The Adirondack region has long been a favorite of skiers, as its mountains and snow cover provided a perfect landscape for downhill ski areas to develop during the Great Depression, when New Yorkers looked for an affordable escape to beat the winter blues. Over the decades, ski areas expanded with new lifts, lodges and trails. Despite the popularity of the sport, many ski areas have disappeared, yet countless people still hold fond memories of them.
Ski historian Jeremy Davis, the founder of the New England Lost Ski Areas Project (NELSAP), has released a new book on the subject. Lost Ski Areas of the Southern Adirondacks (History Press, 2012). A lost ski area is “a ski area that once offered lift-served, organized skiing, but is now abandoned and closed for good. For NELSAP’s purposes it had to have a lift – it could be a simple rope tow or multiple chairlifts, but it had to have a lift. The size of the area or number of lifts isn’t important,” Davis told Adirondack Almanack contributor Jeff Farbaniec in an interview last year.
Lost Ski Area of the Southern Adirondacks includes more than 40 now defunct ski areas organized by several regions: Gore Mounatin, Lake George-Schroon Lake, Scandaga Lake- Foothills, and Speculator-Old Forge. Another chapter focuses on four “restored” ski areas, including the Ski Bowl and Schaefer Skiland in North Creek, the Schroon Lake Ski Center, and Darrow’s in Greenfield, Saratoga County.
Jeremy Davis is a passionate skier and has enjoyed exploring skiing history from the moment he learned how to ski. A 2000 graduate of Lyndon State College in Vermont, he is a senior meteorologist at Weather Routing Inc. in Glens Falls, New York, where he provides professional weather forecasts to marine clients worldwide. Jeremy has served on the New England Ski Museum’s Board of Directors since 2000. His website, the New England/NorthEast Lost Ski Areas Project, has been in operation since 1998, and in 2009, it won the prestigious Cyber Award for best ski history website from the International Ski History Association. He is a member of Ski Venture in Glenville, New York, one of the oldest ski clubs that still operates a rope tow only ski area. He resides just outside the Adirondacks near Saratoga Springs, New York.
NOTE: Books noticed at Adirondack Almanack have been provided by their publishers.