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Old School ski areas to explore

MaineSkiLady

Angel Diva
Trailer from a feature length film released several years ago about "that ?old school? Sugarloaf."

Brackett Basin and Burnt Mountain alone are 600 acres.

120 more acres open Feb. 9, West Mountain.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Happy to report that Sandia Peak in Albuquerque, NM has re-opened.

February 15, 2024
"
Skiers hit the slopes at New Mexico’s Sandia Peak Ski Area last weekend as the mountain opened for the first time in two years.

The opening marked the debut of operations at Sandia Peak under the aegis of Mountain Capital Partners (MCP), which announced a joint venture to revitalize the Albuquerque ski area with Sandia Peak Ski Company last fall.

. . ."
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Bogus Basin near Boise, ID, will have two new lifts in the near future. Opted to get a fixed-grip quad instead of a detachable because the savings meant being able to upgrade a second lift. Bonus is non-profit.

February 15, 2024
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
While researching ski resorts near Boise, Idaho, I learned about the non-profit Payette Lake Ski Club in McCall. The fundraising campaign 2019-22 that allowed Payette to replace the old T-bar shows how much the local community cares about the hill. It's been around for 80 years and clearly will be ongoing for quite a while longer. Adding new lights is the next big project.

" . . .
The Lift, Lights Little Hill campaign [fundraising in 2019-22] will usher in a new era of T-bar riding experiences with the much-needed replacement of our nearly 50 year-old T-bar. Existing ski area lights will be replaced, and additional lights will be installed on two unlit runs. These improvements will allow the ski hill to better serve our community by providing increased uphill capacity of a new T-Bar, new night time skiable terrain, and new opportunities for evening ski and snowboard programs. Most importantly more children will be able to participate in the shared experience of our community at The Little Ski Hill.
. . ."
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Sunlight in Colorado has figured out how to move into the future with upgraded lifts. The replacement lifts will be operational for 2025-26.

June 21, 2024
"Two of Colorado’s oldest chairlifts will be replaced simultaneously in 2025, Sunlight Mountain Resort has announced. Primo, a 1966 Riblet double, will be replaced by a Leitner-Poma Alpha fixed grip quad. Segundo, a 1954 Heron with Riblet upgrades, will be replaced by a 2001 Leitner-Poma triple from Arapahoe Basin. The project will be the largest capital undertaking in the history of Sunlight.
. . ."
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Ski Apache in New Mexico seems to fit the old school category. I was surprised to see it listed on the TechnoAlpine webpage for the SnowFactory. That's the big box approach to snowmaking at temperatures well above freezing. Ski Apache has snowmaking on a third of 750 acres. Originally built in the early 1960s. There was a major fire in 2012, after which the gondola was replaced.

February 2020
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Not sure if Ski Apache survived the horrific Ruidoso fires. The first photo in this article makes me think it did not. But I couldn't find anything specific about the resort.
I assume the Alto Ski Shop in the photo was in the town of Alto. That's over 5 miles east of Ski Apache as the crow flies. It's a 14 mile drive.

From what I can see on the interactive wildfire map, it looks like the South Fork fire stopped spreading before reaching Ski Apache. The Ski Apache website is clear that the resort is closed due to the fires. Could take a long time before access to that area is fully restored. They may have issues with utilities, as is true for the entire area impacted by the South Fork and Salt fires. Ruidoso was in the middle of those two wildfires. There is a third fire north of South Fork.

From Google Maps, Alto, NM is directly to the east of Ski Apache
Screenshot 2024-06-29 at 1.34.07 PM.jpg

Fire perimeter as of June 29, 2024
Screenshot 2024-06-29 at 1.34.23 PM.jpg
 
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VickiK

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Thanks for the map views.

Glad the resort survived. It’s a beautiful area. I visited last summer but didn’t take the extra time to drive over from Ruidoso to see Ski Apache. (Because that’s what skiers do in the off season is still go see the ski area to fuel their daydreams.)
 

VickiK

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Cloudcroft Ski Area is a pretty and old school local hill. Due south of Ski Apache but still in the Lincoln National Forest. I think they have 2 chairs.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Cloudcroft Ski Area is a pretty and old school local hill. Due south of Ski Apache but still in the Lincoln National Forest. I think they have 2 chairs.
How cool! I hadn't heard of Cloudcroft before. It's been around over 60 years. Like the ski resorts in the southeast, snowmaking is the reason a 700 ft ski hill can be a viable business. The average annual snowfall is on the order of 70 inches. Since the base elevation is 8400 ft, it gets cold enough soon enough for snowmaking for a mid-December opening. There is one chairlift and a couple of rope tows. Other than holiday periods, Cloudcroft is open weekends only. People slide on snow in the winter and plastic in the summer on the tubing hill.
 

VickiK

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Some snapshots of Ski Cloudcroft…
 

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Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
@marzNC - When you were in Nova Scotia did you get to see Ski Martock? We passed by it, but the bus driver wouldn't cooperate on going for a tour,:mad2:. Seems the other 35 people on the bus weren't that interested.

Looked interesting from the highway. What I'm used to seeing in Ontario.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
@marzNC - When you were in Nova Scotia did you get to see Ski Martock? We passed by it, but the bus driver wouldn't cooperate on going for a tour,:mad2:. Seems the other 35 people on the bus weren't that interested.

Looked interesting from the highway. What I'm used to seeing in Ontario.
Nope. I was with my non-skiing husband in Nova Scotia. The trip was to spend a couple days at Fortress Louisbourg and to find some fresh seafood. Only stayed for a few days beyond the drive via Maine and New Brunswick, then took the ferry from Yarmouth to Bar Harbor and headed straight home.

Wandering around ski resorts during the off-season only happens when I'm driving solo for other reasons. :smile:
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
In recent years, it's not just destination resorts that are moving to cashless transactions. In the southeast, Timberline in WV made the switch after a new owner took over in 2019 and completely updated the place. Recently, Gunstock in NH made the change.

From email July 12, 2024:
"Gunstock is moving to a cashless payment system starting this summer. Please bring a debit or credit card with you to be sure you can still enjoy everything Gunstock has to offer. Two cash-to-card, self-serve kiosks are available to convert cash to prepaid cards. They are in Gunstock’s Ticket Office and in the hallway on the main level of the Historic Lodge. Non-hosted bar service at Gunstock-catered events will be completely cashless. Gunstock’s Campground will continue to accept cash this summer. "

Timberline also installed "reverse ATM" machines for people who don't have a credit/debit card they are willing to use at the resort. There is no charge for converting cash to a pre-paid card.
 

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