White Mountain Ski Area offered a vertical of about 300 feet, and is located just west of Seven Springs on Pritts Distillery Road.
“I visited the site last May (2004) and I could see that the ski lodge was in decent shape and currently appears to be occupied,” writes Kevin Shearer, a DCSki reader. “I could also see the remains of a rope tow. The towers were still in the ground.”
Kevin has analyzed a topographic map of the area, and finds evidence of two lifts; he assumes one was a rope tow and the other a T-Bar, although he has heard that the resort had two T-Bar lifts.
Paul Cline provides the following photo of the White Mountain Ski Lodge.
Bill Kircher provides the following photos, shot in July, 2010:
DCSki reader Rich K. notes that you can see White Mountain if you look to the southwest from the top of the Lost Girl trail at Seven Springs. Rich found a historical newspaper article at teachski.com that indicates White Mountain first opened in the 1962-1963 timeframe.
the main slope was called the great white way center, to the left of the poma a steep narrow trail called big chief. and on top striaght arrow
which crossed the top of the slope and wrapped around the right back to the poma a nice long run. there was also a plan to cross pritts rd via a bridge and continue the slope to the valley floor creating a verticalof about 1200’
the owner was ben haseltine a lawyer from pittsburgh
their ws also one that went through the woods at the top not used much cant remember the name
The lodge is completely retro, and it really is fixed up perfectly. It is the quintessential 1970’s ski lodge, and successfully captures the mountain lifestyle.
I love this place, and so do all of my cousins and friends. I just hope we are lucky enough to form as many special memories on this mountain as our parents have before us.
-Carolyn Waugaman, age 17
Just moved into the White Mountain community. 12 Winter way, Sokol’s place. I am interested in helping to maintain trails, or getting the place rehabed in any way. Let me know if I can help out. Its a really cool place that just needs some TLC… Stop by anytime…
Hope you see this posting as I didn’t know how to contact you. I’m interested in hiking/biking with people in the Laurel Highlands area and wondered if you’re up for it. If so, you can reach me at email@example.com. It would be great to see you and meet some of your friends. —Chris
I remember the gas shortage during the winter of 74-75 and carrying a 5 gallon can of gas with us (inside the station wagon) in case the service stations were closed in that area. We lived in the Ingomar area at the time (North of Pittsburgh).
As a novice skier it was a great place to ski with plenty of room and never a wait at the lift line.
I remember a poma lift that went to the top and next to it was a T bar that went mid way then a rope tow on the beginner slope. Possibly another T bar or poma lift too.
After two years of operation, he bought out the other two investors and continued to operate the ski area until 1978-79. We were only open on weekends and had no snow making so we were at the mercy of mother nature, who usually came through. I like the recollection of one of the other commentors about the wild weather on the mountain. I have skied all over the world and there are few, if any places, that can get colder and windier that White Mountain when a winter storm hits. It’s northern exposure is what saved us in terms of holding snow.
It was truly a Mom and Pop operation. During the week, my Dad was a practicing attorney, and my mother was a full time school teacher. On the weekends, my Mom ran the snack bar, my Dad sold lift tickets ($3.50)and ran the rental shop, and I, my brother, a school chum and some local guys operated and maintained the lifts, sno cat, and snow plows. I think there was more duct tape per square foot at White Mountain than any other place on earth! It was brutal work that lasted year round, but when ski season hit, it was the best. I’ll talk more about actual skiing memories in my next installment.
Yes, you can see the ski area from the Gunnar lift and the open cut on Lost Girl Trail at Seven Springs. However, the slopes are to the left of the big white open mountain top that first grabs your attention. Our main slope, the Great White Way is now almost back to its original fully wooded condition, as are the Poma lift line and the trails.
As part of the original development, we also subdivided a portion of land into lots for chalets. These lots included sewage and water and are now populated with both full time and weekend dwellings. My family sold our original chalet in the mid eighties and moved back to an A-frame located off the original parking lot. My Dad finally sold the place to a guy from New England in the early nineties. He had some initial plans for development, but nothing ever came of it. We continued to spend weekends at “The Mountain” until the late nineties when our agreement with the new owner turned the chalet over to him. My Dad died in 2001, and about three years later the A-frame burned down.
Between 1963 and 1979 White Mountain was one of Western PA’s best kept secrets. KDKA’s Patti Burns skied there every weekend. It was like a private club. A big day for us was 150 people. We never made a penny on it, but my Dad was stubborn and refused to let his dream die. For all of us who grew up skiing at White Mountain, we will be forever grateful that he did.
More to come….
Thanks for the update / information! Please do provide “more to come…”! I think some boarders were earning some turns there this weekend. :-)
Thanks for the great memories!
7springs is my home mountain. I went to school in washington PA and went there 4-5 times a week in the winter. Now that I am getting into hiking for my turns, i am very interested in making contact with those involved in this white mountain “project”. I am returning to 7springs in two weekends and would love to throw my skins and AT bindings on and give it a go out there. I am deathly curious to check it out when i am up there next! If anyone has any information that they would mind sharing, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. also, does anyone know how to join the White Mt Backcountry Club? can ex-locals join up? :) Thanks everyone!
White Mountain might come alive again.
Contact me at email@example.com
thanks for your continued interest in White Mountain
present owner of White Mountain
Dave Panza, where are you? If you read this, contact me at: Clara19126@msn.com.
Our family lived just down the way near the end of what is apparently now called “Snowdrift Lane”. I was very young when we lived there, from birth to about 6 years old (1970-1976), and I don’t remember a whole lot about it. I do remember those “red dog” roads, Sheplers & some of the other families up there, “the back way” over to Seven Springs…long time ago!
Our family lived there year-round and were among the few cabin people who did; most everyone just came up for ski weekends or for the summer. The winter weather could indeed be nasty! I recall many times being out of power for days, maybe weeks at a time…stockpiling food, keeping warm by only the heat of the fire. We had a Jeep Wagoneer (actually a couple of them) and I remember my older brothers bouncing up and down on the tailgate to get enough traction to get to the top of the road when we were really snowed in!
Regarding White Mountain/Haseltine Hills; I learned to ski there at the tender age of about 3. It seems we were there or at Seven Springs nearly every weekend in the winter (though my memory may be fuzzy on that). In the summertime we’d hike “up top the mountain”, quite an expedition for a little tyke. I quite vividly recall going up around Seven Springs airport just after the fatal plane crash in spring of 1974, though I don’t think I knew it was fatal at the time.
I remember Ben and the family, I think their cabin was at the end of the other road (Winter Way), not really sure if that’s right. My oldest brother Jeff and Fred’s brother Scott now live about a mile apart in the Raleigh, NC area (and didn’t know it for many years); they remain good friends.
I will ask around with my family; we may have some old photos from that time…I am sure some exist, somewhere. I haven’t been back there since the mid 1980s or so but am keen to come back and see how it’s changed. I live very far away now (Silicon Valley, California) but I do think of those old days despite being very young. I miss those mountains!
My two oldest boys used to help Dave Shepler bring in the hay every summer, 2 times if they were lucky.
I remember White Mountain as the most beautiful and serene place that I ever lived.
Hi to Fred and Scott Hanks, the Sheplers, the Scheissers and Dave Panza.
Reading these postings, I vow to get my kids away from Blue Mountain here in eastern PA westward to White Mountain. Thanks for the inspiration.
or go to http://545prittsdistilleryrd.howardhanna.com
I remember White Mountain and skied there with my Dad and brothers Al, Tom and John…oh, yes and my sister Margaret (nick named “Fawn Lawn” for the old run at 7 Springs that took you from Wagner Bowl to what was “Suicide” and later Alpine Meadowns…I think.
I live in Lake Oswego, Oregon, just south of Portland. yes, we can sli 12 months a year so eat your heart out all of you east coast blue ice sliers. Just kidding!
I will hoist one tonight to Uncle Ben and White Mountain.
Like my brother Dave 3, I will hoisting a cold one to Uncle Ben and White Mountain.
We have purchased a new home and love it.
DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE I CAN REACH DAVE PANZA? DOES HE HAVE AN E-MAIL ADDRESS? MINE IS:
CLARA19126@MSN.COM. Would love to hear from Dave, as he was the one who broke trail for me
up on top of the mountain into the trees back in
the late 60’s or early 70’s.
Just loved White Mountain. Bob built a ski lodge to the left of the hill where we could ski down from the lodge to the lifts, and ski to our Lodge coming back down the slope.
We knew Ben Haseltine and borrowed his tractor while building the Lodge. Some people bought it and covered the beautiful wood floors that Bob had laid down, with carpeting.
PLEASE, IF ANYONE CAN GET IN TOUCH WITH DAVE PANZA, PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHERE HE CAN BE REACHD.
GO TO OUR WEBSITE: oldlieutenantpress.com
to see the books that I have written.
Trish Schiesser and Happy Thanksgiving.
Still open for earn yer turns runs?
PS MY EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
Most have been updated and expanded. Linda and I are near the bottom of SnowDrift in the Ben Hazeltine house which we have pretty much renovated.
Jenn, which cabin did your parents own? The lodge was sold to a company owned by one of the Pritts families. Not yet sure of their plans for the Lodge and acreage.
I MOVED TO CHAMONIX FRANCE AND SPENT 9 YEARS AS A SKIIG GUIDE SKIING INTO SWITZERLAND AND INTO THE ITALIAN SIDE . HAD GROUPS EVERY WEEK. I RETURNED TO THE STATE S IN LATE 90S AND TUAGHT AND SUPERVISED AT THE SEVEN SPRINGS SCHOOL FOR SOME YEARS . HAVE SKKIS WILL TRAVEL. JUST RETURNED FROM UTAH SKIING WITH A COUPLE GROUPS .GREAT TIME.
ALSO DARRYL RICHARDS TRIED TO CONTACT ME AND I ACCIDENTALLY DELETED HER EMAIL. IAS IT CAME THROUGH JUNK MAIL. HER FATHER WASTHE PATROLLEADER PRIOR TO MYSELF BECOMING PATROLLEADER, DARYL CONTACT ME AGAIN AND WE CAN CHAT ABOUT THE OLD MT.
The house with the kids was the Harrisons and is the house we bought about 8 years ago. The Kropelaks are our neighbors and Courtney still comes up with her parents nearly every weekend. Everyone has made big improvements to their homes recently and it is really a great neighborhood. Stop by and say hello if you get a chance to visit.
I have not seen Brett around for ages, since the remainder of the late 90’s crew all grew apart!
Hello, I have lived in Indian Head all of my life. 54 years old. Never skiied at White Mountain, but have enjoyed it in many other ways; hiking,biking,atving and hunting. I enjoyed the history lesson on on it’s evolution. I knew Ben was initially involved but didn’t know about the others. One thing I was wondering is who owned the land previously? Shepler’s? Dave Sr. and wife have passed on and the property has been split up amongst the children. Mark Shepler now owns the old farm house and adjoining property. Brent sold his cabin several years ago and the cabin was torn down, timber cut and then a trailer was moved in and the property is generally a mess. I went to school with John Hadley. I think he moved away around 5-6th grade and have lost track of him. Anyone know what has become of John? As Dotty posted they have bought the old Lodge and slopes. Renovations on the lodge are complete and looks great. Green has kept several parcels of the property near Neals Run road. Thanks to all who have commented as it has made for great reading. Greg Grimm email@example.com