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Lost Ski Area: Tour of Blue Marsh Ski Area, formerly North Heidelberg Ski Club


EdBacon
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13 minutes ago, toast21602 said:

Any photos? I didn't know Montage had one too.

If any of them exist they would be in my parents' attic in a box or something but I don't really recall any photo taking when we went up there. It was one of those things that I think you take for granted. Nice day, summertime, let's go ride the alpine slide. At least as a kid I never thought of it as a photo worthy opportunity and I'm not sure my parents did either. 

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31 minutes ago, EdBacon said:

Camelback has that roller coaster thing now where you sit in the cart. I think they have more than one now too.

They really ought to just turn the mountain into a theme park at this point.

Camelback has an alpine slide and a mountain coaster and no way they’re one of the top five ski areas in PA in skier days and gets a nice New York and jersey crowd.  Nice vibe up there just wish it wasn’t so far from Allentown. 

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The wissahickon club got hit by a tornado a couple years ago and some trees fell onto the lift. I don’t think they did any repairs.



As for holly mountain, its just a few miles from Salem. I checked the place out a few years ago, but you can barely tell anything was there. Even flew a drone over the place and the trails are barely visible. The top terminal for the lift is still there.

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53 minutes ago, rgrwilco said:

The wissahickon club got hit by a tornado a couple years ago and some trees fell onto the lift. I don’t think they did any repairs.

I was at the Wissahickon ski club in Conshy back in December 2017. Didn't ski, but had beers with friends (and friends of friends). It was cool little spot!

It sounded like on snow days, everyone brings a crockpot and they fire up the lift. On nonsnow days, it's like a private club for drinking and hanging out with the other members and snow-lovers. 

Last I heard, you have to be recommended by a member. And, they were suppose to re-do their new member bylaws earlier this year. The committee (well use to) meet on Tuesdays.

 

Here are some cool little pics that I snapped in 2017. I was enamored with the place. 

 

inside decor. There's articles of the skiing history in the area

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the front patio of their lodge

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inside the cabin, there's a fireplace

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and, the ski hill lite up at night

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Shame to hear about the lift. I wonder if they could raise the money for repairs?

@rgrwilco When I visited I likewise didn't find much. I hunted for the bottom terminal of the lift for about an hour but couldn't find anything. There are quite a lot of snowmaking hydrants in the woods though.

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Here is the full video on Holly Mountain. This was a bizarre place. The base of the hill is practically in a tidal swamp and just barely above sea level. It's really interesting finding out what lengths people went to ski local back in the day. It's sort of a shame we lost these places. Sometimes its nice just to have a place to make turns on in your back yard, even if its not much.

 

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51 minutes ago, EdBacon said:

Here is the full video on Holly Mountain. This was a bizarre place. The base of the hill is practically in a tidal swamp and just barely above sea level. It's really interesting finding out what lengths people went to ski local back in the day. It's sort of a shame we lost these places. Sometimes its nice just to have a place to make turns on in your back yard, even if its not much.

 

What’s the vertical??  Blue is the backyard ski area. 

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I feel like the area that size in south jersey could make it nowadays. Tons of small Midwest hills still in business. A couple cold nights with fan guns could bury a hill that size for the season. The location for holly is too far out, but you used to be able to see ski mountain from the Walt Whitman bridge. Especially with terrain parks being popular.


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10 minutes ago, rgrwilco said:

I feel like the area that size in south jersey could make it nowadays. Tons of small Midwest hills still in business. A couple cold nights with fan guns could bury a hill that size for the season. The location for holly is too far out, but you used to be able to see ski mountain from the Walt Whitman bridge. Especially with terrain parks being popular.


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Market it for beginners and maybe it could work. I think the problem with a lot of these places was that, while they could make their day-to-day expenses, they couldn't take on the periodic capital investments you need to keep a ski area going. Every 10-20 years you need to overhaul lifts, snowmaking, etc. and that just kills these areas which are only breaking even. 

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So this one has more non-ski history, even though it hosted a small ski area for about 30 years. Tamiment Resort started back in the 20s as a retreat for the Rand School of Social Science in NY. They needed to raise money after the state of NY accused them of "subversive activity" during the first Red Scare in 1919, and the subsequent court battles damaged them financially. The Rand School had ties to the early labor and socialist political movements. Ironically they ended up founding one of the most commercially successful vacation resorts in the Poconos, and one that had a strong reputation for attracting famous live performance acts. Almost the entirety of the resort was demolished around 2005, save for the ski lift (which caught on fire in 2012) and the clubhouse for the golf course which doubled as the lodge in the winter. 

Take a look: 

 

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Check out the Flying Dutchman Ski Club (FDSC.org) latest newsletter, nice write up about 2 ski areas behind Kutztown and the people that built them. Other local areas included Hahn Mountain in Kempton and Sharp Mountain in Pottsville

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56 minutes ago, mgguy said:

Check out the Flying Dutchman Ski Club (FDSC.org) latest newsletter, nice write up about 2 ski areas behind Kutztown and the people that built them. Other local areas included Hahn Mountain in Kempton and Sharp Mountain in Pottsville

Great info! Thanks! 

I'd heard of both of those areas but didn't know anything about them. 

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Here is my tour of Pocono Manor ski area, which closed sometime in the 1980s. Sadly, the grand Pocono Manor hotel burned down in 2019. This was one of the last remaining grand hotels in the Poconos, and was built between 1902 and 1949. Skiing started here maybe as early as the 30s and 40s with cross country skiing, and alpine lift serviced skiing commenced in the mid 60s. There is still a j-bar standing on the site, which is a very unique example of ski infrastructure if you're into that sort of thing. It was manufactured by a company called Larchmont in 1964, and is one of a few j-bars produced by the company before they got out of the business. Interestingly, these had the drive mounted to the top, rather than bottom terminals. I believe this is the only remaining example of this type of lift remaining, although there may be some remains of one at a hill in MA. 

Anyway, you can check out the video below. This was one of the larger private areas with about 250 feet of vert and a surprisingly steep sustained pitch. There were about 4-5 trails and slopes, including the two main open slopes which also had snowmaking coverage. Does anyone else remember skiing here?

 

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