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Easterners, remember Mt. Tom?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Anybody on here ever ski on an old little 'hill' called Mt. Tom, in Holyoke, MA? It's where I learned how to ski back in the early 80s, where I joined the jr. ski patrol and such...and it closed in the mid 90s. It was a very personable place to be.

I was just asking because this year I took up the challenge to hike portions of the M-M trail in my area, and I found that it takes you right to the top of Mt. Tom, so I hiked the old ski trails. It's like a ghost place up there...some snow guns and lines still laying around, the old pumphouse by the pond still houses the airpump, the old taboggan huts are there...kinda makes me sad to look at it. I even went in the old abandonded skischool hut, where I spent time learning and eventually teaching. All of our name placards (wood handpainted things) are still strewn all over the floor! The lockers are still downstairs, the cash register is still there WITH the till in it (no money)...its just like one day everybody up and left. And btw, there are parts of the alpine slide still in the woods on the far left side (looking down).

Anyway, a friend and myself are going to go up there this winter if we get enough snow, for old time's sake, and lug our gear up to the top and take a run down. Apparently there are a few people that have done that before. Hell of a hike up, without the snow, I can attest to that

Ok, I'm done thinking about past memories now
post #2 of 33
Memories are great, look at my posts I am a guilty as most. The memories you have of Mt. Tom are the same as mine of Timber Hill.
post #3 of 33
Ah, yes, good old Mt. Tom! I only skied there a couple of times. One time we were with cousins from South Hadley, I was about 7 or 8 and still had laced boots. My cousin and I rode the T-bar together. My lace and his buckle got entangled and we fell! Ah, the memories. The last year they were open my little ski are went there to join them for their Ski Patrol Refresher (I was a patroller then).

I also remember the amusement park that was once there very well. My family used to take weekly trips there in the summer. My dad and my cousin always got free tickets from work...that was when you needed a ticket for each ride.

I have some postcards of the ski area on my site and a couple brochures.

This is one of the cards.
post #4 of 33
post #5 of 33
I also learned to ski at mt tom when I was 10. Only J bar I have ever seen to this day. It was a fun little place. I still have scars from the alpine slide in the summer. A couple of warm winters killed that place. Riding up to MT Tom back then was the best thing ever. I still get that feeling today when I arrive at a western ski hill I have never skied. Jackson Hole here I come

Alfonse
post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesdeluxe
Hey is that your site? I came across it a few months ago when I was looking for hiking info @ Mt. Tom.

If anyone is interested, the Quarry was blocked from expanding any further! The boys and girls club bought and is renovating the lodge, the fish and wildlife area owns another 1/4 of it, and somebody else owns the other 1/4.
post #7 of 33
I got college phys ed credits there in the mid 70's by taking a one day a week skiing course.

Also took Table Tennis and Bowling while getting a fairly decent education at U Mass Amherst.
post #8 of 33
I grew up in South Deerfield, MA (parents still live there), so I skied at Mt. Tom many times. We used to have a ski club at school, and if I remember correctly we would do a night ski on Mondays after school. This was in the early 80's when I was in Jr. High. It didn't seem so small back then, and we had a blast.

Not so funny story - I think it was the last time I went there, I was up visiting my parents (early 90's, I think) and decided to take advantage of a snowy day. So I borrowed my Dad's '76 Ford LTD wagon (perhaps the worst car for snow ever made) and headed out. After a solid day of skiing it had snowed much more than I expected and as I headed down the mountain I managed to slide off the road and hit the curb real hard: . It seemed like the car was OK so I kept driving but soon realized the front right tire had blown out. I pulled into an abandoned motel (unplowed, of course) where I somehow managed to jack up the car and put on the spare working in about 15" of new snow. Not fun. It ended up being a very long day. Dad, of course, was none too pleased and even less so when we learned how bad I screwed up the suspension. It ended up costing several hundred dollars. Oh well. At least it gives me a lasting memory of the late Mt. Tom.
post #9 of 33
I remember Mt. Tom! I think I only skiied there once, but I rode on the alpine and water slides many times as a kid. It was very sad when they closed
post #10 of 33
I skied Mount Tom a couple of times as a kid when I lived in Connecticut. Don't remember much other than it was a shorter drive than going all the way to Vermont and more vertical than Powder Hill but less than Mount Snow.
post #11 of 33
Powder Ridge not Powder hill! How dare you disrespect such a huge amazing ski hill. Oh yeah, btw I live in the east and SARCASM is big here.

Alfonse
post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfonse
Powder Ridge not Powder hill! How dare you disrespect such a huge amazing ski hill. Oh yeah, btw I live in the east and SARCASM is big here.

Alfonse
Well, it is on Powder Hill Rd. is it possible that it was once called Powder Hill instead of Powder Ridge??? :
post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by bvibert
Well, it is on Powder Hill Rd. is it possible that it was once called Powder Hill instead of Powder Ridge??? :
Right you are!!!!!
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by teachskiljp
Right you are!!!!!
Cool, I knew I would be right about something someday!
post #15 of 33
Well at least they got the powder part right. With that annual 60" of powder they must get face shots daily. Mammoth has received 85" of snow this year, of course its not november yet.
post #16 of 33
I know of a place called Powder House Hill that was named that way because in the early years of the United Stated there was a powder mill located there. This powder mill made gun powder. The tended to make powder mills on hills and/or near rivers. Perhaps that is how this ski area got it's name.
post #17 of 33
I never skied Mt. Tom but it was a familiar landmark on trips to and from Vermont.

Powder Hill, now that's another story. It was the closest ski area to us and we used to go there Friday and Saturday nights when I was a senior in high school. The drinking age was 18. They had a bar right at the bottom of the slope. And they were open until 3AM. Funny, somehow my memory of the place is a little fuzzy.
post #18 of 33
I broke my left leg at Mt Tom on a weekly High School ski trip on a Wednesday night back in 1972. So yes, I will never forget Mt Tom.
post #19 of 33
Yep, I remember Mt. Tom. It was on the way to Amherst College (go Lord Jeffs). When I was in college, some of my buds went skiing there. I never had a chance. Last year, I finally remember it existed and wanted to go but found out it had been closed for so long now. Ah, down memory lane we go.....
post #20 of 33
Mt Tom & Powder Ridge (Hill), oh, yeah ... My first time on skis was on a rope tow across the parking lot from the old PR main area. Somewhere around '62 or '63. Many, many days/evenings at Mt Tom in High School & College (Groton & Willimantic, repsectively). It was way closer than VT so for the quick 'get your jones' it was Mt Tom. Otherwise, weekend days was Hogback, Round Top or Okemo back when it was a little place.

Rope Tow ?! It's a wonder we actually kept it up after the Rope Tow! Can't say that I miss 'em much.
post #21 of 33
Yup, got college credit for skiing there. UMass Amherst, I think it was 3, maybe 6 days in the late 80's-early 90's. Don't remember much about it, just that it was a nice small hill and I actually was getting college credit for skiing.
post #22 of 33
Mt Tom was an urban skiing experience. I had a pair of Hexcel skis stolen there in '77 or '78 while night skiing. Like others I went to U Mass Amherst and have many fond but beer sodden memories of the area.
post #23 of 33
I hiked Mt. Tom with my buddy this summer and we are definitely excited about the prospects of skiing there this winter. I have some pics from the top of the trails if you're interested. Lemme know when/if your're gonna ski it...maybe we could meet up or exchange some trail/snow condition info.
post #24 of 33
Grew up skiing at Mt Tom. WOW FLASHBACK. I skied there 100s of times my dad tought there and he would drag us out of school every other day and drive us there in the station wagon with a bunch of sandwiches and we would ski till close and then sleep in the car and in class the next day. Might be why I am not a rocket scientist now. I don't remember skiing there in daylight somehow. I remember we had to ski toward the light. There were many dark spots on the hill and you could put together 3-4 good turns before you had to look for more light. Mt Tom, Where I leaned to ski the edges cause that is where all the "good" snow was. Ahhh...when technique ment nothing and it was all for the grinns. Thanks for the memories MT. Tom! So sad to see such a huge feeder mountain fall to just memories. Ironic that Mt Tom got me so hooked on skiing that I made it my life. Never under estimate the power of a small mountain I guess.
post #25 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dipstik
I hiked Mt. Tom with my buddy this summer and we are definitely excited about the prospects of skiing there this winter. I have some pics from the top of the trails if you're interested. Lemme know when/if your're gonna ski it...maybe we could meet up or exchange some trail/snow condition info.
Ok, I'll keep that in mind!
post #26 of 33
Mt. Tom, Powder Hill (they changed it to Ridge?), Okemo, I haven't thought about these places for many years.

Did anyone ever ski a little hill in NY that I think was called Birch Hill? It had a great little steep and was lots of fun at night. There was another fun small hill just outside of New Britan, Ct, can't remember the name.

I have fond memories of all (and more) these gentle little hills, great places for kids to learn, run gates on bullet proof snow under the lights, etc.

Unless of course we're talking about my kids, spoiled little buggers who've been putting in 20-30 days in the Sierra since they could walk. In my next life...
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobski
...There was another fun small hill just outside of New Britan, Ct, can't remember the name.
Maybe you're thinking of Mount Southington? Its the closest to New Britain that I know of, unless it was one of the small ones in New Britain that has since closed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobski
Unless of course we're talking about my kids, spoiled little buggers who've been putting in 20-30 days in the Sierra since they could walk. In my next life...
Lucky kids!
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobski
Did anyone ever ski a little hill in NY that I think was called Birch Hill? It had a great little steep and was lots of fun at night. There was another fun small hill just outside of New Britan, Ct, can't remember the name.

I have fond memories of all (and more) these gentle little hills,
Bobski,

You might enjoy poking around in

http://www.nelsap.org/

I did not see Birch Hill listed in NY, though.
post #29 of 33
I grew up in Wilbraham, MA (home of Friendly's Ice Cream and State Line Potato Chips) and our jr. high school had a ski club that would go up to Mt. Tom every Wednesday night back in the late 80's. What memories! Learned to ski there..."made out" for the first time on the double chair over "Boulevard" and "Sidewinder"...got hit by a 4 year old and blew out my knee and couldn't ski for 6 years...

I too am planning on schleping on up there this winter, so SkiRacrNut and dipstik, keep me in the loop...

Oh yeah, best part of Mt. Tom: the Waterfall trail. I was so intimidated by it when I first started skiing. I can't wait to kick its a** this winter (weather permitting).
post #30 of 33
The boulevard chair was so short! I remember thinking about how Waterfall was so ridiculously steep haha. I remember blowing of the red things on the end of my Gold dynaster courses at Mt Tom. I have a memory of a violent crash that sent my skis on the end of safety straps snapping back into me, OUCH! The best though was my buddy careening completely out of control down waterfall getting huge air leading to a total yard sale and the much needed primal scream. The end result? He snapped one of his wooden rossi's in two and had to walk down the rest of the way.

Alfonse
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