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Idaho Lost Ski Area Project


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#1 Racer Ready

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 10:27 AM

Idaho Lost Ski Resorts

Hi. We are compiling a History of Idaho's Lost and Currently operating ski areas in the state (with three authors Margaret Fuller, Doug Fuller and Jerry Painter) .
Any information is greatly appreciated, especially about dates of operation, founders, lifts, buildings, locations, and pictures.
Thank you for your postings, photos, stories, articles, and any help you can provide on this Lost ski area project.
Feel free to contact:

Margaret Fuller wmfuller@ruralnetwork.net

Here's a list of some of the Lost ares we have identified as of 9-9-2012.

LIST OF IDAHO SKI areas WITH YEARS (bold indicates area is currently operating)

Antelope Valley (near Mackay) - 3 winters in early 1960s
Atlanta (may never have had tow)
Bald Mountain (near Orofino)- 1959-2008
Bear Gulch (Ashton) - 1939-84
Big Creek near Priest River, maybe was called Bald Mountain
Blackwell Jump (at McCall) - 1924-37
Blizzard Mountain (Arco) - 1953-76, 1994- T-bar
Bogus Basin - 1939 1st rope tow, 1942- area opens with road complete
Bonners Ferry- 1949-57
Brundage 1961-
Caribou (Pocatello) - 1955-85
Cascade and Crown Point 1932-41
Chipmunk Hill (Challis) - 1963- rope tow
Cold Springs 1938 - 1951 (near Idaho City, probably no tow) - 1938-51 Conda (Soda Springs)- 2 or 3 years in late 1950s or early 1960s
Cottonwood Butte - 1968-
Deadwood (between Idaho 21 and Warm Lake) - 1944-50
Divide (above Montpelier on the Wyoming line)- no confirmation it existed
Dixie (near Hill City) - 1950-51
Eastport Jump (in Idaho near Kingsgate, BC) - 1928-40
Eightmile (Idaho City) -
Elbow (Montpelier) - 1954-63
Elkhorn (next to Sun Valley)
Ellis Ranch (Indian Valley) - 1997-2001
Flying H (Hayden Lake) - 1958-78
Galena Lodge (above Ketchum) - 1939-41
Gimlet-Rathke (Ketchum) - 1939-41
Golden Anchor or Czizek (near Warren) - 1937-41
Grand Targhee - (in Wyoming, but only access is in Idaho) - 1970-
Headquarters - 1949-57
Henry’s Lake (at turnoff to go around north side of lake) - no confirmation
Hitt Mountain (Cambridge)- 1967-74, 1982-86
Hollowell Ranch (near Fairfield) - (Land owner doesn’t want to talk about it)
Home Canyon (Montpelier) - 1941-54
Horseshoe Bend - no lift? 1940s (before Bogus Basin opened)
Howell Canyon (Albion) - 1940-59
Johnson Hill (between Gooding and Fairfield) - early 1940s
Kalispell Bay (Priest Lake) - 1960-65
Kelly Canyon - 1957-
Kinderhorn (Ketchum) - 1955-63, 1968-70
Lead Draw (Pocatello)
Lionhead (on Idaho border above West Yellowstone) - 1948-63
Little Hill (McCall) - 1938-68, 1971-
Little Lost (near Howe) - 1970-76
Lookout Pass (Wallace) - 1936-
Lost Trail (between Salmon and Hamilton, MT.) - 1937-41, 1945-
M Hill (Montpelier) - 1964-65
Magic Mountain (Twin Falls) - 1939-42, 1945-84, 1988-
Miller Ranch (Idaho City) - 1939-52
Monida Pass (Montana border off I-15)
Moose Creek (Victor) - 1959-70
North-South (Emida, WSU’s practice area) -1932-90
Old Tamarack (Moscow) - 1965-78
Osburn Jump (Osburn) - 1935
Pebble Creek (Pocatello, formerly Skyline)
Pine Street Hill (Sandpoint) - ___ to 1945, 1947-50, 1957-60
Pine Basin (Victor)
Pomerelle 1958-73, 1975-
Proctor (earliest lift at Sun Valley) 1937
Rabbit Hill (Mackay)
Rexburg LDS
Rice Hill (Hill City) - 1957-65
Roland (Milwaukee Railroad, near Avery) - 1938-41
Rotarun (Hailey) - 1948-
Roundtop ( Lake Pend d’Oreille) 1948
Ruud Mountain (early Sun Valley lift)
Saturday Mountain (Clayton) - 1964-70
Stanley - 1952-54, 1958
Schweitzer - 1963-
Scout Mountain (Pocatello)
Signal Point (Post Falls) - 1950-56, 1958-63
Silver City (probably no lift)
Silver Mountain - 1968- (formerly Jackass)
Snow Haven - 1946-
Snowline Skiways (Midvale) - 1939-46
Soldier Mountain (Fairfield) - 1948-2009, 2010-
Spencer (on I-15 near Dubois) - 1950s
Stibnite (near Yellow Pine) - 1938-52
Strawberry Canyon (northeast of Preston and Mink Creek) - 3 or 4 years in mid 1950s
Sun Valley: Dollar Mountain, Bald Mountain - 1937-
Sunset (Island Park)
Talache (southeast of Sandpoint) - 1938-41, 1947-52
Tamarack (Near Cascade) 2004-08, 2010-
Taylor Mountain (Idaho Falls) - 1959-72, 1975-79
Tenth Mountain (Island Park) - 1941-42, (US army training base, never opened, foundations still present)
Teton Pass (above Victor) - 1947-67
Toll Gate (above Mt. Home)- 1949 and 1952
Trail Canyon (Soda Springs) - 1954-67
Victor Ski Hill 1937, also 1948
Warren (no formal lift) - 1960-62
Webb Canyon (Inkom) - 1965-79
Willow Creek Summit (between Challis and Mackay) late 1940s, then again in early 60s

Total number as of 9-9-2012: Ninety-two

This post has been edited by Racer Ready: 09 September 2012 - 02:30 PM


#2 SkiBachelor

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 07:58 PM

While I'm not sure of the name of the ski hill, but there was a rope tow located at the U.S. Forest Service office in Boise, ID before Bogus Basin was built.

It closed the year Bogus Basin opened.
- Cameron

#3 iceberg210

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 09:22 AM

Does anyone know anything about Taylor Mountain Ski Area outside of Idaho Falls? I'd never heard of it before but it appears they have/had an old Heron/Poma perhaps? there and about the only thing I've found out is that it was founded in 1958 and closed in 1982. Anyone have any more information? Thanks.

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More pictures at this link...more pics
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Bald Eagle Lifts: Defying Gravity
http://www.baldeaglelifts.com

#4 hyak.net

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 08:44 AM

I'll check my notes because I had started looking for Idaho resorts a few years ago after I had started the WA and OR lost sites. I'll see what I have, but your list looks more complete then what I had.

This post has been edited by hyak.net: 24 March 2011 - 08:45 AM


#5 iceberg210

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 09:19 AM

Speaking of lost ski resorts in Idaho here's a really neat article on Bear Gulch. Does anyone know anything more about this 'Burley based skilift firm'?

http://www.henrysfor...full.php?sid=69


Quote

A history of the Bear Gulch Ski Basin



By TOM HOWELL

It was often said that “ if you could ski Bear Gulch, you could ski anywhere in the world”. Bear Gulch was second established ski resort in Idaho, Sun Valley being the first in 1936.

In April of 1938, Targhee National Forest Ranger Rufus Hall and Junior Forester Tippets looked at four potential resort sites along Yellowstone Highway 191 with the Bear Gulch site being the top selection. In the spring of 1939, Alf Engen, a world-class skier from Norway helped lay out the first runs on the hill what became to be known as the Bear Cat, the Dipper and the Teddy Bear. That summer, a crew from the Civilian Conservation Corp. was brought in to start clearing the slopes of trees and brush. The CCC crews also constructed a commissary building at the top of the hill which was near where the upper terminal of the chair lift was located.

Alf Engen had immigrated to the United States in 1919 and ultimately settled in Utah. He was instrumental in the Alta and Snowbasin Ski Schools starting in 1946, and coached the 1948 U.S. Olympic Ski Team.

Indications have been found that the Union Pacific Railroad was also interested in the project and paid for the survey work. Bear Gulch sat only several hundred yards from the rail line to West Yellowstone, Montana. During the 30’s this passenger service to Yellowstone Park was one of Union Pacific’s most highly used tourist lines.

According to Forest Service records, in the beginning, Bear Gulch was incorporated as a non-profit cooperation between the Ashton Dog Derby Association, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Ashton Ski Club. Members of the Dog Derby Association included, W.O. Harris, chairman, Rulon Hemming, vice chairman, Robert Timmons, Secretary, and J.D. Klamt, treasurer. It was during this time that the hill was operated by Bud Clouse.

During this time, the ride up the hill was done via a pair of large 5 foot by 16 foot flat bottomed sleds which were linked by a cable which went to the top of the hill that most knew as the T-Bar lift and upper shack. This tow was powered by a Caterpillar engine and transmission with the cables wrapped around the large drums. One sled was pulled up to the top as the other sled was let back down. The process was reversed by shifting gears at the engine. About 14 skiers could be taken at a time as they sat side by side in the sled. This lift was affectionately known as the “Red Assed Lift”.

In the fall of 1940, a rope tow was installed on the Teddy Bear so skiers could now be pulled to the top near where later the lodge was to be constructed. Prices at the time were 10 cents per ride on the toboggan, and 5 cents per ride or $1.00 per day for the rope tow. Two Forest Service shelters accommodated around 25 people each.

In 1942 the hill was closed because of World War II, and was not reopened until the winter of 1945 when a permit was issued by the Forest Service to a group of local residents forming Bear Gulch Ski Basin, Inc. Members of this group were Harry Lewies, owner of the Warm River Resort, Dan Reimann, a local farmer, Art Anderson, local dry farmer and creator of Aspen Acres Golf Course and Gilman Fletcher, a farmer from the St. Anthony area.

The group first incorporated with capitol stock of $30,000.00. They soon found that the lodge would cost $16,000.00 and a new lift would run $24,000.00 plus other expenses. They decided to reincorporate for $50,000.00 but found it hard to get any additional stock sold as most interested people had already put about as much money as they wished into the venture. The partners had to dig deeper into their own pockets to come up with the money to get the hill up and running.

In 1948 the old toboggan lift was removed and a T-bar lift was installed in its place. Although the lift was ordered in the summer, it didn’t arrive until January. Crews found themselves working in four feet of snow to get the lift installed. The Grizzly run was cleared and opened to skiers. The partners began building a lodge that had a large kitchen and serving counter in the one end, with a huge double fireplace in the center. A large dumbwaiter run by a hand-winch brought the wood blocks up from down stairs to the side of the fireplaces. Clix Allen, a woodworker from Warm River built all the tables and chairs Downstairs contained the restrooms, wood storage and an apartment. Water was piped up from a spring at the bottom of the huge cliff that lay under the highway that continued on up to Mesa Falls and Island Park.

By 1956 other names that were associated with the resort besides the owners were Marvin Aslett, Ira Harrigfeld, Elmer Womach, and Glenn Abegglan. Chic Beesley managed the resort until he had a stroke. During this time, ski busses were arranged to come up from Idaho Falls and Rexburg on the weekends and for ski school

By 1959 prices had gone up to $2.50 a day. Season tickets were offered for $15.00 for the rope tow and $30.00 for the T-bar.

The original rope tow was installed behind the lodge coming up the right side on the Teddy Bear run. An Army surplus GMC truck sat up on a large wooden structure at the top providing the power for the tow with its gasoline engine.

Night skiing was offered for several years on the Teddy Bear run as lights were installed along the edge in the trees and on several poles out in the middle of the run. A shack on the east side of the lodge housed the generator that powered the lodge and the night lights.

Communications was accomplished with wires strung through the trees, connecting the lodge with the various lift shacks. Electric ring-pulse phones were used with a crank on the side. One, two, or three, rotations of the crank rang out so many rings, signaling a particular operator or someone in the lodge to pick up the phone.

Operation of the hill remained much the same until 1965 when Fall River Electric extended its power lines to the area. A double chair lift was installed going up the right side of the Dipper run. The chair lift was one or two manufactured by a firm in Burley, Idaho. The other one being installed at Pommerel Ski Area in central Idaho. The lift always seemed odd to most skiers, as the large concrete counter-weight was at the bottom instead of the top like other ski areas. Truth is, that the counter-weigh is always on the opposite end of the power source. Bear Gulch with its unique layout had the motor and hydraulics’ at the top where it was more accessible for maintenance.

The T-bar saw limited use after the installation of the chair lift and was used only on busy days. An addition on the west end of the lodge afforded more room for skiers upstairs and a ski-patrol room and shop Area downstairs for snow-cat repair.

Grooming in the early days was accomplished the hard way, by getting volunteers to line up and ski-pack an individual run or a spot that needed attention. Grooming became mechanized with the advent of the double-tracked Ski-doos towing a wooden frame with chicken wire suspended and stapled along the sides. Later on, used larger sno-cats were brought in, name brands such as Tucker, Thiokol and Bombardier were used. A cat-walk was cut below on the north side of the lodge to accommodate the larger groomers. The rope tow on the Teddy Bear was then moved to the center of the hill to avoid the cat-walk and converted to electricity. The rope tow was finally removed in 1969.

During the late 1960’s, other interests in eastern Idaho were working at opening Fred’s Mountain, now known as Grand Targhee Resort east of Driggs. Bear Gulch was well known for it’s intermediate and expert terrain, even though small and with a 600 ft vertical drop, had been the premier ski Area in eastern Idaho. The main competition was Kelly’s Canyon near Ririe was more known for its beginner terrain. Grand Targhee with its high elevation and 2000 ft + vertical drop brought a world class ski Area to eastern Idaho but gleaned many of the skiers who had patronized Bear Gulch from the Rexburg and Idaho Falls area.

During the later 60’s and early 70’s maintenance costs increased and stricter safety requirements were enforced by the Forest Service and the insurance companies. Liability insurance also became a major issue at this time with rates going up, never to come down.

In the fall of 1970 the resort was purchased by Bruce Black and his associates Ernie Andrus and Vern Kelch of Idaho Falls. For the next eight years, Bruce, his wife Shirley and family worked hard at breathing new life into the resort. 1971 through 1976 were better years and in 76, Bruce proposed expanding the resort to a year-round facility including cabins, a swimming pool, and other amenities for guests. Ideas were also kicked around about trying to keep the Union Pacific from tearing up it rails and creating a tourist train between Ashton and West Yellowstone.

During these years, long time employees Charlie Bergman, Lyle Lenz, along with Weldon Reynolds doing most of the grooming and maintenance. In 1973 Tom Howell opened up the first ski shop in the down stairs apartment providing ski maintenance and some rental equipment. . Bruce’s sons ran the shop the next two years moving it upstairs into the new addition.

The ski school was headed through the years by Danny Reimann and Ira Harrigfeld. Bear Gulch turned out many highly ranked junior skiers, most notably Mike Rice, Ed Harrigfeld, Craig Marotz, and Kip Martindale coached by Wes Diest of Idaho Falls.

In 1978 the resort was sold to Jack Alpi who had recently retired from the Los Angeles Fire Department. Jack and his family lived at the resort during this time period.

Alpi sold the resort to Wendell Butcher of California but in April of 1983 filed suit against a Terra Vista, Inc, of Utah alleging that it was a sham company.

Bear Gulch faced foreclosure by FmHA for the sum of $33,000.00. Later in 1983, a group of Ashton citizens under the chairmanship of Howard Bergman, attempted to raise enough money to purchase the facility. Although the group bid $5,500.00 (citing high renovation costs as the reason fro the low bid,) FmHA rejected it as being below appraised value.

The resort was purchased by Tom Harward of Utah and his cousin Jim Harward of Pocatello for $12,000.00. They worked at trying to open, but the resort was closed the 1983-84 season, and was reopened during the winter of 1984 - 85. Following the sale, numerous inquiries were received by the Forest Service by individuals to whom Harwards were trying to sell the resort to.

During the winter of 84-85, the terms of the U.S. Forest Service which allowed the operation of the resort were complied with. But, in October of 1985, Harwards were notified of several items which need to be corrected before they could be authorized to operate for the coming year. The requirements were not met and the Area did not open during the 85-86 season. In 1986 the Harwards were notified, that based on existing conditions and past performance, the Forest Service did not intend to reissue a permit for the 86-87 season.

Although a permit extension had been granted, the Harwards failed to comply with the permit clauses and only minimum accomplishments had been made on the deficiencies. James Harward made an appeal with an oral presentation, but the records do not indicate further attempts and the appeal was later closed. The Harwards were given until July 1, 1988 to complete removal of improvements and complete site rehabilitation.

The resort sat idle until an evening late in October of 1989. Residents watched as smoke slowly rose above the tree line. Burning of slash piles were common in that Area of the forest, but this fire seemed to be larger than most.

Lou Woltering, Ranger of the Ashton District said that he gave the order to burn the Bear Gulch lodge. This came as a surprise to most residents, as there had been no advance notice in any of the news media, nor had any public input been solicited in making the decision.

Woltering explained that “after making many calls to see if there was any interest in salvaging the building, it was not serving any purpose the way it was, and there had been numerous break-ins”. Bringing the old lodge up to current building and safety codes would be very costly.

Doug Muir, assistant district ranger, said every effort had been made to encourage Tom and Jim Harward to bring the operation up to safety standards, but this had not been done. The matter was in court more than once, and the judge had decided in favor of the Forest Service.

The Forest Service was making plans to use its recreation money to remodel the old lodge at Mesa Falls into a visitor center rather than use it at the Bear Gulch site. A three sided shelter and restrooms would be planned instead.

Within a few days of burning the lodge, bull dozers were ordered in to knock down the stone fireplace and bury the existing rubble, leaving the lodge just a memory.
The burning of the Bear Gulch lodge left many local residents bitter towards the Forest Service, and a mistrust of local Forest Service policy exists until this very day.

Bear Gulch has now developed into a major snowmobile and recreation trail-head. One only has to go up there on a busy Saturday and see the congestion in the parking lot. Many wonder if a business in the old lodge would have been viable given the still heavy usage of the area.

My many thanks to:
Jane Daniels, curator, Ashton Archives
Weldon Reynolds
Susan Black Steinmann
Dan Reimann recorded memories
Don and Jean Trupp


A picture that I'm pretty sure is of the old ski area...

Posted Image
Erik Berg
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http://www.baldeaglelifts.com

#6 bblifts

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 11:32 AM

Is this the area at the corner of 87 & 191?
If so I think I have a few pics of the old lift.
Looked like it was gone when I drove by a month ago.

#7 iceberg210

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 11:49 AM

View Postbblifts, on 24 March 2011 - 11:32 AM, said:

Is this the area at the corner of 87 & 191?
If so I think I have a few pics of the old lift.
Looked like it was gone when I drove by a month ago.

I think the resort you're thinking about is Lionhead, which was discussed here...
Lionhead Yellowstone Ski etc

If you do have any pictures of that we'd love to see them as the old pictures have broken links now, plus more pictures of skilifts is never a bad thing...

Thanks!
Erik Berg
Bald Eagle Lifts: Defying Gravity
http://www.baldeaglelifts.com

#8 Jaeed @bogus

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 10:02 AM

View PostSkiBachelor, on 23 November 2009 - 07:58 PM, said:

While I'm not sure of the name of the ski hill, but there was a rope tow located at the U.S. Forest Service office in Boise, ID before Bogus Basin was built.

It closed the year Bogus Basin opened.


would that would be the bogus basin ski club at the American legion golf course or horseshoe bend summit

early history of BB part 1
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=xzf8xMPC_NI

-jared

#9 Racer Ready

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 07:52 PM

Stanley Ski Hill
Dean Rowland, Ranger Stanley Ranger Station 1946-1952

"Winter recreation was extremely limited, so when a ski tow at the Galena Store came up for sale, we held a box social at the Stanley school and raised the necessary $135.00 this included Rope, Pulleys, and a Model A Ford engine. It fell to me to operate the tow on weekends. Rates were 25 cents for adults and kids rode for free, this covered operating expenses. The pulleys were hung on Sawtooth N.F. telephone poles without a special use permit. The lack of safety features now makes my hair curl. After I left the district, safety regulations, insurance and the Sawtooth N.F. forced a shutdown, but by then everyone was into snowmobiles."

Old Timers News – Intermountain Region Feb 1982 Volume XX, Number 1.
Today remnants of this row tow lift still remain in the trees above the Mountain Village Grocery store below the North end of the Stanley Airstrip.

9-9-2012 From our Lost Idaho ski area book research: (for your enjoyment)

STANLEY
Location: on the north side of the airstrip in Stanley behind the grocery store and gas station
Base elevation: 6,201 feet
Vertical: 125 feet

Years of operation: 1946 to about 1959

In the 1940s and even earlier, skiers climbed up and skied behind the school which was then held in a little wooden house on the dirt main street in town. People also climbed up and skied behind the ranger station near Lower Stanley. In the late 1940s a school shaped like a half Quonset hut was built on Ace of Diamonds Street. .When Dean Rowland served as the Stanley District Ranger from 1946-52 he helped the town acquire a ski tow because there was so little else to do for fun in Stanley in the winter.

When Rowland heard that Galena Lodge on the Ketchum side of Galena Summit wanted to sell their rope tow, he convinced the Stanley community they needed it. The community held a box social at the school and raised $135 to buy the rope, pulleys, and Model A Ford engine of Galena’s tow. Local carpenter, Bill Wall, hand carved a grooved wooden pulley to attach the tow rope to the engine. According to Dick Neustadter and Cliff Hansen, that pulley is still attached to the engine, which sits in front of the Stanley Museum with other old machinery.( The pulley now has a belt in it that connects the engine with a big circular saw, so it found another use after the ski hill closed.)


Preston Shaw prepared the towers and wheels for the tow rope on the hill. With Charles Hansen, Preston ran the Auto Inn garage in Stanley that later came to be called the Rock Garage because it was built of river rock. Preston Shaw’s father Frank was the second homesteader in Sawtooth Valley in 1902. According to Preston’s son, David, Frank appears as a main character in the children’s book, Ski the Mountain, by McCall writer, Helen Markley Miller. Frank Shaw had carried the mail from Ketchum over Galena Summit on skis, staying overnight in the mining town of Sawtooth City on the way. After growing up on the Sawtooth Valley ranch, Preston and his brother Alden started a taxi service in Ketchum and Sun Valley in 1940. Because of living in Ketchum, Preston’s children had already learned to ski when they came to Stanley after World War II. They had skied on Dollar and also climbed Knob Hill to ski off a little jump they made each winter. In fact, David had spent a year on the Sun Valley ski team, competing in cross country and jumping. He did so well he received a ski scholarship to the University of Denver.

Shaw and Rowland put up the Stanley ski tow on Sawtooth National Forest telephone poles and a couple of trees without any permit. The tow hauled skiers up to the airstrip, from which they skied down. Today that slope is covered with lodgepole pines, but at the time all those trees were tiny. In 1982, in a letter Rowland wrote about the ski lift to the Old Timers News, a newsletter for retired Intermountain Region forest service employees, he said it cost 25 cents to ride the Stanley ski tow. After he left in 1952, he thought the Forest Service forced the hill to shut down because of regulations for permits, safety, and insurance.

However, the ski hill kept on running at least until Preston Shaw’s daughter Zella graduated from high school in Challis. Zella’s younger brother, Allan, said he thought the ski tow shut down about 1957. His dad and friends built a little hut to protect the engine. When kids got real cold skiing, three or four at a time could go in the hut and get warm from the engine.Allan thought the tow was free, but he also remembers Pam Sharpen, the wife of the highway department man, Mike, giving him 10 cents for every time he skied over the drift at the top and down the slope without falling. He may have used the dimes to buy lift passes.

Zella remembers that Stanley held a box social every year to raise money to keep the ski tow running and for other community projects. Besides filling the boxes to be sold with delicious food, each maker decorated the box. She especially remembers the boxes her mother Sylvia, and Norma Danner made one year. The boxes were sloped and covered with cotton to resemble ski hills. Each box had trees and little skiers on it.


The school let out every Thursday afternoon in the winter, so all the kids could ski for P. E. The children skied over from the school to the bottom of the tow. Zella especially liked to ski the top of the hill where there was a big steep drift like an overhang about eight feet tall. One time she was going up the tow behind her little brother Allan, when he started screaming. She saw he had gotten his glove and then his arm caught in the pulley at the top of the tow. She rushed over and flipped the rope off the bull wheel to free his arm. When asked how she was strong enough to flip the rope off the wheel, she said, “Fear can make you do amazing things.” Alan’s leather-armed jacket was unhurt, but he had a nasty rope burn from his underarm to his elbow. When Zella took him home, their mom just rubbed vaseline on the burn, wound it in gauze, and told him to go back and ski some more. When he tried to do this, though, the tow wasn’t running because the rope was off the wheels and the kids were all mad at him for spoiling their afternoon. Another day his mom did take him to the hospital--when he broke his leg. That time Cliff Hansen, who was about four years older, carried him home on skis.

Dick Neustadter, who skied on the Stanley hill from when he was in the 3rd through 8th grade, thinks the hill operated on and off until about 1958. Remnants of the tow can still be seen on the side of the hill below the airstrip. He said that the rope was threaded over a groove in a wooden pulley that the engine turned. There was a big “bull wheel” at the top of the rope. The lift was on private property that belonged either to the Pivas or Ira Wells.

At the west end of the hill they had a ski jump. The kids could climb up and ski during recess and noon hour although the lift wasn’t running then. The Stanley school had 15 or 20 kids in those days because the families who ran the nearby ranches all had children. The school had two classes, one for the upper grades and one for the lower. Zella Shaw remembers there being three or four kids in each grade, and they were divided into two classes. Cliff Hansen’s mother, Mattie, was one of the two teachers.

Neustadter said his dad and Preston Shaw ran the ski tow. Neustadter’s dad owned the Stanley Club. It’s attractions were gambling and slot machines which were legal in Idaho until 1949 (gambling) and 1953 (slot machines). The senior Neustadter had come to Sun Valley to run a beauty shop and moved on to Stanley from there.

The Stanley tow operated weekends and usually began running in January each year. There wasn’t enough snow before then. In the summer they stored the rope in the rock garage and locked up the engine’s little hut.

When Neustadter was in the 8th grade, he clipped a little tree on the hill with his knee. He didn’t tell anyone about it until the next winter when he found he couldn’t control that leg while skiing. His parents took him to Dr. Moritz in Sun Valley, and Moritz repaired the cartilage in his knee. At that time the hospital was a few rooms on the third floor of the lodge and the patients ate with the staff. He remembers he had a cast from thigh to ankle, but he saw so many pretty girls in the lodge, he didn’t want to leave when it was time to go home.

Howard Rosenkrance, a retired forest ranger, says that Aubrey Spears bought the Stanley ski tow rope and engine and put it up on Big Hill above Challis in 1962. When that didn’t work out because too much snow prevented anyone from reaching it, he put it up on Willow Creek Summit between Challis and Mackay the next winter. After that, Rosenkrance thinks Spears sold or gave the engine and rope back to Stanley.

This post has been edited by Racer Ready: 09 September 2012 - 02:43 PM


#10 Peter Pitcher

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 05:02 AM

View Posticeberg210, on 24 March 2011 - 11:49 AM, said:

I think the resort you're thinking about is Lionhead, which was discussed here...
Lionhead Yellowstone Ski etc

If you do have any pictures of that we'd love to see them as the old pictures have broken links now, plus more pictures of skilifts is never a bad thing...

Thanks!I think the area at the junction of 191 was called sunset. Lionshead was closer to Yellowstone in Montana


#11 seatoski

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 08:48 AM

View Posticeberg210, on 23 March 2011 - 09:22 AM, said:

Does anyone know anything about Taylor Mountain Ski Area outside of Idaho Falls? I'd never heard of it before but it appears they have/had an old Heron/Poma perhaps? there and about the only thing I've found out is that it was founded in 1958 and closed in 1982. Anyone have any more information? Thanks.

Posted Image

More pictures at this link...more pics




I grew up at the foot of Taylor Mountain, well after it closed. I don't really know anything about the lifts they had. I think I remember stories of maybe 2 lifts? You can kind of see where the lift line was. I hear the land is now owned by a couple, maybe? If you go south from Ammon and follow the foothills east of Shelley you can get a glimps. Hard to explain the farm roads that can get you closer. There is a lot of private land around it so access is tricky. You can also go up around Bone and find a way in that way too. Low snow fall up there though for about that last 30 years. Too bad, the top looks like it would be fun to ski, okay steeps for at least a few turns. Maybe I can talk to some buddies who are still in the Area and see if they can take some pics if they are out horn hunting this spring.

#12 iceberg210

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 09:19 AM

View Postseatoski, on 05 April 2011 - 08:48 AM, said:

I grew up at the foot of Taylor Mountain, well after it closed. I don't really know anything about the lifts they had. I think I remember stories of maybe 2 lifts? You can kind of see where the lift line was. I hear the land is now owned by a couple, maybe? If you go south from Ammon and follow the foothills east of Shelley you can get a glimps. Hard to explain the farm roads that can get you closer. There is a lot of private land around it so access is tricky. You can also go up around Bone and find a way in that way too. Low snow fall up there though for about that last 30 years. Too bad, the top looks like it would be fun to ski, okay steeps for at least a few turns. Maybe I can talk to some buddies who are still in the area and see if they can take some pics if they are out horn hunting this spring.

Thanks for the information! Do you know if the lifts are still up? I figured at least one was cause those pictures I found were taken in 2010 if I remember correctly...
Erik Berg
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#13 SkiBachelor

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 10:55 AM

It looks like the State of Idaho is interested in purchasing the property to make it into a park, but the owners have no intentions of selling it.
- Cameron

#14 Carl

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 11:37 AM

Sorry, I must have moved the images......

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Carl

#15 iceberg210

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 12:19 PM

Awesome pics Carl! Which resort is that? Also do you know who made that lift? I don't recognize it, but it's a pretty neat design...
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#16 bblifts

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 01:29 PM

That is the lift by Henry's lake

like I said above I think it was removed this summer or fall, or was completely burried

#17 SkiBachelor

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 06:42 PM

Carl, if it's not too much work, could you point to where this ski area is located on Google Maps?

I tried looking for it tonight, but had no luck.
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#18 Tom @ Snake River

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 07:03 PM

The pictures of the blue lift are of the Sunset Lodge on Henry's Lake. They did tear it out this summer 2010. The resort ran for about 2 or 3 years in the early 70's.
I went up a couple of times for the National Ski Patrol. The lift seemed to be hyd as it ran really slow. The terrian was poor, as you were skiing down the draws most of the time.
The owner tended to drink, as was known to start the lift and go down to the lodge and run the bar the rest of the day. He basically wanted the NSP to come run the resort and the double chair ran unmanned.
After several trips up, the powers to be in the NSP threw the red flags and stated that the NSP would not staff the resort which resulted in it closing down due to the inability to aquire liability insurance.

Now the Taylor Mtn. I skiied it in the late 60's and maybe 1971. My memory is that it only had a double chair. It was ran by an austrailian gentleman named Miniver who also ran a radio shop out on North Yellowstone in Idaho Falls. His daughter Dasha is now the co-owner of The Wealth of Heath in Idaho Falls, and can be reached there.

Bear Gulch is located 11 miles east of Ashton on State hiway 47 towards Mesa Falls. It still remains today a popular trailhead for snowmobiles and cross country skiiers.
Let me try some pictures. If they take.
The first will be the double chair lift, it was hyd and had the counter weight at the bottom. Not sure of the manuf right now. But only 2 were made. Said to be make by a logging firm.
The 2nd and 3rd pictures will be of the old T-bar shack which was built after WW II. The T-bar ran up untill about 1965. Pics were taken summer of 2010.

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#19 Peter Pitcher

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 05:49 PM

The old chair lift at Bear Gulch is a Miner Denver, it is listed in the 1965 installation survey as a telecar which some of the early Miner Denvers were called. It may have been built by a logging company from Burley but it was manufactured by Miner Denver. I looked at it in about '88 or '89, the trees were about chest high on the trails, they must be 25 feet high by now. This lift flew the light side about a hundred feet in the air while the heavy side was supported by several towers and held down at the transition. The top drive hydraulic terminal was all there, the ground was ssaturated with what looked like hundreds of gallons of hydraulic oil, what a mess. I wonder if the lift is still there. I don't think the terrain was very difficult like one of the previous posts described nor can I see how a railway could have gone through there. When I visited, the lodge was intact, a nice enough building but full of marmot scat and a few dead animals.
It remember the lift at Sunset as well. It had some CTEC upgrades, the chair grips and the sheaves were CTEC. I have heard that the lift was originally a Constam, I don't think Constam made chair lifts, maybe they did or maybe this was originally a Tee Bar. It looked like a decent enough lift that was slowly returning to nature. The terrain was not impressive.
I appreciate the work of those people that preserve the early history of skiing and the abandoned ghosts of the early ski areas. I still wonder where the presently operating and in good condition chairlift at Maverick Mountain came from.
Peter

#20 Tom @ Snake River

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 08:27 PM

Peter, Thanks for the reply. I will take your word for it, that it is a Miner Denver, and 1965 is correct as to the installation. The thoughts about the logging Co and being made in Burley were just here say from a long time ago.

The lodge was burned down by the Forest Service in 1989, and now the trees are now a good 25 ft tall. Bear Gulch sat in a area of lush growth and reforested quite easily. It is hard to manuver around. ATV's could get around the area last summer, but now the "good ole" Forest Service is working at closing all the access roads off in the area. We are fighting it, but I doubt that there will be any public hearings. That is how the FS always functioned around here.

Bear Gulch was known to have great expert and intermediate terrian, and very poor beginners runs. So you had to either "ski or die".

Hopefully you can visit the area again some time. The old chair lift and cables are still up, and the T-bar structures are still intact. And yes, the railroad ran about 200 yards from the parking lot in Warm River canyon. There is the Bear Gulch railway tunnel which was constructed in 1915 and recently part of the lava ceiling caved in. It is part of the Rails to Trails system and the FS has cut off travel through the tunnel, but it can be traversed on the outside on the old rail bed.





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