It's common knowledge to most of us that the ski industry has changed quite a bit in the past 50 years or so. Yet, it seems like way too often I discover some "lost ski area" within a hundred mile radius of my home. For years, I never even knew about the lost area in my own hometown Oneonta NY.
Every day as I drive to SUNY Delhi, I get a pretty clear view of the well loved, and well missed Bobcat Ski Center. I had never actually approached it up close, so today I went for a ride. What I saw nearly brought tears to my eyes. Ok, not really, but it was kind of sad to see. I was actually nervous by what I saw. At the base of the area were two sketchy trailers a few hundred yards from each other. It was clear that two different people were living there., and not even taking care of their own home. My question is, what the hell are they doing there? And why are they there? I wanted to go for a walk, and explore the area, but the land was clearly posted. It's crazy to think that just ten years ago it was a somewhat functional ski area. I can not be certain but it appears as though whoever owns it now is not a skier. I don't know if it's someone in the trailers or not. Off in the distance I was shocked by the sight of a half a dozen or so snow cannons. Next to them was a groomer. They were too far away for a picture on my phone, but from what I could see, they were intact, and in decent shape. I want them. I headed back down the hill. And got a decent picture from the adjacent road.
It seems to be in a good location for snow considering the base elevation, and the Northern exposure. It seems like just about every town in upstate NY has one of these Ghost ski areas. There's quite a few them on the website known as the NY Lost Ski Area Project, and I've doscovered many that are not even on that list. I guess skiing requires huge mountains, fast lifts and prestigious lodges in order to have fun these days.
You passed even another lost area. On 28 when come down the hill before Gladstone road on the right , was another one. Not to sound , like you know, but back in the day you could see yellow towers and cut trails. I passed it many many times on the way into Andes or Bobcat. Poached it a couple of times in the middle 80s.
There was a Diner at the entrance road , long gone now like everything else. Look carefully at the ridge and you might make it whatever is left.
I guess skiing requires huge mountains, fast lifts and prestigious lodges in order to have fun these days.
I don't think this is true. But I do think you need snowmaking. And that shit is expensive.
Agree that it's sad that there are fewer and fewer community ski areas. I grew up skiing Maple Ski Ridge, Willard and Big Tupper. Maple Ridge is fine as far as I know, but the other two are hanging on by threads. A small mountain can inspire young skiers in a way that big ski areas struggle to - small little nooks and crannies, not getting lost when you take runs without your parents, cool people that work there who like their jobs. Small ski areas are the future. I wish I owned one.
At the base of the area were two sketchy trailers a few hundred yards from each other. It was clear that two different people were living there., and not even taking care of their own home. My question is, what the hell are they doing there? And why are they there?
i went up to the base a couple of years ago in the fall looking to hike the hill and check it out and as soon as i rolled up to the end of the road a few people from the house next door came out and inquired as to what i was doing and letting me know that it was private property. the main run seems pretty nice but it also seemed like they would press the point, and even more so now. there are, however, a number or shuttered areas in mid-state ny that are less territorialized and therefore more poachable though- just have to do some research.......and pray for snow.
After moving from Nyack to Rockaway NJ when I was 9 years old I started skiing at this little 250 vert hill that was 5 miles up the road from my house. It's no longer in operation. I remember my first Thursday after school night skiing there. I remember taking a basic first day lesson on a snowmaking pile and after that a friend talked me into going for a run. I still remember that moment looking down the hill, filled with fear and thinking that it looked HUGE! It wasn't much but it was everything to us local kids and it installed a life time of passion in a lot of us. Feeder areas had that impact, it's a shame that they can't really survive in todays market.