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Lost Areas #25 - Published 15 Jan 1998


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 VERMONT and WYOMING. Is your state next?

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






A. HAPPY NEW YEAR! [and Happy Birthday to me - 13 January]

B. In case you are wondering, the last TCS newsletter was LISTS-7, published 10-24-97.

C. Have you all gone out and purchased SKI HELMETS? Why not?

D. Just a reminder to folks using SKIVT-L. Altho we post the newsletter there we do not receive E-Mail (we are on NOMAIL status). So if you want to talk to us you need to E-Mail to Mark.

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



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

{Copyright 1998, THE COLORADO SKIER. All rights reserved.}


LORD'S HILL (location ??), [very obscure] {a 1966 book}

Vertical Drop: 500 ft Lifts: platter pull, rope tow


LYBRAND (Northfield), [name change], Former name in the early 60’s for the NORWICH UNIVERSITY ski area (still open). There is a run at NORWICH called "Lybrand".


LYNDON OUTING CLUB (Lyndonville), [closed], Located just east of town on Shonya Hill. Non-profit. Opened with a rope tow on 11 Feb 1937. Closed around 1990 (but may still be open).

Vertical Drop: 437 ft Top: 1600 Base: 800 ?

Lifts: 1 T-bar, 2 rope tows night skiing


MADONNA MOUNTAIN (Jeffersonville), [name change], Opened in 1956 as SMUGGLER'S NOTCH. Tom Watson, Jr (Chairman of IBM) bought the area in 1964 and changed the name to MADONNA MOUNTAIN (one of the 3 mountain peaks). Watson sold the ski area in 1973 and the name was changed back to SMUGGLER’S.


MAGIC MOUNTAIN (Londonderry) [closed 1990], Located 2 miles east of Londonderry on Hiway 11. Opened in 1960. Absorbed the TIMBER RIDGE ski area in 1987. Purchased by BROMLEY and closed in 1990.

[Note: Re-opened in Dec, 1997.]

Vertical Drop: 1600 ft Top: 3000 Base: 1400

Lifts: 2 triple chairs, 3 double chairs, 1 T-bar snowmaking


MARSHALL HILL (Stowe), [very obscure], Located in downtown Stowe on School St. Shown on a real estate map of unknown year. On the map, the Lifts at STOWE match those from 1970 to 1978.


MERRY HILL LODGE (St. Johnsbury), [very obscure], Located 2 miles south of St. Johnsbury. One reference, in 1949. 2 rope tows, 20m jump, night skiing


MOUNTAIN TOP CLUB (Chittenden), [name change], Located 9 miles northeast of Rutland on Mt. Trense at the "Mountain Top Club". "slopes on premises". Rope tow. (1949) Became APPLE HILL.


MT. AEOLUS (Manchester), [obscure], Home of the very first J-bar, invented by Fred Pabst. Note: Pabst owned many ski areas (17 areas in the late 30’s) and added J-bars at all of them (e.g., Bromley, Wassau, WI). Located north of Manchester. Some maps call the mountain "Green Peak".


MT. HUNGER (Middlesex), [very obscure], New in 1964. (only reference) Lifts: 2 T-bars 8 trails



1B. Who remembers these Lost VERMONT Ski Areas?

  • Mt Tom
  • Northeast Slopes
  • Northfield Outing Club
  • Oxbow Mountain
  • Peacham Community Ski Area
  • Pine Top
  • Pinnacle Ski-Ways
  • Prospect Mountain
  • Prosper Ski Hill
  • Pulsifer’s




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

{Copyright 1998, THE COLORADO SKIER. All rights reserved.}


SNOWY RANGE (Saratoga), [closed], Located 23 miles southeast of Saratoga on WY 130 in Ryan Park. Formerly called BARRETT RIDGE and RYAN PARK. Operated from before 1956 to about 1975. Not to be confused with MEDICINE BOW, further east on Hiway 130.

Vertical Drop: 710 ft Top: Base:

Lifts: chairlift, Poma (single chair, 1965)


SOUTH PASS (Lander), [very obscure], Located 30 miles south of Lander on WY 28. Shown on highway maps, circa 1965 to 1974. Not shown in guidebooks of that era, therefore no data. According to a TCS reader, the site was wiped out by a mine built at the location.


SUMMIT (Laramie), [name change], Located 10 miles east of Laramie, just off US30 (now I-80). Opened at least by 1949. Changed name to HAPPY JACK (which see) about 1963 or 64.

Vertical Drop: 200 ft Elev: 8500 Lifts: rope tow


SUNDANCE (Sundance), [obscure], Located 2 miles south of the town of Sundance (I-90 near So. Dakota border). Probably operated in the 84/85 and 85/86 seasons. Suffered from lack of snow.

Vertical Drop: 1000 ft Top: 5830 Base: 4800

Lifts: 1 double chair, 1 T-bar, 1 rope tow 75 acres


SURVEYOR CAMP (Pinedale), [name change], A 1949 map used this name. Other Guidebooks of the era called it "Surveyor PARK".


SURVEYOR PARK (Pinedale), [name change], Located 10 miles northeast of Pinedale on "Fortification Mountain". Carried this name from 1949 to 1960. For some reason, maps of the era called it Surveyor CAMP. Area was renamed FORTIFICATION MOUNTAIN (early 60’s), PINEDALE (60’s and 70’s), and WHITE PINE (70’s and 80’s).

Vertical Drop: 400 ft Top: 9500 Base: 8600

Lifts: "cable tow"


TETON PASS (Jackson), [closed], Located 13 miles west of Jackson on WY 22. Operated from the 1930’s to about 1970. From 1961 Jackson Hole Guide: "old favorite - 2 rope tows in 1960". There was also skiing down the highway switchbacks (towless, 2500 ft vertical possible.)

Vertical Drop: 1000 ft Top: 8500 Base: 7500

Lifts: 1 rope tow


TWO OCEAN MOUNTAIN (Togwotee Pass), [obscure], Located 25 miles east of Moran (32 miles west of Dubois) on US 26. There is now a commercial X-country ski area on the pass. Operated from about 1949 to the early 70’s. In 1949, there was an "additional rope tow" in the Togwotee Pass vicinity. Note: A TCS reader says that there were two separate ski areas on the pass.

Vertical Drop: 600 ft Top: Base: 9650

Lifts: 2 rope tows


UNDINE FALLS (Yellowstone Park), [obscure], Located in Yellowstone Park, 5 miles east of Mammoth Hot Springs village. The area was started in 1949 to provide winter recreation for the employees and children thereof stuck in the park all winter. Until recently it just had a rope tow and a modest vertical drop. In 1993 there was a Park Service plan to replace the rope with a T-bar and cut a few trees to lengthen the slope. The tree cutting plan engendered negative publicity. Current status unknown.


WHITE PINE (Pinedale) [closed], Located 10 miles northeast of Pinedale off US 187 on "Fortification Mountain". Formerly called


SURVEYOR CAMP (1949, 1960), FORTIFICATION MOUNTAIN (60’s), and PINEDALE (late 60’s and 70’s). Became WHITE PINE around 1976. Closed in 1989. There is a "White Pine Ski Lodge" at the base, still open. The Poma still stands (1996).

Vertical Drop: 1000 ft Top: 9500 Base: 8500

Lifts: 1 Poma, 1 rope tow


[This completes Lost Wyoming.]



1D. Who remembers these Lost ILLINOIS Ski Areas?

  • Barberry Hills
  • Buffalo Park
  • Fox Trails
  • Gander Mountain
  • Holiday Park
  • James Park
  • Lost Valley
  • Marriott’s Lincolnshire Resort
  • Pere Marquette
  • Quincy Park




a. No one seemed to care which ROCKY MOUNTAIN state should follow Wyoming. So we arbitrarily decided to give the Midwest a break and do ILLINOIS. That will only take one issue, so, barring an outpouring of reader interest in some other state, next will be NEVADA.


b. TYROL, NH - Last time, we said that we drove all over Thorn Mtn in NH (near Jackson) and couldn’t find the old TYROL ski area. Two loyal readers wrote to say that it is really there. So we checked our topo map (supplied by another loyal TCS reader) and sure enough: A group of four houses and a large garage-like building which we had seen but were posted "no trespassing" was actually the old base area. The area ran (south) from there up to the top of Thorn Mtn and then down to the east. Success (sort of) at last.


c. WESTFORD, MA - We indicated that no one could remember the name of a small ski area near "Drew’s Farmstand". One reader suggested PRIEST’S. We have that one further north in Groton. New reader JEREMY (VT) thinks it was called BLAKE’S HILL. We like it. Comments?


d. MT WATATIC, MA - Jeremy also reported hiking on Mt Watatic last summer and finding (in an old ski shop) a stack of brochures marked "1988-89". We show this area closing after the 1983-84 season. Interesting. A failed comeback?


e. Please feel free to ask about any lost U.S. ski area at any time.




a. SNEAKY TRIVIA - What is a "cat track" and where did it get its name? ANSWER: Think summer and a road zigzagging up the mountain, used by construction vehicles. Now cover it with snow and see the tracked vehicles carrying supplies up to the on-mountain restaurants. In the winter the tracked vehicles are called "snowcats". Their road is a "track". But why "CAT"? Because in the U.S., tracked construction vehicles are built mostly by CATERPILLAR, Inc. They dominate the industry. So a tracked vehicle is called a "caterpillar tractor", or just a "caterpillar", or usually just a "cat". And eventually, all tracked vehicles (summer or winter) came to be called "cats". And so boys and girls, that is the story of "cat track". Most of you who answered knew Parts 1 and 2, that is, about the road and the tracked vehicles. Only a few mentioned "Caterpillar". FWIW, the latest (Feb) issue of POWDER magazine has an article about the joys and sorrows of skiing on or over cat tracks.


b. INSTANT TRIVIA - A few years back the Disney Magazine showed a picture of the Fantasyland castle with real, natural SNOW on the ground. At which of the four Disneyland parks would that have been?

Give up? It was Tokyo Disneyland. (also possible in Paris ??)


c. EARTHQUAKE! - Last year we talked about noxious fumes emanating from vents on Mammoth Mountain (CA) (which is a volcano). This Fall, Mammoth had a 4.1 earthquake. Good luck, skiers! This reminds us of a neat trivia question. The SAN ANDREAS FAULT runs roughly from south of L.A. to north of S.F. SNEAKY TRIVIA: Which two SKI AREAS straddle the San Andreas Fault?



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

a. KILLINGTON - We were rather conservative when we reported that the POMA web site showed a sale of two "connecting" quad chairs to Big K and we speculated that the connection with PICO might be imminent. Several readers pointed out that the 97-98 Killington brochure already shows the two chairs (and new trails), labeled "1998". True; we have a copy. Also, PICO added a high speed quad this season.


b. CUCHARA VALLEY, CO - Really did re-open this season and had the good fortune to get hit by an early "front range" storm which left them with over 50 inches of base, more than most other areas in CO.


c. MAGIC MOUNTAIN, VT - Also re-opened with two chairlifts, some surface lifts, and minimal snowmaking. Anyone checked it out?


d. BERTHOUD PASS, CO - Has delayed their planned re-opening from 24 Dec to 16 Jan. They will be using only one of their two chairs (plus two shuttle buses). It will be the shorter one (triple) on the right (east) by the base lodge. The quad is scheduled for next season.


e. TEMPLE MTN, NH - Is still closed but there is hope. The judge who moved the area from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7 considered a plea by new investors to re-open this season but finally decided that the area could not be made safe. However, the judge has left the door open for the area to be sold intact, rather than piecemeal. Want to buy?


f. JAY PEAK, VT - Was sold by one Canadian company to another Canadian company. The new owners promise improvements.


g. BOLTON VALLEY - You probably know that this ski area went Chapter 11 and then was foreclosed by a bank. The bank then sold it to a 27 year old young man. He apparently received it as a present from his Father and Grandfather a few days after graduating from UVM!


h. VAIL - Once again, the Forest Service has approved the Cat III expansion (new back bowls). (How many times previously have we announced the "Final" approval? At least 3!)


i. LIFT NEWS - 61 new ski lifts were installed in North America this Fall (not counting handle tows and magic carpets).

By Region: Rockies 24, East 12, Midwest 10, West 9, Canada 6.

By Manufacturer: Garaventa 22, Doppelmayr 17, Poma 16, Riblet 5, Leitner 1.


j. SNOW NEWS - Colorado has had a rather pathetic snow season so far. El Nino is not helping us at all.




a. JUNE MTN, CA - We had heard a rumor that the JUNE "QMC" gondola was closed and TCS reader ERIC G (CA) has confirmed it. The YAN gondola uses the same type of detachable grip that has plagued the YAN quad chairs. June was unable to repair or replace the grips last season and apparently not this season either. Any recent news?


b. HONG KONG FUNICULAR - Reader ERIC L, formerly of Palo Alto, now lives in Hong Kong (probably sent to spy on the Chinese) and mentioned a funicular and gondola. So we did the research. The "Peak Tram" travels to the top of Victoria Peak, altitude 552m. The originally steam-powered funicular was built in 1888 and was the first funicular in Asia. The system was remodeled in 1989. Altho primarily used by tourists to reach a park at the top of Victoria Peak, there are stops along the way which allow it to serve as a commuter system as well.


c. HONG KONG "TRAM" - The "OCEAN PARK" amusement park on the south side of the island at Aberdeen has a gondola or tram which connects two sections of the park. Details are sketchy - it is called a "cable car" and apparently travels quite high above the ground. One guide book said that the cars are "flimsy".


d. SINGAPORE GONDOLA - We saw this one in an ad and researched. It connects downtown with "SENTOSA ISLAND", a multi-faceted amusement area which requires an entry fee as well as the gondola fee. Current pictures show a 6 or 8 passenger CWA car but a rare 2-cable system. However, older pictures show a BELL 4 passenger car. BELL has always built 2-cable systems, most notably at VAIL and MAMMOTH.


e. TRIVIA RESEARCH - On a recent search thru Calif. antique shops we found an early 50’s OREGON travel brochure. Not only did it list some lost Oregon ski areas we didn’t have, but it had a picture of the "SKIWAY" aerial bus, that ridiculous system that ran from Government Camp to Timberline for a few years in the early 50’s. Even better, later we found an actual brochure for the Skiway bus. Neato!


f. PIPE DRAGON - The Pipe Dragon is a mechanical monstrosity which is used to shape and groom snowboard half-pipes. It was invented by Doug Waugh, a semi-retired FARMER from Colorado. At first he just took it around to ski areas and built half-pipes. But ski areas wanted their own so he started building and selling them - 10 a year at $50K apiece. He will take one to Nagano to build the Olympic half-pipe. So much for retirement! (BTW, Doug does not ski or board.)


g. SNOWMASS FUNICULAR? - Poma and Otis Elevator have built a funicular at SNOWMASS, CO. Is this the long-awaited first ski area funicular in the U.S.? Well, not exactly; it serves a condo complex, not a ski slope.





a. ERRATA - Readers pointed out two mistakes in the last newsletter:

o Dallas, "Columbia’s Team" should be COLOMBIA’S Team.

o At SUGARLOAF, the "crossing" chairlifts are a triple and a double, not two quads (which we inadvertently copied from the previous entry).


We like it when you readers find mistakes in the newsletter, because:

  • It keeps us on our toes
  • We get a chance to print corrections
  • We get to argue when we think you are wrong
  • We get to chortle when we know you are wrong
  • Well, at least we know you are reading every word!

Also, since we can’t count, the purchase of LOON MTN (NH) brings the total number of ski areas owned by BOOTH CREEK to 11, not 10.


b. As you probably know, VAIL and WHISTLER compete to be the best ski resort in North America. In the latest battle, a World Cup Men’s Downhill was canceled at Whistler and was successfully held at VAIL.


c. SWITCHBACK - We mentioned that a Hollywood movie was filmed in Colorado last winter. Upon release, the name was changed to "Switchback" - it stars Danny Glover and Dennis Quaid. Filmed in Leadville and Georgetown, the most famous scene was the Cadillac convertible sliding off a cliff, filmed on Battle Mountain, near Vail.


d. TWO WAY RIVER - Help us on this one. Last year, during the floods in Minnesota, the RED RIVER and the MINNESOTA RIVER were mentioned. The Red River starts in western MN (near Fargo), and travels north thru Grand Forks, into Canada. The Minnesota River starts in western MN (near Fargo), and travels east to St. Paul where it joins the Mississippi. The strange thing is that on our map, the two rivers start at the SAME place. That can’t happen! Would someone please explain? (Paul?)


e. TCS NEWSLETTER FREQUENT CORRESPONDENTS LIST - Someone (on the list) pointed out that, without numbers, the list order was ambiguous. OK, column 1 was 1-5 and column 2 was 6-10. JUDITH pointed out that altho she was only number 11, she was the "Number 1 Woman". (We were thinking: Bo Derek is a 10, Judith is an 11!) FWIW the number 2 and 3 women are DEBBIE and BRIDGET, both of CA. And for Families, there is Carol (DC), her husband, and her sister, and ..... When we get caught up on the statistics we will publish a more detailed list (as if anyone really cares).


f. HANG IN THERE - The last round of E-Mails had several good ski area trivia comments and questions (e.g., Oldest ski lift in Colorado?). We didn’t get enough research done over the Holidays to respond, but we will soon, either in personal E-Mails, or in the next newsletter. And we thank you for your continued support.




Last Fall our AFA away football game trip took us to San Jose, CA. While there we visited the most excellent MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM and of course FISHERMAN’S WHARF (our favorite restaurant is Alioto’s). And, it was our first visit to California wine country, namely the Sonoma and Napa valleys. Highly recommended (hic). Our favorite winery tour was ROBERT MONDAVI, and the best wines were at BERINGER.

The highlight of the trip for a faithful TCS reporter had to be the discovery of a ski-type gondola! STERLING VINEYARDS, near Calistoga, deliberately built their winery and tasting room on top of a knoll. Visitors use the gondola for access. It was built in 1972 by Hall Ski Lifts (NY) and had 4-passenger cars built by CWA (Switzerland). The vertical rise is 300 ft, there are 9 towers, and about 10 cars. the cars detach at top and bottom and are hand pushed around the transfer track. One unusual feature is that the system is triangular in layout. The cars travel straight up from bottom to top but on the return trip head out at an angle, go around another bull wheel, and then down to the lower terminal. (Trivia is everywhere!)



8. TRAVEL NEWS - Last year we were recommending that you fly discount airline WestPac (Western Pacific) into COS (Colorado Springs) both to save money and to avoid DIA. Too late. WestPac moved from COS to DIA, AND declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. They are still a discount airline but we wouldn’t risk a major ski trip on them staying in business. Meanwhile COS airport is uncrowded - look for discounts.

DISNEYLAND UNCROWDED - Once again we went to a popular amusement area on the day BEFORE a holiday, not the day AFTER. In this case it was Disneyland, on 24 Dec. Zero to ten minute lines everywhere. On "Small World", PC Jr and I were the only passengers on our boat! BTW, Small World was totally re-themed for Christmas - worth seeing. Even the "Indiana Jones" line was only 20 minutes - shortest we have ever encountered. We believe that this type of holiday scheduling also applies to Skiing - altho to be honest, we haven’t skied during Xmas Week in Colorado for several years. (We are always at Disneyland!)



9. Really Large Useless Info (i.e., TITANIC TRIVIA)

Now that the movie "Titanic" is upon us, it is time for some Titanic trivia. The first two items are sort of "urban legends", myths that we (and perhaps you) always believed were true, until research proved otherwise.

a. Myth - At the time of its maiden voyage, the Titanic was larger than any passenger liner ever built. True? Not exactly. No other ship was bigger - True. It was bigger than all others - False.

WHITE STAR had ordered 3 nearly identical giant liners in order to compete with CUNARD. The 3 were the OLYMPIC, TITANIC, and GIGANTIC. The Olympic was launched first and had been sailing for a year when the Titanic first sailed. Therefore, as White Star billboards proclaimed: They were the TWO largest liners afloat.

The Olympic sailed for many years and had only one major accident: it was struck by a British warship in the English Channel, but returned to port under its own power. After the Titanic "incident" the launch of the "Gigantic" was held up while the waterproof bulkheads were raised up another deck. It was also (prudently) renamed "Britannic". The Britannic served as a hospital ship during WWI and sank in the Mediterranean after hitting a mine. Fortunately there were no patients aboard and casualties were minimal.

A researcher discovered the amazing coincidence that a nurse aboard the BRITANNIC had also been a passenger on the TITANIC, and was aboard the OLYMPIC when it was struck! When asked, the nurse said she had no fear of ocean travel and in fact she spent her declining years traveling about England - by train! ;-)


b. Myth - The Titanic was headed straight towards the iceberg until it was turned to port thus causing the iceberg to scrape the starboard side. If it had hit head-on it might have survived. Not true. The Titanic was a very large ship and was traveling at full speed (in the dark, in known iceberg waters - go figure). It turned very slowly. There were only 34 seconds between the lookout’s warning and the impact. Computer models show that the bow of the ship only changed direction by 1.5 degrees during that time. Insignificant. The ship was doomed, regardless of actions on the bridge. Note that the First Officer (the Captain was in his cabin, presumably asleep) also ordered "full speed astern" which caused loss of steerage way.


c. Myth - The iceberg caused a 300 foot gash down the starboard side of the ship. No. Photographs by modern submersibles show that there were only tiny slits, adding up to about 12 sq. feet of skin breakage. However, water still poured thru the slits at a very high rate.


d. Myth - Iceberg Report messages from other ships were not delivered to the Captain. Only partially true. Several messages were delivered during the day. An evening message was not delivered when the Captain was at dinner. The most famous message came from the freighter "Californian", a few miles away, which reported at 10pm that it was surrounded by pack ice and was staying put until dawn. The Titanic wireless operator responded "Shut up, shut up, I am busy. I am working Cape Race", indicating that he was sending personal messages. The warning was not delivered. The Californian operator, thus rebuffed, turned off his radio and went to sleep, thus never receiving the "CQD" emergency distress call (SOS was not in widespread use yet). The Titanic operator (perhaps fortunately) went down with the ship.


e. Myth - If the Titanic had carried more lifeboats, many more lives would have been saved. Possibly, but not necessarily. The ship sank in less than 3 hours. It was dark and very cold. Not many more boats would have been launched by the inexperienced crew. As it was, only 13 of the 20 lifeboats reached the Carpathia (the rescue vessel).

The number of lifeboats carried on a passenger liner has never been a major issue because the ships are not supposed to sink. One reads about accidents all the time but the ship doesn’t sink. The QE2 hit an "uncharted" rock near Nantucket a few years back. The passengers were safely removed and the ship sailed to Boston for repairs. This is typical. The "Lusitania" was sunk by an enemy torpedo during WWI, with great loss of life. Passenger ships are not built to sustain torpedo hits; nor should they be sailed into a war zone during a war.

More recently, the ANDRIA DORIA sank off Long Island after being struck by the liner Stockholm. The Andria Doria stayed afloat long enough for the passengers and crew to be off-loaded and rescued. Only 30 lives were lost, most at the time of impact. The Stockholm sailed back to NYC under its own power. Lifeboats? We don’t need no stinking lifeboats! Any questions? (we have more myths)




a. Please provide your CITY NAME (and YOUR first and last name) in your first E-Mail to TCS. Why? Because we love keeping records.

Cheers from THE COLORADO SKIER (Looking forward to 1998)


"Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine so that I may wet my mind and say something clever." Aristophanes (424 BC)

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