|High Pond Ski Area|
|Vertical Drop:||330 feet|
|Past Lifts:||Surface lifts|
|Left: High Pond ski area (2017)|
|Recent NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News:
|10/23/2017: Defunct High Pond Ski Area Being Rebuilt|
Last updated: October 30, 2017
Located northwest of Rutland, High Pond operated for decades before becoming a private ski area.|
A Top Tier Ski Area
Named after the pond on the Brandon-Hubbardton town line, the origin of the High Pond development dates back to the 1930s, Cornelius Vanderbilt's great grandson William Douglas Burden began to acquire thousands of acres of land in the rural Central Vermont towns. Around this time, Burden co-founded Marine Studios (later Marineland of Florida) with Leo Tolstoy's grandson Ilya Tolstoy, Sherman Pratt, and cousin Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney.
It is not known exactly when High Pond ski area was developed, however it was described in the Boston Globe as a new ski area for the 1950-51 season, sporting the state's first Platter pull lift. At the time, High Pond's 330 foot vertical drop was not significantly different than its nearby, famous competitor Pico, which was sporting a 644 vertical foot T-Bar. The name of the facility was derived by the remote body of water located to the northwest of the ski area. Lighted skating and hockey was offered on nearby Walker Pond.
High Pond installed what may be the first snowmaking system in Vermont for the 1951-52 season, developed by Larchmont. While it advertised a snowmaker for the 1951-52 and 1952-53 seasons, by the mid-1950s references to it were dropped, as High Pond instead touted "good skiing with minimum snow."
The Ski Industry Leaves High Pond Behind
While High Pond initially had facilities that could put it in the upper tier of ski areas, larger resorts soon developed throughout the state, such as Killington, Mount Snow, and Sugarbush. As the 1960s arrived, High Pond was being left behind. In 1962-63, Pico expanded upward with its first chairlift, while also installing a novice T-Bar complex larger than High Pond. Likely at the same time, High Pond replaced its aging Platter lift with a new Doppelmayr T-Bar.
The dairy barn (2017)
As the 1970s progressed, High Pond faced new challenges. Following the Sunday vs. Stratton decision, High Pond's liability insurance bill reportedly increased by 600%. As a result, following the 1977-78 season, Douglas Burden closed the ski area, suggesting he would reopen if the liability issue was resolved. However, Burden never had the opportunity, as he passed away November 14, 1978 at the age of 80.
According to Lost Ski Areas of Southern Vermont, High Pond reopened to the general public briefly from 1982 to 1985. Thereafter, the ski area reportedly operated on a private basis into the 1990s before gradually falling into a state of disrepair.
In 2016, the area was purchased by Dartley Investments. In 2017, the ski area buildings were rebuilt and the Doppelmayr T-Bar removed. A new Leitner-Poma T-Bar is being installed, which will reportedly operate on a private basis.
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High Pond Ski Area - New England Lost Ski Areas Project