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Hogback in the 1960s
Hogback Mountain Ski Area
Marlboro, Vermont
Status: Lost/Defunct
First Season:1946-47
Last Season:1985-86
Vertical Drop:500 feet
Standing Lifts:
Past Lifts:Surface lifts
Left: Hogback in the 1960s
Recent NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News:
9/27/2017: Trail Clearing Set to Begin at Dutch Hill Ski Area
4/26/2015: Effort Underway to Reopen Dutch Hill as Backcountry Area
12/15/2014: Iconic Hogback Ski Area Sign Stolen
Located off of Vermont Route 9 on the eastern face of Mt. Olga, Hogback was once a popular regional ski area.

Pre-Skiing Years

The groundwork for the Hogback development dates back to the 1920s, when Harold White became interested in an area below Mt. Olga. After acquiring some land, he developed a gift shop and restaurant atop the newly established Molly Stark Trail scenic byway, taking advantage of tourists stopping to cool their cars while admiring the long reaching vista. The Skyline Restaurant, Hogback Mountain Gift Shop, and subsequent Marlboro Inn businesses remained under the ownership and management of White's children for many decades.

Hogback Opens

The Sugar T-Bar circa the 1950s
The Sugar T-Bar circa the 1950s

Lift served skiing on Mt. Olga dates back to the 1946-47 season, when a $50,000 T-Bar development was opened by the Hogback Mountain Company, Inc. (or Hogback Mountain Ski Lift, Inc.). Brattleboro Outing Club members John Dunham, Floyd Messenger, and Les Billings served as the company's President, Tresurer, and General Manager. In the days prior to snowmaking, the advertised 1,900 foot base elevation was deemed particularly attractive to skiers. Bus service was provided from Brattleboro. The T-Bar lift likely opened in January of 1947 and was soon advertised as the highest capacity T-Bar in the East.

For Hogback's second season, the rope tow serviced Practice Slope was added on the Route 9 side of the area. In addition, the intermediate Ripperoo trail was cut adjacent to the T-Bar.

The rope tow was extended for the third season, while the Sugar Slope was added. Though there had been talk of expanding onto the South Face, the project never came to fruition.

After half a decade of operation, the ski area reportedly turned its first annual profit with the 1951-52 season.

Expansion on the Route 9 Side

Looking down the Practice Slope circa the 1960s
Looking down the Practice Slope circa the 1960s

Following its most successful season to date in 1954-55, Hogback added the diesel powered 1,700 foot long Whiteway Pomalift and two new trails, giving it additional visibility from Route 9 and increasing its vertical drop by about 50 feet. By this point, over a thousand skiers would hit the slopes on a good day.

The Alpenglo Lodge was completed for the 1961-62 season. Located at the base of the Practice Slope, the facility had a cafeteria, restrooms, and a large fireplace.

Hogback's next significant expansion took place in 1964, when two more T-Bars were installed. The Twin T-Bar was added to the original part of the ski area, taking some stress off the aging Constam T-Bar. The Alpenglo T-Bar was constructed between the original ski area and the Poma lift served complex, not too far from the Skyline Restaurant.

By 1970, the area was just about fully built out, sporting 4 T-Bar lifts. The original Sugar T-Bar was damaged around this time and replaced with a new Doppelmayr drive in 1971-72. With large areas such as Mount Snow and Stratton rapidly growing, Hogback attempted to differentiate itself by using the slogan the "biggest little area in New England."

Closure

Looking down the Practice Slope in 2006
Looking down the Practice Slope in 2006

In the fall of 1978, Hogback was sold to Texas attorney Thomas Barlow. Arnold White remained on board as General Manager. Plans were announced to install a large snowmaking system for the following season, however the project did not come to fruition.

Rising expenses and a lack of snow resulted in a multi-year closure in the early 1980s. The 1985-86 season reportedly generated less than $100,000 in revenue, while its insurance company wanted more than $100,000 just for liability insurance. As a result, Hogback decided not to open for the 1986-87 season and instead closed for good. Hogback Ski Area, Inc. was formally dissolved in 1992.

In 1993, Dan Purjes reportedly purchased Hogback for $1.8 million.

In the late 1990s, the then-owners of Ascutney attempted to form a corporation that would have reopened Hogback, however the planned IPO was unsuccessful.

Hogback Mountain Conservation Area

The Whiteway T-Bar (2013)
The Whiteway T-Bar (2013)

In 2006, the Hogback Mountain Conservation Association was formed by local citizens with the intention of saving the land from development. After a multi-year fundraising effort, much of the land was handed over to the Vermont Land Trust, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, and the Town of Marlboro in 2010. Some trails are now maintained for hiking and snowmobiling, as well as access to the nearby Mt. Olga fire tower in Molly Stark State Park. The Hogback Mountain Gift Shop remains open, while the Marlboro Inn is now home to the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum.

NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News
Recent Articles
Trail Clearing Set to Begin at Dutch Hill Ski Area - Sep. 27, 2017
Effort Underway to Reopen Dutch Hill as Backcountry Area - Apr. 26, 2015
Iconic Hogback Ski Area Sign Stolen - Dec. 15, 2014
Hogback Mountain Ski Area NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News Page

Expansion History
Project
Season
Whiteway
Abandoned
1955-56
South Face
Cancelled
1940s

Image Gallery
1952-53 Eastern Ski Map1955-56 Eastern Ski Map1956-57 Eastern Ski Map1959-60 Eastern Ski Map1972-73 Eastern Ski Map1973-74 Eastern Ski Map
View All Images in Hogback Mountain Ski Area Image Gallery

Lifts
Click on lift name for information and photos
Standing Lifts
Installed
The Alpenglo T-Bar circa the 1960s
Alpenglo T-Bar
Doppelmayr
T-Bar
1964-65
The Meadow T-Bar in 2006
Meadow T-Bar
Doppelmayr
T-Bar
1964-65
The Sugar T-Bar in 2006
Sugar T-Bar
Doppelmayr
T-Bar
1971-72
The Whiteway T-Bar in 2002
Whiteway T-Bar
Alpine Lift
T-Bar
1969-70

Past Lifts
Seasons
The Sugar T-Bar circa the 1950s
Sugar T-Bar
Constam
T-Bar
1946-47
-
1970-71
The bottom terminal circa the 1960s
Whiteway Poma
Poma
Platter
1955-56
-
1968-69

Maps
1957-58 Hogback Trail Map1964-65 Hogback Trail Map1976-77 Hogback Trail Map1980-81 Hogback Trail Map1984-85 Hogback Trail Map
View All Hogback Mountain Ski Area 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
1983-84$14.001983-84 Ticket Price Graph1983-84 Season Pass Price Graph1983-84 Skier Visit Graph
1980-81$9.751980-81 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$7.501977-78 Ticket Price Graph$100.001977-78 Season Pass Price Graph13.3 days1977-78 Skier Visit Graph
1974-751974-75 Ticket Price Graph$90.001974-75 Season Pass Price Graph1974-75 Skier Visit Graph
1972-73$6.001972-73 Ticket Price Graph1972-73 Season Pass Price Graph1972-73 Skier Visit Graph
1970-71$6.001970-71 Ticket Price Graph1970-71 Season Pass Price Graph1970-71 Skier Visit Graph
1969-70$6.001969-70 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$5.001968-69 Ticket Price Graph1968-69 Season Pass Price Graph1968-69 Skier Visit Graph
1967-68$5.001967-68 Ticket Price Graph1967-68 Season Pass Price Graph1967-68 Skier Visit Graph
1966-671966-67 Ticket Price Graph1966-67 Season Pass Price GraphApril 21966-67 Skier Visit Graph
1964-65$4.001964-65 Ticket Price Graph$40.001964-65 Season Pass Price Graph10.0 days1964-65 Skier Visit Graph
1963-64$4.001963-64 Ticket Price Graph1963-64 Season Pass Price Graph1963-64 Skier Visit Graph
1962-63$4.001962-63 Ticket Price Graph1962-63 Season Pass Price Graph1962-63 Skier Visit Graph
1961-621961-62 Ticket Price Graph1961-62 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 22April 81961-62 Skier Visit Graph
1959-60$3.001959-60 Ticket Price Graph1959-60 Season Pass Price Graph1959-60 Skier Visit Graph
1950s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1958-59$4.001958-59 Ticket Price Graph1958-59 Season Pass Price Graph1958-59 Skier Visit Graph
1955-56$3.501955-56 Ticket Price Graph1955-56 Season Pass Price Graph1955-56 Skier Visit Graph
1954-551954-55 Ticket Price Graph1954-55 Season Pass Price GraphApril 101954-55 Skier Visit Graph
1951-521951-52 Ticket Price Graph1951-52 Season Pass Price Graph12,6831951-52 Skier Visit Graph

Visitor Memories
"I loved skiing at Hogback as a kid!! West Halifax used to have a ski day every week at the mountain. Living on Shearer Hill Rd, my parents would drop us off on Grant Rd and we'd have to ski in thru the woods. I remember some amazing skiing on Razorback after a big snow storm! Great memories on that mountain! "
Bill Pusey, Oct. 4, 2016
"Skiied Hogback as a child! Loved every minute! From buddy warner, to cutting way out and having lunch off Meadow run, my brother missing last T out of "the hole" having to hike out! Such great childhood memories. Went back around 1994. Some dam kids had been partying and throwing T-bars thru some of the old posters and decore, shame. So glad to hear it is getting the respect it deserves! It is hard for many kids to say we skied down hill and up!"
noelle hart, wainright , Oct. 2, 2016
"I grew up skiing and working at Hogback. I worked in the ski shop and the gift shop. My mom was the bookkeeper for Arnold. Was a great place! "
Lori Havreluk Longo, Oct. 2, 2016
"We skied at Hogback a few times in the mid-late 60s. Most of our Vermont skiing was a Maple Valley, Haystack, Mt. Snow and Okemo. Hogback was a good beginner area. I remember taking my cousins there when they were just learning. It was a novelty to have the base at the summit. I think the last time I skied there was 1969 with a high school ski club outing. Good little area! "
Doug Finck, Oct. 2, 2016
"I skied at Hogback in the late 50's the 60's. Took the BOC Bus on Saturday from the Paramount Theater. I was also on ski patrol at Hogback in the 60's. Lots of great memories."
Terry Amidon, Jan. 26, 2016
"I skied there a few memorable times my Mom and Dad were great friends with the Whites. I love small ski areas and wish they could continue."
Jan Sherman , Jan. 25, 2016
"I skied Hogback all through the 1950's and into the 1960's. Every Saturday and sometimes Sunday's there was a Brattleboro Outing Club free bus that took all of us kids up the mountain for a day of "free" skiing. We had to pack the slopes when we got there if there had been snow, but oh the fun! The Rip and the Sugar were favorite trails, but they were all fun with friends and even girl friends later on. At the end of the day we climbed the slopes and came down on 'jackjumpers' with the crews. Best skiing of my life!"
Dave Hopkins, Mar. 2, 2014
"I skied at Hogback from '72 until '80 (I was age 8-16). It was a wonderful place for my family to go to and we would visit it 3-4 times a year from Philadelphia. Thurs/Fri and Mondays, we would ski Mt. Snow or Stratton, but on the weekends it was Hogback. In the picture looking down the practice slope, you can see a small reddish cabin in the right center of the photo. That is where our family used to stay as we were friends with the family that rented it for years. Such very fond memories of skiing there. Favorite trail without a doubt-- Ripperoo!"
Glenn Barrie, Feb. 21, 2014
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External Links
  • Hogback Mountain - New England Lost Ski Areas Project
  • Hogback Mountain Conservation Association
  • Mt. Olga - FranklinSites.com Hiking Guide
  • Last updated: October 2, 2016

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