Over the past couple of seasons, Black Mountain in Jackson, New Hampshire has become one of North America’s meccas for the uphill skinning community. But guest behavior from this season has challenged the future of uphill skiers at the ski area. Back in January, Black Mountain threatened to revoke uphill access due to trespassers parking in auxiliary and private parking lots to avoid paying the $10 uphill fee. This was not heeded by the uphill community, and thus Black Mountain announced this week that they’ll be no longer selling uphill skiing tickets for the season. They will still allow uphill season pass holders to skin up the slopes for this season.
And when it rains, it pours. Ski the Whites, who hosts the Last Skier Standing event at Black, announced that they were ending their relationship with the ski area effective immediately. According to the New England Ski Journal, another situation took Black Mountain owner John Fichera over the edge with Ski the Whites. During one of their Friday Night Lights events, a guest smuggled in their own alcohol into the base lodge. John Fichera freaked out about this, calling the cops and shutting the Friday Night Lights event down. Hopefully, the ski area realizes the positive impact skinning has had on growing its brand over the last couple of years. The big question is what mountain will be home to Ski the White events will be held now, as Black Mountain was the closest mountain to their HQ in Jackson. Due to corporate interests, Wildcat and Attitash are unlikely. King Pine will host their final event of the season in April, but it’s a fair distance away. Other potential mountain hubs could include Cannon, Cranmore, Bretton Woods, and Black Mountain in Maine.
The official statement from Ski the Whites is below:
“Ski The Whites will no longer be hosting events at Black Mt or have a rental shop on-premise. We are thankful for the staff who have supported us along the way. We have hosted over 100 events here and I couldn’t think of a better place to share the uphill experience. Hopefully, policies change and we can start sending people back that way in the future. Our last event of the season will be the Wild Corn SkiMo at King Pine April 2nd, tickets will be on sale later this week.
Updated at 10:00 pm, March 2nd- Black Mountain owner John Fichera responded to the deterioration of the relationship with Ski the Whites in a response to New England Ski Journal. He described the experience since Ski the Whites’ involvement at Black Mountain as “a bad high school dance every time he had an event.”
On the Friday night that was previously described, five hundred people unexpectedly showed up without notifying the resort, and multiple people brought their own beer onto the property, which is private. When John approached some individuals who were intoxicated, they assaulted him. Other issues brought up by John included Andrew Drummond not doing enough to notify guests of Black Mountains alcohol policy, seeing a minimal financial return for the events hosted by Ski the Whites, and Ski the Whites leading many of the trespassers/guests who have created issues with the mountain to not abide by the uphill skiing rules. It sounds like Black had its fair share of valid reasons to end the relationship with Ski The Whites.
John Fichera said the following about the situation:
“You’re damned right I called the police. I threw everybody out of my building and I shut the bar down. That was it for me. Last straw. I’m done…They were all up at their bonfire drinking — their own beer — on my licensed property. If the liquor inspector shows up, they suspend my license until I have a hearing. At the end of February? Are you kidding me? He has no respect for the business and what we do here. I have a liquor license and it does not include Andrew Drummond.” Image Credits: Black Mountain, Ski the Whites