Clifton/Fine Lions Club Ski Area
Twin Lakes Hotel
Star Lake, NY
Mid 1950's-Late 1970's

Thanks to Lyman Ross , we now know of this lost area that operated in Star Lake. Here are Lyman's details and a picture of the lost slope.

There was a small community ski area in Star Lake, New York that ran from the mid 1950’s until sometime in the late 1970’s.  It was located in the woods behind the Twin Lakes Hotel and was operated by the Clifton/Fine Lions club.  According to my father it was started by Carl Juvik, an engineer with the J and L Steel Company.  He laid out the slopes, designed the lifts and even built some safety gates which would shut off the tow if someone was caught in the rope and dragged past the drop point.  Being of Norwegian descent, he also built a ski jump that was used for a short time.  There were four rope tows all driven by the same motor and at least three used the same rope.  A small building served as the “base lodge” but was known locally as the “shack.”   At some point in the 1960’s a large round fire pit with a funnel shaped metal hood / chimney was installed and gave it a more cosmopolitan air.  There was night skiing and an old pa system that was sometimes used to broadcast music to the slopes.  As I recall the music included Swiss yodeling and other such alpine themes. 

The rope tows made a big impression on me as a kid.  My biggest fear was to get half way up the hill and to start sliding backwards as the rope sped through my hands.  This usually happened late in the day as you began to tire and rope and mittens got icy.  It wasn’t unusual for someone to slide backward and take out several other skiers.  The only way to avoid this was to drop and roll but if you weren’t fast enough it was easy to end up with one ski on the opposite side of the rope which was now dragging across your ankle.  One tow was on an especially steep slope and served a seldom used and out of way portion of the hill.  The rope dragged heavily on the ground creating a deep groove in the snow and it was almost impossible for us kids to get up this slope unless we were either in a group or with an adult.  A large splice on the rope was known as the “hot dog” and we raced around the hill trying to catch it.
Here's a picture of the slope that Lyman's father took sometime in the late 50’s or early 60’s. Rope tow is on the left.

If you have more information on this area just let us know.

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