Tory Mountain Purchased 43
Author thumbnail By John Sherwood, DCSki Columnist

Marsh Mt. LLC, one of the partners at Wisp, recently purchased Tory Mountain outside of Harman, West Virginia. Current plans include roadway/access improvement, further topographical studies and a select-cut timber harvest. Future plans for recreation at Tory Mountain are uncertain.

West Virginia’s Tory Mountain Photo provided by Jonathan Jessup.

As a ski mountain, Tory has great potential. A group of investors attempted to develop the mountain as a ski resort in the 1980s and even went so far as to build a road to the base and cut several trails, but then ran out of money midway through the project.

DCSki interviewed Wisp CEO Karen Myers about the recreational possibilities for the mountain and her statement is that those prospects are “uncertain,” and subject to additional research.

Tory has northern exposure, a vertical greater than 1,000 feet, a base above 3,000 feet, and a summit that extends to 4,500 feet. With the high demand for ski real estate in West Virginia and the prospect of improved access as more sections of Corridor H get constructed, Tory Mountain could have many of the necessary ingredients to become a competitive ski destination in the region.

About John Sherwood

John Sherwood is a columnist for DCSki. When he's not hiking, biking, or skiing, he works as an author of books on military history.

Author thumbnail

Reader Comments

June 11, 2004
Wonder how much $$$ they purchased it for, and from whom did they purchase it?
June 11, 2004
Great reporting John!

This is something I'm very interested in and I don't know how else I would have heard about it.
June 12, 2004
Any comment from Bill Bright?
June 14, 2004
I was wondering the same thing.
June 15, 2004

While not as high as Porte Crayon, methinks it is a better solution for all parties (except maybe Bill Bright whom I am sure is not losing sleep over this) - hey the trails have been cut and a road laid down already so no weeping over the Yellowbelliedtittymousewarbler!
June 15, 2004
All I can say is look out. Just drive around and look what they did to the deep creek lake area, now their moving south.
June 15, 2004
What who did to the deep creek lake area. Wisp was bought a year or two ago so the current owners have nothing to do with anything in that area other than a new and improved lodge.
June 18, 2004
obviously you don't know what you're talking about and/or you are completely oblivious to the development adjacent to the ski area and the people responsible for the development. Deep Creek used to be known as Maryland's best kept secret!
June 18, 2004
The current owner of Wisp is responsible for a lot of the current overbuilding around the lake (shoreline, nearby and the surrounding slopes). Long & Foster (previous A & A )Realty were shameless in rapeing the Lake.
June 18, 2004
My sincerest apologies. I didn't know the extent of it. The moutain that Wisp is on has undergone a HUGE amount of development in the past two years so I see what you mean. The fact still remains though that the entire lake area has been really developed for many years now, both near and not so near Wisp. It hasn't been much of a secret for quite awhile.
June 23, 2004
West Virginia just celebrated its day of statehood, I believe the year was 1863.
DCSki Reader
June 23, 2004
Just a few years ago Deep Creek had mostly life long, year around residents. There were tourists, yes, but they weren't buying and building multi million dollar homes which are only used a couple of weeks out of the year, everywhere, on ridge tops, along side of hills.... People are soo worried about windmills ruining the asthetics of the land here and no one is as out spoken about the houses. Greed has over come Garrett County and we must ask how much is enough?? I love to ski but I am sorry for what is to come of Harman, WV. Just wait a couple of years and you'll see. It won't matter if they do make a ski resort or not there, their will be huge houses, you can't even say "dotting the country side" they will be covering the mountain side.
June 25, 2004
I thought they were building a ski resort on Bonner Mountain, just up the road...what ever happened to that??
Tory mountain project has been dormant for 20 years, why all of a sudden it is back??
Can the area handle 2 resorts??
June 25, 2004
Ok since MD has overdeveloped Garrett co then WV shouldn't dev the best 1 or 2 mtns they have for skiing.Yea right..The Mtn state with small ski areas..Its time to put Wv on the map!PS has MD got wilderness areas surrounding the deep ck area like Wv would have around the potential 2 ski areas?..I rest my case
DCSki Reader
June 27, 2004
uummm...actually, we do have wilderness areas surrounding the deep creek lake area!!
DCSki Reader
July 1, 2004
They bought it for 4.5 million--just think of what that money could be used for at Wisp
DCSki Reader
July 1, 2004
Sorry, but nothing is considered "wilderness" in Garrett Co. sorry, we have a good bit of state land but that is it, nothing that falls into the wilderness catagory.
July 4, 2004
I decided to bike up the access road this weekend (the 3rd), got up to the switchbacks visible on the TerraServer page and was turned-around by crews doing construction of the road. The climb is not for the faint-of-heart or the couch potato, its a steep, continuous grade, that can vary from loose dirt to thick mud. It looks as if they've been working on the road since spring.
July 8, 2004
I thought that access road was just a 'jeep trail'. How will they get the permits to build a real access road across the river? Why not use the existing logging roads on Job Knob?
July 9, 2004
You ask what could 4.5 mil do to the wisp. They could put in more chair lifts so you're lift line wait would be reduced from 45 minutes to 35 minutes for a 45 second ski down. And don't forget having to be bussed from alernate sites cuz there isn't enough parking. Or better yet, how about destruction of more forests for future home sites and golf courses. I ask when is enough enough? You can only fit so many people on the slopes at one time, this isn't Vail!
Steve W.
July 14, 2004
So many pessimists! The sale of Tory Mtn. will ultimately result in a goldmine for backcountry enthusiasts. The timber alone justifies the sale. Has anyone checked hardwood prices lately? If the area is so hot for development, why is Timberline hanging on by a thread and Cannan dependent on state subsidy? If you spend anytime at all in Deep Creek you would realize that
darn few of that crowd now or ever will use the Canaan area. Its track history for investment is too shaky. The pockets and politics of West Virginia and Maryland are vastly different. Public subsidy just won't be there. I say bring it on! They'll finish the road, take the timber, clean up the trails to attract suckers- lose their shirts and mothball it. In the interim I'll be poaching it regularily.
July 14, 2004
Your poaching may not be all that much fun if stumps and other debris are left behind after the logging. Not to mention possible erosion or other logging damage to the ground.
July 14, 2004
I'm sure lots of gold diggers will exploit (poach) it. Once the trees are gone they won't be seen again in our lifetime. Don't forget about corridor H. It'll be an easy shot from DC. Quite frankly I like having Canaan Valley and the Sods to get away from the idiot tourists that overcrowd the deep creek lake area.
July 16, 2004
If the Canaan Valley is so cold for investment, why are people snapping up $500,000 trophy homes in the area?
Steve W.
August 6, 2004
From Tahoe to the Jersey Shore, my experience with "Trophy Homes" is all the same. They drive-up the neighbors taxes, are occupied maybe 3 weeks a year and buy very few local lift tickets, groceries or beer. The construction crews are imported and the only job developed is the guy who cuts the grass and plows the driveway. A trophy home does diddly for the local economy! Trophy Homes are only good for sustainable development if you build thousands of them- you know--- like Deep Creek.
August 18, 2004
But they also drive up the neighbors real estate values, and generate a bunch of tax revenue while adding very little burden to local infrastructure.

It is all a wash.

Ah well, in a few years we will see what happens on Tory, if anything.
August 25, 2004
I know I'm not prophetic but if history repeats itself what will happen there is what is happening in deep creek, the new multi million dollar homes will drive up taxes to the point that will drive out all the people that have lived there for generations. People who have never experienced well problems will be running out of water from the additional wells being drilled. There'll have to be new water and sewer systems to handle the addtional flow. All at the cost of landowners and local tax payers. Local streams and rivers will suffer from the added run off of pollution and silt. Wild life will be chased from their breeding grounds. Of course this is only a few, the list goes on...
DCSki Reader
September 15, 2004
and on and on and on.... the sad thing is that all of this is already happening in Deep Creek, and has been.
September 23, 2004 what you make of it.

It is up to the local community to say how much is enough. I bet noone put a gun to the heads of Deep Creek locals to build the area up so much.

With so much of the valley protected by wilderness areas and Dolly Sods at the top of the ridge, CV is pretty well protected. It is up to the state, concerned citizens and environmental groups to impose some kind of limit to developing Tory Mountain and Almost Heaven.
December 29, 2004
I hope this goes and they do start a new resort. it would be great for Randolph co and the Harman area.It may get the state of it's butt and start putting some money it canaan valley state park. it is so out dated and run so poorly no wounder the skier numbers are down so much. just look at the new ski lodge. dumb place to put it. and the tube hill. they have all that land but they jam it all togather
DCski reader
January 4, 2005
i may be wromg but with the all the wells going to be built...the water table will be drained much faster and it will try to play catch up with restoring it's original water level but will never reach it because all those wells sucking the water up. then they'll build water towers or hell they'll try to use the water from the lake. ooh yeah, and i don't think anyone cares about locals anymore because they don't produce enough profit. they are just pulled into slaving the tourons at minimal wages but then again no one really tries to change that! okay i'll shut up now cuz i really don't know what i'm talking about, right?!
DCSki Reader
June 10, 2005
Has anyone heard any updated news of Tory-I'm not talking about through the grapevine, but real news of whats going on? I can say that when I was asking around Wisp about this all managment acted stunned that anyone knew about it and it has been kept just as much a secret as before.
sirius snow cat
October 25, 2005
A New ski area in harman would be great, Jobs for local people, and more great west virginia skiing.
Bring it on..!
January 1, 2006
Sir William of The Highlands
January 12, 2006
Make it private
Will of Beverly
February 28, 2006
Does anyone know if Tory Mountain is a part of Job Knob, or is it on Brierpatch Mountain?
Phil Creed
March 7, 2006
Development of Tory Mountain is just plain not good news.

I'll admit, I'm one of those free-market capitalist guys, but every once in a while I like to venture off into the wilderness of West Virginia. The wilderness aspect is what draws a lot of people to West Virginia. Plus, nearby Spruce Knob is perhaps the best stargazing spot east of the Mississippi.

That won't last if a resort gets built with all the lights that just can't seem to be directed downward where they need to go. I hope they use either full cut-off lighting, or quite frankly, don't build it. West Virginia already has Snowshoe, and that's garish enough.
March 29, 2006
Checking out the maps (USGS Whitmer quadrangle) and Terra server, the Tory mountain ski area is the southern slope of Job Knob.

Terra server

Whitmer quad
January 20, 2007
Job Knob (not Tory Mountain) Tory is the name of the run between Job and Brierpatch (Tory Camp Run).Karen Myers land run up a small section on to Job on the north face,but not near the summit. Job Knob is privately owned, but it would make the best sking around
November 12, 2008
From the Google Earth image it appears Brierpatch Mt., with a peak of 1347 m (4418 ft), could provide 2ooo ft of vertical if you ski down to just behind Harman and reach the magic 737 m (2417 ft) altitude level. The N.Western bowl could provide expert terrain, while the face would likely be intermediate or above. Parking would be available around Harman, WV and the lifts could start just behind town. Better than Tory Mt. (Job Knob) and would better complement and add to the skiing available at Timberline and Canaan. Just a thought....
November 12, 2008
Heaven Almost on Bring!
DCSki Reader
November 15, 2008
Has anyone hiked or skied the old trail that were cut?
Mark C
March 16, 2009
In my post college days working in WV skiing I knew a litte about the Mt. The developers in 1985ish were the founders of Snowshoe. Doc Brigham, Dan Seme et al were behind it then. Ive seen promo photo of helliskiing which looked awesome. I also remember driving to DC from Canaan and Tory seemed like it held the first and last snow of the season. I hope it is good hands now...

Ski and Tell

Snowcat got your tongue?

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