« December 1998 | Main

May 09, 2001

Lost Areas #27 - Published 9 May 2001


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 NEVADA. Is your state next?

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



A. As we were saying ..... ;-)

B. Don't fret, you probably didn't miss any TCS newsletters. The
last one was Trivia #26, published 12-18-98. Why the gap? Well, we
got involved in some family/personal matters and they took up a lot of
our time. Then, when stability in our life returned, we just got
lazy. But, we are back and rest assured that the lost ski area
research has continued.

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.


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

{Copyright 2001, THE COLORADO SKIER. All rights reserved.}

THE PUTNEY SCHOOL (Putney), [obscure], Located 2 miles west of
Putney at Elm Lea Farm. Operated from about 1940 to the mid-sixties.
Vertical Drop: 175 ft. Top: 1000 Base: 800 ft
Lifts: 2 rope tows small ski jump

RANDOLPH (Randolph), [very obscure], 1940 book: rope tow, 6
trails 1942 book: tow serving 5 trails

RETREAT (Rutland), [very obscure], Located 6 miles northeast of
PICO PEAK on Hiway 100 on the "Retreat Lodge" premises. Operated from
about 1947 to 1949. 6 trails, 2 slopes. 600' rope tow.

RICHMOND SKI TOWS (Richmond), [name change], Opened in 1961.
Changed name to COCHRAN (still open) in the mid-70's. 2 surface
lifts. Night skiing.

ROUND TOP MOUNTAIN (Plymouth Union), [closed], Located north of
town on Hiway 100. Opened in 1963 or 64. [was closed during the
78/79 and 79/80 seasons] Closed 1983.
Vertical Drop: 1300 ft Top: 2600 Base: 1300
Lifts: 2 chairlifts, 1 T-bar, 1 handle tow snowmaking

SKI BOWL (Bellows Falls), [obscure], Located 1.5 miles from
Bellows Falls on Hiway 121. Operated by the town Recreation
Department from about 1940 to 1949.
Vertical Drop: 350 ft Top: 1100 Base: 650
Lifts: rope tow

SKYLINE (Barre), [closed], Located in the city of Barre off US
302. Sometimes called "BARRE SKYLINE". Operated from about 1940 to
Vertical Drop: 300 ft Lifts: 1 Poma, 2 rope tows
night skiing 60 acres

SNOW VALLEY (Manchester), [closed], Located 6 miles east of
Manchester off Hiway 30. "In operation since 1939", claimed to have
the oldest base lodge in the U.S. in 1984. Closed around 1985.
Vertical Drop: 900 ft Top: 2500 Base: 1600
Lifts: 1 chairlift, 1 T-bar, 1 Poma, 1 rope tow

SONNENBERG (Barnard), [closed], Opened in 1967. [One quote:
After several money losing years as a low cost ski area, in 1987 the
area changed to an expensive $45 a day area. The price included
downhill, x-county, ice skating, and a gourmet lunch. The new name
was "Sonnenberg Winter Club". In 1991 the area went back to a $20 fee
and then closed in 1992.]
Vertical Drop: 450 ft Top: 1900 Base: 1450
Lifts: 2 Pomas

SPRINGFIELD (Springfield), [obscure], Located in Springfield on VT
11 and 106. Operated by the Springfield Ski Club from 1940 to 1977.
Donated to the town in 1977. The area was abandoned but then
resurrected in 1985. No recent news.
Vertical Drop: 200 ft Top: 1000
Lifts: 1 rope tow night skiing

1B. Who remembers these Lost VERMONT Ski Areas?

Spruce Peak
Timber Ridge
Tucker Hill
Underhill Ski Bowl

West Mountain Farm
Wildwood Valley

[Note: This will complete LOST VERMONT. We have already done CT, NH,
& RI. Next will be either Maine or Massachusetts. Which would you


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

{Copyright 2001, THE COLORADO SKIER. All rights reserved.}

ADOBE SUMMIT (Elko), [closed], Located 9 miles north of Elko on
Hiway 51 at Adobe Summit. [Frequently misspelled on maps as "Adobie"
or "Dobie".] Operated from about 1968 to 1977.
Vertical Drop: 350 ft Lifts: 1 rope tow

ELKO SNO BOWL (Elko), [obscure], Apparently a revival of the ADOBE
SUMMIT ski area in the late 90's.
Vertical Drop: 620 ft Top: 7000
Lifts: 2 rope tows snowmaking

GALENA CREEK (Reno/Mt. Rose), [very obscure], A small ski area
located just downhill from MT ROSE BOWL (which see).
Base: 6300 ft Lifts: rope tow jumping hill

GRASS LAKE (Mt. Rose), [very obscure], Small rope tow area on "Mt.
Rose" started by Wayne Poulson (co-founder of Squaw Valley) in 1938.
Lasted for two seasons. Note that the bottom lift (now removed) at
RENO SKI BOWL (Slide Mtn) used to start at Grass Lake.

INCLINE VILLAGE SKI BOWL (Incline Village), [name change],
Original name for SKI INCLINE, first year (66/67) only. Opened in
1966 with a vertical of 675 ft, 3 chairlifts and a T-bar, and
extensive snowmaking.

KYLE CANYON (Mt. Charleston), [closed], Located up Kyle Canyon on
a turnoff to the Mary Jane Falls trailhead. A TCS reader saw lift
remnants in 1996, and we talked to a Forest Service rep in Sep 96 who
said the remnants were still visible. Operated from about 1949 to
Vertical Drop: 300 ft Base: 7500
Lifts: rope tow 40m jump

MT. CHARLESTON (Las Vegas), [planned], Would have been Located on
the slopes of Mt. Charleston 30 miles northwest of Las Vegas in the
same general vicinity as LEE CANYON (still open). The gondola
(possibly a tram) was planned but never built, circa 1963. Some ski
area guidebooks show a "Mt. Charleston" ski area with "gondola" in
1964 and 1965.

MT. ROSE BOWL (Reno), [name change], Located on the flanks of Mt.
Rose, across the highway from Slide Mtn. Opened in 1945. In 1958,
called "The Mt Rose Bowl Sky Tavern". Became SKY TAVERN (which see)
around 1966.
Vertical Drop: 670 ft
Lifts: Constam T-bar, 4 rope tows 40m jump

MURRAY SUMMIT (Ely), [very obscure], "Murray Summit" is on US 6
just south of Ely near "Ward Mtn". A 1949 reference says: "winter
sports area with ski lifts, etc." Probably WARD MTN (which see).

PEQUOP SUMMIT (Wendover), [very obscure], Located 35 miles west of
Wendover, UT at "Pequop Summit" on I-80. Shows up on highway maps of
the 50's, 60's, and 70's. Possibly snow play only.

1D. Who remembers these Lost NEVADA Ski Areas?

Reno Ski Bowl
Ruby Mountains
Ski Elko
Ski Reno
Sky Tavern

Slide Mountain
Tent Mountain
Ward Mountain
White Hills

[Note: When we finish LOST NEVADA, we will move on to LOST UTAH, in
time for the 2002 Winter Olympics.]


a. CUCHARA (CO) did not open for the 2000/01 season. This area has
had five different owners in the past several years and has been
shuttered in previous seasons. The current owner, a Texas
businessman, decided to sell last summer but couldn't work out a deal
that would allow operation this season. He also owns SKI RIO (NM)
which did not operate either.

b. PURGATORY (CO) has changed its name, first to "Purgatory at
Durango", and finally to DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT. The owners felt
that more folks have heard of Durango than Purgatory. The base
village will still be called Purgatory. FWIW, Durango (the town) is
a big summer tourist town (due to Mesa Verde Nat'l park and the
Durango & Silverton steam train) and so there is lots of reasonably
priced lodging available in the winter.

c. SILVERCREEK (CO) has changed its name to SOL VISTA Ski and Golf
Ranch. Seems that Marise Cipriani, the Brazilian owner, wants to
create a total resort with a ski area, a golf course, lodging, a town
center, houses, and condos. But the name "Silver Creek" is used on
other facilities in the area which she doesn't own. Hence the new,
totally controlled (and totally dorky) name.

d. KICKING HORSE (BC) is a whole new version of the old WHITETOOTH
ski area. They have big plans for expansion and this season added an
8-place gondola and a FG quad.

e. HESPERUS (CO) is a small (one chairlift) ski area located about 8
miles west of Durango. They have no snowmaking and consequently only
operated 20 days two seasons ago and not at all last season. This
year, with the abundant Colorado snow, they have been doing well.
That is, until the State Tramway Board inspector showed up. He found
the chairlift operating, without an attendant - a definite no-no! The
ski area elected to shut down for the balance of the season, rather
than have their operating permit canceled. It will be interesting to
see what happens next season.

f. ASPEN (CO) - There are four ski areas in Aspen: Buttermilk,
Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, and Aspen Mountain - which is called "Ajax"
by the locals. Aspen Mtn is the only one of the four not allowing
snowboards. Last Fall, Aspen Ski Co. changed the name of ASPEN MTN to
AJAX so that potential ski visitors, hearing that "Aspen" doesn't
allow snowboards, wouldn't assume that all 4 of the Aspen areas didn't
allow snowboards. Then, half way thru the season, Skico decided to
allow snowboards on Ajax and changed the name back to Aspen Mtn.

g. NOT BANNED IN BOSTON? Snowboards are still unwelcome at Deer
Valley, UT; Alta, UT; Taos, NM; Perfect North Slopes, IN; and Mad River Glen,

discussed how the physical connection between K & Pico was being held
up by snowmaking water issues. These legal and contractual issues
have been resolved. In fact the necessary reservoirs and pipelines
were completed last summer. So now it's just a matter of finding the
money and making the decision to build two new lifts and a few
interconnect trails. Maybe one more good snow year?

2B. NEW LIFT NEWS - Here is a partial list of new ski lifts for the
2000/2001 season.

Big White (BC) - 8 place gondola (Leitner)
Kicking Horse (BC) - 8 place gondola & FG Quad (Poma)

Mammoth - New six-pack (Doppelmayr)
Heavenly - New gondola from "town" to part way up the front side
Kirkwood - New HSQ - Cornice Express (Dopp)
Northstar - HSQ on brand new "Lookout Mtn" expert terrain (Garaventa

Timberline - 2 new HSQs (Dopp)

Crystal Mtn - New HSQ (Dopp)
Schweitzer Mtn - New six-pack (Garaventa CTEC)

Purgatory - New six-pack on the front side (Doppelmayr)
Vail - New HSQ (Poma) completing the new "Blue Sky Basin"
Keystone - New six-pack (Poma) [replacing the ill-fated Teller/Ruby

Jiminy Peak (MA) - Six-pack (Garaventa CTEC)

Bretton Woods (NH) - HSQ (Garaventa CTEC)

Ascutney Mtn (VT) - HSQ (Garaventa CTEC)

Note: There was a total of about 50 new chairlifts and gondolas.

2C. OLD LIFT NEWS - Since we didn't publish a newsletter last
season, here is some 1999/2000 lift news that you might have missed.

Gore Mtn (NY) - 8-place gondola (Poma)
Whiteface Mtn (NY) - 8-place gondola (Dopp)

HSQs - Wachusett, Cannon, Jay Peak

Breckenridge - First "dual-loading" Six-pack in North America (Poma)
Vail - Three HSQs serving the new Blue Sky Basin (Poma)

HSQs - Aspen Highlands, Silver Creek, Telluride (2), Winter Park

HSQs - Deer Valley, Snowbird, Jackson Hole
Alta - First Alta detachable - a Garaventa CTEC triple chair

Mammoth Mtn - 8-place Gondola and HSQ (both Dopp)
Squaw Valley - Two six-packs (Poma)

Note: There were about 60 new chairlifts and gondolas.


a. (From last time) SNEAKY TRIVIA - How many of the 11 ASC ski areas
have a hotel named "Grand Summit"?

Answer: There are "Grand Summit" hotels at Sugarloaf & Sunday River,
ME; Attitash, NH; Sugarbush & Mt. Snow, VT; and The Canyons, UT.
There are also "Killington Grand" and "Steamboat Grand" hotels, for a
total of 8 "Grand" hotels. Another "Grand" hotel is planned at
Heavenly, CA at the base of the new gondola.

b. TRIVIA - LOST TERRAIN/LIFTS - Here are some ski areas which have
(usually inexplicably) closed trails and/or lifts.

Heavenly, CA - At one time (early 70's) the Nevada side had the "Wells
Fargo" chairlift, which extended downhill from the current Stagecoach
base area. There were plans to extend another lift down to Hiway 207
where there would be parking and ticket sales. Around 1979 the Wells
Fargo lift was removed and several trails were closed.

Schweitzer Basin, ID - In the 70's, the T1 and T2 T-bars were removed
and several trails were truncated at the "Cat Track" and "Lower Loop
Hole Loop Road". BTW, in 1974 Schweitzer was using GREEN, RED, and
YELLOW trail designators instead of the standard Green, Blue, And

Brian Head, UT - Around 1991, the "Navajo" chairlift was removed and
eight named trails were designated as a snowcat skiing area. In 1996,
the trails were removed from the trail map. Why?

SilverCreek, CO - Around 1988, they closed and eventually removed the
"Summit" chairlift which extended to the top of East Mountain from the
condos on the left side of the ski area. Now the trails feed back to
the main base.

Sunlight, CO - Removed the "West" chairlift and the Beaver and Deer
Run beginner runs off to the right.

Killington, VT - Closed the top part of Rams Head, moving the lift (a
new HSQ) further down the mountain and shortening the runs. Also
closed the "Entry 4" (Sunrise Mountain) parking lot and base lodge -
moving the lower terminal of the "Northeast Passage" triple chair
further up the mountain.

Magic Mountain, VT - Does not currently operate the old "Timberside"
section (2 lifts, 10 trails) of the mountain.

Cannon Mtn, NH - around 1982, removed the "Banshee" T-bar which
effectively rendered the Banshee practice area unusable.

Loon, NH - Several years ago, Loon cut some new trails as part of a
planned expansion to the west of current terrain. Loon has never
received permission for the expansion, so the trails sit unused.

Got more entries for this list?

c. SNEAKY TRIVIA - Why is there a trapezoid shaped metal frame atop
most lift towers? And why on some lifts, but not others?

4. BUILDER'S EMPORIUM (Stuff about ski lifts)

a. MASS TRANSIT - We are always looking for non-skiing "ski lifts".
On our last trip to Boston (Mass transit - get it?) we drove to our
favorite "T" stop and discovered that a parking garage had been added.
It is across the (ground level) tracks from the T station. For access
there is a bridge with two "trams". The tram cars move on horizontal
tracks back and forth across the bridge, pulled by cables. They are
completely automatic - just press a button like an elevator. The cars
look like either giant (20 passenger) gondola cars or elevator cars
with windows. The system was built by Poma/Otis and is called "Mystic
Shuttle 1".

b. LAS VEGAS - Doppelmayr, along with CWA and others, has built a
half mile long elevated train system connecting the EXCALIBUR, LUXOR,
and MANDALAY BAY hotels at the south end of the Strip. Very modern,
fast, and quiet. It's kinda complicated to explain, but you can't
always choose which of the four tram stops to disembark. Once you
board their train, the hotel chain makes sure you can only get off at
one of their hotels. No way you can get back to the Strip, where
there are competitive hotels.

c. VAIL - In their second year of operation (1963), Vail had a
gondola and 5 double chairlifts. Since then, chair #5 has been
upgraded to a triple. The gondola is gone. Chairs 2, 3, and 4 are
now HSQs. However, the #1 chair, a fixed grip double, and now 37
years old, still exists. So, why would a big ski area like Vail keep
a 37 year old chair? Actually the chairlift is just used to service
the race course during slalom and GS races. The chair runs right up
the "International" race course, with its "Swiss Face", "Austrian
Face", and "French Face". And now you know.

d. PRIVATE SKI LIFTS - Know of any private ski lifts? Here are a

On the Nevada side of HEAVENLY, there is a private gondola connecting
the "Ridge Tahoe Resort" with the Stagecoach base lodge.

At SNOWMASS (CO) there is a short funicular (Poma/Otis) connecting
luxury houses with skiable terrain.

At VAIL, there is a private home with a one car gondola system used to
ferry residents and guests from the garage up four flights to the top
of a sprawling hillside home. Cool! (at one time it was just a

At ALTA, UT there is a short triple chair (100 ft vertical, only 6
"chairs") which connects the ski area to the Rustler Lodge.

There are probably many others. Please share.

e. A GONDOLA IN YOUR FUTURE? - In North America, gondolas generally
have been used as ski lifts. Recently, however, the gondola has
started to take on a role as a transport device, not necessarily
serving ski trails. One prime example is Telluride which has a free
gondola which connects the town of Telluride with the on-mountain town
and two other locations.

There are cabriolet-type (open air) gondolas connecting parking lots
with base areas at Mt Tremblant (PQ) and The Canyons (UT).

Here is a list of Colorado ski areas/towns which are considering
"transport" gondolas: Breckenridge (town to slope), Beaver Creek
(from town of Avon), Aspen (connecting Highlands with Buttermilk and
Snowmass), and Winter Park (town to slope).


a. NELSAP - The New England Lost Ski Areas Project is a most
excellent web site (www.nelsap.org) which provides detailed histories
and statistics on 350 closed New England ski areas. NELSAP is the
brainchild of Jeremy Davis whom we are proud to call friend.

This winter Jeremy and his posse (Betsy and Chris) skied Colorado for
the first time. We met them for dinner. Would you believe that the
four of us talked "lost ski areas" for 4 hours? These fine folks
encouraged us to get back into writing TCS newsletters. So here we
are. Thanks, guys.


Two years ago we made some cynical comments about the state of
readiness (or non-readiness) of the Utah 2002 Winter Olympics
facilities. On a recent visit we updated our thinking. The Alpine
Downhill course at Snow Basin is ready. The new access road is open.
The big jumps and bobsleigh track at the Utah Winter Sports Park
(Kimball Junction) are ready. The Cross Country facilities have
already been used for events. One of the problem areas had been the
Speed Skating stadium, but it is now ready and has completed its first
trial. The Olympic Village is moving along. The only problem area
seems to be the lack of a transportation plan.

c. COLORADO SEASON TICKETS - The price wars continue. Two seasons
ago the "Buddy Pass" was started by Winter Park and Copper Mtn. For
$800 ($200 each) you could buy 4 season passes (if you had 3 friends).
Keystone and Breck joined in. The next season the price went up to
about $225 each. This past season the price jumped to about $250.
Vail Resorts had the best deal: Unlimited skiing at Breck, Keystone,
and A-basin, plus 10 days at either Vail or Beaver Creek (with some
date restrictions).

We just received an ad from Winter Park - Ski Winter Park and Copper
Mtn next season for $349. Or for $249, just Winter Park. Currently
Vail is selling "The Colorado Pass" (with the deal described above)
for $319 and "The Buddy Pass", without the Vail/Beaver Creek option,
for $249.

Two drawbacks for all of these passes - they are only for sale in the
late Spring and early Fall and you have to buy them in person - in

d. SKIP KING - Skip King is the American Skiing Company Vice
President for Communications (or whatever). Upon hearing that TCS was
about to publish another newsletter, Skip wrote to say that he
expected to see his name (Skip King) mentioned several times. Sorry
Mr. King. We seldom mention personal names (like Skip King) in this
newsletter. And we almost never use last names (like King). Sorry


The "Let's Do SLC" (LDS) trip was our fall foliage and ski area trip
for 2000. We visited about 16 open and closed ski areas in CO and UT.
Here are some highlights:

BERTHOUD PASS - They have a small ski history museum on the 2nd floor
of the (ancient) base lodge. Mostly it just has old pix of Berthoud,
but they are fun.

SILVERCREEK - We are starting a new trivia theme - ski areas with
closed terrain and/or lifts (see Section 3). SilverCreek removed a
chairlift a few years back and then funneled the serviced ski runs
back to the base area. We drove up above the condos which the
chairlift used to service. Aha! The chairlift remnants are clearly

STEAMBOAT - "Tread of Pioneers" is a nice little museum downtown with
an excellent section on the history of Steamboat skiing. After
studying the exhibits for an hour we went to the front desk to ask a
few questions. It quickly became apparent that we knew more than they
did. How embarrassing for both of us!

PARK CITY - Our first visit since they removed the gondola. Sad.

THE CANYONS - Wow! On our last visit, an old small base lodge and
dirt parking lot. Now a whole village with hotels and condos has been

GORGOZA - The base lodge and lifts for this Lost Ski Area have been
removed. Now there are handle tows and lights for tubing. The base
lodge consists of two yurts. Nice paved and lighted parking lot.

OGDEN - There are three ski areas up the canyon east of Ogden, in a
beautiful valley. This was our first visit. NORDIC VALLEY is a
throwback to old-time skiing. Two classic old HALL double chairlifts
running up what looks like a farmer's field. The base lodge looks
like a barn (probably was) and the "outbuildings" contain the ski
patrol, lift ticket sales, ski school, etc.

POWDER MOUNTAIN - This is the first ski area we have visited that has
no skilifts visible from the main parking lot and base lodge. Weird!

SNOW BASIN - Unfortunately the ski area access road was closed the day
we were there. However, the view from the valley up at the mountain
is spectacular. Lots of jagged mountains containing ski runs. The
view back down must be great as well.


During our two year hiatus, we received several dozen letters (e-
mails). About one-third were Sunday River Trip Reports from Bruce
Leslie. Bruce provides very detailed reports including items like the
color of his wife Penny's new ski hats, and the length of his daughter
Anne's new shaped skis - plus which expert runs she now skis with
ease. If Bruce had home videos of these trips we could probably
create a skiing soap opera like "As The Bullwheel Turns" or maybe
"Bringing in the Sheaves". Just kidding Bruce, keep those TRs

Another third of the letters were questions like "Why is the last TCS
newsletter dated Dec 98?" and "What happened to TCS?" Thanks for

The final third were lost ski area comments and questions. We will
try to respond in upcoming newsletters and a few personal replies. If
you are desperate for an answer, ask again - you might just jump to
the top of the queue.

For those who asked: We have complete our Lost Idaho research but
haven't published the results yet. That will happen sometime after
Lost Utah. Lost California is another matter. We have identified 134
lost California areas so far and the research is far from complete.
Maybe 2003.

As always, we will provide data on individual areas at any time. Ask

8. OUR PET PEEVES The following items annoy us:

a. Ski areas (like Keystone) which groom every run perfectly flat.

b. Ski areas (like Keystone) which have snowgun hydrants in the
middle of some runs, rather than at the sides, out of the way of

c. Ski areas which make snow during operating hours - thus requiring
the runs to be closed or for us to ski thru a blizzard.

d. OT - Cell phones - in general; Cell phones in use in public
Cell phones in use in vehicles.

And: The TV ad showing the has-been actress prancing barefoot on a
beach while talking on her phone and prattling on and on about free
weekends. If we have a chance to run barefoot on the beach on a
weekend, the last thing we want is a telephone. Beaches on weekends
are a time and place to get away from phones, and from work, friends,
and relatives. If you have to talk to friends and relatives at the
beach - bring them with you!

e. OT - Whitney Houston - Gee we haven't picked on old Witless in a
long time. Fortunately she has stopped singing and acting so - not a
problem. However, since last we talked: 1) About a year ago,
witless appeared on an awards show just a little stoned; 2) She was
hired to sing on the 2000 Oscar awards TV show and was fired after the
first day of rehearsals - couldn't handle it (her replacement, Faith
Hill, did a great job). 3) She tried to board a plane in Honolulu
carrying just a little more Mary Jane than the legal limit. For this
last infraction, Witless was fined $5,000 and required to do community
service - which in this case meant a promise NOT to perform in Hawaii
for two years! ;-)

f. UGLY CARS - Our vote for the ugliest vehicle made in North
America is the PONTIAC AZTEK, narrowly edging out the CHEVY AVALANCHE.
GM rules!


a. Please provide your CITY NAME (and YOUR first and last name) in
your first E-Mail to TCS. Why? We can't remember but it seemed
important once.

d. Due next: "TCS TRIVIA - 27" (whenever)


"Not to perambulate the corridors during the hours of repose in the
boots of ascension." (sign in an Austrian ski hotel)

Hosted by Yahoo! Web Hosting