These days skiing is something that people in the United States look to the west coast to find the goods. With an abundance of snow, huge mountains and seemingly never-ending resorts to visit it’s easy to understand how it ended up this way.
However, skiing in the States didn’t get its start in the Rockies, the Sierras or the Cascades. It all started out on the other side of the country. The first ski club in the United States was started by a group of Norwegian immigrants in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the first rope tow was installed in Woodstock, Vermont, the first public transport dedicated to skiers was a train that ran from Boston to Warner, New Hampshire, the third Winter Olympics were held in Lake Placid, New York, and the first National Slalom Competition was held in Mt. Moosilauke, New Hampshire.
All of this enthusiasm around skiing on the East Coast naturally led to people cutting trails. In 1933, the Civilian Conservation Corps, under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, began cutting ski trails, the first of which were on Mount Mansfield in Stowe, Vermont. This continued for years with people cutting trails all around the East Coast.
And while many of these smaller ski areas were treasured by locals for years, many of them fell victim to the financial difficulties that come with running a ski resort. This has created a number of “Lost” ski resorts on the East Coast of the United States, whether it be the local rope tow or full-blown ski resorts with lifts and lodges.
For years, these areas went completely unused. However, with the rise of uphill skiing, these places have been “opened” to a whole new crowd of people. The uphill ski community has grown a bit of an affinity for these old school, narrow cut trails with no lift access. Some resorts have even been re-opened largely thanks to the community of skiers behind them.
So the next time you’re in the bitterly cold East Coast complaining about the ice and crowds, do some digging and look around a bit. You might just find yourself with your very own private ski resort to bounce around in.