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Stowe Mountain Resort
Stowe, Vermont
The Stowe base area (likely early 1940s)
The Stowe base area (likely early 1940s)
Stowe Mountain Resort Details
First Year of Operation:1937
Vertical Drop:2,160 feet
Lifts in Operation:2 gondolas, 3 high speed quads, 1 quad, 2 triples, 2 doubles, surface lifts
Lifts Removed/Non Operational:1 gondola, 1 high speed quad, 5 doubles, 1 single, surface lifts
Located on the eastern shoulder of the tallest mountain Vermont, Stowe Mountain Resort has long been known as a premiere New England ski destination.

CCC Days
Organized skiing on the eastern face of Mt. Mansfield dates back to 1933, when the Bruce Trail was cut. The trail was the sight of the first Mt. Mansfield ski race in February of 1934. Construction of the Barnes Trail started soon thereafter, later becoming better known as the Nose Dive Trail.

Lift serviced skiing at present day Stowe started when Sepp Ruschp and the Mt. Mansfield Ski Club opened a rope tow on the Toll House slope on February 2, 1937.

A Chairlift Is Built
On November 17, 1940, Ruschp, Lowell Thomas, and Roland Palmedo's Mt. Mansfield Lift, Inc. made national headlines when it opened what was billed as the longest and highest chairlift in the world, at 6,330 feet in length and 2,030 feet in vertical. Though it broke down on its first day operation (with dozens of reporters on board), the single chairlift would remain a fixture at the mountain for nearly half a century.

The gondola (1990s)
The gondola (1990s)
Two years later, American International Group (AIG) founder Cornelius Van der Starr visited Stowe and quickly fell in love with the area. His long history of financing and owning the ski area started circa 1946, when the Mt. Mansfield T-Bar opened, thanks in large part to his funds. Around that time, five separate companies owned the various aspects of the ski area. Starr gradually purchased majority shares and had them all rolled them into Mt. Mansfield Co. by the time 1950 drew to a close.

Spruce Peak debuted for the 1949-50 season, initially served by rope tows. While a chairlift was originally planned for the following season, only a T-Bar would be constructed. The Spruce Peak double chairlift would be installed for the 1954-55 season.

Snowmaking arrived at Stowe for the 1967-68 season, initially on the West and East slopes of Spruce Peak.

A Gondola Is Built
Stowe's largest expansion to date took place starting in the late 1960s, as new terrain was developed between the existing chairlift pods. A gondola started service to the new Chin area in either November or December of 1968. Included in the complex were base and summit lodges as well as five trails.

A major modernization effort took place during the 1980s and early 1990s, as original lifts were replaced with new ones. The original single chairlift was amongst the last to go, as the Forerunner Quad, the first high speed detachable quad in New England, took its place. The famous Stowe gondola was replaced with a new Poma gondola for the 1991-92 season.

2000s Modernization
In the midst of a major redevelopment of Spruce Peak in the 2000s, Stowe was eventually affected by the financial problems owner AIG. As a result, AIG spun off Stowe to a new subsidiary company called Chartis at the end of 2009. Major changes during this time included new high speed quad chairlifts in 2004 and 2005, as well as a gondola connecting the Spruce Peak base area to the main mountain.

For the 2011-12 season, the original Forerunner Quad was replaced with a new high speed quad, named the Fourrunner.

Following the 2013-14 season, the Alpine and Easy Street doubles, as well as the alpine slide, were removed. Replacing the chairlifts was new a fixed grip quad. News
  • Stowe Passes $100 Lift Ticket Price - September 26, 2014
  • Stowe New Quad Installation in Progress - September 2, 2014
  • Stowe to Install New Quad - July 2, 2014

  • CCC Trails
    Trail NameStatus
    Bruce TrailOpen
    Lord TrailOpen
    Nose DiveOpen
    Perry MerrillOpen
    Teardrop TrailOpen

    Expansion History
    Expansion History
    Project NameSeasonStatus
    Spruce Peak1949-50Open
    Chin Area1968-69Open

    Image Gallery
    1952-53 Eastern Ski Map1953-54 Eastern Ski Map1956-57 Eastern Ski Map1957-58 Eastern Ski Map
    1960-61 Eastern Ski Map1961-62 Eastern Ski Map1962-63 Eastern Ski Map1964-65 Eastern Ski Map
    View All Images in Stowe Mountain Resort Image Gallery

    Click on lift name for information and photos
    Name Type Brand Installed Removed After Details
    Standing Lifts
    Adventure TripleChairlift - Triple - FixedLeitner-Poma  2004-05    Details
    Fourrunner QuadChairlift - Quad - DetachableDoppelmayr  2011-12    Details
    GondolaGondola - 8 PersonPoma  1991-92    Details
    Lookout DoubleChairlift - Double - FixedRiblet  1979-80    Details
    Meadows QuadChairlift - Quad - FixedDoppelmayr  2014-15    Details
    Midway Surface LiftPlatter  1990s    Details
    Mountain TripleChairlift - Triple - FixedDoppelmayr  1985-86    Details
    Over Easy GondolaGondola - 10 PersonLeitner-Poma  2006-07    Details
    Sensation QuadChairlift - Quad - DetachableLeitner-Poma  2005-06    Details
    Sunny Spruce QuadChairlift - Quad - DetachableLeitner-Poma  2004-05    Details
    Toll House DoubleChairlift - Double - FixedDoppelmayr  1983-84    Details
    Past Lifts
    Alpine DoubleChairlift - Double - FixedDoppelmayr  1982-83  2013-14  Details
    Big Spruce DoubleChairlift - Double - FixedRoebling  1954-55  2004-05  Details
    Easy Street DoubleChairlift - Double - FixedDoppelmayr  1982-83  2013-14  Details
    Forerunner QuadChairlift - Quad - DetachableDoppelmayr  1986-87  2010-11  Details
    GondolaGondola - 4 PersonPHB Hall  1968-69  1990-91  Details
    Little Spruce DoubleChairlift - Double - FixedRiblet  1963-64  2003-04  Details
    Mt. Mansfield DoubleChairlift - Double - FixedRiblet  1960-61  1985-86  Details
    Mt. Mansfield SingleChairlift - Single - FixedAmerican Steel & Wire Company  1940-41  1985-86  Details
    Mt. Mansfield T-BarT-Bar  1946-47  1984-85  Details
    Spruce Slopes T-BarT-Bar  1950-51  1981-82  Details
    Toll House T-BarT-Bar  1956-57  1982-83  Details
    The gondola circa the 1970sThe single chair in 1976The Gondola circa the early 1990sThe Toll House Double in 2004The Adventure Triple in 2006The Adventure Triple in 2006The Alpine Double (left) in 2006The Easy Street Double (right) in 2006

    1963-64 Stowe Trail Map1964-65 Stowe Trail Map1967-68 Stowe Trail Map1980-81 Stowe Trail Map1981-82 Stowe Trail Map1994-95 Stowe Trail Map2000-01 Stowe Trail Map2002-03 Stowe Trail Map
    View All Stowe Mountain Resort Trail Maps

    Skier Visit History
    Season Skier Visits Source
    2010-11330,000GraphStowe Reporter  
    1957-58140,000GraphDaytona Beach Sunday News-Journal  

    Ticket Price History
    Weekend Full Day Lift Ticket
    Season Price Source
    1992-93$39.00GraphBoston Globe  
    1991-92$39.00GraphBoston Globe  
    1990-91$38.00GraphBoston Globe  
    1989-90$36.00GraphBoston Globe  
    1988-89$35.00GraphNew York Times  
    1987-88$33.00GraphBoston Globe  
    1983-84$24.00GraphSki America  
    1982-83$23.00GraphRand McNally Winter Recreation Map  
    1981-82$21.00GraphSki America  
    1980-81$19.00GraphSki America  
    1969-70$10.00GraphBoston Globe  
    1963-64$6.50GraphBuxton's Eastern Ski Slopes  
    1962-63$6.50GraphBuxton's Eastern Ski Slopes  
    1959-60$6.50GraphDirectory of Ski Resorts  

    Visitor Memories
    "Left Boston in 1990 to become a ski bum at Stowe. Worked at the muffin ski shop where I rented skis and delivered the fresh tune skis to every inn on the access road. This was when AIG was leaning on all the small inns and right before some modifications to the resort I rember some inns still having the sixties and seventies feel and feeling the mountain was not keeping up... boy was I wrong it really is a true New England resort, especially since I live in California and have not seen the resort in several years after skiing the sierras for many years I understand why the east produces great skiers a lot of them from Stowe I will never forget the steeple or the folks I met there....... "
    Paul Lahaye, Feb. 15, 2015
    "We used to go up a lot Once was when shuttle did not make it 29 years agoMy ski mister said they used to get coupon books to ride single I rember the wool blankets on cold days to ride up withLastly we went Stowe for Easter spring skiing them head up to Jay for winter skiing on Sunday"
    Stanley shepard, Jan. 29, 2015
    "Climbed the mountain from the west several times while a student at Middlebury. My wife, Milly, and I spent our honeymoon at Stowe in 1957. Then you bought coupons for rides on the chairlift. Still have a book of them. I think that it cost .90 per ride or ten rides for 8.00."
    Matt Baker, Oct. 18, 2014
    "I remember the day tickets starting at $16 in the late 70's. The tickets themselves were shaped liked the Gondola. In the early 70's, Stowe was using coupon books."
    Peter Benoliel, Mar. 26, 2014
    "My Father's 1st trip to Stowe (Mt. Mansfield) was in 1939 an he stayed at Barnes Camp Inn that was owned by Chelsea Lyons. My 1st trip there was in March 1944, just after my 12th birthday. We returned almost every spring (from Buffalo, N.Y.) until we bought land and moved to Waitsfield, Vt. (Mad River Glen) to build and operate the first ski lodge in Waitsfield in 1949. (Ski Center Lodge) My memories of Stowe and many of the local people there then will be in my mind forever."
    Anders, jr Hengsteler, Oct. 7, 2013
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    External Links
  • Stowe Mountain Resort - official site
  • Mt. Mansfield - Hiking Guide
  • Last updated: January 28, 2015

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