bus was operated by a bus driver (Ralph Kramden). We learned all of this from an article in the August 1951 edition of "Popular Science" magazine. Most of the pix were artists drawings so the whole thing looked like a pipe dream. However we have read two 1949 references to the building of such a device.

The bus held 36 passengers and made one round trip per hour. That gave it a capacity of 36/hour! The lowest capacity aerial lift we had ever heard of carried at least 200/hour. Once they paved the highway up to Timberline, this bad boy was history. Anyone ever hear of it?


6. POTPOURRI

a. Recently we had a very pleasant telephone conversation with GLENN PARKINSON. Glenn is on the board of I.S.H.A. (International Ski History Association) and has recently written a book about the "Lost Ski Areas of Maine", called "FIRST TRACKS". We have the book and it is excellent. His latest informal project is to encourage the documentation of all of the lost ski areas in the U.S. and Canada. He is contacting ski musea and folks like ourselves to encourage us to keep up the research and particularly to document and publish our info. He has no desire to maintain a data base on his own or to publish any more lost ski area books, but is acting as a catalyst for our efforts. In our case, we could probably send our "Lost Colorado" list to the Colorado Ski Museum in Vail. BTW, he got our name from someone at ISHA who had seen our newsletters. Would that be one of you regular readers?

We are hoping that, thru Glenn, we can get in contact with other "collectors" and exchange lost ski area info.

b. In a recent trivia question answer we said that Bob Dole is the famous person who was wounded during WWII while fighting in Italy with the 10th Mtn Div. One reader suggests that FRIEDL PFEIFER is also a correct answer. True. We have been thinking about starting a series on famous people in the ski area industry, like Minnie Dole, Sel Hannah, Roland Palmedo, Fred Pabst, etc. (Actually, M. Dole and Hannah have already been the subject of trivia questions.) Pfeifer certainly would be on that list. He started as a ski instructor in the Hannes Schneider (Father of the Arlberg Method) ski school in Austria. He came to the U.S. to teach skiing and was at one time or another the ski school director at Sun Valley, Alta, Aspen, and Buttermilk. He won many (pro/open) ski races, and coached the U.S. women's alpine ski team. He was the principal architect of ski lifts and runs at Sun Valley, Aspen Mtn, and Buttermilk.

c. ODD, FUNNY, WRONG

o In a book about Sun Valley there was one of those "photo-op" pix of President Harry S. Truman fly fishing on an Idaho trout stream. He is wearing a shirt and tie and suit and dress shoes and dress hat. ODD.

o The "Colorado Avalanche Information Center" has a hotline with a live person providing the latest avalanche info. Last winter, after the phone line became overloaded, a recording was added which gave the CORRECT number for the "Colorado Avalanche HOCKEY team" (!!) and gave a new number for "snow avalanche" info. FUNNY.

o One of the major ski magazines has its editorial offices in NYC. Last year we had occasion to contact the Editor-In-Chief who put us in touch with a well known ski writer in Boulder. We asked the writer why he lived in Boulder. Because he refused to live in NYC. A while back we read that the magazine is moving its editorial offices to Boulder "in order to attract more and better ski writers". When the first (Sep) issue came out, there was a new Editor-In-Chief. ODD.

o GEORGE (CO) remembers a company in Michigan ("Meijer's Thrifty Acres") that ran an ad with a picture showing x-country skis with the bindings mounted backwards. He wonders if they offer "free mounting"! FUNNY.


7. THE PUZZLE

We challenged you to determine our real surname which is an English name matching a town in Maine, a mountain on Mt Desert Island, and a street in Bar Harbor. Two folks cleverly figured it out. JAY (NY) gave the correct answer but no "solution". How'd you do it, Jay?

Our old friend SKIP (Sunday River) used our algorithm. With 100 towns, 50 streets, and 20 mountains, start with the smallest number - mountains, and look for matches. Skip cleverly eliminated all the non- English and illogical mountain names like St Sauveur and Pemetic and The Bubbles, and after that it was easy. (Did you have any trouble with "Sargent" and "Parkman", Skip?) BTW, Skip decided to pass on the trail map prize because he can't see his desk for the trail maps, now. (We could solve that problem for you, Skip!) What would you like, Jay?


8. TRAVEL TIP

We highly recommend Bar Harbor, ME (and Acadia National Park) as a vacation destination. The combination of ocean, mountains, and inland lakes on Mt Desert Island is unmatched for sheer beauty. And there is much to do besides sightseeing. There are many mountains to climb and trails to hike. You can ride bikes or horses or hike the famous motor vehicle free "carriage roads". There are harbor boat tours, whale watching cruises, and sailing cruises. There are ferry rides to nearby islands and ocean kayak trips. There are gardens to tour, a warm water swimming beach, and two golf courses.

The town of Bar Harbor is a fun place with a very scenic harbor and many good restaurants. It is remarkably free of water slides and go- cart tracks, altho these attractions are found on the mainland, just a few miles away. You will have no problem finding souvenirs and tee- shirts, however. There are several other scenic harbors on the island, some commercial, and some for pleasure boats.

We usually stay at the MIRA MONTE INN in Bar Harbor. Remodeled from a Victorian era home, the inn has 15 nicely furnished rooms, each with private bath, queen or king size beds, and color TV. Most rooms have a fireplace and private porch. The inn has extensive grounds with gardens and plenty of parking. It is an short walk to downtown Bar Harbor, the wharf area, and to many fine restaurants. One highlight of a stay at Mira Monte is breakfast, with excellent food, including fresh blueberry muffins daily. You may take breakfast in the dining room, the music room, the front porch, the back patio, in your room, or on your own porch. We prefer the dining room, as we can converse with the other guests about plans for the day and exchange tourist tips. Marion Burns, the owner, is a life-long resident of Bar Harbor and knows what to do and see.

At this point we should mention that Ms Burns is a relative. We hasten to add, however, that we have no financial interest in the inn and we do pay to stay there. MIRA MONTE is one example of a number of fine inns in the area, and is obviously the one we are most familiar with. Enjoy. [Note: About now you are probably expecting us to say: "Mention our name at the Inn and receive a 10% discount." However, no one at the inn has ever heard of "Snavely" or "TCS", so good luck with those names! Too bad. :-) ]


9. EPILOG

a. Please provide your CITY NAME (and YOUR first and last name) in your first E-Mail to TCS. It turns us on.

Cheers from THE COLORADO SKIER (Enjoying the good life)

Thought for the day: "Shouldn't there be a shorter word for `monosyllabic'?"


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