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The double chairlift (2014)
Whaleback Mountain
Enfield, New Hampshire
Status: Open
First Season:1956-57
Vertical Drop:700 feet
Standing Lifts:1 double, surface lifts
Past Lifts:Surface lifts
Left: The double chairlift (2014)
Recent NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News:
12/7/2016: Whaleback Postpones T-Bar Installation
11/27/2016: Lift Installation Projects Continue as D...
11/13/2016: Lift Installation Projects Continue as S...
8/30/2016: Ski Lift Installations Gearing Up in New...
SkiNewEngland.net Profile
Located just off Interstate 89 southeast of Lebanon, Whaleback's skiing history dates back to a small operation called Snow Crest.

Snow Crest Ski Area

The base area during the Snow Crest days
The base area during the Snow Crest days

Snow Crest ski area was developed by Lebanon Outing Club ski jumping champion Ernest Dion as a small, local operation. The ski area debuted for the 1956-57 season with a 1,500 foot long by 350 foot vertical T-Bar. Terminating at the top of the present day Spout and Blow Hole trails, the T-Bar served intermediate and expert terrain. In addition, a 600 foot rope tow for novices was located on the lower Spout slope. A third row may have been in operation as well.

The Spout rope tow was replaced with a 1,000 foot T-Bar in 1960 or 1961. Also around this time, Enfield selectmen chose 'Purmont' as the name of the fictional town for use of a future Interstate 89 exit adjacent to Snow Crest.

First Closure

Dion likely sold the ski area to Richard Catlin in December of 1967. While Interstate 89 opened in 1968, Snow Crest ski area closed. In December of 1968, Catlin sold the ski area to Jim Griffiths' Whaleback Mt., Inc.

Snow Crest Reopened, Renamed

The Poma lift during the 1980s
The Poma lift during the 1980s

Snow Crest reopened for the 1970-71 season with a new 2,520 foot long Heron Poma double chairlift. Replacing the original T-Bar lift, the new chair served new upper mountain trails. The ski area was formally renamed Whaleback for the 1971-72 season.

A lower mountain Poma lift was likely installed for the 1979-80 season, serving Blubber and Lower Ivory Run.

As was the for many ski areas with little to no snowmaking, Whaleback struggled during poor winters in the early 1980s. The 1982-83 season did not get underway until the second half of January.

Following the 1984 season, Tom Kent, Dave Clark, and Jeff Reed purchased Whaleback. Investments were made in snowmaking for 1984-85 and in top to bottom night skiing for 1985-86. In addition, a brief experiment with providing laundromat for busy skiers was started in 1985.

Second Closure

While the owners were able to expand Whaleback's operations and skier visits, they found themselves in financial trouble. As a result, the area closed following the 1989-90 season.

In April of 1993, Jim Griffiths' daughter Sarah and her husband Tim Herbert purchased Whaleback from Green Mountain Bank and reopened it for the 1993-94 season. Snow tubing was added for the 1997-98 season.

Third Closure

An idle Whaleback during its third closure (2002)
An idle Whaleback during its third closure (2002)

With operational costs outweighing operational income, the Herberts closed Whaleback following the 2000-2001 season. Four years later, a group led by Olympian Evan Dybvig purchased Whaleback.

With a new focus on freestyle sports, the ski area reopened for the 2005-2006 season. Year round activities were subsequently developed, including paintball, summer jibbing, and bike camps.

Back to the Auction Block

In March of 2013, owner Evan Dybvig announced that the ownership was over $1 million in debt and would be forced to liquidate the ski area. An auction occurred on August 1, 2013, at which mortgage holder Randolph National Bank placed the only bid, purchasing the area for $848,000.

Upper Valley Snow Sports Foundation Takes Over

Night skiing at Whaleback (2014)
Night skiing at Whaleback (2014)

Meanwhile, John Schiffman created Upper Valley Snow Sports Foundation as a New Hampshire Non-Profit Corporation on June 3, 2013. The organization signed a lease and purchase agreement with the bank in mid-September 2013 and took control of Whaleback in November 2013. An initial $100,000 fundraising campaign was executed in two weeks time, generating enough money to get the ski area up and running for the 2013-2014 season. Last minute base area work, such as a new kitchen, septic system, and well, was conducted to get the facility back up to code. Using some equipment purchased from Balsams Wilderness, Whaleback was able to fire up its snowmaking system and reopen in Decemeber 2013.

After a successful 2013-14 season, Whaleback struggled to get out of the gate during mild weather at the start of the 2014-15 season. Though it was unable to open until mid January, Whaleback was able to attain its latest closing day in recent memory, wrapping up operations the last weekend of March.

Following a bad 2015-16 season, the UVSSF completed a fundraise to reconstruct the mountain's beginner area.

NewEnglandSkiConditions.com Reports
Month Average Percent of Terrain Open
January10%    (2 reports)10 Open
February48%    (3 reports)48 Open
Recent Conditions Reports
Feb. 2, 2017 by rocket21
Loose Granular, Frozen Granular
Jan. 15, 2016 by rocket21
Loose Granular, Frozen Granular
Feb. 25, 2015 by rocket21
Packed Powder, Packed Powder
Feb. 12, 2015 by rocket21
Powder, Packed Powder
Jan. 21, 2015 by rocket21
Loose Granular, Packed Powder
Whaleback Mountain on NewEnglandSkiConditions.com

NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News
Recent Articles
Whaleback Postpones T-Bar Installation - Dec. 7, 2016
Lift Installation Projects Continue as December Approaches - Nov. 27, 2016
Lift Installation Projects Continue as Ski Season Approaches - Nov. 13, 2016
Ski Lift Installations Gearing Up in New England - Aug. 30, 2016
Whaleback Moving Forward with Surface Lift Project - Jul. 7, 2016
Whaleback Names Gerd Riess New Mountain Manager - Jun. 1, 2015
Smaller New Hampshire Areas Plagued by Equipment Problems - Mar. 23, 2015
Smaller Ski Areas Struggling to Open - Jan. 4, 2015
Trail Widening Project in Progress at Whaleback - Oct. 18, 2014
REPORT: Whaleback Looking at T-Bars - Mar. 1, 2014
Whaleback Mountain NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News Page

Image Gallery
1957-58 Eastern Ski MapNovember 26, 1972 Boston Globe
View All Images in Whaleback Mountain Image Gallery

Lifts
Click on lift name for information and photos
Standing Lifts
Installed
The Double Chair in 2002
Double Chair
Heron-Poma
Chairlift - Double - Fixed
1970-71
Pouring of concrete (August 2017)
West Side T-Bar
Hall
T-Bar
2017-18

Past Lifts
Seasons
The Pomalift circa the 1980s
Pomalift
Poma
Platter
1977-78
-
T-Bar

T-Bar
1956-57
-
1969-70
T-Bar

T-Bar
1960s
-

Maps
1957-58 Snow Crest Trail Map1962-63 Snow Crest Trail Map1964-65 Snow Crest Trail Map1979-80 Whaleback Trail Map1985-86 Whaleback Trail Map1996-97 Whaleback Trail Map
View All Whaleback Mountain 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
2017-182017-18 Ticket Price Graph$399.002017-18 Season Pass Price Graph2017-18 Skier Visit Graph
2016-17$45.002016-17 Ticket Price Graph$420.002016-17 Season Pass Price Graph9.3 daysDecember 17March 182016-17 Skier Visit Graph
2015-16$43.002015-16 Ticket Price Graph$399.002015-16 Season Pass Price Graph9.3 daysDecember 31February 282015-16 Skier Visit Graph
2014-15$45.002014-15 Ticket Price Graph$399.002014-15 Season Pass Price Graph8.9 daysJanuary 13March 292014-15 Skier Visit Graph
2013-14$40.002013-14 Ticket Price Graph$399.002013-14 Season Pass Price Graph10.0 daysDecember 30March 162013-14 Skier Visit Graph
2012-13$40.002012-13 Ticket Price Graph$399.002012-13 Season Pass Price Graph10.0 daysDecember 28March 172012-13 Skier Visit Graph
2011-12$40.002011-12 Ticket Price Graph$370.002011-12 Season Pass Price Graph9.3 daysDecember 26March 1810,0002011-12 Skier Visit Graph
2010-112010-11 Ticket Price Graph$370.002010-11 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 18March 2012,0002010-11 Skier Visit Graph
2000s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
2008-092008-09 Ticket Price Graph$350.002008-09 Season Pass Price Graph2008-09 Skier Visit Graph
2007-08$39.002007-08 Ticket Price Graph$350.002007-08 Season Pass Price Graph9.0 days2007-08 Skier Visit Graph
2006-07$39.002006-07 Ticket Price Graph$399.002006-07 Season Pass Price Graph10.2 days2006-07 Skier Visit Graph
2005-06$35.002005-06 Ticket Price Graph$300.002005-06 Season Pass Price Graph8.6 days15,0002005-06 Skier Visit Graph
2000-01$29.002000-01 Ticket Price Graph$379.002000-01 Season Pass Price Graph13.1 days2000-01 Skier Visit Graph
1999-00$29.001999-00 Ticket Price Graph$379.001999-00 Season Pass Price Graph13.1 days1999-00 Skier Visit Graph
1990s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1998-99$27.001998-99 Ticket Price Graph$339.001998-99 Season Pass Price Graph12.6 daysDecember 211998-99 Skier Visit Graph
1997-98$25.001997-98 Ticket Price Graph$339.001997-98 Season Pass Price Graph13.6 days1997-98 Skier Visit Graph
1996-97$22.001996-97 Ticket Price Graph$319.001996-97 Season Pass Price Graph14.5 days1996-97 Skier Visit Graph
1989-90$22.001989-90 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$20.001988-89 Ticket Price Graph1988-89 Season Pass Price Graph1988-89 Skier Visit Graph
1987-88$18.001987-88 Ticket Price Graph1987-88 Season Pass Price Graph32,0001987-88 Skier Visit Graph
1985-86$15.001985-86 Ticket Price Graph1985-86 Season Pass Price Graph1985-86 Skier Visit Graph
1979-80$8.001979-80 Ticket Price Graph1979-80 Season Pass Price Graph1979-80 Skier Visit Graph
1970s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1976-771976-77 Ticket Price Graph$115.001976-77 Season Pass Price Graph1976-77 Skier Visit Graph
1971-72$6.501971-72 Ticket Price Graph1971-72 Season Pass Price Graph1971-72 Skier Visit Graph
1960s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1964-65$3.501964-65 Ticket Price Graph1964-65 Season Pass Price Graph1964-65 Skier Visit Graph
1963-64$3.501963-64 Ticket Price Graph1963-64 Season Pass Price Graph1963-64 Skier Visit Graph
1962-63$3.501962-63 Ticket Price Graph$45.001962-63 Season Pass Price Graph12.9 days1962-63 Skier Visit Graph
1961-621961-62 Ticket Price Graph1961-62 Season Pass Price GraphApril 11961-62 Skier Visit Graph

Visitor Memories
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External Links
  • Whaleback - official site
  • Last updated: December 31, 2016

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