Like you other oldsters I feel that, in general, lift lines have never been more manageable then the present. I can remember back in the 1970’s when the lines for the two main double chairs at the bottom of the hill at Blue Knob, Pennsylvania would each stretch about a third of a mile on many Saturday and Sunday afternoons. It would take an hour or more to muddle through them.
Back in the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s skiing was a real growth industry. Triple Olympic gold medalist Jean Claude Killy of France was sort of the Tiger Woods of the era, attracting lots of folks to a sport they hadn’t tried before. Infrastructure had not kept pace with this boom in popularity.
Operating out of the Wash DC area the hot spots I frequented for local skiing then were Charnita (now Liberty), Roundtop, and Bryce Mountain.
An hour or two further away, other popular old areas like Seven Springs, Canaan Valley, Wisp, Blue Knob, and Camelback offered additional options for Beatles-era skiers. Most of these resorts were every bit as crowded on prime winter weekends as they are now. In fact, perhaps more so because many additional mid-Atlantic ski areas such as Massanutten, Wintergreen, Whitetail, Winterplace, Snowshoe, Timberline, and Hidden Valley didn’t come along to absorb more skier traffic until a few years later.
With the stagnation in skier growth over the last couple decades I’m sure that if someone could quantify it, we would all be pleased to know that there are now many more miles of available ski runs per number of participants than 35 years ago.