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Snow's Mountain as seen from Mt. Tecumseh (2014)
Snow's Mountain
Waterville Valley, New Hampshire
Status: Lost/Defunct
First Season:1941-42
Last Season:2016-17
Vertical Drop:600 feet
Standing Lifts:1 double
Past Lifts:2 T-Bars, surface lifts
Left: Snow's Mountain as seen from Mt. Tecumseh (2014)
Recent NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News:
6/28/2017: Waterville Valley Founder Tom Corcoran P...
2/25/2017: Snow's Mountain Reopens for One Day
2/21/2017: Snow's Mountain to Reopen Saturday
3/1/2015: Snow's Mountain Reopens for One Day
Located across from the present day Waterville Valley ski area, Snow's Mountain was the original lift served ski area in Waterville Valley.

Waterville Inn Years

The Snow's Mountain and the Waterville Inn circa the late 1950s or early 1960s
The Snow's Mountain and the Waterville Inn circa the late 1950s or early 1960s

The Waterville Inn was established by Nathaniel Greeley as Greeley's Mountain House in 1868. A summer destination for much of its existence, the inn was winterized in the mid-1930s following the construction of the Mt. Tecumseh CCC Ski Trail.

In 1940, the Waterville Valley Association granted a lease of the inn to Lauris G. Treadway, who operated Treadway Inns down the east coast. The L.G. Treadway company transferred recent Middlebury College graduate Edward Romeo (who had been working at its Middlebury Inn) to Waterville to operate the inn. At the urging of the Hochebirge Ski Club, the Waterville Valley Association constructed a rope tow behind the inn in 1941, entering into a lease with Francois Bertrand to operate it.

Though the ski area operated following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Ed Romeo enlisted as an officer in the Navy that spring, serving aboard a minesweeper in the Pacific theater for four years. Treadway discontinued their operating agreement, resulting in the inn reverting to the management of the Waterville Valley Association during the war years.

Following the war, L. G. Treadway resumed operational control of the inn for the summer of 1946. One employee hired by the company was a twenty-six year old World War II Marine combat veteran named Ralph Bean. A native of Lowell, Massachusetts, Bean had skied at Waterville while a student at Governor Dummer Academy.

1946 also saw the installation of a power line into Waterville Valley. Meanwhile, with winter operations resuming following the war, Francois Bertrand reopened the rope tow for the winter of 1946-47.

L. G. Treadway ceded control of the inn following the summer of 1947. According to Grace Bean's The Town at the End of the Road, Ralph Bean, Jack LeBaron, Sam Yeiter, and Bob Yeiter leased the inn that winter and operated the ski area, as Bertrand had departed for Belgium. The Black and Blue Trail Smashers (BBTS) ski club helped support the venture by renting a block of rooms that winter.

The winter offerings at Waterville Valley were robust, including the 1,553 vertical foot Mt. Tecumseh Trail (site of many prominent ski races), two slopes served by a 1,500 foot rope tow that operated daily, Ralph Bean's ski school, nordic ski trails, and a skating rink with lights.

In the spring of 1948, Ralph Bean and his uncle Howard Chase purchased the 509 acre resort from the Waterville Valley Association for $35,000. After taking over as owner of the resort, Bean brought in Kenwood Ski Slope owner Raymond Brox of Dracut to handle the ski area operation; the two had been introduced by fellow Lowell native and BBTS founder Harry Pollard. Bean and Brox later formed Waterville Lift Corporation as the ski area expanded.

In December 1948, a snow cat was shipped up to Waterville Valley under the ownership of the Distributed Sno Cat Corp. The machine provided shuttle service from the highway to the base of the Mt. Tecumseh ski trail. Photos of the snow cat were widely circulated in 1952, when it was draped with an Ike banner for the Republican Presidential primary.

A beginner rope tow was likely added circa the 1950-51 season, as the ski area continued to grow in popularity.

The 1952 Eisenhower campaign at Waterville Valley
The 1952 Eisenhower campaign at Waterville Valley

The Town of Waterville Valley made national headlines in 1952, when it hosted the first-in-the-nation Presidential primary. The 12:01 AM election was reportedly conceived by future Eisenhower Chief of Staff and future Loon Mountain founder Sherman Adams as a way to get an Ike victory in the papers ahead of most other polling places opening. The Associated Press delighted in referring to Ralph Bean as "owner of the inn, town clerk, police chief, fire chief, and road agent. About the only town job Bean doesn't hold is tax collector. His wife has that job."

With a total population of 10 in 1952, all 7 of the primary votes went to Dwight Eisenhower, kicking off his ascent to the White House.

Later that year, Waterville acquired a six-year-old T-Bar from Winter Park, Colorado. Ray Brox transported the lift to New Hampshire and assembled it on an expanded Snow's Mountain, replacing one of the rope tows. With the new lift, the vertical drop of the ski area increased to some 400 feet.

A new motor was installed in the T-Bar for the 1954-55 season.

An upper mountain T-Bar was installed for the 1959-60 season, reportedly constructed by Ray Brox. The new lift increased the area's vertical drop by over 200 feet and accessed a steeper upper portion of the Big Dipper slope and a new trail called Milky Way.

Though Waterville Valley ski area had grown, it still paled in comparison to larger chairlift and gondola developments emerging across New England. As the 1960s unfolded, Waterville Valley was in danger of being wiped off the map. The last annual Tecumseh race was held in 1962, as lift served ski areas dethroned hike up, ski down trails. By the middle of the decade, Waterville Valley had only 22 residents remaining. Meanwhile, Interstate 93 was expanding north to the White Mountains.

Circa 1964, Ralph Bean was telling people that he was ready to sell the Waterville Inn, its small ski area, and about 400 acres of privately held land. Looking to develop a ski area somewhere in the northeast, Olympic skier Tom Corcoran began working with Sel Hannah's Sno Engineering, which also happened to be working with Bean. After being flown around Waterville Valley by Sno Engineering's Ted Farwell, Corcoran found his mountain. When a prospective sale to a group from Rhode Island fell through, Bean struck a deal with Corcoran, forming a new firm to handle the development called the Waterville Company, of which Bean was a part owner. Corcoran also allegedly sought the help of a friend, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, to help procure financing and permits.

The estimated $2.5 million Waterville Valley development opened for the 1966-67 season as one of the largest ski areas in New England. The former Waterville Inn ski area was renamed Snow's Mountain and used as an overflow facility, becoming a weekend operation..

In the midst of a snowstorm on the night of February 23, 1967, the Waterville Inn burned to the ground. While none of the 150 skiers staying there were injured, all lost their belongings were put up for the night in the new Waterville Valley ski area base lodge. The Waterville Inn was not rebuilt.

Snow's Mountain made regional headlines during the winter of 1967-68, when a novel idea was promoted in which the entire ski area could be privately rented for $600 per day.

The Waterville Inn ski area during the late 1950s or early 1960s
The Waterville Inn ski area during the late 1950s or early 1960s

In subsequent years, Waterville Valley grew to become one of the most popular areas in the region. For the 1970-71 season, the main T-Bar slope at Snow's Mountain was lighted for night skiing.

Due to some tough snow years in the early 1970s as well as aging lifts, Snow's Mountain likely did not operate for the 1972-73 or 1973-74 seasons, as the T-Bars were reportedly "judged obsolete by the Waterville Company."

Snow's Mountain Chairlift

After up to two years of closure, Snow's Mountain reopened for the 1974-75 season with a new Stadeli double chairlift. The investment was seen as a way of providing an area for overflow traffic on busy days at Waterville, as well as offering night skiing.

Larger plans called for snowmaking, more lifts, more trails, a larger vertical drop, and a lift connection to downtown. The grandiose scheme was not meant to be and instead Snow's Mountain remained a small, part time ski area.

With snowboarding quickly becoming a big sport, Waterville Valley responded by building a half pipe on Snow's Mountain in the 1980s.

On October 31, 1994, Waterville Valley and Snow's Mountain were purchased by S-K-I Ltd.

Snow's Mountain was designated a snowboard-only area for the 1995-96 season, which ended up likely being the final season of alpine snowsports at the facility for some time. After a very short tenure as part of American Skiing Company, Waterville Valley and Snow's Mountain were sold to Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Inc. on November 27, 1996. In the subsequent decade and a half, the chairlift continued to operate for mountain biking and scenic rides. Meanwhile, houses were constructed on the lower portion of two ski trails.

Future Governor Chris Sununu riding the Snow's Mountain chairlift in 2015
Future Governor Chris Sununu riding the Snow's Mountain chairlift in 2015

On October 8, 2010, Booth Creek sold Waterville Valley and Snow's Mountain to a group of investors including former Governor John Sununu and future Governor Chris Sununu.

In 2011, Waterville Valley Academy constructed Phil's Hill Bagjump Training Center at the foot of Snow's Mountain, providing year round ski jump training.

Roundabout (2017)
Roundabout (2017)

After a few years of ownership, Waterville Valley CEO Chris Sununu became interested in providing Waterville Valley regulars with the chance to ski Snow's Mountain again. After a two decade alpine skiing absence, Snow's Mountain was opened to Waterville Valley season pass holders on February 28, 2015 for one day. Two years later, Snow's Mountain again opened to season pass holders for a day of skiing.

Apart from the special alpine ski days, the Snow's Mountain chairlift primarily operates for mountain biking and scenic rides.

NewEnglandSkiConditions.com Reports
Month Average Percent of Terrain Open
February75%    (1 report)75 Open
Recent Conditions Reports
Feb. 25, 2017 by rocket21
Spring Snow, Spring Snow
Snow's Mountain on NewEnglandSkiConditions.com

NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News
Recent Articles
Waterville Valley Founder Tom Corcoran Passes Away - Jun. 28, 2017
Snow's Mountain Reopens for One Day - Feb. 25, 2017
Snow's Mountain to Reopen Saturday - Feb. 21, 2017
Snow's Mountain Reopens for One Day - Mar. 1, 2015
REPORT: Snow's Mountain to Reopen - Jan. 9, 2015
Snow's Mountain NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News Page

Image Gallery
1953-54 Eastern Ski Map1954-55 Eastern Ski Map1956-57 Eastern Ski Map1966-67 Eastern Ski Map1967-68 Eastern Ski Map1970-71 Eastern Ski Map
View All Images in Snow's Mountain Image Gallery

Lifts
Click on lift name for information and photos
Standing Lifts
Installed
The lift line (2017)
Double Chair
Stadeli
Chairlift - Double - Fixed
1974-75

Past Lifts
Seasons
The base terminal circa the 1950s
Lower T-Bar

T-Bar
1952-53
-
1973-74
Upper T-Bar

T-Bar
1959-60
-
1973-74

Maps
Circa 1961-62 Waterville Inn Trail Map1970-71 Snow's Mountain Trail Map1990-91 Snow's Mountain Trail Map
View All Snow's Mountain Trail Maps

Year by Year History
Adult Weekend Full Day Lift Ticket; Adult Full Price Unlimited Season Pass
2010s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
2016-172016-17 Ticket Price Graph2016-17 Season Pass Price GraphFebruary 25February 252016-17 Skier Visit Graph
2014-152014-15 Ticket Price Graph2014-15 Season Pass Price GraphFebruary 28February 282014-15 Skier Visit Graph
1980s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1986-87$16.001986-87 Ticket Price Graph1986-87 Season Pass Price Graph1986-87 Skier Visit Graph
1984-85$14.001984-85 Ticket Price Graph1984-85 Season Pass Price Graph1984-85 Skier Visit Graph
1981-82$12.001981-82 Ticket Price Graph1981-82 Season Pass Price Graph1981-82 Skier Visit Graph
1979-80$9.001979-80 Ticket Price Graph1979-80 Season Pass Price Graph1979-80 Skier Visit Graph
1970s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1978-79$9.001978-79 Ticket Price Graph1978-79 Season Pass Price Graph1978-79 Skier Visit Graph
1977-78$9.001977-78 Ticket Price Graph1977-78 Season Pass Price Graph1977-78 Skier Visit Graph
1970-71$5.001970-71 Ticket Price Graph1970-71 Season Pass Price Graph1970-71 Skier Visit Graph
1969-70$5.001969-70 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
1965-661965-66 Ticket Price Graph1965-66 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 111965-66 Skier Visit Graph
1964-65$4.501964-65 Ticket Price Graph1964-65 Season Pass Price Graph1964-65 Skier Visit Graph
1961-621961-62 Ticket Price Graph1961-62 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 221961-62 Skier Visit Graph
1959-60$4.001959-60 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$3.001958-59 Ticket Price Graph1958-59 Season Pass Price Graph1958-59 Skier Visit Graph
1949-501949-50 Ticket Price Graph1949-50 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 101949-50 Skier Visit Graph

Visitor Memories
"In the late 60's the Plymouth State ski team went up there at night to participate in an Industrial league ski race series representing Guinines (sp?) Dugout Ski Shop in Plymouth. We were ringers as we didn't work at the shop! I was the captain."
Robert Widger, Jun. 17, 2020
"Mom's sister was Grace Bean, of Waterville Valley. It is suggested by the family that Ray Brox designed and put up the chairlift."
Tee Adams, Dec. 28, 2016
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External Links
  • Snow's Mountain - New England Lost Ski Areas Project
  • Last updated: June 16, 2020

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