Prospect Vermont, Vermont 2/5/18 Alpine Related Photos

edited February 6 in NELSAP Forum
Yesterday was just one of those rare, stellar cobalt blue sky days we don't get too often, and it was particularly nice following a decent 7" snowstorm in Southern Vermont. Visiting and skiing Prospect has long been on my to-do list, and now that I'm gaining experience in Nordic skiing, the time was right. I'll have a Nordic report too.

Prospect was an alpine ski area that closed in 1991 for lift-served skiing, and instead focused on developing and growing a Nordic system. Owned by Steve Witham, the area is located in the snowbelt east of Bennington - they always get dumped on, and they have a high base elevation of 2200' that also helps.

The alpine trails are maintained by Steve who takes a week to mow them each summer. The lifts are standing, and mostly intact, but will never run again. They are fully open to backcountry adventures, and are not groomed. You do need a ticket (low $20's) to access them, which includes the Nordic trails. The vertical is 625' or so, and according to a skier I met yesterday, about a 35 min climb up. I did not partake in backcountry skiing, but enjoyed the Nordic trails which skim the base of the mountain. You can snowshoe too up the mountain.

One alpine trail is General John Stark, the hero of the Battle of Bennington, and a Nordic trail skims it. The former rope tow slope is Molly Stark. This was fun to downhill on the XC skis, as it is not steep, and it was groomed - a taste of what it was like when it was lift served. Plus, the Starks are my great-great-great-great-great-great-great aunt and uncle, so that was cool. John Stark is also known for the line "Live Free or Die". You might have seen that on a license plate.

The lodge is retro, which adds character. It's definitely a low-stress kind of operation, the kind that I like. It was not crowded but everybody was having a blast.

I highly recommend this area if you want to enjoy a "lost area" that is really not lost, or as I described in my book, a hybrid. Enjoy the photos!

Jeremy
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Comments

  • Great pictures! That's a unique setup there
    - Sam
  • thanks for sharing the report and photos!

  • John Stark is know, s Jeremy noted, for saying life free or die. He also is quoted as having said to his troops before the battle of bennington "There are your enemies, the Red Coats and the Tories. They are ours, or this night Molly Stark sleeps a widow!"
  • Jeremy,

    Thanks for the report and for those gorgeous photos of a pluperfect day (as my dad would say) at Prospect.  My mom drove me up to Prospect one weekday morning in the late 1960s for a few hours' skiing.  I still have the patch that she sewed onto my jacket from that outing.  It appeared in a book somebody wrote about southern VT's lost ski areas.

    That "live free or die" phrase got me thinking ...
    • Are license plates made by NH prison inmates, as they are in some other states?
    • If so, how do the inmates feel about making plates with that slogan?  'Can't be very encouraging.

    Woody


  • Jeremy,


    Thanks for the report and for those gorgeous photos of a pluperfect day (as my dad would say) at Prospect.  My mom drove me up to Prospect one weekday morning in the late 1960s for a few hours' skiing.  I still have the patch that she sewed onto my jacket from that outing.  It appeared in a book somebody wrote about southern VT's lost ski areas.

    That "live free or die" phrase got me thinking ...
    • Are license plates made by NH prison inmates, as they are in some other states?
    • If so, how do the inmates feel about making plates with that slogan?  'Can't be very encouraging.

    Woody


    Yep,  the plates here in NH are made by inmates last I heard.  Must be very discouraging lol.
  • What gorgeous photos!  I too am slowly branching out to include snowshoeing and nordic skiing in my repertoire (sadly, perhaps, in anticipation of the day when I can no longer alpine ski).  I'll soon be in Vermont for a week to ski Mount Snow, and might give Prospect a try.  As always, NELSAP, your penchant for exploration and your generosity of time and spirit in sharing your experiences are greatly appreciated by those of us who a tad less naturally adventurous. 
  • Glad you all enjoyed the photos! Podunk77, glad to hear you are trying out snowshoeing and nordic - it's fun to mix it all up. I think they whole point is to be outside in the winter, getting fresh air and exercise. Hope you enjoy your trip to Vermont! Definitely stop by Prospect.So many great elements there!

    My Stark connection was a surprise while working on my ancestry. I reached my 5X great grandfather, who was named John Stark Sterling. Hmmmm...that named sounded familiar. Within minutes I found out his mother was the General's sister. And to confirm this, my Ancestry DNA test, which is tied to my tree, tagged me as a member of the "John Stark Sterling DNA group" which has 12 other Ancestry members, all of us share the same DNA. There are Stark connections everywhere - Starksboro, VT - Molly Stark Highway - Live Free or Die - etc. Cool stuff!
  • edited February 8

    Podunk said it well, simply gorgeous pictures!! That looks so nice.

    That's tres cool about the Starks. I was just reacquainting myself this season with Molly's & John's story while someone else was driving us to Mt Snow for a change...down the Molly Stark Trail (Rt 9), past the Molly Stark State Park.

    I took another track with my family tree. I started with Charlemagne and went forward. I got stuck after a while and haven't managed to get over the channel yet. ;) ;)
    I guess Four of us did get over on the Mayflower but we all died the first winter and were buried in a mass grave overlooking the Rock.:(
    EDIT: That last part is true-ish (same surname) and a clue for Cisco.

    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • JD yea that's a sign of getting older, than ancestry thing. Cool backround on US soil. Proud too.

    English then I take it?

    Great great grand cameover from Holland in 1873.
  • I have fond memories of skiing Prospect Mtn. in 1972.  They had a good location with respect to NY's capital district and a reasonably nice variety of trails with a good vertical drop (about 700').  I assume that they had a water problem as the industry transitioned into the snowmaking era.  
  • Here is a 1972 lift ticket from Prospect.
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  • Here is a 1972 lift ticket from Prospect.</blockquote

    GREAT PHOTO Joshua!
    And in such great condition!
    Ibrake4tbars will like the tbar on it

  • Joshua, curious if you remember the skis and boots you used in '72?(model brand length etc)
  • ciscokid said:

    Joshua, curious if you remember the skis and boots you used in '72?(model brand length etc)

    Not really except the length was between 200 and 210.  I do remember in November of 1978 when I took my first PSIA clinic, I didn't have a pair of skis, having broken one ski of each of three pairs the season before.  I had a 195 cm. Head 360 on one foot and a 185 cm. Head 240 on the other foot.  The rest of the class was suitably amused.
  • edited February 7


    If so, how do the inmates feel about making plates with that slogan? 'Can't be very encouraging.




    Think positive! Hopefully the message will be burned into their corneas, they will recognize the value of freedom and the price that so many have paid to protect that freedom, and it will encourage them to be rehabilitated and that when they are released back into society, they will realize that selling drugs to children and making license plates is not a good career path, and instead comport themselves with proper civility and be productive, law abiding free citizens!

    I love happy endings. Those license plates are wonderful!


    :)] :)] :)]  Kudos to Mr. Stark

  • edited April 13
    Looks like new non-profit for prospect. I could notfind more recent news.
    http://www.reformer.com/stories/local-group-enters-purchase-agreement-for-prospect-mountain,528604
  • Question. If they ran the alpine trails when natural snow allowed with a t bar or poma, how much more would the cost of insurance be to them? Just wondering if anybody would have a guess to this.

  • If so, how do the inmates feel about making plates with that slogan? 'Can't be very encouraging.

    Of course, in Vermont, state inmates used to make the decals for State Police Cruisers. One trooper was washing his car and noticed that on the decal, the cow had a patch on her in the shape of a pig. Had been there for years and no one noticed. 
    https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2012/02/03/146358114/vermont-inmates-hide-image-of-pig-on-police-decals
    "Making ski films is being irresponsible with other people's money, in a responsible sort of way..." 
    Greg Stump
  • edited April 15
    Boy when you study that decal it's just weird all over. What are those "animals" on the left. Hay stacks? Nice green grass with is that an unfrozen lake that heads uphill? before a winter wonderland of Alp like mountains?
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
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