Lost Ski Areas of the Adirondacks

Jeremy Davis, founder of NELSAP, the New England Lost Ski Areas Project, is beginning work on his third book devoted to ski areas in the northeast that are no longer in operation.

NYLSAP Photo

Entitled Lost Ski Areas of the Adirondacks, this book will highlight 50-60 areas from that region, from the first J-bar in New York State (in Lake George), to short rope tows at hotels in Lake Placid, to large planned resorts that were never completed like Lowenburg near Lyon Mountain.

Jeremy has begun research on the book and has already come across an array of fascinating photos and maps, as well as information and narratives from people who remember these mountains. Lost Ski Areas of the Adirondacks is scheduled to be in print in the summer of 2012.

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ThatNYguy: Russ LaChapelle

Belleayre Single Chair

I first became aware of Russ LaChapelle through his posts on the Snowjournal forum under the screen name “ThatNYguy.” In addition to his extensive nuts-and-bolts knowledge and outspoken opinions about New York’s rich ski history, I liked how he conveyed the emotions behind his passion for Empire State skiing. In 2002, Russ launched “Skiing History in New York” — a website designed to tell the stories of the state’s lift-served ski hills and mountains, both those still in operation as well as the many that had closed.

But what really fascinated me were Russ’s ongoing reports about the rise and fall of Bearpen Mountain, a ski area in the western Catskills that closed 50 years ago, and his efforts to make it accessible to skiers once again. Following is a discussion that details one man’s views of the changing landscape of NYS skiing from the late 1960s to the present.

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Harvey Mountain TBar

There were some who considered this small, family run ski area as competition to Gore and the Skibowl. Total vertical was about 400′ and it was served by a single Tbar:

Harvey Mountain

Harvey Mountain Ski Area was actually on South Mountain in North River – off Barton’s Road, just downhill from the hairpin turn. I first noticed it maybe fifteen years ago. I was skiing and exploring the summit and cliffs of Harvey itself you could faintly see the old runs illuminated by the difference between the newer and the older growth.

I never knew what I was looking at until I connected with Jeremy Davis of NELSAP a few years ago. With Jeremy’s permission I excerpted a piece on Harvey Mountain last fall. There’s more at nelsap.org too.