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Vermont Ski Area Could Reopen as 'Hike-to' Facility

Mount Ascutney Resort has sat dormant for years, but a new plan to make the former ski area a part of the West Windsor Town Forest in Vermont could bring about its reopening. The fire-damaged base lodge still needs to be demolished and a chair lift needs to be installed to access much of the mountain, but that isn't stopping a newly formed nonprofit, Mount Ascutney Outdoors, from making plans to open a little lift-served terrain and more touring during this winter. If all goes well, a tow rope now in the state permitting process, drawn in the map above, could be realized by February.

The 1,000-foot tow rope proposed in a Vermont Act 250 filing would climb 200 vertical feet using 20-foot telephone poles and following much the same line as the previous triple chair. There aren't any firms plans yet for what do to about instruction for the tykes likely using the tow.

The upper mountain would be accessible by hiking from the top of the tow rope, but as New England Ski Industry points out, the easements that would come along with the purchase and transfer of the land to the town's trust would likely bar any future development. A future chair lift could be built to serve terrain below 1,500 feet, but the terrain above that point could not be maintained.

Since the old lodge won't even be demolished until more fundraising takes place, the only creature comforts at Mount Ascutney for the upcoming truncated season would be a fire pit and a tent with refreshments. But after the checkered financial history of the resort, the lodge fire and the sale of the lifts, a warm fire and backcountry access is better than nothing.

· Skiing Could Return to Old Mt. Ascutney Resort [Valley News]
· Ascutney Reopening Plans Revealed [New England Ski Industry]
· Yes, You Can Really Buy a Ski Area for $149,000 [Curbed Ski]
· Fate of Maine's Saddleback Ski Area Should Soon be Known [Curbed Ski]
· Wyoming's Antelope Butte Names a New Executive Director [Curbed Ski]