The small non profit ski area is in the process of adding a warming hut.
Saturday, October 8, 2016, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
In the midst of a rebirth, Ascutney Outdoors is attempting to add night skiing to its list of offerings.
In a September 28, 2016 Vermont Act 250 filing, the non-profit group requested permission to install lights along its rope tow to provide night skiing three nights per week. 14 LED lights would be installed on the rope tow towers, qualifying for a Efficiency Vermont rebate.
Meanwhile, a warming hut is being constructed near the bottom of the rope tow. The charred remains of the ski area's base lodge are just feet away.
It is not known if or when a platter lift will be installed at Ascutney. Previously circulated plans involved lift service up to 1,500 feet in elevation.
Originally developed as a surface lift ski operation in the mid 1940s, the financially troubled Ascutney Mountain ski area closed amidst foreclosure proceedings during the 2009-10 season. The high speed quad was removed in 2012 and the triple chairlifts in 2014. The remaining double chairlift is not currently functional. The Town of West Windsor approved the acquisition of the defunct ski area on October 14, 2014. On January 8, 2015, the main lodge was lost to a fire.
A local non-profit group, Mount Ascutney Outdoors was established as a Vermont business entity on September 13, 2015. Art Keating of Brownsville is listed as its President, Linda Stillson of Windsor its Vice President, Brian Quirk of West Windsor its Secretary, and Linda Quirk of West Windsor its Agent. Laura Farrell, founder Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports and the Vermont 50 race, is the Executive Director.
Some 460 to 470 acres containing the bulk of the ski terrain were purchased by Trust for Public Land in late 2015, then transferred to town with a conservation easement held by Upper Valley Land Trust. A 3.38 acre tract at the base of the Screaming Eagle trail was purchased by the town and may not have as many use restrictions. The tract includes the maintenance building and original base lodge.
Since Federal funds were used, many restrictions are expected to be placed on the property, limiting potential future ski operations. Pursuant to the regulations around the Federal funding and local easement control, commercial ski operations will likely be banned. In addition, maintenance of the upper mountain ski trails may be prohibited. The town however can potentially have alpine skiing below 1,500 feet in elevation, roughly lining up with the former summit triple chairlift mid station.
Despite the bad weather in 2015-16, a 806 foot long by 170 foot vertical rope tow was installed and operated by volunteers for a few days starting on January 16, 2016.
Mt. Ascutney lighting proposal map
Mt. Ascutney rope tow USGS map
Mt. Ascutney Trail Map with 2015-16 lift served area in orange