Report or retort.
Home
Apple Hill
Kernsville, Pennsylvania

Chris N. provides this tip about an area that used to be near Allentown, PA:

    “There is a long-gone ski area in Pennsylvania just northeast of Allentown called Apple Hill. It hasn’t been open for a as long I can remember, which is at least since the mid-80’s. The coordinates are: 40.63139, -75.60861. It still appears on some topographic maps (including using the USGS Map Viewer), and appears to have about 210 vertical feet and a single rope tow about 1,000 feet long. A friend drove by in the early 90’s and said the T-bar was still there at the time. I suspect that it won’t be long until the area has houses on it.”

Kevin Whipple provides the following additional information about Apple Hill Resort, noting that in late 2007, the land will be ready to develop into houses, erasing all evidence of the former ski area.

    “Apple Hill Resort was located outside Kernsville, PA in Lehigh County (off Kernsville Road). It had a minimum of two lifts with possible evidence of more. From what I can gather, the area had night skiing, snowmaking, a full service base lodge with rental center, and at least 5 or 6 trails (probably more) on about 250 feet of vertical drop (probably claimed more).

    Of the lifts, the main t-bar was still in place upon visiting in 2006. The top station for the beginner rope tow behind the lodge was still there but the lift components are gone. Curiously, for someone who never skied there, there seems to have been another lift that reached higher on the hillside than the main t-bar. No one I have spoken to can really recall a lift being there, but there is a line of trees running straight up the hill with two broad meadows descending on either side. The trees run straight to an elevated mound on top of the hill, and there are night lights along these slopes. Someone I talked to seems to recall there being a double chair in operation there for a couple of years, but most people don’t think there was. It could have been a tow serving the upper slopes, a top to bottom lift of some sort, or nothing at all as far as I know.

    The main lodge was still standing but very run-down and vandalized. It was a small but quaint A-frame with a rental shop and ski school area on the lower level, and a real nice cafeteria area overlooking the slopes on the upper level.

    The hill was very mellow/flat on the top and bottom. The middle had a nice, steep headwall (but short). There was a gully on skier’s right of the hill that had a nice looking trail running down it. There was probably an easier option that ran around the headwall on skier’s left of the t-bar. When I visited, the upper and lower meadows were maintained (mowed) but the headwall is growing back in.”

A patch from Apple Hill. Image provided by Woody Bousquet.

In January, 2008, Christopher Hamm provided the following comments and memories to DCSki about Apple Hill:

    “I began my ski career in 1967 at the age of 23 months old. My Father, Jerry Hamm, was an instructor at Apple Hill since the early 60’s. The original ski school director was Bob Barette. Bob passed the school on to Dick Kleintop, and in the early 70’s, Dick passed the torch of ski school director to my father and Paul Best, who acted as co-directors until the area closed in 1978. The following year my father and Paul Best and a few other Apple Hill instructors taught at Hahn Mountain. I became interested in ski racing at that point and started honing myracing skills. I then took an interest in the Junior instructor program under the direction of the ski school director Bill Pendleton. One busy afternoon Bill needed another instructor for a group of beginners, and I was asked if I thought I could handle it on my own. (I was only 14 at the time). I said I could do it, so Bill put me up to the task. Bill watched from the sidelines for a few minutes then left. After the lesson was over Bill came over and shook my hand and told me that I did a fantastic job. He then asked if I would continue on staff as a regular instructor.

    The following year Paul Best left Hahn and started teaching at the “Little Gap Ski Area” (now named Blue Mountain). My father stayed at Hahn for another year so I could continue teaching since I didn’t have my driver’s license yet. After I got my driver’s license I continued to teach at Hahn because Little Gap required that I had to be 18 to be an instructor.

    In 1983 I made the move to Little Gap and worked for Roger Spadt. I taught ski school for 2 years and then I was recruited by Matty DePaulo to coach the racing program. Over the next few years I phased out of regular ski school and focused on coaching. I have been coaching ever since. My Dad and Paul Best are still teaching there, too.

    Now enough about me… The information I found on your Apple hill web page was amazing! Especially considering the gentleman who took those photos never skied there. Apple Hill was an unbelievable place! It had more magic than Disney and everybody knew everybody. I occasionally run into people from the Apple Hill days and the conversation always turns to the magic that happened there. My sisters and I were total ski brats. My folks had to literally drag us off the hill at closing time. We would get home from school do our homework and as soon as Dad came home we were off to ski. We also spent all weekend there too, from open ‘til close. When we weren’t skiing we were hanging with the lift operators or sledding with the cafeteria trays. Like I said Apple Hill was magic! You just had to experience it to understand.

    2008 marks the 30-year anniversary since Apple Hill closed. Finding this website has inspired me to try to organize some sort of reunion. I have assembled a reunion committee and we are in full gear! So far the idea of a reunion has been met with great enthusiasm. We have been very successful locating many people but there are still many more we haven’t been able to locate yet. Our committee consists of folks from every department and several, like my father, were there from the beginning until the end. We are all very excited to be finally organizing something we have all talked about for many years.”

In October, 2008, Christopher Hamm provided the following update, which clarifies the number of lifts at Apple Hill:

    I would like to clarify the the number and types of lifts at Apple Hill. Apple Hill had two main rope tows andone T-bar. The first aerial shot also shows a third lift at the top. This was a rope tow that was only in existence for a brief time. My guess was probably the late 60’s for only a year or two. I do remember using that tow.The long “????” lift which appears to have run from the bottom to the top was another rope tow which serviced the novice run. however,the tow was considerably shorter than what is shown on the aerial view. This tow was probably about 50 yards long. In the later years another rope tow was installed next to the T-bar; this area had no snowmaking but was usable if Mother Nature cooperated.

    I am also pleased to announce our reunion was a smash! Our turnout was about 85 people. This included the Area manager and the owner. I am quite confident everyone had an outstanding time.

Kevin Whipple provides the following pictures.

The longest red line was the t-bar lift, and the shortest red line was the beginner tow.  The yellow line was where Kevin saw some kind of lift evidence, but he's unsure if it was really a lift.
Topographic map of the area with approximate lift layout. The longest red line was the t-bar lift, and the shortest red line was the beginner tow. The yellow line was where Kevin saw some kind of lift evidence, but he’s unsure if it was really a lift. Image provided by Kevin Whipple.

Looking up the hill from the top of the main t-bar. Notice the slope descending from a higher point on the hill. The overgrown mound atop the hill may have been the top station for another lift. There is a line of trees running straight up the hill to that point with night lights along these slopes. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.

The only remaining remnants of the beginner tow. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.

Entrance to the base lodge. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.

The lower level of the lodge. There was a rental shop here with some other smaller rooms. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.

Upper level of the cafeteria. The windows look out to the main ski hill. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.

The loading zone and operator shack for the t-bar. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.

Top station for the t-bar. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.

Looking up the t-bar line from near the loading zone. Here you can see the steep, middle headwall and how growin-in it has become. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.

A tower and sheaves sticking out of the overgrowth. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.

A t-bar tower on the upper hill. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.

Kevin Whipple sent the following images in September, 2008:

A 3-d view from Google Earth. The yellow lines represent an area of the hill that looks like it had some sort of lift with a top terminal above the top of the t-bar. Or it could have been nothing. Image provided by Kevin Whipple.

An aerial image from Google Earth showing the lift layout. Image provided by Kevin Whipple.

Ad: Timberline Resort

Bill Koetteritz
8 years ago
My family (Mom & Pop 5 kids)skied at Apple Hill from 1962 through 1968. We knew the drive up Rte. 309 from Quakertown by heart. For several years our Christmas present from Pop was a family season pass. We all loved Apple Hill. Sometimes we had more fun getting up the rope tow than skiing down! I remember the expert trail, although short, was steep enough. Night skiing there was also a lot of fun. They had an A-frame lodge with great hot chocolate. I drove by there in 2000 to show my children where their Dad began his skiing life. I saw a lot of trees & vegetation overgrowing the area. It was a bit hard to recognize, but the memories of that great little ski area will be with me forever.
Bill Koetteritz
8 years ago
My family (Mom & Pop 5 kids)skied at Apple Hill from 1962 through 1968. We knew the drive up Rte. 309 from Quakertown by heart. For several years our Christmas present from Pop was a family season pass. We all loved Apple Hill. Sometimes we had more fun getting up the rope tow than skiing down! I remember the expert trail, although short, was steep enough. Night skiing there was also a lot of fun. They had an A-frame lodge with great hot chocolate. I drove by there in 2000 to show my children where their Dad began his skiing life. I saw a lot of trees & vegetation overgrowing the area. It was a bit hard to recognize, but the memories of that great little ski area will be with me forever.
Eric Koetteritz
8 years ago
Scott - Here are some memories of “Apple Hill,” in the Orefield area west of Allentown PA -

Back in the early 60’s, there were seven red plastic apples hanging on our holiday tree for each of us in our family - inside were season passes to Apple Hill! We were thrilled. My dad had checked out this new ski area that recently opened. I had a pair of $1.98 skis from Sears to which my dad rigged a piece of inner tube to hold my “boot” on. No metal edges - so we learned to slip and slide and keep our balance.

We loved going to Apple Hill (from Quakertown) in the evenings after school, and sometimes on weekends. From the lodge looking up the hill there was an “expert” slope that ran straight down towards the right side of the lodge with a long run-off area, and a T-bar to the right of that slope - we did a few cartwheels at the bottom of that one, while trying to hold on for dear life.

There was an Intermediate slope that curved around the expert Hill to the left of it looking up the hill. To the left of the lodge was a rope tow hill - which is the reason I still have trouble turning to the left. Because we would hold on to the rope, get off to our right, ski straight down and turn right and hit the rope on the move so as not to tear our gloves up. But we got real good at trying to knock each other over as we would ski out of the “tracks” of the rope tow to throw the person in front of you off balance. There were two real good skiers there - brothers from the Allentown area and I can’t remember their names but one had Head Masters. Then, the next year, one got Head Competition skis - they were the Ferraris of the slope back then. There was a small beginner slope behind the lodge opposite side from the main expert slope, lined with a few pine trees. When there was adequate snowfall, there was a ridge you could push yourself along between the top of the rope tow back towards the top of the Intermediate slope to the left of the T-bar area. That slope dropped down into the Intermediate slope and then you ran out the bottom of it.

That’s some of the background of the Area as I recall it.
Michael
8 years ago
Here’s an aerial view of it on virtualearth.com

http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v2&cp40.631971-75.608654&styleh&lvl16

I hear it’s marked off for development now, but the old lift equipment is still there.
Matt
7 years ago
I stopped by this abandoned ski resort today, and took a peak around. The lift cables are still intact, along with all the light poles. I found some unlocked doors to the lodge, and was amazed to see how nice the lodge is, even to this day. The outside had lots of overgrown trees and brush. The windows have been broken. Inside the lodge was nice. Very unique fireplce with large tube venting out smoke from the open fire in the center of the room. The lodge still had all the kitchen appliances. There were some tables still setup. If I get around to it, I will take my camera and get pics. Its only about 30 min away from me. Its a shame the place went under. I’d love to see photos of this place when it was still operational. Does anyone know if anyone lives in the house right near the lodge? Looks like an older house, but looks to be occupied.
Paul
7 years ago
my parents live very close to an abandonded slope which seems by all descriptions to be apple hill - the area is most certainly going to be developed soon as this is a prime area.
Mereille
7 years ago
My parents bought a house in Orefield, PA in 2001 which is where Apple Mountain is. We noticed the remnants of an old ski resort (basically the old lift)…what a site to see. Is would be nice if it stayed intact, but I anticipate that one day homes may be built on the site.
Dee Cooper
7 years ago
My fondest memories of growing up were spent at Apple Hill. We would certainly go every weekend and sometimes after school. My two older brothers and dad skied as well. I believe my dad and maybe my brother were on the ski patrol. I was eight years old when I started skiing there, I think it was 1968. I broke my leg on the expert hill when I was twelve years old. I do remember one season, there was an ice storm. We couldn’t ski due to the ice, but we had an awesome time using our ski boots to slide down the hill. I was also friends with the owners daughter. I think her name was Megan. She had long hair, often worn in braids. In my dad’s office to this day is a picture of myself and my brothers skiing at Apple Hill. I loved it!
Rick Kramer
7 years ago
DeeDee Cooper,

There’s a name from the past. Brothers were Jeff and maybe Stevie or Allen? Megan lives in Kennett Square with husband and 4 kids, and both my parents are still living in an attached apartment with Meg’s family. I’m in Asheville, N.C. Apple Hill’s wonderful memories are forever embedded in my mind. Hope everything is well with your extended family. P.S. An itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini…remember that?
Rick Kramer
7 years ago
Eric Koetteritz -

The brothers were the Wentz brothers — Tommy and,I think, Bill. There were the hottest skiers at the area, no doubt. Haven’t thought about those guys for more than 30 years.
Dave Taylor
7 years ago
My wife and I built our home just about 3 miles west of Apple Hill in 1977-78. It was still open for skiing about a year after we moved in. There was talk of building a family entertainment complex with a mini Grand Prix race track sometime in the early 80’s but nothing ever came of it. It was rumored that Mario Andretti was to be one of the partners.

There are homes being built all around it- but so far there has been no construction on the ski area property. Part of it has been used for farming but I’m sure it is only a matter of time until there are homes being built there. What a shame that will be to lose another piece of natural beauty to progress.
J.T. Wetzel
6 years ago
Our family (4kids&our parents)also frequented Apple Hill in the 1960’s to the early 70’s.I remember, patiently waiting in a line of traffic along Kernsville Rd.from 309, cars trying to find a space in the parking area. Lift tickets were sold in the shop(lower level).In that little shop they sold great skiwear along with skis,boots,bindings…I can remember all of my ski jackets that my parents purchased there. Joe Dolgos(later owned Sports Chalet) began working there as the ski shop manager/mounted bindings etc. His accent when he spoke made one think that they were at a ski resort in Europe. As much as I loved skiing there when I was young, I also loved to take a “break” and head for the lodge where they served Apple Hill cider (from their own apples picked in the orchard at the slope)and great hot chocolate topped with whipped creme as high as the slopes!! The hot dogs were good too…I always carried my tray and found a seat on the long benches by the big front windows. There were big red apple cut-outs for signs on the slopes, in the cafeteria, etc. When I took ski lessons, there was a bell that they rang to gather the kids for the beginning of their lessons.My instuctor was Dick Klinetop. Like another poster wrote, I remember the path along the edge of the mt.(hill)accesible by skiing off the t-bar and instead of going down the intermediate slope, you went up the otherside until you got to this unlit path that wound up at the top of the rope tow. One of the most vivid memories I have of Apple Hill, is the first aid room, next to the register by the food area. I had a tough time keeping the t-bar down as I was so little and didn’t always have an adult to help to keep the “spring” down…resulting in getting whacked in the head by the wooden T part and finding myself in that first aid room. Many times the x-pert hill was closed because of ice near the end of the night. The last time I skied there was in ‘72 or ‘73.
Joe Jacobs
6 years ago
I started skiing at Apple Hill in 1970 when it was thriving. For a little kid, the hill was plenty big enough, some of the T-bar springs tight enough to bounce off the ground with, and the rope tow, a heck of a lot of fun to pull out suddenly to try to knock your buddies over. We had season passes each year and spent not only weekends but many weeknights there as well. I remember they closed the lifts for an hour or so between the day and night skiing for grooming. After the hot dogs and hot chocolate, the kids would go out to rumble in the snow. It was a family ski area in our backyard. It was community and some great childhood memories.
Chris Hamm
6 years ago
Wow! I just found this webpage and what a joy it is!
I began my ski career at the tender age of 23 months old. My father ,Jerry, was a ski instructor there for many years, working for Dick Kleintop. My father and Paul Best Ran the ski school from the early 70’s until the area closed.
I have been truly blessed to have been a part of Apple Hill history. The area consisted of 2 main ropetows (The Beginner slope and the Novice). In the early days there were 2 other ropetows, One ran next to the T-bar and there was another on top of the hill, that I believe was a teaching area.
I am still heavily involved in the ski business. I have been a race coach at Blue Mountain for the past 24 years.
My father and Paul Best are still ski instructors at Blue Mountain.
Many great memories to post here….Maybe I should write a book on the great times at Apple Hill!
Michele(Hamm)Hauck
6 years ago
It is so disheartening to see the photos of a place we cherished so run down. We spent the best years of our lives there. I remember it like it was yesterday. The ski shop, the big round fireplace, the tables in the lodge that were just waiting to give you splinters,(I remember having several removed!) My Dad,Jerry Hamm, was the ski school director there. That was great for us because we could ski 7 days a week. Everyone there was like family. These are some of the fondest memories of my childhood. I remember crying the day we were told Apple Hill was going to close its doors. Believe it or not we kissed every hill good bye.(Hey, I was young!)
Anyone remember Crazy Larry? Life was great then but as they say all good things must come to an end. It was a shame to see it go.
Chris Hamm
6 years ago
ATTENTION

I would like to announce that an Apple Hill reunion party is in the early stages of being planned! It’s been 30 years and this long overdue.
We need your help to make this a HUGE success.
We need names and contact information of former employees, Family members and loyal patrons (We are all part of the family). Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated. This includes becoming part of the planning committee or just sending me your contact information so we can send you an invitation when we have more details.
Please contact me via email at…

Christopher.Hamm@ge.com

Thanks,
Chris
Shannon (Keller) Washington
6 years ago
I too have fond memories of Apple Hill, though I was very young. I think I learned to ski there when I was 3 or 4 (1975 or 1976). Alot of my cousins skiied with us, we were all part of the Mikylychak clan. The Diehls, the Martins. we had such a great time and my family still lives in the area. When I come home to visit it is sad to see how it has deteriorated. I still will always remember it!
Kathy (Diehl) Everleth
6 years ago
We sure loved Apple Hill! My brother Davie and I skied there all the time with our cousins in the Mikylychak clan — the Martins and the Kellers — hi Shannon! Lots of friends as well. What a great time that was. Nobody ever even thought about locking up their skis! I’m so happy and grateful to have so many wonderful memories thanks to Apple Hill!
fran bishop
6 years ago
wow, this is a great site! I skiied at Apple Hill in the early 60’s, I think I started in 63, that is when it opened, I think! I used to ski with the Wentz brothers and other friends, I am still at the sport! More to come…
Lisa (Martin) Mack
6 years ago
My brother Jeff and I also learned to ski there. We too are apart of the Mikylychak family. We had many good times there. We then went on to ski at Hahn Mountain and Blue Mountain.
fran bishop
6 years ago
I remember when Apple Hill opened, i couldn’t be more excited, it was 1963 and I was 13. My father brought a pair of skis home from WWII that were in my garage in Allentown, and when it snowed, I would strap them on my shoes and ski down the bank in the front of our house. My father, a golfer, took me to Big Boulder in 1957 and I was hooked, but I did not get back on the skis until Apple Hill opened! My parents used to drive me out to Apple Hill for the great night time skiing. I remember skiing with Bill and Tom Wentz, Betsy and Bobby Friedman,my cousin Jan Bishop and other friends from Allentown. I have photographs of our racing team that I would love to post. I also remember skiing in knickers, tie boots and my first head skis (that I slept with)… I went on the share the passion with my children, we ski now in Colorado (spoiled) but apple hill started it all… I also remember the faces of the people who owned the hill, or the shop and hearing them speak about VERMONT, a far away place. It opened up a new world to me, and I would love to share those memories! frangood@mac.com
Janet Traub Wetzel
6 years ago
Joe Dolgos (owner of The Sports Chalet - 309 N. near Daniels BMW) used to be the ski tech. in the little shop located on the lower level of the lodge at Apple Hill. He would probably be able to contribute a lot of nostalgia about the days that he fitted skis, boots, skiwear etc. also I believe he was also an instructor or on the ski patrol during the 1960’s at Apple Hill. Just thought maybe it would be fun to include any information he might have for a reunion.
Pete Young
6 years ago
I am tingling with nostalgia at finding this site. I skied there with my family, probably around the years 1966-68, when I was a student at Parkland Junior High School (formerly Kratzer.) I remember buying my first pair of ski boots in the ski shop there, a pair of leather Heinkes (spelling??) and Northland Stein Erikson skis. The boots were fitted by the man who I believe owned the mountain, Fritz Kramer, who my Dad knew, maybe from Lehigh County Club.
I was a rank beginner in those days and spent most of my time on the rope tow that ran up the left side of the area, looking up the hill. At some point I graduated to the T-Bar. The headwall was terrifying; I don’t think I ever even attempted it. I can still see the most popular girls in my class, Sally Brinkerhoff and Andrea Katz, speeding down that hill with their long brown hair straight out behind them in the wind. I never caught up to them, much to my chagrin.
Now I live in VT and ski mostly at Burke and Sugarbush. I have tried to describe Apple Hill and how exciting and scary it was to my kids, but you can imagine how that goes over. They were weaned at Burke (vertical drop c. 1800’)
ParklandGhostHunter15
6 years ago
I live in Apple Valley est. which is next to Apple hill. I have seen nemorus activity that seems extreemly supernatural. I know, you probably think i am crazy, but please believe me. Just a few days ago I found felt some freezing wind coming from the main lodge on a hot, windless day. I have also seen the building completely illuminated by a strange white and green light.

If you have any stories about apple hill, pleas contact me @
Natea@ptd,net
Chris Hamm
6 years ago
The Reunion Date has been set! Mark your calendars for Sunday September 14, 2008! I will be sending out the invitations shortly via email. (Keep an eye out for them)
We are also looking for old photos taken at AH. We are putting together a multimedia presentation. Please contact me for further details.
If you haven’t sent me your contact information yet I need you to do so right away. I need your email, home address and phone number.
Please send all information to me at: Christopher.Hamm@ge.com

Hope to see you on the 14th!

Chris
Steve
5 years ago
Just curious if you are allowed to walk around the property to take additional pictures of the place and if so who to talk with, land documents come back to Jandil land corporation and the house on the property looks occupied? never tried to approach. Looks creepy actually. Noticed that construction seems to be near mostly at the top of the lifts area. I was never able to see the resort in operation but think it would have been fun to see. Drive past numerous times and hard to believe what the place was like in running order. Any help would be appreciated. Steve
Jim Brown
5 years ago
I started skiing at Apple Hill when I was in junior high school at Parkland. My brother Tim and I would tell my mother that we finished our homework in school and off we would go to ski until dad would pick us up late in the evening. I can still remember skiing past him time and time again saying one more run dad just one more run and he never complained. My brother and I skied with some great skiers( Tom Wentz, Roger Osmun, Greg Podnicks, Bob Cawley, George Meyers and Mark Smith) and we still ski today. My brother is a race coach at Blue and I live five minutes from Bear Creek. As I look back on the times I spent at Apple Hill I will always remember them fondly. They were some of the best times of my life.
Steve
5 years ago
Looks like they started making a new road on the upper part of Kernsville Rd and the Private Rd (Grist Mill maybe). Does not look like fast construction since I get up that way once a month and it took long enough for them to move the dirt. If you have not gone up to see what it looks like, maybe take a drive before gas prices hit up again.
Lenore Tretter
5 years ago
I attended the reunion of Apple Hill and it was wonderfull to see everyone. The most upsetting thing was the pictures of the lodge as it deteriorated. A cd was made and put to music that brought me to tears! My memories go back to being 4 yrs of age when my grandpa Russel Brown and my dad Barry Brown were working at the mountain in the ski patrol and first aid. I remember riding the old ski-doo that towed the tobogan to rescue the skiers. My grandpa never once raised his voice to me (I am 42 now) and the one and only time he did was when I marched across the top of a picnic table w/ my ski boots on!!! It is a family story that has never died and is as fresh as the day it happened! He still asks me if I forgive him for yelling at me. I always aspired to catch Chris Hamm but never did. He just skied way too fast! Apple Hill is one of the fondest memories of my childhood. My grandpop found a receipt from the ski shop in which he paid $12.00 for a ski sweater for me and $69.00 for a pair of Heinke boots a lift ticket was $3.00. It is a hoot to look through the old receipts. I cant believe he still has them. I still say the frech fries were the best and I think Yocco’s has the closest taste to the famous Apple Hill fries. Our family drove in on Oct.14th to snoop and we made it in almost to the lodge. It is overgrown and there is an elderly couple living in the house. They eat at the local rest (Norma J’s) almost every day.I suspect that nothing would be done until they no longer live there.
kevin
5 years ago
thanks christopher hamm for the lift info! having never skied apple hill, it sure looked like a lift reached higher on the hill then the t-bar summit - a summit rope tow sounded logical
Joe Subits
5 years ago
Back in 1970, I was 11 years old and a family friend took me to Apple Hill one weekend for my first time ever on skis. It was a wonderful place to learn the basics on a forgiving set of hills. My most vivid memory was of the rental equipment. Step in bindings were not common on rental equipment back then so we had the type with a cable around the heel pulled tight by a spring loaded release latch on the ski in front of the boot toe. There was an adjustment along the side spring for “quick release” in case of a fall. The toe rope was a real thrill for a beginner who could barely stand up for long on the skis. A far cry from today’s “magic carpet” lifts.

I loved the one time experience back then but for one reason or another it took me 35 years to ski again. Took back to the slopes after a conference in Las Vegas. For those who have never been, there is a relatively quiet resort 3 hours up I-15 in Southern Utah called Brian Head. They get 450 inches of natural snow per year and have as much challenge as any resort further North around Salt Lake.
tom mouse wentz
5 years ago
at the age of 12years old i began skiing at apple hill,from 10am to 10pm what a great place it was. met many great friends and today still have these friends. it was a kids mountain,some place that everyone who skied there will never forget. after apple hill i moved on to coaching and racing in vermont on the pro circut i moved on to aspen co fr two years also coaching and racing.then moved on to utah where i coached and raced out west. thank you so much apple hill for being there if it where not for a little mountain like you…i would have never experience the things i have in skiing today…
Joan Lewis (Schlener)
5 years ago
The picture of the lodge brings back so many memories of that great little ski area. I wish I could jump right back to that time and have a cup of hot apple hill cider. Many of you might not remember me but you may remember my brother, Rudy. He was there every night after school and all day on the weekends. I think one time he skied down the expert slope with Tom “Mouse” Wentz holding a torch. I think they did this on one ski. I remember it being impressive and pretty cool. Mr. Kramer and the people that ran that place really understood kids and the importance of recognizing their skills and allowing them to show it. What a wonderful place, but it was the people that worked there that made it such. Really miss those times and as your going through it, you always believe you’ll be back. Funny how it just ends without realizing it… but what great memories.
megan
5 years ago
i live a few minutes away. it’s not going to be developed - it was bought by the jandils, who own the turkey farm. it has no markers for development, and the lights and lift and lodge are still there.
abby
5 years ago
ok, my friends and i want to go see if this place if really haunted. I have heard the story that this kid licked the paint off the walls and went in the bathroom got sick and had to be taken to the hospital. HENCE the reaseon why it is haunted. My friends also told me thatt they walk right by Apple hill sr and it is FREEZING. so if anyone has anything PLEASE post on this page or send it to nates email.

Natea@ptd.net
Richard Sodke
5 years ago
Apple Hill was the first place I ever skied. I started when I was 7, about 40 years ago. I have such great memories of my Dad, Uncle Gus and Aunt Helen taking me to Apple Hill, making new friends and having such a great time. The T-bar was a fun ride with lots of “whoopee dos” on the way up. If you wanted to make a jump the attendant at the top would give you a shovel and tell you to build it off to the side. The front head wall was short but steep and every now and than huge moguls formed because they did not groom. The run coming round the valley had a bunny slope option. The Ski Patrol were the best skiers on the Mt. always friendly and ready to help. When I got to Jr. High we would have school outings there too. The lodge and ski area all had a European flair and skiers were taught etiquette, rules of the slopes. The hot chocolate was the best and I would always sleep real good after a hard day or night on the slopes. The Cafeteria had a nice fire pit in the center. Hard to believe I had so much fun on so little of a hill, but would not trade those days for anything. Thank-Full to God for the ability to continue to ski being almost 50 now and hope too for many more years, I was taken and inspired by those early days, as my love for skiing grew natured by my German parents and other relatives including Uncle Albert whom was a member of the Ski Patrol which I am now also a proud member thereof. Every now and than I have a pleasant dream of skiing this little gem. Thanks Apple Hill, owners and staff for some great times!!!
John Hoffner
5 years ago
I worked at Apple Hill in 68 and 69. I was 16 years old when I started. I still live in the area and think about my time there every time I drive past. I mainly operated the beginner tow rope or shoveled snow into the whoops that developed at the base of the tee bar. There was also a rope tow that took you a little further up the hill from the top of the tee bar. A few years latter my friend broke his arm while we were jumping our dirt bikes up the hill that was at the top of that rope tow. My most vivid memory is of the trouble some beginners had figuring out how to get ahold of the rope. You had to let the rope slide through your hands and slowly squeeze down on the rope till you started moving. If someone would fall I had to shut off the rope or all those behind would pile into the fallen skier. Now came the hard part. I would yell down the hill that everyone should let the rope slide through their hands. But of course no one did and now everyone fell when the rope started. It could be quite a problem to get the rope started again without someone falling. I never skied there and did not start sking till about 15 years ago. But having worked there I always wanted to learn to ski. I finally learned to ski by taking lesson at Blue Mountain. I love Blue mountain and I have had a season pass there for many years. Now my 8 year old Granddaughter and I ski together. This year she skied every trail excet Challange.
Ted Blandy
4 years ago
There was a rope tow starting at the top of the t-bar, extending maybe 50 meters in a line parallel to the t-bar. It extended up through an apple orchard and had minimal vertical drop. The upper rope tow was there from 1967 on.
Rich Spritz
4 years ago
My second-ever skiing (but the real start of a life-long addiction, ultimately resulting in my residing in Colorado) was at the age of about 15 at Apple Hill, probably early winter of 1966. Sad to hear that it’s gone.
dave savage
4 years ago
this is where i learned to ski, it ws cheap and close, when you faced the hill from the lodge window, the main hill was straight ahead and steep, to the left was a trail that came around from the top and to the right of the t-bar was a rope tow that i lost alot of good gloves on, a friend of mine worked the t-bar and i remember there was a road to the top of the t-bar from above, i have pictures ill dig up, one is from the morning call of my brother, mark savage skiing on the rope tow hill, also on some nights we used to take the kitchen trays down the main hill, (yes that was us), had alot of fun there
David Ehmer
4 years ago
I remember skiing at Apple Hill from 1963 to 1967 when my family moved to Washington DC. So many hours in bliss skiing down the Expert slope and the intermediates. There definitely was a two person chair lift back then that went to the very top of the mountain. Kim Martin and I skied so many hours together as kids. Good times, great memories and my first kiss. So sad to see pictures of the broken down lodge, but still great memories of sitting by the fire with hot chocolate and a hot dog. My cousin used to ski right into the side of the logde building all the time. To think that I am in my 50’s now! Time marches forward and things start going by so fast. Memories are wonderful things. I had some of the best times of my life at Apple Hill.
David Ehmer
4 years ago
To Pete Young, I was in 5th and 6th grade at Parkway Manor School with Sally Brinkerhoff, Andrea Katz, Kim Martin, Johnny Silverberg, Robert Wirth. Kim and I spent countless hours skiing at Apple Hill together. Small world, huh? I have been living in Washington DC for the past 43 years.
kevin
4 years ago
in regards to david ehmer’s post on 2/26… anybody know where the loading area was for this double chair would have been? probably fairly close to the aerial images
Chris Hamm
4 years ago
Sorry Kevin, There was no chair lift at Apple Hill. Apple Hill had A T-bar that serviced the “Expert” and the “intermediate” runs. The other two main lifts were serviced by rope tows. One serviced the “Novice” run and the other serviced the “Beginner” run.
In the late 60’s (perhaps before the beginner run) there was a rope tow at the top of the hill which I believe was a teaching area. Unfortunately you had to ride the T-bar in order to get there. This run and tow was only used a year or two. The other rope tow was used sporatically in the latter years and it serviced a hill next to the T-bar. This tow was only used a few times and only when there was enough natural snow. It started approximately where the T-bar loading area was and ran parallel to the T-bar for about 30 yards. and ended at a small plateau.
I will try to illustrate and post a trail map when I get the opportunity. The length of the runs and lifts is a bit foggy but the layout is still clear as a bell. Hope this helps until I can post a trail map.
Regards
kevin
4 years ago
Thanks Chris. I walked the property twice and never found any chairlift remnants. The vast majority of folks say there was never a double chairlift, but there is an apparently confused 2% that seem to remember one. Great info.
Doug Sager
4 years ago
When in high school in Phillipsburg, NJ in 1964-66 I learned to ski at Apple Hill. For me at the time it was heaven. The skiing experience, and the lodge with its circular fireplace, donuts and hot cider.
The whole experience engendered such a love for skiing that in 1981 I quit my job with CBS News in Cairo and moved to the Swiss Alps, where I have lived ever since, writing as ski correspondent for The Times, Daily Mail and other publications.
I’m sure many others were so inspired by many such small family areas. Despite heliskiing in Alaska, touring the Haute Route, skiing in Alagna and La Grave, my fondest skiing memories are of Apple Hill.
David Stammerjohn
4 years ago
Wow! What a blast. And so many names I remember and some I went to school with at JW Good, Troxel and Parkland High! Cool!
I learned to ski at Apple Hill around 68 when I was 13. What a great place. Bought my first ski’s there. Think Joe Dolgos was the sales tech at the time. I remember the courtesy of checking on people when they fell, and calling out “on your right.” Sad to say those courtesies are almost gone from skiing.

Now live in Wheeling, WV area and ski mostly at Seven Springs. My wife learned to ski and then we had our kids on skis by age 3.
Joel Wasson
3 years ago
Started there at 8 years old. My father took me to the beginner area and spend hours teaching me to snow plow on wooden skiis from Ski School. After many trips he took me to the intermediate hill. Both had rope tows. We went through a lot of gloves (leather ski mittens).

At the top of the intermediate, said give it a try. I flew down the hill like a mad man and stuck in the wooden snow fence at the bottom.

He came skiing down “Why didn’t you snowplow or make a turn to slow down?” I said because I didn’t want to slow down, Lets do that again!

I skied at Hahn, and then moved to Little Gap when Apple Hill closed. Ski area’s were my daycare.

I taught Skiing at Blue Mountain under Roger and would make morning runs with Matty. I also skied with Paul Best.

Now my daughter and I ski at Roundtop.

Apple Hill was way more than just a Ski Area, it was a crazy fun place. People would party there all the time. After it closed, it became a Tubing/Sledding and Snowmobile area for us locals.

They had two rope tows, one on the beginer, one on the intermediate, and a double T-bar that serviced the intermediate and expert.

I was young put I remember the expert as being really steep with big moguls. My last memory of Apple Hills was on the last day of its last season walking down the Expert because the snow was sticking to my cheap wooden skiis, Argh!
William Tyler Wentz
2 years ago
I am the son of Bill Wentz and nehpew of Tom Wentz. I have been hearing stories about this place my whole life. I wish I could have been out there whooping it with you all! Both Bill and I have recently won gold medals in racing. He’s still out there kicking ass. I’ve had a brand new pair of racing skiis the past two years because of the love my father has for this sport. We live for it. Thank you apple hill for building the relationship my family has for this amazing outdoor sport.
Wendy Werner Crown
2 years ago
Oh MY! Here I sit in the West Indies, on the island of St. Kitts, & I find this site on APPLE HILL!! What a blast from the past! YES! The Jaindl kids, Sally Brinnkerhoff, Leslie Sheldon, EVERYBODY skiied Apple Hill! I think my first year was 1963?? I remember skiing in knickers, and those great knee-hi grey woolen socks! Up and down the T-bar on the “expert” hill, and riding the cafeteria trays making a long chain down the “Advanced Intermediate” run!! Those were the days! Skiied all day, skiied all night! Right after graduating from Parkland in ‘73, I moved to Colorado to keep skiing, teaching, and racing! Tom Mauser! OMG.. Bill Oldt, my sweet departed ski-buddy, Joey Jessel and Linda Whitner.. we all went on to hang out at Doe Mountain, Elk, and Camelback! I’ve long since retired from ski racing to follow my passion for teaching scuba diving… But I will always fondly remember where I first strapped on those long thongs and bear-trap bindings! Sweet Memories Indeed!!
B Hellebush
2 years ago
Skied here with my family many years ago - great place - thanks for the web site. Found this post card with a great picture of the lodge from the “expert” hill.

http://www.cardcow.com/227513/apple-hill-ski-area-allentown-pennsylvania/
David Jaindl
2 years ago
Apple Hill was a great place for many families…..we were there everyday, when there was snow.

Dee Dee, I remember when you broke your leg, I carried your books to school everyday, it was 1967 (only 45 years ago) remember?
Gene Selbo
2 years ago
My god did this bring back some good memories. My family lived in Allentown for about 2 years during the mid 60s. I was 13 when I got my first set of skis while we lived in Allentown, and learned how to ski at Apple Hill. At least while I was there, there was no chairlift only a T bar and rope tows which I remember tearing up a few gloves on. Great family place and enjoyed the night sking and especially the hot chocolate
Matt Breininger
2 years ago
My grandparents live in the blue house, they mentioned stories, Found this site very interesting.
Shirley
2 years ago
Boy did this bring back memories,especially since I was just talking to someone that used to work there. I lived in the house at the base of the hill, with my parents and brothers and sister. There used to be a barn on the property used by Apple Hill. I learned to ski there, and we hung out at the lodge as often as we could, helping out in the cafeteria.
Fern
2 years ago
Nice site, We Moved in to the farm house at the bottom of apple hill ski slopes in October 1969
My sister and I along with our brothers learned to ski there, We were always there when they were opened and as we got old enough we worked there. Lots of memories and made lots of friends there.It was nice growing up there,Winters were a bit noisy with them making snow but we loved it there. When we first moved in they were making apple cider on the property too. Parents still live there and its still a nice area.
Kenneth Reeve
2 years ago
Yes Shirley and I moved in the house there right next to the Parking lot when we were in Early Jr High (Troxel)we had alot of fun there growing up exploring the Hills in the summertime and sking the hills in the winter We went to sleep to the sound of a large rented compressor that was used to make snow assisting the 2 permanently housed in the middle of the Expert Hill there was a beginers slope behind the lodge the Novice slope these were both rope tows then the Intermediate which ran threw the valley and above it was a small trail leading to the top of the Novice hill Then it was the Expert hill always filled with mogels and alot of action, these were accessable from the Tbar that ran from the bottom to the right of the lodge for a short time they added a small slope to the right of the T bar but I do not know if that panned out since it was right above the parking lot the rest of the area was Orchard we ate alot of fresh fruit and even tobaganed down the washboard area where the trees were planted on the hill one time my best friend and I even found an old concrete bunker filled with old wet Dinamite ( what did we know ) it was soon emptied and collaped in The remains of the area bring back many memorys for Me the house still inhabited holds alot of my life at what was known as Apple Hill Ski Area !!!!
Dale Frey
2 years ago
Growing up only 1 mile away, I had a season pass ($50) and would ski almost every day after school. I remember hearing the snow making machines at night, knowing there would be fresh powder.
peter balmat
2 years ago
What a nice memory of skiing on ice, ice covered rocks, and leg breaking moguls. That is what trained us to be such skilled skiers today.
Kernsville, still a great hometown.
Sid Grosman
2 years ago
That’s where I learned to ski(and kiss on the bunny slope) in the late 60’s. - Jr High school years. Someone in the lodge would get on the PA system and say “Will the Jaindl family come in for dinner” and 20 kids would swoop down from all slopes and eat together. Cafeteria tray races..ice wrestling with Sally in front of the lodge. Good Times..
Linda Melman Yepez
one year ago
I skied Apple Hill in the early 1960s when I was in junior high. Until then, I learned in Lehigh Parkway by walking up and skiing down and was instructed by my father. My first skis were my father’s cut down wood skis with bear trap bindings from the 1940’s. I finally got my first pair of purchased pair of wood skis with metal edges “Edelweiss” while skiing there. The cool kids got Head skis. I look back on that fondly. Although I would never want to do those rope tows again ever in my life! Now I look forward to any time I can get skiing with my grandchildren in Colorado.
Randy Hartranft
one year ago
I started sking there before it was open with Mr Kramer and his family in 1962. My grandfather managed the orchard for Mr Fuller at the time. I was there just about everyday skiing. I remember Rick Kramer, Pete Fuller Pete Nestor and all the other kids that skied together. In the middle 70’s I joined Doe Mt Ski Patrol (now Bear Mt) and was there for 12 years.
francie bishop good
one year ago
I am calling my show of photographs
“Far From Apple Hill” at David Castillo Gallery in Miami, Fl
opening April 11, 2012
I was there everyday after school starting in 1963!
fran bishop (good)
Dave Kline
one year ago
Boiler plate ice down the expert Ya——hooo!!!!!!!
Peter Nestor
one year ago
Someone just called my attention to this site. It’s nice to see Apple Hill provided a special experience to so many people, just as it did to both me and my wife Karen.

Reading this makes me remember that before I could drive I hitched rides to or from Apple hill with Paul Best and Forrest Marushak.

I can recall the excitement of being invited to become Jr. members of the ski patrol at the age of 16. The Wentz brothers, Rendell Hendricks, Tom Ward and I spent the off season getting our first-aid certifications and in the fall received our rust colored patrol jackets. Looking back it was the smartest way to keep us from terrorizing the slopes.

Apple Hill was a wonderful, if unlikely, portal to the wonderful world of skiing. Reading these comments makes it apparent that many more than just me became addicted to that world at Apple Hill.
huntet emory
one year ago
My mom had an old lift ticket. If i find it i will post a pic.
Wendy Werner Crown
one year ago
Love these pictures, and the fabulous memories. Wearing knickers, long thongs, bear traps, my first pair of leather buckle boots! Such good times! Dee Dee, Mouse, the Jaindl kids, Sally Brinkerhoff… such a gang! Later I went on to patrol at Doe Mountain before leaving PA at 17 for Colorado… for college, but mostly, TO SKI! Became an instructor and raced super GS & Downhill all over. Did a little racing for Dynastar before setting the boards up in ‘96. Good times indeed…. So many great skiing memories from all over the world… began with that little area, Apple Hill!!
Dee Dee Cooper
11 months ago
Hi David Jaindl. I do remember. If I didn’t thank you then, I thank you now!
Snowcat got your tongue?
If you'd like to share your own comments, please log in to DCSki.
Don't have a profile? Create one here.
Page load time: 0.08 seconds