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Camden Snow Bowl
Camden Snow Bowl
Camden, Maine
Status: Open
First Season:1950s
Vertical Drop:950 feet
Standing Lifts:1 triple, 1 double, surface lifts
Past Lifts:Surface lifts
Left: Camden Snow Bowl
Recent NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News:
4/25/2017: Growing Problems at Camden Snow Bowl
4/27/2015: New Camden Snow Bowl Lodge Postponed
1/30/2015: Camden Snow Bowl Opens
1/21/2015: New Camden Snow Bowl Opening Date Announ...
SkiNewEngland.net Profile
Located in the coastal town of Camden, the Camden Snow Bowl has been a popular local ski area for decades.

Early Years

Winter activities on the slope of Ragged Mountain date back to 1936, when the town's first winter carnival was hosted. The Camden Outing Club grew throughout the years with skiing activities focus on the Ragged Mountain slope and the trail Mt. Megunticook.

Lift served skiing likely started on Ragged Mountain in 1958, when a rope tow was installed at Camden Snow Bowl.

Camden Snow Bowl Expands

As the skiing boom of the 1960s hit New England, Camden Snow Bowl expanded. New terrain was added in 1963, significantly expanding the size of the ski area.

In 1966, a new Hall T-Bar was installed, serving 761 vertical feet. The lift opened on January 14, 1967.

Ten months later, the base lodge burned down, side tracking a multi-year expansion plan. A snowmaking installation was delayed so that a new A frame lodge could be constructed in 1968.

In the spring of 1971, the Camden Snow Bowl sold a rope tow to a group of Belfast, Maine residents, who then developed the El Depot ski area with it.

Suffering from a series of bad winters in the early 1970s, the Camden Outing Club looked to move forward with snowmaking at the Snow Bowl. Lost Valley's owner Otto Wallingford was hired as a consultant. Funds were obtained from local, state, and federal government sources for the installation of a Hedco system in the fall of 1973.

The snowmaking system was installed just in time, as only 14 inches of snowfall was recorded that winter. The new snowmaking system resulted in 40 days and 10 nights of skiing in a season that would have otherwise yielded 4 days from natural snowfall.

Dedham's Loss Is Camden's Gain

Installation of the double chairlift in 1975
Installation of the double chairlift in 1975

In the spring of 1974, former Ambassador, IBM World Trade Corporation President, Smugglers Notch owner, and Camden resident Arthur "Dick" Watson bought the foreclosed Bald Mountain from the Farmers Home Administration and donated the lifts to the Camden Snow Bowl.

The lifts were refurbished in early 1975 by a crew including Comprehensive Employment Training Act members. Installation of the chairlift and T-Bar took place via helicopter that fall.

Bad weather and increased electrical prices hit Camden Snow Bowl particularly hard during the winter of 1975-76, pushing it into financial jeopardy. While 1976-77 was a better season, the Camden Outing Club's financial situation resulted in it replacing General Manager Kenneth Hardy with Wendy Frutchy.

Camden Outing Club Steps Down

1978-79 was once again a tough season, with bad weather and only one functional snow gun resulting in a sizable operating loss. Subsequent winters took their toll, resulting in the operation falling deeply in debt. The Camden Outing Club ceased operating the ski area following the 1980-81 season.

The town soon started lease negotiations with Colorado businessman John Finn. Finn's proposal included making the Snow Bowl a year round area complete with an alpine slide and bumper boats. The deal fell through by the end of the summer of 1981.

Around that time, nearby Samoset Resort came to the rescue and agreed to run the Camden Snow Bowl for the 1981-82 season, purchasing two new snow guns to help hedge against subpar snowfall. The Samoset Resort continued operating the Snow Bowl through the 1983-84 season, however continued losses resulted in it handing the reins back to the town later that summer. Former Canadian national ski team member Russell Lagare was then hired by the town of Camden to run the ski area.

Into the Future?

Ragged Mountain Redevelopment Construction (2014)
Ragged Mountain Redevelopment Construction (2014)

The Ragged Mountain Recreation Area Foundation was created in 1991 with the intention of helping fund improvements at the Snow Bowl. A major fundraising campaign was commenced in 1997. Meanwhile, the area was in the midst of three consecutive seasons operationally in the red.

The snowmaking system received a boost in 2002 when the Snow Bowl received a federal grant from improvements.

In 2006, the Town of Camden hired Horizons Engineering to conduct a study and compile a long range plan for the ski area. Among the recommendations included improved snowmaking and a new chairlift.

In 2010, the former summit triple chairlift at Shawnee Peak was purchased by the Snow Bowl and placed in storage, in anticipation of the Ragged Mountain Redevelopment Project.

The triple chairlift and base lodge (2015)
The triple chairlift and base lodge (2015)

While work on the project began in March 2014, construction fell behind schedule, resulting in a January 29, 2015 opening with triple chairlift service. The double chairlift was reinstalled for the 2015-16 season.

NewEnglandSkiConditions.com Reports
Month Average Percent of Terrain Open
March95%    (1 report)95 Open
Recent Conditions Reports
Mar. 21, 2015 by rocket21
Packed Powder, Loose Granular
Camden Snow Bowl on NewEnglandSkiConditions.com

NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News
Recent Articles
Growing Problems at Camden Snow Bowl - Apr. 25, 2017
New Camden Snow Bowl Lodge Postponed - Apr. 27, 2015
Camden Snow Bowl Opens - Jan. 30, 2015
New Camden Snow Bowl Opening Date Announced - Jan. 21, 2015
Camden Snow Bowl Still Without Chairlift Service - Jan. 19, 2015
Smaller Ski Areas Struggling to Open - Jan. 4, 2015
Camden Snow Bowl Reopening Delayed Until 2015 - Dec. 30, 2014
REPORT: Camden Snow Bowl Construction Behind Schedule - Nov. 16, 2014
Saddleback Purchases Camden Snow Bowl T-Bar - Nov. 6, 2014
Camden Snow Bowl Redevelopment Begins - Mar. 18, 2014
Camden Snow Bowl NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News Page

Expansion History
Project
Season
Ragged Mountain Redevelopment
Construction
2014-15

Image Gallery
1971-72 Eastern Ski Map1972-73 Eastern Ski MapFebruary 12, 1976 Bangor Daily NewsFebruary 12, 1981 Lewiston Daily SunCamden Snow Bowl Aerial Imagery, 1998 vs. 2011
View All Images in Camden Snow Bowl Image Gallery



Lifts
Click on lift name for information and photos
Standing Lifts
Installed
Pouring tower footings (October 2014)
Double
Hall
Chairlift - Double - Fixed
2015-16
The Summit Triple in storage in 2012
Summit Triple
Riblet
Chairlift - Triple - Fixed
2014-15

Past Lifts
Seasons
The Big T-Bar circa the 2010s
Big T-Bar
Hall
T-Bar
1966-67
-
2013-14
The double chair in 2012
Chair
Hall
Chairlift - Double - Fixed
1975-76
-
2013-14
The Little T-Bar in 2012
Little T-Bar
Hall
T-Bar
1975-76
-
2013-14

Maps
1970-71 Camden Snow Bowl Trail Map1973-74 Camden Snow Bowl Trail Map1986-87 Camden Snow Bowl Trail Map1999-00 Camden Snow Bowl Trail Map2000-01 Camden Snow Bowl Trail Map2001-02 Camden Snow Bowl Trail Map
View All Camden Snow Bowl Trail Maps

Year by Year History
Adult Weekend Full Day Lift Ticket; Adult Full Price Unlimited Season Pass
2010s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
2016-17$43.002016-17 Ticket Price Graph$529.002016-17 Season Pass Price Graph12.3 daysDecember 17March 192016-17 Skier Visit Graph
2015-16$39.002015-16 Ticket Price Graph$529.002015-16 Season Pass Price Graph13.6 daysJanuary 1March 622,0002015-16 Skier Visit Graph
2014-15$39.002014-15 Ticket Price Graph$499.002014-15 Season Pass Price Graph12.8 daysJanuary 29April 428,0002014-15 Skier Visit Graph
2013-14$35.002013-14 Ticket Price Graph$468.002013-14 Season Pass Price Graph13.4 daysDecember 20March 1630,0002013-14 Skier Visit Graph
2012-13$35.002012-13 Ticket Price Graph$468.002012-13 Season Pass Price Graph13.4 daysDecember 22March 2430,5922012-13 Skier Visit Graph
2011-12$35.002011-12 Ticket Price Graph$468.002011-12 Season Pass Price Graph13.4 daysDecember 23March 1826,8732011-12 Skier Visit Graph
2010-11$33.002010-11 Ticket Price Graph$446.002010-11 Season Pass Price Graph13.5 daysMarch 2733,7492010-11 Skier Visit Graph
2009-10$33.002009-10 Ticket Price Graph$446.002009-10 Season Pass Price Graph13.5 daysMarch 1330,3632009-10 Skier Visit Graph
2000s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
2008-09$33.002008-09 Ticket Price Graph$446.002008-09 Season Pass Price Graph13.5 daysDecember 2427,6692008-09 Skier Visit Graph
2007-08$30.002007-08 Ticket Price Graph$425.002007-08 Season Pass Price Graph14.2 daysMarch 302007-08 Skier Visit Graph
2006-07$30.002006-07 Ticket Price Graph$425.002006-07 Season Pass Price Graph14.2 daysMarch 252006-07 Skier Visit Graph
2005-06$30.002005-06 Ticket Price Graph$425.002005-06 Season Pass Price Graph14.2 daysDecember 2217,7112005-06 Skier Visit Graph
2004-052004-05 Ticket Price Graph2004-05 Season Pass Price Graph26,2772004-05 Skier Visit Graph
2003-04$28.002003-04 Ticket Price Graph$390.002003-04 Season Pass Price Graph13.9 days28,8002003-04 Skier Visit Graph
2002-03$28.002002-03 Ticket Price Graph$360.002002-03 Season Pass Price Graph12.9 days32,0002002-03 Skier Visit Graph
2001-02$28.002001-02 Ticket Price Graph$360.002001-02 Season Pass Price Graph12.9 days30,0002001-02 Skier Visit Graph
2000-01$28.002000-01 Ticket Price Graph$360.002000-01 Season Pass Price Graph12.9 daysApril 135,0002000-01 Skier Visit Graph
1999-00$29.001999-00 Ticket Price Graph$360.001999-00 Season Pass Price Graph12.4 days1999-00 Skier Visit Graph
1990s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1998-99$28.001998-99 Ticket Price Graph$360.001998-99 Season Pass Price Graph12.9 days1998-99 Skier Visit Graph
1996-97$24.001996-97 Ticket Price Graph1996-97 Season Pass Price Graph1996-97 Skier Visit Graph
1990-911990-91 Ticket Price Graph1990-91 Season Pass Price GraphJanuary 61990-91 Skier Visit Graph
1980s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1987-881987-88 Ticket Price Graph1987-88 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 191987-88 Skier Visit Graph
1986-87$16.001986-87 Ticket Price Graph1986-87 Season Pass Price Graph1986-87 Skier Visit Graph
1984-85$15.001984-85 Ticket Price Graph1984-85 Season Pass Price Graph1984-85 Skier Visit Graph
1983-84$11.001983-84 Ticket Price Graph1983-84 Season Pass Price Graph1983-84 Skier Visit Graph
1982-83$11.001982-83 Ticket Price Graph1982-83 Season Pass Price Graph1982-83 Skier Visit Graph
1980-81$9.001980-81 Ticket Price Graph1980-81 Season Pass Price Graph1980-81 Skier Visit Graph
1970s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1977-78$8.001977-78 Ticket Price Graph1977-78 Season Pass Price Graph1977-78 Skier Visit Graph
1976-771976-77 Ticket Price Graph$140.001976-77 Season Pass Price Graph1976-77 Skier Visit Graph
1971-72$4.751971-72 Ticket Price Graph$85.001971-72 Season Pass Price Graph17.9 days1971-72 Skier Visit Graph
1970-71$4.251970-71 Ticket Price Graph1970-71 Season Pass Price Graph1970-71 Skier Visit Graph
1969-70$4.251969-70 Ticket Price Graph1969-70 Season Pass Price Graph1969-70 Skier Visit Graph

Visitor Memories
"I visited Camden Snow Bowl on 2/22/2014 and was able to ride the Big T-Bar before it was removed. It was one of the longest t-bars in the USA and was unique because it was longer than the chairlift. It was one of the nicest t-bars I have ridden because it was never too steep, too flat, too slow, or too fast. It was a great lift and hopefully they can sell it and get it reinstalled at another location.- Newenglandskier13"
Sam Shirley, Jul. 8, 2014
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External Links
  • Camden Snow Bowl - official site
  • Last updated: December 18, 2016

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