Look what's happening in NJ

spk27alumnispk27alumni intermediate
in NELSAP Forum Posts: 33
I did my daily check on Live Timing, to see what races were happening today.  I was amazed to see a FIS Slalom being held at the former Hidden Valley NJ Ski Area...now known as the National Winter Sports Academy. Pulling off a FIS Race is an accomplishment, and it must have been interesting for the Ski Academies from N.E. to go down to NJ for a race.
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  • spk27alumnispk27alumni intermediate
    Posts: 33
    Edit...make that the National Winter Sports Activity Center. 
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    edited February 16 Posts: 900
    Pleasantly surprised, but can't say I'm all that surprised...they've done a LOT of work, and there's a boatload of money behind this thing.  Ted Ligety involved somehow, spokesman or something.  Glad to hear of it!


     The hill itself is fairly well suited to racing, tip of the hat to Jack Kurlander, the original developer.    Little known fact, Stein Eriksen used to drop in to play tennis from time to time, Kurlander (who was a state champ or something) beat him routinely.
  • ciscokidciscokid expert
    Posts: 1,010
    Wow Liz are you out there?
    Rick has the babe updated her blog recently?

    Grandson # 3 still using the set of Fischer skis Rossi boots Marker $35 package I bought at HV w the babe 3-4 yrs back

    I thought i was going to fall thru the floor at the lodge
  • spk27alumnispk27alumni intermediate
    Posts: 33
    Yes Rick, HV was where I raced back in the '80s on Thursday nights with the NJ Ski Council; and the run on the far left, looking up, was decent enough for racing.  As for it's racing heritage, Jamie Kurlander ended up on the US Ski team, although she may have spent time training at Great Gorge when they owned that, prior to opening HV.  As for my Thursday nights, after drinking beers and watching race video, we spent many late nights Hefty Bagging down the slope above the lodge.  
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing advanced
    Posts: 477
    Pics soon. Was at the races today and will be there tomorrow. Impressive operation. National Winter Activity Center is the name. Had to have run $20 million+, with more planned. 2 new Partek lifts, a magic carpet, dozens of HKD snow guns, plus dozens of tower guns on the roundabout trail and the beginner area. New groomers, ultra-modern (brand-new) admin and timing building, paved parking lot (it is Jersey, after all...). Lodge has been completely gutted, with flat screens showing Live Timing. Racing is a part of their mission; main focus is on teaching kids to ski who would not have the chance to do so. The FIS races are a way to generate revenue and show what they have to offer as a training and racing facility.

    Race hill is completely new- if you skied here years ago (as I did) you will not recognize the left side of the hill. Old start shack is about all you would recognize. Current start is on the old lift's top terminal mound.
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing advanced
    Posts: 477
    Pics

    First is view from lodge
    Second is from the old start building
    Third is from the lower flat section of the competition hill

    More tomorrow from other parts of the facility
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  • mapnutmapnut expert
    Posts: 681
    This would seem to be the best-funded of any ski area revival, other than Crotched.
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing advanced
    Posts: 477
    I'll try to find actual figures, but that is what I would guess based on the infrastructure in place, as well as the staff (which is large)
  • newmannewman advanced
    Posts: 137
    The old racing trail Helen-back is not being used now. That was steep for Jersey. That one had pro women's races once. It was a certified race trail. What that means I don't know. Hidden had all the high school races back in the day. I loved that old place.
  • newmannewman advanced
    Posts: 137
    The nwac webpage has good webcams. The big slope used to be two runs. It must look impressive now from Mountain Creeks area.
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing advanced
    Posts: 477
    Helen-beck still has snowmaking and lights on it, but both in disrepair and trail is not used. They hope to bring it on line at some point. Will get pics of it and the others tomorrow.
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing advanced
    Posts: 477
    Old trail map below. Basically all trees from the 3 islands by the old lift are removed, as is both lifts. New lift runs between where those lifts were. Sorry I can't get pics bigger... 


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  • newmannewman advanced
    Posts: 137
    Newman's Chute is on that map. That's also part of the supertrail. I wonder if they took out the clif where it was. Do they use the old Browse along off the top now or just the one big run? I can't find a new map for the nwac.
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    edited February 17 Posts: 900
    Thanks for all the pics!  If you look at the old trail map basically what they did was combine breakneck and highland swing, (and Newman's Chute) and it looks like they borrowed some heavy duty earth movers to reshape a bunch of it in the middle.  

    Newman FYI in 2009 the NJ HS races moved back to HV after being ping ponged around at Mountain Creek. Slalom was contested on Breakneck, GS was contested on Helenback.  Then for the States they did both on Helenback.  They also did a night time dual GS on Helenback, it was great fun.

    I think Jamie Kurlander cut her teeth at GG, I don't think HV was built until 76?  She was on A team by 1977.  Rip McManus was involved at GG I believe he was race instructor there before his death

    The skier who did learn and grow up skiing at HV (as most of you know) was Donna Weinbrecht

    My question is, did they put the other Partek in place of the Chicken chair?  that was a terrific novice slope

    Browse along was just a wonderful ski trail.   Was told that some of the beer leagues would run an unofficial Super G on it, but never saw that

    I never saw Newman's Chute open! 
    ;)
  • mapnutmapnut expert
    Posts: 681
  • newmannewman advanced
    Posts: 137
    That was a cool little video or whatever you would call it. Neet seeing the snowpack getting smaller along the spring timeline.
  • njskibabenjskibabe intermediate
    Posts: 72
    I'm here! Just been real busy with work. Also still researching some more lost NJ ski areas.

    Had a fall the last Sunday of January at Mountain Creek and hyper extended my knee. Haven't been on the slopes since. Hoping to maybe get out this weekend for a few runs (with a knee brace).


  • flbskiflbski intermediate
    Posts: 65
    Weren't the last owners/operators of HV not allowed to make any changes due to the Highlands designation?  What changed/happened?

  • njskibabenjskibabe intermediate
    Posts: 72
    Last owners were not allowed to EXPAND the ski area. This group has just REPLACED the lifts, lighting, snow making and has also cleared and regraded some of the existing slopes.

    The lodge has also be updated inside and has a fresh new bright coat of paint.

    Check out the National Winter Activity Center


  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing advanced
    Posts: 477
    Plan is to cut a new trail skier's right of Competition Hill (the wide one) so they must have gotten some changes made. Plus adding an XC center up the road by the beginner chair (which is a new Partek)

    Pics coming
  • njskibabenjskibabe intermediate
    Posts: 72
    XC center is supposed to go in at the top of the development where the tennis courts and baseball field were.  There are condos and houses at the top of the beginner chair.

  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing advanced
    Posts: 477
    As promised, pictures

    1: View from start (old top terminal of main triple)
    2. Upper part of Browse Along, before the 90 degree bend
    3. Lower part of BA
    4. Chicken Delight trails and chair. About half as long as previous iteration
    5. Lower Hellenbeck.
    6. View from base of Kurly Kue
    7. Kurly Kue
    8. From lift: junctions of Kurly Kue and Hellenback. Some old snowmaking gear and lights
    9. View from below old bullwheel location of main lift.
    10. old start shack
    11. racer starting
    12. view from start 
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  • ciscokidciscokid expert
    Posts: 1,010

    As promised, pictures


    1: View from start (old top terminal of main triple)
    2. Upper part of Browse Along, before the 90 degree bend
    3. Lower part of BA
    4. Chicken Delight trails and chair. About half as long as previous iteration
    5. Lower Hellenbeck.
    6. View from base of Kurly Kue
    7. Kurly Kue
    8. From lift: junctions of Kurly Kue and Hellenback. Some old snowmaking gear and lights
    9. View from below old bullwheel location of main lift.
    10. old start shack
    11. racer starting
    12. view from start 

    Nice work!!!
  • z1000307470z1000307470 intermediate
    Posts: 65

    My college races in the early 1980s used to be on Saturday night at Hidden Valley. There were about 15 schools with 6-10 racers. It was a huge party. We used to race on Helenback and Breakneck. Helenback was an FIS homologated trail and was used for FIS races. I was at an SL FIS race in 1991 where one of the Crist brothers raced to lower the point value of the race.  



  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing advanced
    edited February 23 Posts: 477
    The hill boss said Hellenbeck needs a lot of stone work (blasting) as it is really hard to keep snow on it now. As I mentioned above, its snowmaking is a mess and would need an overhaul. Great looking hill, though, for slalom. It is in the long-term plan but a ways out. In April the lodge gets replaced.
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 900
    Wow, all I can say.  Wow!  Thanks for the report!  Five Stars!

    Whenever I go to a lost ski area I try to imagine what the trails looked like back in the day, and I imagine people skiing, etc.  Here the photo of Helenback does the same thing, and in this case I recall exact events that happened on that trail eight years ago.

    State championships one of the better competitors missed a gate and was well below it on steep part of that lower pitch.  Right where all those bushes are in the middle.  The audience let out a quiet groan.  The kid stopped, looked back up at the gate in frustration, turned to ski down and then stopped and started hiking back up to the gate.  (his team needed to record four finishers for the team competition)   It took him a while but he got up there, the audience was cheering like crazy.

    image
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing advanced
    Posts: 477
    My pleasure- was a trip down memory lane for me, too. 

    NELSAP powers that be: Feel free to use all images to update NELSAP/ NJLSAP listing for Hidden Valley. Currently brings you to an empty page.
  • njskibabenjskibabe intermediate
    Posts: 72

    Yes Rick, HV was where I raced back in the '80s on Thursday nights with the NJ Ski Council; and the run on the far left, looking up, was decent enough for racing.  As for it's racing heritage, Jamie Kurlander ended up on the US Ski team, although she may have spent time training at Great Gorge when they owned that, prior to opening HV.  As for my Thursday nights, after drinking beers and watching race video, we spent many late nights Hefty Bagging down the slope above the lodge.  

    As for racing heritage from Hidden Valley - 1992 Olympic Freestyle Mogul Champion - Donna Weinbrecht started skiing there!  So did US Ski Team member Nolan Kasper.
  • njskibabenjskibabe intermediate
    Posts: 72
    It is interesting that they allowed a FIS race here since they are established as a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization that teaches children from age 6 to 17 how to ski. No adults are allowed to use the mountain. Seems things keep changing here with what the original charter was supposed to be.

    Maybe they will open it up to the public again. 

    They had to do open it to the public when it was first built in 1975 when they were trying to sell it to people as a private club. Didn't last long as a private club.


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