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The double chairlift (2002)
Crotched Mountain (East)
Francestown, New Hampshire
Status: Lost/Defunct
First Season:1963-64
Last Season:1989-90
Vertical Drop:1000 feet
Standing Lifts:
Past Lifts:1 double, surface lifts
Left: The double chairlift (2002)
Recent NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News:
Located in Francestown, the original Crotched Mountain operated for a quarter of a century. Also known as Crotched East, the original ski area remained inactive when Crotched West reopened in 2003. There are no plans to reopen Crotched East.

Lead Up to Development

The original Crotched Mountain ski area was developed to specialize in serving handicapped children and adults - a fitting mission, considering its proximity to the Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center. Announced as early as 1961, development didn't commence until 1963. The Eastern Ski Area Operators Association helped to raise funds for the development, including a massive fundraising day at many ski areas on March 17, 1963.

Mid 1960s Crotched Mountain promotional artwork
Mid 1960s Crotched Mountain promotional artwork

The area was designed by Everett Lord-Wood and cleared by Ray Parker. The $750,000 Crotched Mountain facility opened on January 4, 1964 with a T-Bar and makeshift base operation. The double chairlift would open later that season.

A new base lodge opened for the 1964-65 season, though unfortunately it was not enough to lift business during a rough winter. Instead, Crotched's income may have dropped as much as 50%.

Onset Opens

The 1969-70 season was another tough one for Crotched, as revenue declined in large part due to poor weather. In addition, a new area named Onset opened just west of Crotched, featuring a bubble double chairlift, a regular double chairlift, and a T-Bar.

Circa 1971-72, a beginner surface lift was installed on lower Easy Street, called Grandmothers Lift. In addition, the chairlift line may have become an official trail.

Gannett Management Company took over Crotched in 1974, dropping rates and cutting a new trail. Soon thereafter, a reciprocal lift ticket between Crotched and Onset was made available.

Merger and the Largest Ski Area in Southern New Hampshire

Under new management in 1977, adjacent Onset ski area became Bobcat. Financial woes continued, resulting in Bobcat being sold at auction to group of investors including Waterville Valley's Tom Corcoran for $222,000 on September 14, 1979. Corcoran and Crotched's Tim Gannett then formed a management company to operate both areas as one. The areas were likely joined by two novice connecting trails for the 1980-81 season, giving Crotched the marketing tagline of being Southern New Hampshire's largest ski area.

After multiple poor seasons in the early 1980s, a significant investment was made in Hedco and Snow Machines Inc. snowmaking equipment in 1983. Unfortunately, back taxes and debt were starting to accumulate. Gannett pushed forward with plans for a $5 million condominium development in 1984. To diversify offerings, Crotched co-marketed cross country skiing with Tory Pines starting in 1984-85.

Tom Corcoran and Waterville Valley left the ownership group in the mid 1980s and were replaced by local attorney Gordon Snyder in 1987. Gannett and Synder's Trailside Development Inc. was run as the ownership company, placing Ski Crotched Inc. in charge of management.

A new CTEC Quad chairlift was installed at Crotched West for the 1987-88 season.

Increased debt, the real estate slump, workmanship complaints from condo owners, and a poor 1988-89 season forced Trailside Development Inc. and Ski Crotched Inc. to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October of 1989. $13.9 million in debt was listed, as compared to only $7.5 million in assets.

Former owner Jack Sullivan and other local investors pulled together a quarter of a million dollars to open Crotched for the 1989-90 season.

Closure

The lower T-Bar (2014)
The lower T-Bar (2014)

A tentative deal to sell the ski area was announced in early 1990. At that time, the prospective buyer was expected to install two new chairlifts, cut 13 new trails, and build a new base lodge between Crotched East and West. The deal fell through however, resulting in the closure of Crotched East and Crotched West in 1990.

In 2003, Peak Resorts reopened the Onset/Bobcat/Crotched West area, naming it Crotched Mountain. In the meantine, the upper mountain lifts at the original Crotched Mountain were removed. It is unlikely that it will ever reopen.

Image Gallery
1964-65 Eastern Ski Map1965-66 Eastern Ski Map1966-67 Eastern Ski Map1967-68 Eastern Ski Map1969-70 Eastern Ski Map1970-71 Eastern Ski Map
View All Images in Crotched Mountain (East) Image Gallery

Lifts
Click on lift name for information and photos
Standing Lifts
Installed

Past Lifts
Seasons
The Double Chair in 2002
Double Chair
Hall
Chairlift - Double - Fixed
1963-64
-
2000s
The Lower T-Bar in 2002
Lower T-Bar
Hall
T-Bar
1964-65
-
The Upper T-Bar in 2002
Upper T-Bar
Hall
T-Bar
1963-64
-
2000s

Maps
1963-64 Crotched Mountain Trail Map1967-68 Crotched Mountain Trail Map1968-69 Crotched Mountain Trail Map1969-70 Crotched trail map1970-71 Crotched Mountain Trail Map1971-72 Crotched Mountain Trail Map
View All Crotched Mountain (East) Trail Maps

Year by Year History
Adult Weekend Full Day Lift Ticket; Adult Full Price Unlimited Season Pass
1980s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1987-881987-88 Ticket Price Graph1987-88 Season Pass Price Graph117,0001987-88 Skier Visit Graph
1983-84$16.001983-84 Ticket Price Graph1983-84 Season Pass Price Graph1983-84 Skier Visit Graph
1980-81$13.001980-81 Ticket Price Graph1980-81 Season Pass Price Graph1980-81 Skier Visit Graph
1970s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1977-78$10.001977-78 Ticket Price Graph1977-78 Season Pass Price Graph1977-78 Skier Visit Graph
1974-75$9.001974-75 Ticket Price Graph1974-75 Season Pass Price Graph1974-75 Skier Visit Graph
1973-74$7.001973-74 Ticket Price Graph1973-74 Season Pass Price Graph1973-74 Skier Visit Graph
1972-73$8.001972-73 Ticket Price Graph1972-73 Season Pass Price Graph1972-73 Skier Visit Graph
1971-72$8.001971-72 Ticket Price Graph$125.001971-72 Season Pass Price Graph15.6 days1971-72 Skier Visit Graph
1970-71$7.001970-71 Ticket Price Graph1970-71 Season Pass Price Graph1970-71 Skier Visit Graph
1969-70$7.001969-70 Ticket Price Graph1969-70 Season Pass Price Graph1969-70 Skier Visit Graph
1960s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1968-69$6.001968-69 Ticket Price Graph1968-69 Season Pass Price Graph1968-69 Skier Visit Graph
1967-68$6.001967-68 Ticket Price Graph1967-68 Season Pass Price Graph1967-68 Skier Visit Graph
1964-65$5.001964-65 Ticket Price Graph1964-65 Season Pass Price Graph1964-65 Skier Visit Graph

Visitor Memories
"I moved to NH the summer of 82. I remember that first winter skiing at Big Bear, Temple and Crotched. What sticks in memory the most was the Ski lodge at crotched. There was a lot of fun apre ski to be had there. I had a season pass from 82 till they closed in 89. Ironically 28 yrs laters I'm living in a Condo on the East Side of Crotched."
Ross Budd, Mar. 31, 2017
"I won a GS at Crotched Mtn. circa late 60's. I can't remember why we were racing there but I do remember winning the race. I can't imagine that there are any records still around from that far back."
Bowdie Burr, Mar. 29, 2017
"Crotched Mt has a few firsts for me. I learned to ski there when it opened ... how I hated the T-bar and couldn't wait to ski well enough to use the chair! After college it was my first real job eventually managing the inside operations. I remember the blizzard of 78 coming to work and a full parking lot of skiers that didn't want to get trapped under the state of emergency in MA. Also made great friends with the owners of The Inn at Crotched Mountain...John and Rose Perry are great people!"
Ted Kulpinski, Mar. 28, 2017
"I was hired as the Skier Services Manager for the 88/89 year. The task was to attempt to find a way to stop the bleeding and turn them toward a profit making enterprise. It didn't take long to find that the financial issues were self induced and pushing the legal boundaries. I left that summer. Sad really. It should have been angoing concern as a local feeder ski area."
Michael Hickey, Mar. 26, 2017
"I remember attending Sise Cup Masters GS races at Crotched West in the '80's...and have recollection of skiing over to Crotched East and back. Could that have happened in the '87/'88 season? Either way the GS hill was fun, I remember being able to watch the race from the chair on the way to the start."
Derek Griggs, Mar. 26, 2017
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External Links
  • Crotched Mountain - official site
  • Crotched Mountain - FranklinSites.com Hiking Guide
  • Crotched Mountain Rebirth - New England Lost Ski Areas Project
  • Crotched Mountain - New England Lost Ski Areas Project
  • Onset/Bobcat - New England Lost Ski Areas Project
  • Last updated: March 26, 2017

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