Lake George, NY
History ~ Historical Photos
Editor's note - this is a brief story about Cobble Mountain, with more to come. In addition, you can read about this area in Lost Ski Areas of the Southern Adirondacks.
This brief area actually has an important role in ski history. Fred Pabst, the founder of Bromley in Vermont, was ahead of his time. During the late 1930's, he began a chain of small, J-bar ski areas throughout the Northeast and Midwest. Some of these areas included Huckins Hill in NH and Mt. Aeolus, in Vermont.
Another one of his areas was built on Prospect Mountain in Lake George, NY. This was built before the Northway was ever conceived.
The area was constructed in 1937, and had a 2400' long J-bar. This was the only overhead cable lift in New York at the time, and was one of, if not the longest overhead cable lifts in the U.S.! Of course, this title didn't last long, as T-bars and other surface lifts rapidly became more popular. J-bars were Pabst' signature lift.
The article on the right was from the Empire State Skiing newsletters, done in the late 1930's. These newsletters detailed skiing throughout the state. As you can see, the novelty of a J-bar was new that they had to explain how they worked!
The area closed in 1941 when Pabst "collected" his J-bars from different areas and installed them at Bromley. Prospect Mountain would remain silent, but not for too long.
Another ski area was developed at the site of this area in the 1950's. This will be a future NELSAP topic.
||Here's the area on a topo map. You can see the wide open slope quite clearly. You can also see how Rte 87 cuts across the bottom of the slope. Also, note the parking area, off the Prospect Mountain Highway. If you stop at this first area, look down, and notice how the trees are different in a swath. This was the slope. You can also make out the area from Lake George itself - but its getting hard now to see the differences in trees.|
aerial shot shows a bit more. You can see the slope a bit more clearly
here. The likely lift line is marked. Note how Rte 87 cuts right across
the bottom of the area. It is nearly impossible to see the area from the
highway, it is that grown in, plus the construction of the highway
blocked part of the view.
Prospect is also unique in that you can hike this mountain - but that the beginning of the hike is across a bridge over Rte 87!The trail also follows part of the old railroad bed that ascended the summit in the early 1900's. Lots of remnants there - but little remnants of the ski area, since the J-bar was wooden and was removed. The former ski area is located just south of the beginning of the Prospect Mountain Trail.
Garry DuFour, whose father was on the ski patrol, and mother was unofficially, provided NELSAP with some fantastic photos of this former ski area from 1937-1941. Click on each for a larger version.
|Listing from a brochure describing the area.||Warren County brochure showed the same skier.||A view from a distance of the ski area on Prospect Mountain.||From the base of the ski area, looking up to the first knoll.|
|Ski patrol/club members at base, note the J-bar in background.||Looking down to the base of the J-bar. Route 87 (Northway) now goes right through it!||Skiers at the base.||Skiers at knoll at lower portion of ski area.|
|Ski school lesson.||Skier on slope.||A view of Lake George and Lake George Village, note the J-bar on the right.||Garry's father on the slope.|
If you have more information on this area just let us know.
Last updated: May 29, 2015
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