Brad S. writes the following:
Steven Berkoski confirms the area.
Woody Bousquet purchased an old ski jacket from eBay that had several ski patches, and was delighted to find a Hahn Mountain lift ticket still attached to the jacket:
In January, 2011, DCSki reader Rich K. wrote: “I seem to recall that Big Valley/Hahn Mountain was originally going to be named something like Flying Dutchman; that name actually appeared on a map of Eastern PA ski areas, but the name was never used.”
In early 2020, Mason E. captured some photos of Hahn Mountain / Big Valley that he took while on the way to Blue Mountain. “There were no remnants of the lift or other things that were there before,” Mason writes. “They all seem to have been sold or taken down by the current owner of the land. The only remnants I could find of the old ski area was a floodlight pointing directly at the main slope, it seems to have been part of night skiing,” he writes.
“The parking lot is now completely overgrown and the lodge deck has been removed. It is terribly sad that such a beautiful ski area had to go under. I’m sure if it were open today, it would attract many, many beginner skiers and advanced,” Mason writes.
Mason provides the following photos.
The name of this ski area was first Big Valley and then Hahn Mountain.
I skied Big Valley and Hahn Mountain from around age four. The area closed for good in the mid 1980s when I was around 15 years old. Both my parents were ski instructors so we all spent a lot of time there. Big Valley was bought by the same guy that owned the Hahn fire truck company in Hamburg, PA, hence the name change to Hahn Mountain.
Looking from the lodge there were three main trails. The "Rim" came down the left, "Big Valley" was in the middle and "Appalachian" (I think that is the correct name) was on the right. The lower half of each of these trails had a separate name, but they all escape me. The lower half of Appalachian was called Bear something and one of the others may have been "The Landing". All of these trails had lights and snow making.
There were three lifts. There was a T-bar located between the lower halves of the Rim and Big Valley. The T-bar only went half way up the mountain. There was a double chair lift between Big Valley and Appalachian. And there was a short rope-tow and beginner slope on the far side of the chair lift base. The T and chair dated from when the entire ski area was called Big Valley. The rope-tow and beginner slope was a Hahn Mountain addition.
I also remember some changes to the lodge when the area became Hahn Mountain. More decking was built around the outside perimeter and a small addition was built on the parking lot side of the lodge to house a new stairwell between floors. The old stairwell (which was removed) was located in the middle of the lodge near the snack bar. And there was a bar/lounge on the far side of the building. The basement contained the ticket counter, rentals, restrooms, gameroom, ski patrol room and a short-lived ski shop.
Big Valley used individual snow guns, but Hahn Mountain bought these enormous gas and diesel powered snow machines. I guess the machines didn't work out because they began converting back to small guns the year before they closed.
There were also a few unofficial trails that were sometimes available with enough natural snow and daylight. There was an easy narrow trail that we called "Proposed". It snaked around the back left-side of the mountain and came out about half-way down on the Rim trail. From the top of the chair lift one had to climb a bit further up the mountain to find the entrance to Proposed. There was a trail I think was called "Fox" or "Fox Trot" or Fox something. This trail was accessed by turning right at the top of the chair lift. The trail exited onto Appalachian. Finally, there was an unnamed slope directly beneath the chair lift.
Hahn Mountain is located north of Interstate 78. Take Rt. 143 north from Lenhartsville then turn left on Pine Creek Road. You'll see the remains of the ski area on your left just before reaching Gun Club Road.
After Hahn Mountain closed down my parents and I moved on to Heidelberg/Blue Marsh ski area. I became a ski instructor too, but gave up skiing for good after a few more years. Blue Marsh is now gone as well.
One of my fondest memories of Hahn Mountain is pinball! There was a small gameroom in the basement of the lodge that included a 1979 Bally Star Trek pinball machine. I now collect pinball machines and have an eye out for a Star Trek of my own. I also spent a lot of my childhood at the nearby Wanamaker, Kempton and Southern steam railroad. As an adult I'm now a volunteer at the railroad and sometimes drive by the old Hahn Mountain.
i never skied there because i am only 16, but i have heard many stories from my parents. the neat thing about it is that my mom and da met there on a blind date.. where the lodge is, they turned it into a christian school..and you can quote me on that...i forget the name though because it is hard to pronounce...the parking lot is still there and they still mow the trails and i think there is a lightpost or two still left. if you have any querations contact me at 610-683-9278. thanks,
My 1972 yearbook photo was taken at The Big Valley (I attended a small Philly high school, and we each got a page in the yearbook). Great little place to ski; not the schlep to the pocono resorts; a decent vertical for PA (512, I think?); good snowmaking & grooming, and best of all NO LIFT LINES!! Guess that's why it closed....ah well, the old daze!
oh yeah- I think a day pass was 7 bucks (weekends)!
I was interested in reading up about Hahn mountain on your site, and thought I'd add a few insights of my own. I learned to ski at Hahn/Big Valley and Doe mountain in the early 70's when I was about 15 years old. I do have an old Hahn Mountain Brochure from the 82-83 season, and the prices back then were pretty reasonable. All day adult lift ticket on week-ends was a paltry $13.00. Ski's, boots and poles rentals was $9.00. A Group lesson was a whopping $7.00.
Back in the early 80's, I was kind of a speed demon, and I'm not sure if this is a claim to fame or not, but a cousin of mine, Ken Prins and I, once logged 55 runs up and down the Mountain in one evening of skiing there.
We were both disappointed when the place closed, as the hill, even though small, did have a decent dropoff from the top. Back then, it was a great place to learn and enhance skills, no doubt.
I hope this comment will be viewed as a sharing of information and not spam. Although I no longer do any snow skiing, Hahn Mt. was a big part of my childhood. This "Lost Ski Areas" page here at dcski is the only Internet hit I've ever found on Hahn. Ever since I found this site a few months ago I've been flooded with nostalgic memories of Hahn. So I decided to put together a little web page on the subject. All I have so far is some memories and a few old snap shots, but I'm planning to put out some feelers and see if anyone has anything to add. If you'd like to see a few old pictures of Hahn, check out my page. If you have anything to add, shoot me an email.
...figures. I forgot the "l" on "html". It shold read.
It's been about 30 years since my season pass has expired. My brother and I used to bomb that hill like we were on fire. Or at least wished we were on fire. Remember those bitterly cold nights and inaffectual 1970's gloves and boots. God only knows why I still have finger's and toes.
I can credit Hahn Mountain for several things:
1. Learning how to work and fix P-tex.
2. Being able to put a mean edge on a set of skies.
3. Learning to carve turns in any combination of snow, ice, dirt, gravel, and beginers snowplowing (affectionally known as "moving moguls")
What great times and Hanh was just the place for all of this. I'm sad to read that it is long gone. I would have loved to go back and see how big it really is.
I only skied Hahn Mountain once, yet have a very fond memory of the area... One January night in '77 or 78, during my college-age brother's winter break, he graciously agreed to take me along to Hahn. We lived in Doylestown, so the drive wasn't too bad. I had only been on skis a few times prior. I remember almost killing myself by going over a "cliff"... the lighting was pretty bad, as I recall! But what I REALLY thought was fabulous about the place was the music blasting all night long! I remember skiing along to Linda Ronstadt's Heart Like a Wheel album played in its' entirety! Wonder if it was the manager of the area or just a random employee playing DJ? Ironically, I ended up getting my BFA from Kutztown, and all the while I never realized how close I was to Hahn. Must have been because I started K-town in 1981, and by then it was closed?? Years later, I worked at a small and very wonderful graphic design firm in Bernville, PA. Just a stone's throw from Blue Marsh, otherwise known as Ski Heidelberg... now THAT was a dinky place, but probably a great spot to learn or at least get your legs in shape for a bigger destination!
I was disheartened to learn Hahn Mt. ski area had closed. I grew up in Lebanon PA and learned to Ski At Hahn. in the late 70's. As a teenager my friends and I would pile into my Dautsun B210, tie the skis and poles on the top and head for the ski area. At 18 I moved away from PA never to return. I have skied all over the U.S. but my fondest memories will always be of that small mountain in PA.
I learned to ski at Big Valley in the early 70's
We only went there for one season before once again moving on to another town, but I had a blast skiing there as a 6 year old. I now live in the Seattle area where a normal si run is more along the lines of 1500ft el. but when I was a kid Big Valley seemed like the biggest mountain I had ever seen. It didn't hurt that it also had the name of my favorite TV show at the time, which is probably why I still remember the name.
My older brother and sister also have memories of the place, but there were less exciting as they chose to sit inside the lodge and drink hot chocolate (the fools)In defense of my brother he has since come to his senses and now spends his winter days skiing MT Bachelor in Bend, Or.
I pretty much learned to ski at Hahn while I was in college at Kutztown U. Loved that place. They only let 750 people on the slope total so the lift lines were never more than a 5 - 10 minutes. The slopes were challenging but short and if you were adventerous you could find paths between slopes 3 to 5 feet wide that you could blast between trees. My older brother and I did that a couple times one crazy day. I felt like I was on an Olympic slalom run. Miss it alot.
I grew up in Berks County, and am getting quite nostalgic reading all this.
In my elementary school years, I grew up near the aforementioned Heidelberg Ski Area (aka Blue Marsh ... or Crystal something?). We lived ten minutes away and were members of the adjacent country club who founded it, and we would sometimes ski under the lights most weeknights after finishing homework and all day saturdays and sundays. It was a hardcore group of skiers, some of whom ended up moving out west as instructors. Even after we moved across the county, my father, sister and I would still make the c. 30 minute drive to get a few furtive hours in.
As a family, we had skied at Big valley a few times, but once we were on the east side of the county and obtained driver's licences, we started going to Hahn sans parents on weeknights. It was a c. 40-minute drive in our '68 VW Bus, which leaked oil like mad (we'd drive to Hahn, put an oil pan under the engine, ski, and when we came out, we'd pour the drippings back into the oil filler) and had no heat. But, man, was it fun ... and our parents trusting us to handle studies and do this a few nights a week was a true self-esteem builder. A high school friend of mine actually bagged varsity basketball so he could ski there during the week. Another high school friend mowed lawns all summer just to be able to buy a season ticket in cash (I remember him peeling off the bills to buy it and thinking it was about as much money as I'd ever seen in one place at one time ... I think it was c. $125). He would sometimes drive in a Chevy Citation: His POS car and complete lack of driving skills had us opting for the Bus most of the time. I remember a fill-up was c. $10 ... which is $22 in today's money, but given the oil crisis/double-digit inflation of the time it really felt like a lot of dough, but completely worth it if skiing was involved.
As we were all of PA Dutch stock, skiing was all about maximizing slope time with minimal lollygagging about in the lodge! As a season ticket holder, I remember literally putting on boots in the parking lot, skiing for three hours (I seem to remember 19:00-22:00 evening hours ... so homework between 16:00-18:00, dinner at home, and then the drive up), and getting straight back in the car to be home completely knackered by lights-out at 23:00-ish!
Ironically, a huge chunk of my family tree dates back to German settlers who founded Lenhartsville in the early 1700s, and I still own a bit of ancestral land near the slope in the family. I only recently became interested in geneology, but had no idea at the time that every evening I was skiing a stone's throw away from the gravestones of most of my family tree.
I live in europe now and my children have learned to ski on a similar time capsule ski area www.postwiese.de (similarly to being an Allentown/Philadelphia suburg magnet, it's the closest ski area to Holland and the German industrial north)
The smell of late season man-made snow whilst skiing under the lights takes me right back.
Aside from the usual Poconos locales, another area when I was in college was Little Gap (aka Blue Mountain Ski Area ... google it up). We also made high school ski trips to a place called Oregon Hill (now Sawmill) and my father learned to ski at a place called Pine Forge.
The prior comment on the combination of 1970s clothing (jeans, gaiters, cotton turtleneck, wool sweater, down vest, etc. etc.) and the often brutal weather really struck a chord ... my face today looks like a trainwreck, and I have never quite regained the feeling back in my toes.
A former racecar driver family friend once told me that "if you learn to drive on junk, you'll be a star when you get behind the wheel of something real." Same goes for skiing all that boilerplate.
P.S. Hahn was right around the corner from where I went through CAP Ranger training in 1981 http://www.pawingcap.com/hawk/ ... I distinctly remember a 20-mile hike/rapellling exercise where I looked down over Hahn Mountain from the Pinnacle and wished I was skiing instead of carrying a 50-pound field pack ;-)
P.P.S. The aforementioned WK&S railroad http://www.kemptontrain.com/ was (and from time to time I believe still is) a location for a traditional family fall picnic of which I have very fond memories.
I skied at Hahn Mountain many a time. The mountain closed soon after the owner, after a large dump of smow decided to open the hill for himself and a couple of friends. While on the lift there was a malfunction and the lift stopped with them on it. This is of courese before the time of cell phones. With the snow coming down he opted to leave the chair and go hand over hand to the tower and climb down and go for help or restart the lift, I'm not sure. Unfortunately he fell from the cable before reaching the tower causing himself serious injury, injuries that are still evident today. The area was never reopened and the owner no longer skis, he is however a pretty good golfer even with the physical limitations he has to this day from that unfortunate accident.
A friend told me about this site yesterday. I have enjoyed reading the comments that have been posted. The original Big Valley Ski Area opened in the late 1960's. I seem to remember the plaque on the chair lift dated 1969 but I my memory may be off a bit. I do remember skiing there in 1970 while attending a local community college. The original use of the property was as a saw mill. In 1972 I headed west to attend school in Utah. My house mates and I spent a good bit of time traveling up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Alta and Snowbird. When conditions were not the best out there it was evident who had learned to ski in the East. That was when the lessons learned on small icy eastern slopes really were valuable. When I came back east I again paid a visit to what was now called Hahn Ski Area. On a whim I applied for a job so that I could ski for free. Well I got to ski for free for a few years. I became the manager of the area from 1977 until it closed. It wasn't the "Bird" but it was fun. It was a small area by today's standards and we often were frustrated by the lack of good natural snowfall or good cold weather to make snow. When the gods smiled on us with snow or cold weather we were able to give the public some good skiing conditions. It is heartening to read the comments of those who seemed to really enjoy the area. It's nice to know that the efforts of our employees and myself resulted in such good memories for those who skied Hahn. I still live in the area and I am able to sit on our front porch and look across the valley and see the three runs that came from the top. The lifts have long since been removed and after many ideas have been rumored for the use of the lodge, nothing has ever taken hold. As a result the lodge is in bad shape just as any building would be that has not been cared for over an extende period of time. I much prefer to envision being at the top of the mountain on a clear day with blue skies above and good fresh snow under the boards. It was a fun area and was much like all small ski areas in the east. It is where many of us learned how to do something that we continue enjoy doing for the rest of our lives.
I have a collection of ski area patches from most of the 50 resorts Ive been to since 1978, including some of my very first ones: Doe Mountain, Little Gap and Camelback. But Im missing several, including Hahn Mountain. I Googled it and found this web page.
I lived and worked near Allentown from 1978-87 and skied at Hahn Mountain two or three times. Like many of the other weeknight skiing experiences my buddies and I had during our adult-escence, we re-tell the stories of the crazy, stupid things we did, among ourselves, but we never tell our wives and kids the details.
I printed out the image of the patch above, and thatll do for now, until I can locate and acquire the real patch. Next Im going to see if I can find one from Big Boulder, Shawnee-on-Delaware and Elk Mountain. Then Pennsylvania will be complete, and Ill only be missing Snow Summit, California.
Well I finally decided to post something on the Hahn Mtn. page of this website. I've posted many items on the Apple Hill page over the last year or so. But in retrospect Hahn Mtn. was almost as influential in my life as Apple Hill was.
I learned to love skiing at A.H. but I really learned to ski at Hahn. I remember following the intructors as they would clinic trying to get as much information as I could. It was also at that point in my life when I realized that my dad, Jerry Hamm, was a wealth of skiing information too. Hahn also started a racing program under the instruction of Rudy Schlenner. It was at that point that skiing became a serious event in my life.
I had also joined the Jr. instructor program and after only a few weeks I was drafted to a full fledged instructor. I was only 14. I give many thanks to Bill Pendleton (Ski School Director) for believing in my abilities and giving a "kid" the chance to shine.
I also met my first love at Hahn(E.A.M).
Those memories of the formative years at Hahn I will always treasure.
I also remember Jeff Z and his parents Pat and Gary. They were some of the nicest folks you could meet.
I also remember the huge Hedco snow cannons and how badly they would chew up the snow and dirt when they were moved from slope to slope.
I'm still coaching racing at Blue Mountain ski area. I have Apple Hill and Hahn to thank for my love of the sport.
Went skiing at Hahn Mountain as a teenager in the early 1980s. I remember you could ski right down to the chair lift and get on and they could watch you coming down the moutain right from the tavern in the Lodge at the one end. I also remember that great 80s music they would play at night when you went skiiing. Great drop off at the top and lots of trails criss crossing through the trees. My brother and I would race to the bottom and it was so much fun. My Mom would bring these ham and cheese sandwiches and we would ski all night long. This place was the best. Great game room in the basement too! What terrific memories. Too bad it closed down.
Looking through an old photo album this week, we came across a family picture taken in 1973 (36 years back) at Big Valley Ski Area. In it can be seen the lodge, parking area and hilly landscape beyond. It looks like there was man-made snow, because of the grassy patches alongside the hill which is white with snow. This photo caused us to be curious about the ski area now and find out if it is still functioning. Thus, we looked it up and found this site telling of Big Valley. Sorry to learn it is no longer in operation.
I skied there in the 70's. It was a pretty short ride from the Hatboro area, cheap, and never too crowded. What I found out later was pretty interesting too. The final profile of the lower mountain and parking area was finished with fill brought in to the property. The fill is actually crushed casings of old car batteries from Exide in Reading. They can recycle the guts of a battery but are stuck with the casings. You only have to dig down a few inches to get to them. Luckily they were washed before they were put in place and since these thing are made to not corrode they have not caused an environmental problem.
What fun to read about this sight. I have many fond memories of teaching and playing at Hahn. It is sad to close this chapter of a really fun place with REALLY fun people!
I rememeber you. If I think about it hard enough, I might even rememeber the names of your parents. I was a ski instructor at Hahn Mountain from 1978 to when it closed in 1983.
I "retired" as a ski instructor after Hahn closed, as my real job was becoming too demanding to moonlight. But I still ski. My wife and I are going to Okemo, Vermont at the end of the month as a metter of fact. But I do more cross country skiing than downhill these daus, as I enjoy the aerobic exercise.
Oh Hi Nancy. I remember you too!
Hi Chris, I remember you too. We should have a Ski Instructor's Reunion. I think we had one reunion right after the 83 season. We went to a bar, I believe in Shillington. The bar featured a piano player, whose facial expressions as he played made us hypothesize he might have been a little crazy.
Like Tom mentioned above, I too grew up in Lebanon, PA in the 70s and skiied Hahn Mt. at night with my older sister. It was great fun.
Wow, this has been so neat to read all these comments. Our son Jeff (mentioned above) started his web-page and I thought he did such a nice job. Now finding this site and reading about many of you that Gary and I remember is so nice. Hi Chris, Barry, and Nancy. We sure had some great years teaching and lots and lots of fun. One of my favorites were the winter carnivals. All the funny costumes and at night the ski instructors and ski patrol would ski down the mountain with touches. Gary and I still ski but do not teach anymore. Thanks for all the memories.
The torchs must have been before my time. I do not recall that. But I do remember the funny costumes. I sent Jeff a picture I took of a person in a gorilla suit for his web page.
Does anyone still hear from Bill Penndelton? I read an article about him in 2002. He was chosen to be, I believe some sort of mountain crew member for the 2002 Olympics in Salt LakeCity.
I started skiing there in 1978.It was fun,cozzy and cheap. I remember $6.00 for a mid-week day ticket and $5.00 for night sking. Currently,"2010", at Big Boulder Ski a mid-week lift ticket is $42.00.
I found this blog searching for folks who might remember "The House of the Turtle". I was and am a musician who traveled there to hear good Rock bands. They had a non alcoholic bar and served exotic smoothies of the day (circa 1971 ish). I think I recall one band named "Dooley". It was enchanting to me at the tender age of 14.
I didn't learn to ski until 20 years later when I played gigs at Shawnee and Big Boulder, but quickly learned how much fun skiing is.
Thanks for all the details of the location. I'm not far away but was too young to remember where the place was! The early 70's......a fading memory....
Sad News - I just learned from Pat Zweizig that Bill Pendleton (Our Ski SchoolDirector) passed away.
On a more cheerful note; like Paul, I also remember the House of the Turtle. It was great because, except for school dances (too few and in many cases lame), there were not a lot of places for the under 21 crowd to enjoy good bands.
I was in my early 20's working at Univac at the time in the mid to late 70's. Our ski club would take a bus of about 40 people every Thursday night up to Hahn Mt. to ski after work. We would leave the parking lot around 5:30 and we would all bring food to eat and drink in the bus. I think we all went for lessons even though some people really didn't need them. They had all different levels. I think it was $40 dollars for 5 weeks of lessons and lifts! I do remember all the great music they played and no matter how cold it was we still had a great time! What great memories!
As a Ski Instructor, Univac night was my favorite night. The Univac gang was a great group of folks and it was fun to see how much better they became with five weeks of consistant lessons.
Skied it a few times. When I was there they did the late afternoon grooming. It was one a the few areas that did this. Unfortunately today's legal stuff don't allow it. I would hang in the lodge with my friends to get some fresh PA Powder at 5 pm. Chasing the Cats when the re-opened the slopes.
I stopped by the former ski area today just to have a look and reminisce. I spoke with a gentleman at the woodworking shop next door and he said it wouldn't be a problem if I walked around a snapped a few photos. Email me if you like to see them. It is a real "30 years after humans" scenario. firstname.lastname@example.org
Skied at Hahn Mountain back in 1975 & 76 at age 14&15. The conditions on the slopes those years were great ! Compared to my home slope in Bernville, Hahn to me was bigger, better, & shorter lift lines. Sorry to see what looks like a sign of the times, where most Ma & Pa little ski area's are closed now. Thanks DCSki for remembering & honoring all the lost ski area's. Brings back great childhood memories for me & others. Thanks Keith Sheppard...
If I remember correctly it was Big Valley first,then Hahn Mt Ski later. I started skiing there in 1978.The price of a ski lift ticket was $6.00 per day ticket during the week and $5.00 per night ticket during the week.There was a multitude of skiers from the Flying Dutchman Ski Club,all of which were very good skiers and quite friendly when seeking advise.
Skiing back then was much more difficult,since skis were much harder to turn,less forgiving and much longer.
I have enjoyed reading all of the comments at this site. Hahn was a big part of younger days. Originally from the Pottsville/Orwigsburg area, I learned to ski as a small child at the then Sharp Mountain. From it's closure we moved on to Hahn, (Which was always a better ski area). Somewhere around the late 70s while in college, not a only me but a big group of friends became Dennis' work crew (I am going to assume he is the DRK post from March 18, 2008). I think we were mostly his living nightmare. I could tell stories about the soap opera that was Hahn Mountain,for hours. Some of my favorites are the goose in the other Dennis' truck, and Art B backing over the welder. All in all it was a very fun time period for me. We all worked there only to ski for free. Dennis you will be glad to know that my experiences at Hahn must have built some form of character, when I left Hahn in 82 I went into the Navy and flew A-3s from the boat.
I worked for Hahn Mt. in the winter of 76-77, as a parking lot attendant (I pointed to where the cars were to go) and a lift operator. Nice gig for a school guy checking out the ski bunnies lol. I lived around the North face of The Pinnacle from the resort, so it was an ideal place to work.
I moved away from the area in '82, and boy do I miss it! Great memories.
I loved to ski there. I was about the age from 10-13 around 1977-80. I would go every weekend with my causin my mother would drive us from Delaware and she would sit and knit in the lodge while we skied. I took some lessons from one of the instrudtors there can't remember his name he was so nice and he lived next to the mountain at the bottom. I would love to say thanks to him. I went on to continue to ski all through high school ski clubs etc... I never forgot what he taught me. Wish I could remember his name. I really miss hahn Mtn still have a lift ticket and my patch.
From 1975 thru its closing I skied every day Hahn Mtn was open. Me and my brother and friends were complete trouble-makers. The lower runs were, from left to right: Sitzmark, Hawks Landing, Pinacle, Bear Run. You have the others correct. Around 1982 my father rented a cabin off of Bear Run and we were the only family that could ski onto the slope. Today he lives to the left side of the slopes. My mother was the afternoon ski patrol from 1980 til it closed, My step dad at the time was the General Manager (Dennis Reiss). The slopes were closed on Sunday nights, and me and my buddies would sneak up there and go high speed sledding. Every holiday to this day we walk the slopes. Such great memories. Windsor Station was the regular Fri night band. Asteroids was the most popular video game, and the kitchen made a killer Philly cheese steak. We all had a crush on the owner's (Bob Stavin's) daughters - one of whom was Amy (I don't recall the other sister's name). Very sweet family. Bob kicked me off the slope more than once for skiing too fast. Of course we did worse things than that. So great to see this history posted. Very sad to here about Bill Pendleton. The beginning of the end was when they installed the water lines above ground and they all froze. I spent a Christmas night with a blow torch trying to melt the nozzle for the snow blowers - only later to find out the entire 4" line was frozen solid from the bottom of the mountain. Great days. Many, many stories.
Here's a YouTube video of Big Valley from 1972. The cameraman (my grandfather) is between the base lodge and the chairlift house. The lodge is at left. The T-bar is at far left. The skiers in the foreground are in line for the chairlift. The casualty is being taken around the lodge to the lower-level ski patrol room.
...well that didn't work. Try...
Or just go to YouTube and search "Big Valley Ski Area 1972".
Adding to Chris Kerr's comments: When Chris and his two brothers were in their early teens, they would come home from school, do their homework, grab a bite to eat, and go to the slope until it closed at 9:00 p.m. Our house was half-way across the valley from the slope, and we could see the upper half of it from our house. CB radios were used to communicate among the slope's staffers. I would get onto their channel and talk to the guys on the lifts: "Have you seen TJ, Chris, and Garrett recently?" "Yeah," they would reply, "they're fine." I might not do that today. The $425 season pass for the entire family was quite a great deal for us.
Attached is a link to some old photos of Hahn Mt I scanned after I stumbled on to this site.
I grew up and currently live about 3 miles from Hahn Mt.
Hahn Mt and skiing was a big part of my growing up. I am sure I crossed paths with many of you at the Mt.
I worked at the mountain for I think like 9 years I think I started when I was 14 or 15 parking cars in the lots on weekends. It was a great job with the best perk of free skiing which was a sport I loved growing up.
I pretty much did every job at Hahn Mt. except snowmaking over the years. I also worked in the summer mowing the slopes, cutting trails back of brush and logs and even operated Caterpillar heavy equipment (955 loader and D5 dozer) widening the trails and top where you got off the lift. I did the kitchen, bused tables, maintained those Franco Belge coal stoves and mostly likely served you coffee or hot chocalate or made that great Philly Cheesesteak for you. You name it I did it LOL.
I even lived at the crappy mobile home below the lodge for a few weeks one summer. That is where Dennis Reiss the GM used to live during some of his tenure at the Mt.
The worst job I got stuck was one day it was so bitterly cold and snowed so no one came in to operate the lifts and I was asked to operate the T-Bar helping people get on the bar. It must have been one of those -20 wind chill days. I was so friggin cold I'll never forget it.
Chris Kerr you were such a great skier. You were my trouble making jumping idle. You did the best Frog Layouts, Mule Kicks and Helicopters. HEHE
Still of course living so close I drive by it almost every day and for many years held out hope someday it would re-open but not a chance anymore.
All the best,
We tried the place out while it was still The Big Valley. We came over from Apple Hill one night and the four of us got kicked out I think for skiing too fast. Years later I met Bill P who was a very nice guy.
Had the chance of visiting the former Hahn Mountain ski area this past fall. Quite a bit remains on the mountain, although nature has reclaimed a lot of it. The lodge sadly is in an advanced state of decay. It's been abandoned for at least 15 years now and it shows. I'm not exactly sure who owns it. I've heard it was at one point slated to be used as a kind of summer camp/retreat for a church group, and also that it was owned by a family in Pittsburgh. I have no idea, but the owners do not keep up with property, although they apparently do allow hunters access as there are well worn atv tracks running up the old "Proposed" trail to the top. The lifts were removed some time ago, but the footers for the terminals and towers are still in evidence. If anyone has any info on whether they were sold to another mountain I'd love to know. The upper mountain trails are mostly grown in now, but you can still follow the grading through the woods and see where the snowmaking hydrants were along the trails. The lift attendant shacks are still standing at the top of both the double chair unload and the t-bar. The rows of pines along the lower mountain have really grown in and shade the slopes out great. Sadly too late for anyone to make use of them. What I found surprising was how steep the upper mountain was. A solid 300-350 vertical feet of steeper pitches. It must have been a fun little area to ski back in the day.