Introduction ~ History ~ Historical Images ~ Recent Photos
Northeast Slopes, located in East Corinth, Vermont is one of NELSAP's favorite open ski areas. It has been in operation for nearly 80 years, and is a perfect example of a successful, thriving small ski area. It offers a 360' drop on multiple trails and slopes, 3 lifts - including a T-bar; a cozy base lodge with the best cheeseburgers around, and a family-friendly environment. NELSAP has been a supporter of this ski area over the years, including a presentation in 2011 that helped raise nearly $1,000! In 2013 Northeast Slopes was featured in the excellent documentary "United We Ski" by T-bar Films, a must see for everybody who loves classic Vermont skiing.
This report will showcase some of the history of the area along with recent photos and updates. It is NELSAP's hope that everybody will come and enjoy Northeast Slopes! Click on each photo for larger versions.
To view their official website, please click here.
Special thanks to Genevieve and Colin Faherty who volunteer at Northeast Slopes and who have been very helpful with information on the mountain during my visits.
|Northeast Slopes was
founded in the fall of 1936 by the Bradford Winter Sports Club, with
officers George Eaton, Gilbert Cole, and Lester Eaton. Originally, a ski
area was to be developed on a field near Mt. Tug in Bradford, however,
fate would intervene when President George Eaton was driving from
Bradford to Montpelier. Passing through East Corinth, he noticed a slope
with significantly more snow in East Corinth. He discussed the area with
his brother Lester, who then turned the matter over to Vice-President
Gilbert Cole and David Dodd. Dodd was the builder of the first ski tow
in Woodstock, Vermont. A decision was made shortly afterwards to
relocate the ski area to that slope in East Corinth.
In December of 1936, Dodd constructed a rope tow on the property of Eugene Eastman, powered by an old Reo station wagon. The tow was 1300' long and served a vertical of 360', and a 400' long beginner tow was also constructed. Eugene Eastman was then recruited to operate the area along with Weston Blake, a Dartmouth skier. The two would operate the ski area continually through the winter of 1961-1962, and made many improvements, including a base lodge, adding ski lessons sponsored by the Bradford PTA, and more. The area was also known as Wes Blake's Ski Tow during this time.
For the 1962-1963 season, Eastman wished to spend more time with his maple sugar operation, and by now, Wes Blake was living in Massachusetts. New operators would be needed for that season. So, on November 20, 1962, Northeast Ski Slopes Inc. was officially founded, with 25 stockholders. The new President was Gilbert Cole, Vice-President Putnam W. Blodgett, Treasurer Jack Butler, and Clerk Helen Chatfield. Others involved were Horace Palmer, James Perry, Craig White, and John Pierson, Jr. Larry Williams of East Corinth was hired to operate the ski area. 25 stockholders held stock with the company.
Right - an undated advertisement for Wes Blake's Ski Tow - New England's Most Interesting Open Slope!
|Some improvements came
about for that season, with smoothing of the slopes, and some trees
removed for better skier flow. A new Bombardier packer and roller
replaced the old horse drawn harrow. Season ticket rates were set at a
cost of $10.00.
Additional improvements followed, with a new warming hut (still in use) built in 1966, and ski lessons for children were expanded. A Tucker Sno-Cat was purchased in the late 1960's to replace the Bombardier.
In 1972, plans were drawn up to build a new T-bar for the 1973-1974 season, to help "insure your children and grandchildren would have a place of their own to ski". A capital campaign commenced, with the sale of $50.00 stock. Unfortunately, there was not enough support, and it would be another 35+ years before a T-bar would be installed.
|By the early 1980's, the
area was owned by Marty and Kitty Diggins who had purchased the 165 acre
Gene Eastman Farm, as they had plans to develop a four season recreation
area. Lift tickets during this time were $7.00.
In the mid 1980's, a non-profit group, Northeast Slopes Inc. was formed to continue the ski operation. Times were tough by the late 1990's as a volunteer base dwindled, but this would not last long. By the early 2000's, the area began to grow again thanks to the efforts of the volunteers. Plans were drawn up to build a T-bar, and a fundraising campaign commenced in 2004. Generous inviduals, including a large private donor, Mascoma Savings Bank, and the Windham, Oakland, Page Hill, and Smith-Dennison Foundations. Ground was broken on August 23, 2008. Billy Ricker and his assistance Matt Fulford worked the excavator and Byron Kidder surveyed the area with assistance from Ben Whiting, according to this press release on Ropeways.net. John Pierson Jr., a long time volunteer was another driving force in the construction of the T-bar. Geoff Putnam was the project engineer and brought a wealth of knowledge to the operation.
The T-bar was mostly built with components from a former T-bar at Ski Bradford, MA, which had originally come from Stratton Mountain, VT. Construction begain during 2008 and lasted into 2009, and the T-bar officially opened that December. Sadly, John Pierson passed away shortly before the lift officially opened.
Since 2009, the area has seen a continued rebirth, with many new skiers enjoying the T-bar. The area was prominently featured in United We Ski, and should continue to thrive into the future as an affordable, fun, and varied ski area.
Thanks to a 1972 report from Harold Haskins for portions of the history of the area.
Right - an early 1980's trail map of the ski area.
Enjoy the trailer for United We Ski,
featuring Northeast Slopes!
Summit Rope Tow
|Skiers at the start of the rope tow, 1940's? Courtesy Doug Riley.||A view of the rope tow and open slope - less trees in the past. Date unknown.||Rope tow drive, date unknown.||Rope tow drive and warming hut, date unknown.|
|Old fashioned grooming using horses and a harrow! Date unknown.||Sno-cat and base lodge, date unknown.||Sno-cat, date unknown.||Two skiers on the main slope, date unknown. Helen Eastman is on the left. Courtesy Doug Riley.|
Photos of the Ski Area
Beginner Rope Tow
The beginner rope tow provides a gentle ascent on an easy slope.
|The housing for the beginner rope tow has a famous past - it was the bridge that the Maitlands drove off in the 1988 movie Beetlejuice!|
|The base lodge is a cozy spot to warm up after runs, and enjoy one of the most delicious cheeseburgers at any ski area!|
T-bar and Main Rope Tow
|In January of 2009, the T-bar was not yet completed. Here is a view of one of the towers.||The T-bar was dedicated in December of 2009 to John A. Pierson, Jr, who volunteered at Northeast Slopes for over 50 years. He was one of the driving forces behind the installation of the T-bar, and passed away just months from its opening.||This 2011 view shows skiers enjoying the T-bar on a cloudy day. The main rope tow is located just to the left.||A 2011 view of the T-bar and rope tow.||Nearing the summit of the T-bar and rope tow in 2011.|
Trails and Slopes
|View of the ski area in 2009, note the partially installed T-bar at the time.||End of the side trail at far skier's left.||A steeper chute at far skier's right.||Main slope from the summit.|
Northeast Slopes Official Website
New England Ski History.com Article
Last Updated: Feb 28, 2014
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