Red Hill Ski Area
Moultonborough, NH

Did not operate 92-94

The sign near the entrance, 2003.

The Red Hill Ski Club, located in Moutonborough, NH, has been operating for nearly 60 years, and today, provides a fun and affordable place for club members to ski. While not open to the general public to purchase lift tickets, anybody can become a paid member for just $25 - what a deal!

The area has a vertical drop of about 180', a fast rope tow, and several trails for all abilities. One can make a lot of runs on that fast tow!

Please visit their website at Red Hill Ski Club and their Facebook page.

They also have a YouTube page - Red Hill on YouTube.

Here is some history on the mountain, provided by Thomas Visser including two historical photos:

The Red Hill Outing Club ski slope is located on Sheridan Road in Moultonboro, New Hampshire, about a half mile north of Route 25 and Moultonboro Falls. The first ski slope at the site had been cut by David Hammond and Walter "Kim" Mitchell, their sons and other volunteers from Moultonboro and Sandwich during the mid- to late-1950s. My earliest memories of the ski slope, extend from around 1960 when my father, brother and I helped as volunteers of the Red Hill Outing Club to move an earlier rope tow to a longer and steeper run up the north side of the slope.

Lodge, 1964.

A succession of old junked cars modified with rear fenders removed and a double wheel and tires on the back for the rope pulley were dragged to the top of the slope to power the only lift, a rope tow. The cars were from the 1940s or 1950s and since they ran on 6-volt electrical systems, before starting the motor in very cold weather, the car battery would have to be hauled up to the top of the slope on a toboggan by the volunteer mechanics. The required "safety gate" at the top consisted of an old electrical extension cord strung across the path of the tow rope, arranged so that it would cut power to the engine's ignition system if unplugged by anyone getting too close to the exposed drive wheel. The car engines were temperamental, so there were many days when everyone climbed the slope on skis, packing the snow beneath. The outing club had no snow grooming equipment, so after snowstorms our first task was to pack the snow by side-stepping up the slope in teams.

More of the lodge, 1964.

During the early 1960s, the upper parts of the slope were partially wooded and often fairly rough with stumps and brush piles beneath the snow. A ski trail followed a broad arc through the woods from the top south of the open slope, but it was so narrow that everyone usually just followed one set of tracks and used a "snowplow" to control speed. The middle section of the main slope was very steep, ledgy and icy, but the lower area provided a smooth and gentle grade for beginners.

Many would just ski the lower half of the main slope, but even this required some skill to jump off the rope tow without falling. As the rope tow run varied in slope along its length, along some sections light weight skiers would be lifted clear off the ground when the rope was taut. On the hump section though, the rope would get so heavy that one would need to hold on at boot level. Although falls were common at these high and low sections of tow, spills could also be encouraged by other tow riders in devilish moods by flicking the rope up and down or by steering wide to either side of the main rutted track. Laughter and occasional tears of embarrassment would often follow such antics and mishaps.

At first, ski lessons were taught by Roger Person, Mike Foss and others using their traditional American full-shoulder rotation, stem- turn based style, that worked well with wooden skis, bamboo poles, cable bindings and low, laced leather ski boots. By the mid 1960s, the new Alpine parallel ski technique was being offered at Red Hill through the ski school that Olympians Penny Pitou and Egon Zimmerman ran out of Belknap Mountain (later called Gunstock) in Gilford, NH.

Metal skis by Head, Marker safety bindings, aluminum poles and high leather ski boots brought new dimensions to control and capabilities on the slopes.

For ski school classes and races, maple saplings were cut from the surrounding woods for the slalom poles that were fitted with cloth flags made by volunteers. The high point of winters during this period was the Red Hill Outing Club's winter carnival with its slalom races at the slope and grand award ceremony at Moultonboro Central School in the evening.

The attached photos from 1964 shows the original, one-room warm-up hut where hot chocolate was served. The ski area then had no electricity or telephone. An outhouse served the needs. Later, the open area of the ski slope was extended down closer to the road and a larger shed- roofed base lodge was built with large windows facing the slope.

(Left-an old trail map in the lodge. Taken in May 2003 by Jeremy)


Although the Red Hill Outing Club continued to be active through the late 1980s, the 1990s brought a period of declining interest and legal challenges to the use of the land.

(Right - a 1993 aerial image of the ski area. NOte the one main, with a smaller slope adjoining it on the left, and a narrow trail on the left of that)

In 1998, there was a legal challenge to the use of the land. More can be read about it here.

In May 2003, Betsy McDonough, Laurie Puliafico visited Red Hill. The area was well maintained. The rope tow was still hanging, and the groomer was still there. Below are photos from the visit.

Lower portion of the rope tow. Tow grippers, a special belt that allows you to ride up a rope tow easier, are prohibited, likely due to liability reasons.
View of the rope tow and expert slope.

Expert slope on the right, beginner to the left. The expert slope is steeper than it appears.
Groomer with older apparatus.

In January 2007, John Stephens, who is part of the Red Hill Outing Club, contacted us with more information. My name is John Stephens. I'm a part of Red Hill Outing Club which is located in Moultonborough, NH on red hill. I was reading up about the Red Hill Family Ski Area and I found them not to be the same place, as a matter of fact I have never heard of that place.  But anyways I'm writing to you because red hill outing club has become a run down ski hill with a "wicked" fast rope tow, top to bottom in 66 seconds.  Well over the years the popularity of big mountains, like you probably know, has draw lots of attention away from smaller areas like this.  Red Hill began in 1956 and was run down in the early 80's. Today myself and a group of young snowboards in our town have taken it upon ourselves to rejuvenate the hill into a more modernize and eye appeal place. With little to no money just donations from companies in the town we have been able to build sever rails and boxes that we've set up to ride on.  We also bought a old groomer from king pine ski area, and are working with the same old lodge. I just thought you could maybe recognize this area and our hard work to bring this ski hill back to life. Today we are waiting on mother nature but plan to run the rope town and groomed  As it stands now we might be making runs the local ice arena to fill up our trucks with shavings to bring back to the hill like we've been doing. 

In more recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest at Red Hill, with volunteers working hard to promote the area, maintain the facilities, and grow the club. Join today!

More information can be found at New England Ski History's Red Hill Page.

If anybody wants to share more informatoin about Red Hill, please let us know.

Last updated: December 30, 2014

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