Take Prospect, VT off the lost list?

NELSAPNELSAP advanced
in NELSAP Forum Posts: 120
An interesting philosophical discussion - should we move Prospect, Vermont off the lost list?

Reasons for taking off:

1. It's fully integrated into Prospect XC ski area
2. Trails are marked on the trail map as telemark
3. A ski ticket is required to access
4. Trails are well maintained
5. Lodge is in full use during winter

Reasons for keeping it on:
1. Lifts are not running, and never will again

In my book,  I considered it a hybrid area. This is a special case and may deserve it's own category on NELSAP.

JD

Comments

  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 563
    New category. Lost lift service but operating as a commercial place to ski (here we go again with semantics). I believe you have areas that were 'reborn; with other uses (Highlands, Norwich?). This could be one that is reborn with non-lift-serviced trails.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,553
    I think we made an exception for Tuckerman Ravine (and perhaps the Thunderbolt), but in general, the sine qua non for being an operating ski was an operating lift or tow that has downhill/Alpine activity as its primary purpose.  Hence, Prospect VT; Eaton, ME; and Highlands, NH are all still NELSAP - and until the lifts spin at Tenney, NH - it too is still IMO NELSAP.  
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 563

    I think we made an exception for Tuckerman Ravine (and perhaps the Thunderbolt), but in general, the sine qua non for being an operating ski was an operating lift or tow that has downhill/Alpine activity as its primary purpose.  Hence, Prospect VT; Eaton, ME; and Highlands, NH are all still NELSAP - and until the lifts spin at Tenney, NH - it too is still IMO NELSAP.  

    seems like question answered? no lift running, no dice... Best comparison maybe Timber Ridge? No ticket needed, just a snowmobile and the good graces of the owners.
  • ski_itski_it expert
    edited January 3 Posts: 1,549

    Seems like a hybrid, kind of like what you did with Crotched - a Rebirth

    Don't forget - The Balsams, NH is also NELSAP. Another new category for Eaton, Tenney and Balsams? - NELSAP but may reopen.

    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 563
    ski_it said:

    Seems like a hybrid, kind of like what you did with Crotched - a Rebirth

    Don't forget - The Balsams, NH is also NELSAP. Another new category for Tenney and Balsams? - NELSAP but may reopen.

    no lifts, though, so not like Crotched or (maybe) Balsams and/or Tenney
  • riverc0ilriverc0il advanced
    Posts: 236
    I disagree. If an area charges for a lift ticket and maintains trails and has a lodge, why is it not a "ski area"? I fail to see the differentiation that a ski area is still "lost" because it is operating without a lift. 

    Tuckerman Ravine was mentioned above but Tuckerman Ravine is not and never has been a ski area. It doesn't charge for tickets, it is not maintained, it doesn't have a lodge, it does not provide services, and it has no official designation as a ski area. It is an area (not an operation) that is skied but it is strictly backcountry.

    Highlands was also mentioned but is not operating as a ski area, only as a mountain bike park. I don't see the relevance. Tenney indeed is still lost because it has yet to operate again as a ski area: it is not charging for access, it is not providing services to skiers, it is not maintaining open hours of operation, etc. It sounds like Prospect is. 

    Timber Ridge was mentioned but that area is not operating as a ski area, skiing is not sanctioned and there is no operation that supports skiing. Its closest analog would be Mittersill before Cannon did the land swap... you could still access the neighboring mountain via hiking a side trail but the area was not operational specifically for skiing. 

    The notion of an earned turn ski area has been something I've wondered about the prospects of for several years. The closest example to this is Ascutney. But two differences... Ascutney operates a rope two AND skiers accessing the upper mountain by earning their turns do not need to pay for access and are provided no services, there is no operation or organization supporting the upper mountain which is essentially backcountry.

    If a mountain charges for access, provides services, and has established hours of operation, I say that meets the criteria of being a ski area even if uphill access must be earned rather than via a lift. It isn't like this is an XC area, we are talking downhill skiing here, right? 

    This would be opposed by something like Hogback which allows backcountry skiing but there is no operation supporting skiing (i.e. no tickets, operational hours, organizational structure, services, etc.). Hogback is definitely a "lost" ski area even though it is functional as a backcountry area.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,553
    There are many XC areas that offer the same amenities as Prospect.  It is a NELSAP ski area that is now an XC area, just as the Highlands is a NELSAP ski area that is now a bicycle park!

    And I agree with everything that Riverc0il said about Tuckerman Ravine, but because of its deeply ingrained tradition of Tuckerman as a skiing icon, I still consider to be a ski area.  There is a shelter at Hermit Lake, there is an AMC Shelter at the bottom of the Sherburne Trail, it did have a ski patrol and I think they had a portable rope tow there in the 1940s (if so, it is at least a NELSAP area).

    The requirement that they charge a fee to ski would turn Newcomb in NY into a non-ski area.
  • NELSAPNELSAP advanced
    Posts: 120
    Usually, my definition for a lost area is that there had to be some kind of a lift, and that the lift(s) no longer operate. I wanted to avoid counting every historical ski trail that is now overgrown as a lost area, or every backyard hill. But sometimes that definition is too rigid - there is a definite spectrum. Prospect is way up there on the spectrum, all but the lift operates - there is a trail map, lodge is open, hours of operation, maintenance, ticket required, etc. I'm also wary of info being misunderstood, and to think that Prospect is completely closed when the opposite is the case.

    Hogback is also on the spectrum, but lower down. There is no lodge that is functional, but there is a trail map, 1 trail is cleared each fall by volunteers, keeping the original trail name. Parking lots are kept clear. There is a Facebook page and website.

    Some could argue that the Hermitage is a lost area for the general public, as it has been "lost" to public access. Not saying I agree with that, but the argument could be made.

    Timber Ridge is also on the spectrum. The owner has been open to people using the area respectfully/ask permission. Trails are kept clear. There is a lodge that is used on occasion. There was even snowmaking a few years ago.

    An interesting thought experiment. I'm leaning to putting it in a special hybrid category with lots of remarks.
  • JMaulJMaul advanced
    Posts: 205
    Usually, my definition for a lost area is that there had to be some kind of a lift, and that the lift(s) no longer operate. I wanted to avoid counting every historical ski trail that is now overgrown as a lost area, or every backyard hill. But sometimes that definition is too rigid - there is a definite spectrum. Prospect is way up there on the spectrum, all but the lift operates - there is a trail map, lodge is open, hours of operation, maintenance, ticket required, etc. I'm also wary of info being misunderstood, and to think that Prospect is completely closed when the opposite is the case.

    Hogback is also on the spectrum, but lower down. There is no lodge that is functional, but there is a trail map, 1 trail is cleared each fall by volunteers, keeping the original trail name. Parking lots are kept clear. There is a Facebook page and website.

    Some could argue that the Hermitage is a lost area for the general public, as it has been "lost" to public access. Not saying I agree with that, but the argument could be made.

    Timber Ridge is also on the spectrum. The owner has been open to people using the area respectfully/ask permission. Trails are kept clear. There is a lodge that is used on occasion. There was even snowmaking a few years ago.

    An interesting thought experiment. I'm leaning to putting it in a special hybrid category with lots of remarks.
    A special category may be good. Add Dutch Hill as well.

    With more interest in backcountry activities, I can only see more of this happening.

    What about Ascutney? What category would it fall in to?
    You ski because even if you don't do it well, it's still a blast....
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 956
    Seems to me it fits the "lost areas incorporated into operating ski areas"  category...

    Definitely lost, people who skied there can't do what they used to do

    Definitely operating, albeit as nordic

    ...but doesn't  matter to me, just semantics
  • flbskiflbski intermediate
    Posts: 68
    People go to Tuckerman's to downhill ski, people no longer go to Prospect to downhill ski.

  • edited January 5 Posts: 1,798
    flbski said:

    People go to Tuckerman's to downhill ski, people no longer go to Prospect to downhill ski.

    But I've gone to Sea View in Rowley to downhill ski and it is certainly NELSAP.
    - Sam
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    edited January 5 Posts: 1,553

    flbski said:

    People go to Tuckerman's to downhill ski, people no longer go to Prospect to downhill ski.

    But I've gone to Sea View in Rowley to downhill ski and it is certainly NELSAP.
    The Tuckerman exception is because it has more skier visits per season than many so-called commercial ski areas.  On a nice spring day, we are talking about thousands of people, overflowing parking lot and even people parking at Wildcat and hiking over.

    My guess is that Sea View has probably not averaged 10 skier visits per season!
  • Posts: 1,798

    flbski said:

    People go to Tuckerman's to downhill ski, people no longer go to Prospect to downhill ski.

    But I've gone to Sea View in Rowley to downhill ski and it is certainly NELSAP.
    The Tuckerman exception is because it has more skier visits per season than many so-called commercial ski areas.  On a nice spring day, we are talking about thousands of people, overflowing parking lot and even people parking at Wildcat and hiking over.

    My guess is that Sea View has probably not averaged 10 skier visits per season!
    Then where would we draw that line?
    - Sam
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,553

    flbski said:

    People go to Tuckerman's to downhill ski, people no longer go to Prospect to downhill ski.

    But I've gone to Sea View in Rowley to downhill ski and it is certainly NELSAP.
    The Tuckerman exception is because it has more skier visits per season than many so-called commercial ski areas.  On a nice spring day, we are talking about thousands of people, overflowing parking lot and even people parking at Wildcat and hiking over.

    My guess is that Sea View has probably not averaged 10 skier visits per season!
    Then where would we draw that line?
    It's Jeremy's website, so he gets to draw the line!

    To date, Tuckerman has just been granted an exception rating both because of its continued popularity and its history in Alpine Skiing.
  • ThatNYguyThatNYguy novice
    Posts: 6

    A place to ski or a ski area is never lost. Its location remains as it was. If it can be found, it is no longer lost. The only thing which is lost is its operation. Based on this, if it begins operation again, it is no longer lost.

    I have never believed in the concept of calling ski areas or places to ski, lost. As long as the memories of what they were exist or have been captured in history, they still exist.

    Perhaps calling them "lost" is in fact the issue.

    Something to think about when considering what they truly are.

  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,553
    It's always great hearing from Russ (ThatNYGuy).  We had this discussion on SJ1.0 and collectively agreed that "a LOST ski area only meant that it was lost to lift serviced Alpine skiing.  

    IMO, Places like Crotched Mt. and Granite Gorge are examples of what it takes to get off the NELSAP list!
  • obienickobienick expert
    edited January 10 Posts: 790
    IIRC, NELSAP has entirely been dedicated to lift-served ticketed ski areas with perhaps a few exceptions (e.g. Moosilauke).  Therefore I don't think Prospect, VT should come off the list.

    Was Snow's Mountain, NH on the list despite being ticketed, marked and mapped, and patrolled for the Waterville Valley XC area for years? Yes.  The only difference between Snow's and Prospect is that Snow's lift runs in the summer and ran for one day as a PR stunt, perhaps in assistance to the ever-rumored flipping of WV.
  • ThatNYguyThatNYguy novice
    Posts: 6

    We had this discussion on SJ1.0 and collectively agreed that "a LOST ski area only meant that it was lost to lift serviced Alpine skiing.

    My point is regarding the foundational use of the word "lost". Anything which can be or was found is no longer lost.The fact that the topic being about ski areas or places to ski is irrelevant. IMHO, this is what makes clarification regarding this particular conversation difficult. By removing the concept or tagging of them as "lost", it will make it easier to determine what they really are. If the location no longer operates, then it is only the operation which is "lost". If it begins operating in a different capacity than it originally did, its listing should be identified as just that. 
  • Bill29Bill29 advanced
    Posts: 211
    Does that mean that New England Lost Ski Areas Project will have to be changed to New England (Something Else) Ski Areas Project, as in NESESAP?
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 956
    ThatNYguy said:



    My point is regarding the foundational use of the word "lost".

    Although I disagree, I feel your pain. I was the same way about "organic food" when people started using that expression. Chickens and carrots are organisms by definition, they aren't inorganic. Whomever coined that phrase was an imbecile. Even rotten meat is full of live organisms, hence organic -- no way it's inorganic. Alas, my efforts failed, and the decline of modern society continues.
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