Mittersill T-Bar Installation in Progress at Cannon Mountain
New surface lift will serve a semi-private racing slope.
Sunday, June 19, 2016, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
Concrete work as underway at Mittersill for the Franconia Ski Club's Valar T-Bar.
The LST lift is being installed by SkyTrac along the eastern side of the new Taft Superslope. Initial footing work was commenced in May on the roughly 725 vertical foot lift. The lift is named after Franconia Ski Club President Christina Valar Breen's parents, Paul and Paula Valar, who were noted ski racers and instructors.
Meanwhile, snowmaking pipe is being installed on both sides of the Taft Superslope, the widest ski trail in the state. Snowmaking was installed on Baron's Run and the Skyline-Ridge Run-TBD Trail combination for the 2015-16 season.
The original Mittersill ski area closed in the early 1980s, though its ski trails remained popular among backcountry skiers. In 2009, the state acquired the upper mountain tract from the United States Forest Service, stating it would operate it as a public backcountry ski area that would remain within the original footprint of the former trails in order to protect Bicknell's Thrush.
In early 2013, the state announced it had exempted itself from the Mittersill Bicknell's Thrush protection zone by placing 65 to 80 acres of land into the designation elsewhere in Franconia Notch State Park. Around this time, plans for a semi-private racing facility on Mittersill emerged.
While initially pitched as a fully privately funded expansion, state and federal funds have been used to construct the racing facility, including New Hampshire General Fund dollars. The $615,000 T-Bar is largely funded through donations, including from the family of the late George Macomber.
Meanwhile, Governor Maggie Hassen and the Executive Council approved $350,000 in new debt spending for Cannon Mountain on June 1, 2016. The funds will be used for lift maintenance, roofing repairs, bathroom refurbishments, and septic work. The Cannon debt account is currently in arrears.