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The main slope (2013)
Storrs Hill Ski Area
Lebanon, New Hampshire
Status: Open
First Season:1930s
Vertical Drop:300 feet
Standing Lifts:Surface lift
Past Lifts:Surface lift
Left: The main slope (2013)
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Located off of Spring Street on the northern slope of Storrs Hill in Lebanon, Storrs Hill ski area is one of the oldest lift-served operations in New England.

Early Years

Early ski jumping at Storrs Hill
Early ski jumping at Storrs Hill

The Lebanon Outing Club reportedly dates back to 1923, when Norwegian immigrant, recent University of Maine alumnus, and Lebanon High School Mechanic Arts teacher Erling Heisted helped to develop the organization. The first winter carnival may have been held in early 1923. An early captain on Heisted's winter sports teams was Fred Hansen, who later helped to design and construct Mt. Sunapee.

In the fall of 1923, a short-lived ski jump was built between Gerrish Court and Pine Street. The 1926 carnival was held at a new ski jump at Carter Country Club, while the 1929 carnival was staged at a jump near Garrish Farm. Heisted helped construct 13 ski jumps throughout town, teaching children both how to jump and how to maintain their neighborhood's facility. One of those jumps may have been constructed in the present vicinity of Storrs Hill in 1925.

A downhill ski trail was reportedly cut at Storrs Hill in 1931 by Heistad, Harold Townsend, Dutch Townsend, Fred Hansen, and Nils Backstrom. According to the Lebanon Outing Club, Backstrom "used the trail to get to work quickly from the Townsend farm above Storrs Hill."

Circa 1933, the Lebanon Outing Club and Dartmouth College started an annual series of ski competitions alternating between their home venues.

Lebanon hosted New Hampshire's first Eastern Interscholastic Ski Championship in February 1932, which included ski jumping, slalom, and cross country races. A member of the Lebanon team was Ernest Dion. The event was likely held in Lebanon again in 1934, 1936, and 1938. At the 1936 event, Heistad offer his alma mater's ski team "use of all our facilities which include a 30 meter hill, well sheltered by pine trees, and a half mile trail with a drop of 500 feet."

A "new ski tow on Storrs Hill" was described by the White River Junction Landmark in early 1939. The facility was reportedly developed with $3,500 of town appropriations and was led by Clem Curtis. Following the season, the Lebanon Outing Club discussed complaints with the facility, including that it was too rough for non-advanced skiers. A special committee was tasked with removing rocks and filling in holes. At this point, the slope may have been 200 vertical feet and lit for night skiing.

A new 35 meter jump was opened in early 1940, debuting for the New Hampshire Ski Jumping Championship in February. Lebanon selectman chairman Joseph Perley presented a key to the hill to Erling Heistad for the dedication, with Heistad making the first jump. Famous jumper Torger Tokle won the event with a 39.5 meter leap with Ernest Dion coming in third in front of a crowd of 2,000. Dion won the event the following winter.

A second 1,000 foot rope tow was planned just prior to World War II, however it is not known if it was ever constructed.

Storrs Hill likely remained open during World War II, though little is known about the operations.

The Storrs Hill rope tow
The Storrs Hill rope tow

The slope and rope tow may have been improved in 1945. A 20 meter jump was reportedly added in 1947. Storrs Hill continued to host the New Hampshire ski jumping and nordic championships in the late 1940s and into the 1950s. In 1951, the Boston Globe joked that Lebanon "youngsters learn to ski almost as soon as they learn to walk."

A $16,000, 40-meter steel jump was constructed in 1953 and dedicated in honor of Erling Heistad in 1954. Mezzy Barber narrowly defeated Ernest Dion for the first championshp held on the jump in January 1954. One month later, Ernest Dion's two sons (Roger and Doug) and nephew (Bernie), were featured in Boy's Life magazine for their jumping prowless at Storrs Hill and elsewhere.

In January 1955, future Olympian Charles Tremblay set a Storrs Hill record with a 140 foot jump off the Erling Heistad Hill, winning the state championship.

Snow Crest Opens

Ernest Dion opened Snow Crest ski area a few miles south of Lebanon in early 1956. Initially served by a J-Bar, Snow Crest provided locals modern skiing facilities.

In January 1961, Bernie, Doug, and Roger Dion finished 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the state jumping championship once again held at Storrs Hill.

In January 1967, the Lebanon Outing Club hosted the Junior Nordic Championships and an International Senior Cross Country ski race on the same weekend. Italian national team members took first and second in the latter race, with Mike Gallagher of Vermont coming in third.

Erling Heistad passed away on May 15, 1967 at the age of 70, one year after being inducted into the United States Ski Hall of Fame.

A new base lodge was reportedly constructed in 1969.

Storrs Hill Revitalized

Storrs Hill in 1972 before the expansion
Storrs Hill in 1972 before the expansion

Upon selling Snow Crest about a decade later, Dion refocused his efforts on Storrs Hill. A year after Snow Crest became known as Whaleback, Dion led a major renovation of Storrs Hill. Raising money from a variety of sources, Dion was able to procure a used T-Bar, which was extended and converted to a Pomalift by Heron Poma for installation at Storrs. Dion, his son Roger, and other members of the outing club volunteered their time on the project, which also included expanding skiable terrain. The new lift, extending uphill through woods from the top of the tow, provided a vertical drop of 300 feet. Governor Meldrim Thomson attended the ribbon cutting ceremony in late November 1972, declaring, "Projects like this can help New Hampshire get into the swing of self-reliance and imagination of our forefathers." The governor also attended the official opening of the improved ski area on January 28, 1973. Unfortunately, a lack of natural snow kept skiing to a minimum that winter.

Dedication of the Storrs Hill pomalift (January 1973)
Dedication of the Storrs Hill pomalift (January 1973)

Improvements continued for the 1973-74 sason, as the main slope cleared to a width of 350 feet and a pair of trails were cut on either side of it. In addition, a 30,000-watt lighting system was installed, which Dion referred to as the "last and final job" of the multi-year project. Though he lamented about the lack of locals lending a hand, he told the Valley News that "I can't help believing this will be a real asset to the city."

Lebanon Outing Club Takes Over

The 1980s were a trying time for Storrs, as escalating labor costs and winters of poor snowfall took their toll. In 1986, the City of Lebanon decided to get out of the ski business. The Lebanon Outing Club stepped up and took over operational control of Storrs Hill ski area.

Around this time, makeshift snowmaking operations were attempted in order to provide lessons for local schools during snowless winters. Circa 1988, the Lebanon Outing Club sought bids for a formal snowmaking system. After the lowest bid came in at $175,000, the club decided to build its own through the support and donations of members and local businesses. The club was able to install their system for only $43,000.

In 1992, the club rebuilt its main jump and judges' stand. On November 6, 1994, the jumping judge's stand was burned to the ground. Firefighters tapped into the snowmaking system and kept the fire from spreading to the jump.

Construction of the base lodge (1996)
Construction of the base lodge (1996)

A brand new lodge was constructed starting in 1996, providing seating room, a snack bar, and restrooms. The facility was dedicated in January 1997.

Ernest Dion passed away near the end of the 1998-99 season at the age of 82.

The Olympic torch passed through Lebanon in early 2002, with torchbearer Chris Baker leaping off the ski jump.

Storrs Hill hosted the Eastern Summer Ski Jumping Championships in 2009.

For the 2011-12 season, the City of Lebanon helped purchase new night skiing lights for the main slope.

The main slope (2018)
The main slope (2018)

Storrs Hill alumni made international headlines in 2014, when Nick Alexander (ski jumping) and Mikaela Shiffrin (gold medal in slalom), competed in the Winter Olympics.

The Lebanon Outing Club procured steel tracks for the 25 and 50 meter jumps in 2017, enabling more training when the in-runs can't be covered in snow. Meanwhile, Mikaela Shiffrin won another Olympic gold in 2018 and earned back to back World Cup overall titles in 2017 and 2018.

A base lodge expansion was started in 2020. The first phase resulted in a covered deck that was used amidst stringent COVID-19 restrictions in place during the winter of 2020-21.

Storrs Hill remains in operation to this day due to the support of locals. Most of the area's labor is provided by volunteers, while much of its funding comes from the City of Lebanon and its school programs, the Carter Witherell Foundation, and club dues.

NewEnglandSkiConditions.com Reports
Month Average Percent of Terrain Open
January88%    (2 reports)88 Open
February60%    (2 reports)60 Open
Recent Conditions Reports
Feb. 27, 2022 by rocket21
Packed Powder, Packed Powder
Feb. 27, 2022 by brianna
Packed Powder, Packed Powder
Jan. 27, 2018 by rocket21
Loose Granular, Loose Granular
Jan. 27, 2018 by brianna
Packed Powder, Packed Powder
Storrs Hill Ski Area on NewEnglandSkiConditions.com

Lifts
Click on lift name for information and photos
Standing Lifts
Installed
The bottom of the Pomalift in 2013
Poma
Heron-Poma
Platter
1972-73

Past Lifts
Seasons

Maps
2021-22 Storrs Hill Trail Map
1972 Storrs Hill Map2012-13 Storrs Hill Trail Map2014-15 Storrs Hill Trail Map2015-16 Storrs Hill Trail Map2016-17 Storrs Hill Trail Map2017-18 Storrs Hill Trail Map
View All Storrs Hill Ski Area Trail Maps

Year by Year History
Adult Weekend Full Day Lift Ticket; Adult Full Price Unlimited Season Pass
2020s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
2021-22$15.002021-22 Ticket Price Graph$160.002021-22 Season Pass Price Graph10.7 daysJanuary 3March 122021-22 Skier Visit Graph
2020-212020-21 Ticket Price Graph2020-21 Season Pass Price GraphJanuary 18March 202020-21 Skier Visit Graph
2019-20$15.002019-20 Ticket Price Graph$160.002019-20 Season Pass Price Graph10.7 daysJanuary 3March 82019-20 Skier Visit Graph
2010s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
2018-19$15.002018-19 Ticket Price Graph$140.002018-19 Season Pass Price Graph9.3 daysDecember 30March 302018-19 Skier Visit Graph
2017-18$15.002017-18 Ticket Price Graph$125.002017-18 Season Pass Price Graph8.3 daysDecember 29March 252017-18 Skier Visit Graph
2016-17$10.002016-17 Ticket Price Graph$125.002016-17 Season Pass Price Graph12.5 daysDecember 26February 282016-17 Skier Visit Graph
2015-16$10.002015-16 Ticket Price Graph$100.002015-16 Season Pass Price Graph10.0 daysJanuary 16February 212015-16 Skier Visit Graph
2014-15$10.002014-15 Ticket Price Graph$100.002014-15 Season Pass Price Graph10.0 daysDecember 272014-15 Skier Visit Graph
2013-14$10.002013-14 Ticket Price Graph$100.002013-14 Season Pass Price Graph10.0 daysJanuary 3March 292013-14 Skier Visit Graph
2012-13$10.002012-13 Ticket Price Graph$100.002012-13 Season Pass Price Graph10.0 daysDecember 302012-13 Skier Visit Graph
2011-12$10.002011-12 Ticket Price Graph$100.002011-12 Season Pass Price Graph10.0 daysJanuary 62011-12 Skier Visit Graph
2010-11$10.002010-11 Ticket Price Graph$100.002010-11 Season Pass Price Graph10.0 daysDecember 27March 202010-11 Skier Visit Graph
2000s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
2006-07$10.002006-07 Ticket Price Graph2006-07 Season Pass Price GraphMarch 182006-07 Skier Visit Graph
2002-032002-03 Ticket Price Graph2002-03 Season Pass Price GraphMarch 222002-03 Skier Visit Graph
1999-00$5.001999-00 Ticket Price Graph1999-00 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 26March 191999-00 Skier Visit Graph
1990s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1998-991998-99 Ticket Price Graph1998-99 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 261998-99 Skier Visit Graph
1997-981997-98 Ticket Price Graph1997-98 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 261997-98 Skier Visit Graph
1995-96$5.001995-96 Ticket Price Graph1995-96 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 261995-96 Skier Visit Graph
1994-95$5.001994-95 Ticket Price Graph1994-95 Season Pass Price Graph1994-95 Skier Visit Graph
1993-941993-94 Ticket Price Graph1993-94 Season Pass Price GraphMarch 201993-94 Skier Visit Graph
1980s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1984-85$4.501984-85 Ticket Price Graph$60.001984-85 Season Pass Price Graph13.3 days1984-85 Skier Visit Graph
1983-84$6.001983-84 Ticket Price Graph1983-84 Season Pass Price Graph1983-84 Skier Visit Graph
1982-83$6.001982-83 Ticket Price Graph$75.001982-83 Season Pass Price Graph12.5 days1982-83 Skier Visit Graph
1970s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1977-781977-78 Ticket Price Graph$50.001977-78 Season Pass Price Graph1977-78 Skier Visit Graph
1973-74$3.001973-74 Ticket Price Graph$45.001973-74 Season Pass Price Graph15.0 days1973-74 Skier Visit Graph
1972-731972-73 Ticket Price Graph$35.001972-73 Season Pass Price GraphJanuary 131972-73 Skier Visit Graph

Visitor Memories
"I remember getting free ski lessons at Storrs Hill in the mid 50's. It had a rope tow then, I fell down and the rope started going across my ski boot and the friction started to burn, Ernie Dion was running the rope tow and saw what happened and came to my rescue. I jumped with the leb. ski team on both jumps '61-64' and practiced at both Snowcrest and Storrs Hill. I remember the 'flying Dions' Doug, Roger and Bernie. I think about those days often..."
bruce decato, Jul. 3, 2016
"How well I remember skiing at Storrs Hill in 1942 and 1943. The tow did not operate, probably due to WWII. We would show up in the AM after a snowfall to pack the trail. We were not so pleased with those who came in the PM and had not help the earlier packing.I remember seeing skiers with long thongs and seal skins under their skis to help them climb the hill.I was a fifth grader at the Bank St. School that winter.Also, I recall the thrill of watching the jumping. Once two jumpers jumped side by side.The only jumping I did was at a small jump in the woods way up prospect St. Does anyone remember that?"
Bill Clark, Aug. 27, 2015
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External Links
  • Storrs Hill Ski Area - official site
  • Storrs Hill - SmallSkiAreas.com
  • Last updated: September 6, 2022

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