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   Vermont: Stratton Mountain: Expansions
Ski Area Expansions
Stratton Mountain
Stratton, Vermont
Overview
Stratton Mountain Overview
Stratton Mountain: Main Line Complex | Kidderbrook Complex | Snow Bowl | Sun Bowl
Snow Bowl - 1964 - Open
The Snow Bowl as seen on a late 1960s map
The Snow Bowl as seen on a late 1960s map
A year after nearby Mt. Snow added chairlift service to its North Face area, Stratton opened its own north face, the Snow Bowl, in effort to spread out crowds.

30 acres of trails were added for the 1964-65 season, served by a 1,386 vertical foot Heron-Poma chairlift in the new complex.

In 1986, the Snow Bowl double chairlift was replaced by a new Poma quad chairlift.

The Snow Bowl as seen on the 2008 trail map
The Snow Bowl as seen on the 2008 trail map

The top bullwheel of the Snow Bowl Quad (2006)
The top bullwheel of the Snow Bowl Quad (2006)

The Snow Bowl (2004)
The Snow Bowl (2004)

Sun Bowl - 1968 - Open
The Shooting Star Six Pack (2006)
The Shooting Star Six Pack (2006)
About a year before Mt. Snow put lift service into its new Sunbrook area, Stratton added another mountain face as well.

In what is today the lower portion of the Sun Bowl area, Stratton installed a new Heron double chairlift for the 1968 season, serving mainly intermediate terrain. Like Sunbrook, the initial Sun Bowl development did not have a lift back to the summit of the ski area. In fact, until the installation of the Grizzly Triple a decade later, there was no easy way to access the summit from the Sun Bowl.

In 1986, the Sun Bowl double was replaced with a new Poma quad chairlift. Three years later, the Kidderbrook chairlift would be installed nearby, allowing for a quasi-tandem ride to the summit from the Sun Bowl base.

In 2001, the Sun Bowl saw a significant change, when two Garaventa CTEC detachable six pack chairlifts were installed, allowing for tandem high speed ride from the bottom of the Sun Bowl to the summit of the ski area. The Sun Bowl Quad was then realigned and renamed the Solstice Quad.

The Sun Bowl as seen on the 1968 trail map
The Sun Bowl as seen on the 1968 trail map

The Sun Bowl as seen on the 2005 trail map
The Sun Bowl as seen on the 2005 trail map

The top of the Sunrise Express and bottom of the Shooting Star Express (2004)
The top of the Sunrise Express and bottom of the Shooting Star Express (2004)

Main Line Complex - 1972 - Open
1970s Main Line Area as seen in 2010 on Google Earth

The proposed lift on the 1972 Stratton trail map
The proposed lift on the 1972 Stratton trail map
After the initial development of the Sun Bowl complex, Stratton planned to build a smaller beginner area just to the north. In addition to a fairly wide slope ("Big Ben"), a lift line was cut. A 500 to 550 vertical foot double chairlift was to be installed in the early 1970s.

The double chairlift was never installed. The lift line still exists today as the Main Line trail.

The Main Line Trail in 2004
The Main Line Trail in 2004
Kidderbrook Complex - 1989 - Open
1989 Kidderbrook Complex as seen in 2010 on Google Earth

The Kidderbrook Quad in 2006
The Kidderbrook Quad in 2006
Located to the south of the main Sun Bowl complex, the Kidderbrook Poma fixed grip quad chairlift was installed in 1989 on the Upper Kidderbrook Trail. At 6,285 feet long, the 1,476 vertical foot ride took at least a dozen minutes. In conjunction with the Sun Bowl Quad, the Kidderbrook Quad provided summit access from the bottom of the Sun Bowl.

In the late 80s, as well as the 1990s, there had been some talk of expanding terrain to the south of the Kidderbrook Quad, perhaps in conjunction with some nearby housing. This never came to fruition.

With the slow, distant nature of the lift, it was not surprising to see it overshadowed when the Shooting Star high speed detachable six person chairlift was installed in 2001, allowing for skiers to get to the summit of Stratton from the bottom of the Sun Bowl via two fast lifts.

Due to a lack of use, as well as the financial crunch felt by parent companies Intrawest and Fortress, the Kidderbrook Quad was removed and sold in 2007. The trails it served are still in use today, though requiring two lift rides per run. Additional trails are planned for the undeveloped area between the Sun Bowl and Kidderbrook complex.

The Kidderbrook Quad in 2006
The Kidderbrook Quad in 2006

The Kidderbrook Quad in 2006
The Kidderbrook Quad in 2006
Resources
  • Stratton - NewEnglandSkiHistory.com
  • Stratton Mountain Resort Official Site
  • Stratton Mountain - FranklinSites.com Hiking Guide
  • Feedback
    Do you have any additional information about Stratton Mountain? Please drop a line using the Feedback page.
    Last updated: February 12, 2012

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