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Monteau circa the 1980s
Monteau Ski Area
Haverhill, New Hampshire
Status: Lost/Defunct
First Season:1973-74
Last Season:1989-90
Vertical Drop:650 feet
Standing Lifts:
Past Lifts:1 double, surface lifts
Left: Monteau circa the 1980s
Recent NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News:
Located just west of the White Mountain National Forest near the Swiftwater section of Haverhill, Monteau operated as a chairlift served ski area for nearly two decades.

Mountain Lakes

The Mountain Lakes development dates back to April of 1965, when W. John Dunnan established Town & Country Homes of Massachusetts, Inc. as a New Hampshire corporation. Lots near the recently created Mountain Lake were sold starting around that time.

Swiftwater Valley Ski Area

The base lodge
The base lodge

Construction on a ski area in the development may have started in 1972 when a Thiokol double chairlift was installed on a 1,470 foot mountain named Whites Pinnacle. That winter, Town & Country also purchased the Copple Crown development and ski area in Wolfeboro.

Swiftwater Valley ski area likely opened in December of 1973, but operated for only seven days that winter due to poor snowfall. The following season, Ski declared the area "practically a virgin" and claimed the trails were only "skied by the ski school, patrolmen and a few passersby." The three trails were relatively tame in terms of pitch, catering to novice and intermediate skiers.

Swiftwater Becomes Monteau

Bigger problems were forming in the background, as the development struggled with water supply and financial issues. In 1975, Town & Country Homes filed for bankruptcy. Ski area equipment was reportedly sold at auction in 1976, while the base lodge was sold to the newly formed Mountain Lakes District in 1977. A group of investors formed Monteau Ski Area, Inc. in August of 1978 and purchased Swiftwater Valley ski area, renaming it to Monteau.

The Mountain Lakes District purchased the ski area property and associated assets (excluding the chairlift, which was apparently leased to the district by the corporation for a period), in December of 1981 and cut two more trails for the 1982-83 season. Snowmaking was installed in 1983 to help keep Monteau operational in winters with poor snowfall, as experienced in the early 1970s and early 1980s.

Closure and Liquidation

Monteau in 2014
Monteau in 2014

The Mountain Lakes District likely leased the ski area to Steve Schaefer's Monteau Ski Area & Base Lodge entity for the 1989-90 season, however the operator went bankrupt in 1990 and the ski area was shut down. The equipment was subsequently sold and the chairlift removed late in the summer of 1992. The district retained ownership of the land and lodge.

Repairs and improvements were made to the lodge in 2002, allowing it to operate for functions and winter sledders and ice skaters.

Possible Revival

As of 2014, only the lower mountain slope has been kept clear, mainly to allow for sledding. Narrow paths lead up through otherwise overgrown ski trails. Snowmaking equipment appears to have been removed. An old rope tow sits on the side of the slope, while the old maintenance garage remains standing nearby.

The Mountain Lakes Master Plan includes the possibility of opening a rope tow serviced ski area in the future. It is not known if or when this may happen, or if it would be open to non-residents.

Lifts
Click on lift name for information and photos
Standing Lifts
Installed

Past Lifts
Seasons
The double chairlift in the early 1970s
Double Chair
Thiokol
Chairlift - Double - Fixed
1972-73
-
1991-92

Maps
1974-75 Swiftwater Valley trail map2000s Mountain Lakes District map of Monteau
View All Monteau Ski Area Trail Maps

Year by Year History
Adult Weekend Full Day Lift Ticket; Adult Full Price Unlimited Season Pass
1990s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1989-90$17.001989-90 Ticket Price Graph1989-90 Season Pass Price Graph1989-90 Skier Visit Graph
1980s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1988-89$17.001988-89 Ticket Price Graph1988-89 Season Pass Price Graph1988-89 Skier Visit Graph
1987-88$16.001987-88 Ticket Price Graph1987-88 Season Pass Price Graph1987-88 Skier Visit Graph
1970s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1976-771976-77 Ticket Price Graph$100.001976-77 Season Pass Price Graph1976-77 Skier Visit Graph

Visitor Memories
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External Links
  • Monteau - New England Lost Ski Areas Project
  • Mountain Lakes District
  • Whites Pinnacle - FranklinSites.com Hiking Guide
  • Last updated: November 25, 2016

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