Raiders of Snow Valley, VT

Recent snowfall has blessed us across the Northeast, and there is no part of this run that any skier should take for granted.

Snow Valley base lodge

If you haven’t dusted off the boards for awhile, grab your rear-entry’s or your leathers and get after it, conditions are so soft that they’ll put a smile on your face to match the nostalgia of deep winters past.

This weekend, with a fat base worthy of an old time Tribe Called Quest song, my brother agreed to accompany me for a late afternoon skin at a resort that wasn’t as fortunate as those still standing.

Snow Valley lift terminus

I’ve always enjoyed hiking around NELSAP ski hills. I remember when Jeremy Davis started NELSAP, attaching a name to a subject that fascinated me. I was obsessed and spent many hours on putting names to the hills I’d seen from afar.

It was a privilege to meet Jeremy recently, when he was lecturing on the Southern Adirondacks, in North Creek. NELSAP was ahead of its time, as crowdsourcing became all the rage for sites like Yelp and Facebook over the next decade.

Snow Valley skier

Maybe in a way I was too, hiking for turns before every manufacturer had to have its own touring line. I think either of us would have settled for inventing Yelp, but back to the task at hand.

Snow Valley VT isn’t the most prestigious closed resort in the region, but it occupies a high elevation zone between large living resorts like Stratton, Bromley, and the steep skiing powder haven, Magic Mountain.

Snow Valley Vermont view

I’d noticed what I thought was a trail and longed to explore. I think Indiana Jones would feel right a home here as lot of the ski architecture at Snow Valley belongs in a museum.

A quick hike up 500 vert on the skin track puts you underneath the cable for a surface lift and things get more interesting at the top.

Snow Valley VT
Snow Valley VT

A beautiful return station for another poma sits at the top of the hill, right next to a double chair that goes just behind it. Some of those chairs still stand, but it seems clear that the area was built around tows, not chairs.

From the top, you’re rewarded with quintessential pastoral Vermont, with the rugged giants of Dorset and Equinox just behind.

The trails are overgrown and a little thwacky, but the snow was deep and buried most obstacles. The biggest obstacle that separates us from generations of skiers past — time — was lifted for a day, as we made beautiful wide arcs in the same paths as the ghosts before us.

4 comments on “Raiders of Snow Valley, VT

  1. Looks like you had a great time at Snow Valley! Cool report, I’m sharing it on our Facebook page now. There are still efforts to reopen it as a private area, but any progress of that will be extremely slow. Thanks for coming to North Creek!

  2. Nice report. If you’re ever yearning to ski NELSAP in the Garden State, you might check out the Snow Bowl in Jefferson, off Route 15. People are still skiing there. They have a FB page.

  3. Very cool, I’ve got a local NELSAP listing on my radar, Innsbruck USA, now Aqua Tera park in Binghamton NY. Man, I wish that place had staid open, 8 miles from downtown, and night skiing to boot. Much more attractive than driving all the way to Greek for post work weekday turns.

  4. A group of my college buddies loved skiing there back in the ski seasons of 1972/73, 1973/74 and loved it. Lift lines were short or non-existent.

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