The Summer of 1949, Ben Lane, an avid cyclist, ascended the summit of Copperas Mountain in New Jersey, site of Craigmeur Ski Area. On that day, his scientific nature enticed him to experience skiing. Thus, began...

 "The Saga of Skiing"

 BEARPEN MOUNTAIN

 

 

Throughout the Winter of 1949/50, Ben Lane returned to Craigmeur. He took lessons, was "bitten by the skibug," and discovered a developing passion. He observed the mountain's V-shaped cleft and its ability to hold snow. He watched with curious amusement as owner, Hugo Meury, packed new snow with his skis by sidestepping up and down the slopes all alone. This became the catalyst for the realization of what working a mountain is all about.

 

September 1950, at age 18, Ben enters Princeton University in New Jersey. He soon meets Bill Bardsley, who will later become general manager at Mount Sunapee and creator of Gunstock at Belknap, New Hampshire. The two became great friends and looked forward to skiing together. February 1951, they drove from Princeton to Belleayre Mountain in Highmount, New York, a large mountain experience. At that time, Belleayre had a single chairlift , a platterpull and a rope tow. For the first time, Benís eye caught view of a mountain with heavy rime to the northwest.

 

April 1951, Ben and college buddy, Frank Barnes, hitchhike north... destination, real skiing at Mount Tremblant. When reaching Montreal, they paid fare for a bus to the mountain. Upon arrival near the slopes, they found a small room in a well-kept hotel at a reasonable rate.

While enjoying what the mountain offered, Ben made comparisons of snow conditions based on elevation and exposure to the elements.

CONTINUE