Due to Hurley Hill being a military training site, do not attempt to explore or visit this ski area.
We first heard of this ski area from Chris
Bradford. It is a unique one, as it is still used but without an active ski
lift, so it is more of a "hybrid" lost area. The area was named after M/SGT
Leslie J. Hurley, who served in K Company, 87th Regiment of the 10th Mountain
Rober Hurley, the son of Leslie Hurley has more information on his father: My father was M/SGT Leslie J Hurley. He served in K Company, 87th Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division from its beginning through the Kiska operation and the Italian Campaign in World War II. The 10th Mountain Division trained in Washington State and Colorado and the Hurley Hill Training Center did not actually play a part in the WWII history of the 10th Mountain Division.
After the war, "Sarge" was as an instructor with the ROTC Program at Norwich University in Northfield and among other things - he started the Mountain and Cold Weather Training program, and managed the Ski Area in it's early years - with the rope tow and later the Poma lift. He organized the Ski School and the Ski Patrol, cleaned the lodge, fixed the Poma and the rope tow and a hundred other things I've forgotten about. I believe his favorite activity was the weekend afternoon ski lessons with the Faculty Wives.
By the time they built the chair lift, his good friend Don Jennings had assumed management of the ski area, but we still spent a lot of time there and the skiing was pretty great.
The Hurley Hill Training Center was named in my Dad's honor shortly after he passed away in the early 80's. I think that the Poma lift mentioned there is the old Norwich Ski Area's lift, but I could be wrong - the description of the hanging flywheel brings back a lot of memories. As I understand it - the Vermont National Guard has had some Mountain Troop detachments and the area is used for their training. I am not actually sure if there is a connection to the modern 10th Light Infantry (Mountain) Division, based at Fort Drum, NY, but there may be. We're quite proud his name is attached to the center and to see it listed on your excellent website.
These days, depending on conditions, some friends of mine take a hike up the "face" of the Norwich Ski Area and take a run - the skiing is still great even if the trails aren't groomed.
Here's information on the Hurley Ski Training Area, which is located in Jericho, VT on the Camp Ethan Allen Military Training Site There are 2 trails, 400ft vert. and a complete poma. This area was never opened to the public, so I'll be surprised if you even find a listing for it.
The story with the Hurley area's Poma is the amazing "floating" bullwheel at the upper terminal! It is suspended in mid air by rope tension and a counterweight! Its not attached to anything, which absolutely amazes me! If there was ever a windy day, I could imagine a de-ropement problem at the top tower right before the rope goes into the magic bullwheel. The rope on the poma is also very thin! Its not a heavy cable at all. Its been modified too... some of the sheaves have been replaces with what look like bicycle rims, and they apply strange tension to the rope. It's a "military" poma, so no surprises.
SSG Ross W. Thibodeau has additional information:
Hill Training Area" is in fact a semi-operational ski area minimally maintained
by the Vermont Army
national guard on Camp Ethan Allen Training Site (CEATS). Both the Army Mountain
Warfare School and the Vermont Army National Guard's 3-172 Mountain Infantry
battalion use the area to conduct ski training. We currently call it the "ski
hill" and describe it as in the location of the "Birch
Hill" training area.
-The 3-172 Mountain Infantry battalion and the Army Mountain Warfare School has trained here since 1982/83 and continues to train here.
-It does have a very strange Poma that has not been in operation since at least 2004, but probably well before that. As far as I know there are no plans to fix it. We use tracked vehicles to get pulled (ski-jouring) to the top or just skin up to conduct ski training.
- This hill is located on a closed military reservation which is well used and monitored. Civilians are not welcome without expressed permission. I do not recommend any exploring as this is a LIVE FIRING RANGE used year round!
-This area also abuts the extensive network of biathlon trails (also closed to the general public) on Camp Ethan Allen Training Site.
Last updated: November 28, 2011
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