|Vertical Drop:||795 feet|
|Past Lifts:||1 double, surface lifts|
|Left: The Timber Ridge base area (2002)|
|Recent NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News:
Last updated: January 25, 2022
While overshadowed by Magic Mountain on the north side, the east side of Glebe Mountain had an on-again, off-again ski area for nearly half a century. Surrounded by ski houses, the area generally only operated on weekends and holidays throughout its history.|
Glebe Mountain Farm
The eastern slope of Glebe Mountain was acquired by Amos Emery in 1800, who proceeded to build a house and establish farmland that extended to the top of the mountain. Edna Winship eventually acquired the house and lower portion of the farm in 1933.
Glebe Mountain saw its first lift-served ski area in 1960, when Hans Thorner and William Shurtleff Ingraham developed Magic Mountain as a small T-Bar operation. Prior to relocating to Vermont, Ingraham had graduated from Yale, served in the Army, and worked for his family's Connecticut watch and clock business, E. Ingraham and Company.
In December 1960, Ingraham purchased the 167-acre Glebe Mountain Farm from Edna Winship. Meanwhile, at some point during or following the 1960-61 season, Ingraham filed a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), freezing sales of stock at Magic Mountain and likely signaling the end of his time associated with that development.
Glebe Mountain Farm Ski Area
In May 1962, Ingraham, Robert Ulbrich, and Carter Chamberlin incorporated Glebe Mountain Farm, Inc. Soon thereafter, work started on a new access road and a house designed by Lench Associates. Governor Ray Keyser paid a visit to the site in October 1962. In March 1963, Ingraham was elected to the Windham Selectman.
In May 1963, news emerged that Ingraham had started construction on a private ski area at the farm, which would be ready to operate that winter. Meanwhile, Ingraham advertised a new house for sale at a "developing, private, year-round resort," as well as one-acre building lots. A second new house was constructed and would be used as a temporary base lodge.
Glebe Mountain Farm ski area debuted on Christmas Day as a small ski area with limited ticket sales to minimize lift lines. A Borvig T-Bar was installed serving 320 vertical feet of terrain for all abilities. In January, Glebe Mountain began offering free ski lessons for local children. The debut season extended to April 5. Meanwhile, house lots were being sold.
Looking down the new ski area (December 1963)
More details about the development were publicized in 1964, such as plans for an ice skating rink, heated swimming pool, tennis courts, 35 residential house lots, and the construction of a 100-guest inn designed by Lench Associates.
Wayne Fleming, a member of the 1964 Olympic biathlon team, was named ski school director for the 1964-65 season. A glade was cut between the Splinter and Connecticut Yankee trails. This season got underway in mid-December.
A new intermediate trail was cut for the 1965-66 season, located to the south of the existing trails. Glebe Mountain once again enjoyed a December opening, though rain quickly put a damper on conditions.
Following the 1965-66 season, Glebe Mountain's shareholders announced the ski area would become a private operation that would only allow owners and select guests. However, on November 30, 1966, Ingraham announced the area was shutting down due to insufficient financing. The ski area and his home were placed on the market, possibly related to a divorce. Ingraham later went on to a career at the Vermont State Hospital.
After a season of closure, the ski area was acquired by Geoffrey Pitchford in late 1967. A member of the 1960 British Olympic ski team, Pitchford had subsequently graduated from Dartmouth College. The area was renamed Timber Ridge and opened in mid-December 1967.
The highway sign (1970)
Ski-bobs were offered for rent for the 1968-69 season. Pitchford commented that the snow-tricycle experiment seemed like something worth trying.
A base lodge named The Club House was constructed for the 1969-70 season. Designed by Peter S. H. Moore, the 40 by 46 foot, two-story structure was constructed by H. Loney Construction Company.
In the spring of 1972, Timber Ridge applied for a Vermont Act 250 permit for the construction of a chairlift and four new trails covering 21 acres on the upper mountain. The total cost of the project was estimated at $260,000. In addition, Pitchford announced future plans to construct a chairlift on the north face of the mountain.
The expansion was approved in June 1972, resulting in the construction of the chairlift and trails for the 1972-73 season. Despite the expanded uphill capacity, Timber Ridge limited the number of skiers to 250 per day, instituting a new reservation system. In addition, plans were announced to convert the area to members-only within the next few years. Pitchford noted that, "we think the private club is the answer for many skiing families. It's already proven itself in Canada as a means of guaranteeing uncrowded skiing."
An addition to the base lodge was constructed for the 1973-74 season, while the daily skier limit was increased to 500. Despite the increased space, the area still did not have a bar, as Pitchford stated, "We don't have a bar in the base lodge and we don't want one. We're just for kids and parents."
New crossover trails were cut for the 1975-76 season.
A nordic ski center was announced for the 1977-78 season, featuring trails between the elevations of 2,000 and 2,400 feet. On February 3, 1978, a fire destroyed the base terminal of the chairlift, shutting down the ski area through February 18. Geoffrey Pitchford may have departed following the season.
As was the case with most ski areas, Timber Ridge was hit hard by the nearly snowless winter of 1979-80. It is not known if the area even operated.
The winter of 1980-81 wasn't much better, as Timber Ridge reportedly only operated 30 days. Unable to pay its bills, the ski area was sued by Central Vermont Public Service for unpaid electric bills. In its response, Timber Ridge stated, "Timber Ridge has just gone through another unbelievable virtually snowless winter." The area was shut down and placed on the market.
After sitting idle for the 1981-82 season, the ski area was sold for $574,100 to Windham Ski Associates, a firm primarily composed of homeowners led by Jim Esposito. Plans were announced to open the area to the public and open the Southbrook complex.
Work quickly got underway, as the new ownership applied for a Vermont Act 250 permit to cut 49 acres of new trails, install a 3,500 foot T-Bar, and construct a snowmaking system. As the fall arrived, advertisements were placed in newspapers showing the new Southbrook area served by a T-Bar and listing 40% snowmaking coverage. Timber Ridge reopened with a free skiing day on December 22, 1982. The Southbrook T-Bar was likely never installed.
Another poor winter struck Timber Ridge in 1983-84, when rainy weather likely ended the season in February. A few months later, eight employees took the ownership to court, alleging they were not paid. After likely sitting idle for the winter of 1984-85, Timber Ridge headed to the auction block.
Timberside at Magic Mountain
In 1986, the new ownership group of Magic Mountain, led by Simon Oren, purchased Timber Ridge, reopening it as Timberside for the winter of 1986-87. The two areas were connected via a pair of long trails for the 1987-88 season, making one large resort called The Magic Mountains.
Magic Mountain and Timber Ridge combined
The winter of 1988-89 was so lean that the connecting trails between Magic and Timberside were seldom, if at all, open. In 1990, Oren sold his remaining interest in the company to partners Joe O'Donnell and Petros A. "Bob" Palandjian.
Following the 1990-91 season, the decision was made to shut down both Magic and Timber Ridge. In the spring of 1993, the owners decided to put Magic and Timber Ridge on the auction block. The Timber Ridge chairlift was sold to Smugglers Notch and installed in the Morse Mountain area in later that year.
While Magic Mountain reopened in 1997, Timber Ridge remained dormant.
A chairlift footing on the Showcase Trail (2006)
Glebe Mountain Farm ski area founder William Ingraham passed away on April 24, 2005 at the age of 83.
In recent years, there has been a slow, but gradual effort underway to reopen Timber Ridge as a small, standalone area. While no lifts have been installed, many of the trails have been kept clear. In addition, the area has sported a grooming snowcat for over a decade.
In January 2014, Timber Ridge was featured on the National Geographic show Building Wild's episode "Top of the World," in which a cabin was constructed on the top footing of the former Showcase double chairlift.
Tracks on a lower mountain slope (2018)
It is not known if or when lift service will return to Timber Ridge, or if it will ever reopen to the public.
Click on lift name for information and photos
Year by Year History
Adult Weekend Full Day Lift Ticket; Adult Full Price Unlimited Season Pass
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|1963-64||December 25||April 5|
|"Friend of a friend recalled the time she was working the Timber Ridge switchboard and took a call that started, "This is Paul Newman in Connecticut. My friend Bobbie Redford and I are looking to come up this weekend to do a bit of skiing..." Nice small ski area that was never able to make a go of it. "|
|Chip Taylor, Sep. 21, 2022|
|"Have house on Timber Ridge now, has great back country and powder turns, when the snow is good. Can ski right back to house for Skiing a Magic all day. Or hike up and ski down to Magic from the top of Timber Ridge. Also can getting pulled up by the skimobile to the top is the fastest way and free. Great skiing off the beaten path."|
|Bill E, May. 28, 2022|
|"Used to ski there in the mid 80's
Got pushed out of a parking lot snowbank in my '77 Celica by Paul Newman and Bob Sharp"|
|Anonymous , Jul. 5, 2021|
|"We had a house at the base of timber ridge on rt 11 before the entrance of the ski area. spent many years skiing Magic mountain as a weekend ski instruster"|
|jay shaw, Feb. 24, 2019|
|"I skied the Timberside only once, sometime in the 80`s. I remember a long and flat connecting trail from the Magic side. The skiing at Timberside was quirky, ungroomed and absolutely fascinating, full of sharp turns, whalebacks, boulders you had to ski around, etc. It was the antithesis of the homogenized skiing offered at many of the big resorts today.So sad to not have skiing like this anymore. A wonderful memory..."|
|Patrick Phelan, Nov. 5, 2018|
|"I learned to ski as a young child at Timber Ridge. We were there every other weekend. Cruising down Devilâ€™s Hopyard, I-91 and Dad loved a very long green from the top i believe called green /dream weaver ?
I recall the always-welcoming Goodeve family, the Oâ€™Donnells and the elusive visits by Grant Goodeve and friends from Hollywood.
In those days it seemed like all the skiing you could ever want, and a close-knit family atmosphere. So grateful to mom and dad for that experience "|
|David Whitney, Jan. 2, 2018|
|"The Bisbee family had a house at Timber Ridge and we were Founder Members. That meant our family could ski FREE for life at Timber Ridge. It was an every weekend family and friends gathering. Everyone knew everyone. The deal was if a someone waited in a lift line for more than 5 minutes you got your money back! Including Paul Newman. So many great, great memories. What a wonderful experience to be a kid in this ski envirnoment. I remember sledding at night on cafeteria trays from the base lodge. Now in my mid 50s, I ski as much as I can (3-4 trips/year) out west (CO, Ut & WY) and love it still. I learned to ski in VT. I thank my late father for giving me the gift of skiing. "|
|Ashley Bisbee Dopf, Sep. 5, 2017|
|"Came across this piece. I grew up in Chester, and spent my childhood skiing at Timber Ridge every weekend with my family, friends like the Waits, Trasks (Beaver, RIP), Goodeves, Arnolds and countless others. My moms side of the family are Ingrahams...I remember meeting Adam Rich, Paul New,and and Robert Redford! Very fond memories and as I re live my childhood watching and skiing with my 2 little girls it brings back sooooo many incredible memories......it was a VERY special place......"|
|Sarah Ballou Philippon, Jan. 10, 2017|
|"To me, Glebe Mountain and Timber Ridge still live. The lights in my parents' house still burn brightly as a third generation enjoys this truly family area. There may be no lifts, but Tim Waker, the current owner, mows and maintains the remaining trails as well, if not better, than many operating areas. I know some off piste skiers who ski there very year. It is among their favorite places. My last run was only a few years ago, on the Lower Renegade to the Base Lodge. A little rough, but in some way it was the best run ever. "|
|Bart Goodeve, Dec. 24, 2016|
|"My parents were among the 'Founder Members' who renamed the mountain Timber Ridge in the 70's. Timber Ridge was an amazing place. Our family would jump in the car every friday night and cruise up from CT to VT. I spent all of my teen years there skiing with my parents, two brothers and sister (who often skied with Paul Newman's daughter)....pretty cool! I now live in Waterville Valley NH where I have raised my children to love skiing as much as I do. Thanks to John and Judy Troy (my parents) for giving me such a great childhood at Timber Ridge."|
|pamela stone, Apr. 21, 2016|
|"The Windham Elementary school had ski days when it was Glebe Mt, and I learned to ski. When it became Timber Ridge my mom worked in the cafeteria there for many years getting me free skiing. I worked there as a teen and skied whenever time allowed. I have so many memories of skiing, helping the ski patrol, working Christmas parties. I met Paul Newman there! I still have my Timber Ridge Ski patch. Yup, the good old days."|
|Carol (Patenaude) Clark, Dec. 19, 2014|
|"On the National Geographic episode, they made it sound like 1 guy owns it with his son, and they have no plans of ever opening it. They built the cabin and plan to use it with family and friends and small rail jam events."|
|John M, Aug. 21, 2014|
|"When this episode opened up and they showed the view and did the intro, it was wow! I've beeen there! I skied there when in high school, mid-sixties! Yea, it was GLebe Mt. It was great fun, no crowds and long lines. Great to see it again, especially from that great little cabin. Good job!"|
|su smith, Mar. 22, 2014|
Magic Mountain Ski Resort - official site
Timber Ridge - New England Lost Ski Areas Project