Before 1951-at least 1953
Cardigan Pastures was operated by the AMC on Duke's Pasture slope at the base of Cardigan Mountain.
A few NELSAP readers have some more info:
Norton: Cardigan Mountain had a well documented rope tow for many years.
Much of the tow remains, though not used in years.
The slope is still used regularly for practice by the AMC.
Here's a view of the car at the top of the slope that used to run the lift, taken by Ken Norton.
was a rope tow which used to exist at the Appalachian Mountain Club's Cardigan
Lodge in Alexandria, NH. Cardigan was a popular ski center for AMC members up
through the 1940's. The ski slope near the lodge, at the bottom of the Duke's
Trail, is still used by telemark skiers and cross-country clinics. Several
down-mountain trails (Alexandria, Duke's, and Kimball) exist and are still used
regularly by backcountry skiers and telemarkers."
On the left is an old picture of the lodge. It is unknown if the tow was present at that time.
Brad Greeley: In the late 40's and up to the middle 50's, I was a frequent skier at Cardigan. The info you have seems right to me. My buddy Steve Hall and I (both from Lexington, MA) learned how to ski there from lodge manager and former 10th Mountain Division man Carl Blanchard. He lived there those winters with his family and they ran an education and modest racing program. He encouraged us to get our First Aid certification and join the AMC ski patrol, which we did.
Part of our job at Cardigan was to go up to the slope first thing with the old guy who ran the tow and prepare the hill for the day. He always carefully explained that he took water up from the stream at the foot of the slope each morning because, as we could see, that water never froze. The Model A at the top of the hill (which was pretty step on top) gave a fast ride which only impossible in the spring when the rope was soaking wet and weighed a million pounds. The hill functioned well into the 50s but I don't know when the AMC gave it up.
Cardigan by the year:
|1951||600 tow||novice and intermediate slopes||open weekends and holidays||1951 NH Winter Guide|
|1953||rope tow||Duke's Pasture Slope, trails||operated by AMC||1953 NH Winter Guide|
If you know anything about this area, please email me.
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