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New Hampshire Cancelled Ski Areas
Bear Peak Ski Area
Bartlett, New Hampshire
Proposed in the 1960s
Bear Peak Ski Area location map Overview
The present day Bear Peak complex at Attitash in Bartlett was previous intended to be a standalone ski area. In the 1960s, prior to the development of Attitash, the privately owned property near Rogers Crossing was slated to be a ski area.

The first and second phase of the original Big Bear development was planned to consist of a T-Bar, a double chairlift, and European chalets. Trails were cut, however due to a lack of funding, further efforts were halted and energies focussed on Attitash (which opened for the 1964-65 season). The partially built area may have also been known as "Bear Mountain," though it was not the same development as the nearby Bear Mountain CCC ski trail.

While there was some talk of incorporating the Bear Peak trails into Attitash in the 1970s, the development instead grew in. A few decades later, spurred by new ownership, net new trails which were cut in a wider style than the narrow 1960s trails. The Bear Peak complex at Attitash opened in 1994.

1964 rendering of Big Bear Ski Area
1964 rendering of Big Bear Ski Area in the Eastern Slope Signal

Big Bear advertisement in the Eastern Slope Signal
Big Bear advertisement in the Eastern Slope Signal

1987 USGS topographical map of Bear Peak
1987 USGS topographical map of Bear Peak

The 1994 USGS aerial photo of Bear Peak prior to the Attitash expansion
The 1994 USGS aerial photo of Bear Peak prior to the Attitash expansion

Attitash and Bear Peak as seen from Mt. Stanton (2010)
Attitash and Bear Peak as seen from Mt. Stanton (2010)


Today
Some of the original Bear Peak trails are visible in today's Bear Peak complex at Attitash.

Quotes
" This is the same project which was announced last year as the Attitash development. Since the name "Attitash" is more or less the property of Earle Chandler, a long-time resident of Bartlett, the new area will probably be called Big Bear, which is more accurate. The name "Rogers Mountain" came into local usage because of the Rogers family that lived nearby. "
Eastern Slope Signal, December 1963


" Others who are known to be interested in developing ski areas in Bartlett are Earle Chandler who heads up the Attitash Development Corporation and Philip A. Robertson, former manager of the Skimobile, who also owns land in the area that's worthy of development. "
Eastern Slope Signal, December 1963


" The first phase of the project calls for T-Bar to be completed for the 1964-65 season, and next a 6,200-foot chair lift. The mountain itself has a vertical drop of 1,400 feet and the mountain and base comprise 1,715 acres. "
Eastern Slope Signal, December 1963


" Present activity on the site centers around the sale of house lots for winter ski lodges. An access road into the site area has been completed. "
Eastern Slope Signal, December 1963


" The Bartlett Recreation Development Corporation has announced it has received S.E.C. approval for a public stock of 75,000 shares.
It will be voting common stock, priced at $4 a share. A lifetime skiing pass at Big Bear will be given with each stock of 250 shares.
Sale of the stock will create a capital fund of $300,000, which will qualify the corporation to apply for a state loan of another $300,000 to complete the financing of the $600,000 project.
"
Eastern Slope Signal, January 1964


" Big Bear, a proposed area in Bartlett, is currently offering shares to the public for construction of a 6,200' double-chair, 3,500' T-bar, and 600' beginners lift on Mt. Attitash. "
Edward D. Hurley, Appalachia, December 1964


" As the story goes there were two groups trying to develop ski areas here in the early 60ís. One group at Attitash another group at Bear Peak. The group at Bear Peak had permits but no cash, the Attitash group had cash but needed help on the permits. The two got together and developed Attitash, opening on January 26, 1965 "
Sven Cole, Attitash Bear Peak Communications Manager, 2004


" I lived until I was 21 at the bottom of that mountain and had the original Bear Peak Ski Area sign in my back yard. It was shaped like a bear and showed all the trails. I am not sure if the sign is still there since my dad sold the property. My dad had bought the house in the early 70's and built it so as to be able to see the eventual lodge out of the living room windows, which eventually happened in the 90's. It ended up being right were he said it would be with only about twenty feet of trees separating our house from the ski area. In fact if you look at the map you have shown, the first road on the right of the sand pit at the bottom of the trails that corner was where my house was. The whole corner of that development next to the base never got built on and the road grew in over time, with my dad's house being the only house on that last road. "
Ryan Nealley, 2010


Resources
  • Attitash - NewEnglandSkiHistory.com
  • AlpineZone Ski Area Challenge - Attitash Bear Peak
  • Attitash Resort - Official Site
  • "Bartlett Still a Land of Dreams But Big Plans Are Being Drawn" Eastern Slope Signal. 28 December 1963.
  • Hurley, Edward D. "New England Ski Developments" Appalachia. December 1964.
  • "SEC Approves Public Stock Issue For Bartlett's Big Bear Ski Area" Eastern Slope Signal. 4 January 1964.


  • Last updated: June 26, 2014
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