Thanks to a few NELSAP readers, we have some great information on this former area.
Mitchell Clure: Kent School (Kent, CT) used to have it's own ski area on Skiff Mountain Road (between the former girl's school campus and the current main campus). I believe it was one rope-tow powered by an old tractor engine. There was an article about it in the Kent News (school newspaper) sometime around 1980. The ski hill was last operated in the 70's. Students would groom the trails and one of the faculty would run the lift.
Stan Sneath: I recall the Kent School Ski area (it never had an official name, as far as I knew...some of us called it "Mt. Nice", an obscure boarding school joke about the coach). I attended Kent in the late 60's and was on the ski team. I believe that it had at least two periods of operation. The first was sometime possibly in the 1950's, the first time that the school had a ski team. However, I remember from looking through old photos that the team died out in the late 50's.
In, I believe 1967, the ski team was revived, and that fall, the team members spent several weeks clearing saplings from two trails and a rope tow path. The trails and lift path were quite well defined at that point. One trail was elbow shaped, and relatively gentle. The other had a very narrow and steep upper section and a wider and less steep lower section. There was a large rock in the middle of the upper section, which was beyond the students' ability to remove with hand tools. As a result, two or three skiers would essentially trash the slope. The area had one rope tow, run off the PTO of a farm tractor. Total vertical drop was less than 200'.
The area was used exclusively by the ski team during those times when there was natural snow. This wasn't too often, though in 1970 there was a terrific blizzard which dropped about 30+ inches of snow. That day we packed the whole thing out by sidestepping and had about 2 good weeks there. I don't know when it was abandoned, but without snowmaking or a safe lift, it was a little marginal anyhow.
Anybody else remember this one?
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