BY ANDY JAMESON
This week we’re moving from the epic Coastal Range of BC to the hills of Central, CT. Okay, we get it, Central, CT is not exactly known as a skiing mecca. Most casual skiers are surprised the state offers lift served downhill skiing at all. However, the State of Connecticut offers six different hills where you can get your turns in. They aren’t the biggest ski hills, they aren’t the steepest ski hills, and they don’t have the fastest lifts. But these ski hills serve an important function as feeders to the sport. With growing the sport on our mind, we’re giving a shout out to Power Ridge, the newest (re)entrant in to the fray.
After being closed for almost a decade, the ski hill re-opened for the 2013-14 ski season. The owners of Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park purchased the ski area in 2012. The group subsequently invested millions as part of a plan to create a four season resort and activity center on the grounds.
With 60 inches of annual snow fall, ~400 vertical of mild terrain, and four fixed grip chairlifts, Powder Ridge isn’t exactly a destination ski resort. However, it’s location in Middlefield, CT about half way between New Haven and Hartford, represents a convenient afternoon or evening ski choice for those living in the area. Let’s face it, making turns on a Tuesday night is more fun than not making turns on a Tuesday night.
The ownership of Powder Ridge has a vision to bring back the “urban” ski area. They see a potential to revitalize these small local hills by emphasizing four season attractions, terrain parks, learn to ski programs, night skiing, and tubbing. Hey, if it gets more people to try the sport, we’re all for it. If you’re in the area give Powder Ridge a try. Remember a day sliding on snow is better than a day not sliding on snow.
Back in the day, Powder Ridge offered the first “Quad” Chairlift in the East!
- Powder Ridge is the only ski area in the country to require helmets for all patrons.
- Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park is owned by the same group and looks sort of awesome.
- In 1970, the Powder Ridge Rock Festival was to be held. 30,000 people showed up expecting a second Woodstock, instead they showed up to find 70 drug dealers and no entertainment, food, or plumbing, you can guess what ensued.
Location: Middlefield, CT
Chairlifts: 2 double chairs, 2 triple chairs
Surface lifts: 2
Vertical Drop: 300-500ft, depending on your source
Skiable Terrain: 80 Acres (Day) 60 Acres (Night)
Adult Full Day Lift Ticket: $55 (discounts for beginners, nights, etc.)
Every Winner was once a Beginner!
About the Ski Hill Shout Out: Few skiers have the privilege of learning in amazing destination resorts such as Jackson Hole, Whistler, or Squaw Valley. Instead, most of us fell in love with the sport shredding local hills. We came to these (often smaller) local hills because they offered easy access, low prices, and accessibility. Sadly, many of these local hills have either died or are struggling to survive. At Unofficial, we understand that these hills are the life blood of our sport. Through this feature, we hope to raise awareness of smaller ski areas, and if possible, direct a few readers their way.