• Welcome to AlpineZone, the largest online community of skiers and snowboarders in the Northeast!

    You may have to REGISTER before you can post. Registering is FREE, gets rid of the majority of advertisements, and lets you participate in giveaways and other AlpineZone events!

Ski Summit Height Inflation

ss20

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
2,807
Points
63
Location
CT
I've bee looking at old topo maps lately. Can you say summer ski depression? :sadwalk:

Most Mount Snow regulars know the true height of Mt. Snow is not 3,600', but actually about 3,560'. I always thought this was an inflated number to make the mountain facts look better. Now I'm doubting that is the actual reason. I found a topo map dated 1899. It shows the summit of Mt. Snow (it isn't actually marked on the map, look for the location of Somerset Reservoir) at a height of 3,606'. The next available map is dated 1954 after Mount Snow opened. There are already ski lifts marked, and Mt. Snow as a label. It's marked height is 3,556'. So, when Mount Snow opened the last available topo map (according to this government website) was the 1899 map with 3,605' as a height. I'm guessing Mt.Snow went with this height since it was thought to be correct, and when newer, more accurate maps came out showing the correct height, Mount Snow stuck with the 3,606'.

I tried Jay Peak and found a 1953 map and 1943 map both having Jay Peak listed as 3,861', yet Jay claims their summit is 3,968', so yes, I think the rumor that Jay measures their mountain height on top of the radio tower is correct :grin:

Mount Snow: http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/topomaps/f?p=262:18:3114273948036711::NO:RP::
Jay: http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/topomaps/f?p=262:18:3114273948036711::NO:RP::

Could we be wrong about ski resorts purposely inflating their numbers (unless you're Jay Peak :p)? Very thought provoking.
 
Last edited:

ScottySkis

Active member
Joined
Jan 16, 2011
Messages
12,000
Points
38
Location
Middletown NY
I've bee looking at old topo maps lately. Can you say summer ski depression? :sadwalk:

Most Mount Snow regulars know the true height of Mt. Snow is not 3,600', but actually about 3,560'. I always thought this was an inflated number to make the mountain facts look better. Now I'm doubting that is the actual reason. I found a topo map dated 1899. It shows the summit of Mt. Snow (it isn't actually marked on the map, look for the location of Somerset Reservoir) at a height of 3,606'. The next available map is dated 1954 after Mount Snow opened. There are already ski lifts marked, and Mt. Snow as a label. It's marked height is 3,556'. So, when Mount Snow opened the last available topo map (according to this government website) was the 1899 map with 3,605' as a height. I'm guessing Mt.Snow went with this height since it was thought to be correct, and when newer, more accurate maps came out showing the correct height, Mount Snow stuck with the 3,606'.

I tried Jay Peak and found a 1953 map and 1943 map both having Jay Peak listed as 8,861', yet Jay claims their summit is 3,968', so yes, I think the rumor that Jay measures their mountain height on top of the radio tower is correct :grin:

Mount Snow: http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/topomaps/f?p=262:18:3114273948036711::NO:RP::
Jay: http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/topomaps/f?p=262:18:3114273948036711::NO:RP::

Could we be wrong about ski resorts purposely inflating their numbers (unless you're Jay Peak :p)? Very thought provoking.

Jay makes .10, 000 feet, no wonder it so windy their.
 

Hawkshot99

New member
Joined
Aug 16, 2006
Messages
4,489
Points
0
Location
Poughkeepsie, NY
Fixed it.

Steamboat1 what the heck are you talking about?

* Summit Elevation-4867'
*Top of Lifts Elevation-4386'

????

That is Whiteface. But they clearly show on their trail map that they dont go to the summit, and they list their elevations.

* Summit Elevation-4867'
*Top of Lifts Elevation-4386'

????

Stowe. But again they dont try and make it seem a lift goes up the chin.
 
Last edited:

thetrailboss

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 4, 2004
Messages
28,610
Points
63
Location
NEK by Birth; Alta/Snowbird by Choice
I think we've had this thread before. Many ski areas don't technically go to the real summit. Some are just sloppy when it comes to this kind of information. For example, Sugarbush skiers will remember that ASC found a few more feet for Mount Ellen. It's pretty well accepted that the summit is 4,083' or so; ASC listed it as 4,135' for a while. I don't know why.

  • Summit Elevation - 4,395'
  • Top of Lifts Elevation - 3,719'

????

* Summit Elevation-4867'
*Top of Lifts Elevation-4386'

????

Well, to be fair, Killington lists its summit as 4,241', but K-1 does not go to the summit. As you know, you have to hike to get to Catwalk and even that is not the summit, which is beyond that point and requires more climbing.

I don't think it is misleading, but just a play on how to define what constitutes lift-served skiing. Stowe, Whiteface, and Killington have terrain that one can reach from hiking from the top of the lift. Jay Peak is the same really--the Sky Haus ends below the summit ridge/plateau IIRC and you can scramble up the last few feet to either take in the view or ski down (although it is pretty nasty). And getting back to Mount Ellen--the true summit is in the woods about 50 yards south of the top of the Summit Quad and on the LT. It is a small cairn in the middle of the trail. There's no ski terrain in there...per se...there was an opening from windblow that I think some folks try to ski, but nothing official. If we are taking a hard-fast rule that lift-served skiing means no hiking at all, then yes, the figures need to be changed.
 

from_the_NEK

Active member
Joined
Jun 5, 2006
Messages
4,575
Points
36
Location
Lyndonville, VT
Website
fineartamerica.com
I think that increase at Burke was the result of the more accurate surveying Ginn had done. Looking at the map plans that are posted on the Act 250 site, if they went with the mountain peak elevation of 3262 and the base of 1221 they would have a 2041' vert. The 3232 elevation number they need to get the 2011' vert occurs roughly where the unload area of the Mid-Burke quad is now.
 

thetrailboss

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 4, 2004
Messages
28,610
Points
63
Location
NEK by Birth; Alta/Snowbird by Choice
I think that increase at Burke was the result of the more accurate surveying Ginn had done. Looking at the map plans that are posted on the Act 250 site, if they went with the mountain peak elevation of 3262 and the base of 1221 they would have a 2041' vert. The 3232 elevation number they need to get the 2011' vert occurs roughly where the unload area of the Mid-Burke quad is now.

I think that more accurate GPS technology explains some of the changes in elevation stats for some places.
 

from_the_NEK

Active member
Joined
Jun 5, 2006
Messages
4,575
Points
36
Location
Lyndonville, VT
Website
fineartamerica.com
Actually upon further examination the 3232' elevation is actually at the true top of the toll road near the building housing the hardware for the TV tower. So I'm calling shenanigans! :razz:

Note: There are actually a few people who hike up there to ski the uppermost section of the power line. Additionally, the plan Ginn had for the East Bowl lift would have top out around that elevation as well.

P.S. – does anyone else have issues with using the <Enter> button to start a new paragraph in their posts?
 

thetrailboss

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 4, 2004
Messages
28,610
Points
63
Location
NEK by Birth; Alta/Snowbird by Choice
Actually upon further examination the 3232' elevation is actually at the true top of the toll road near the building housing the hardware for the TV tower. So I'm calling shenanigans! :razz:

Note: There are actually a few people who hike up there to ski the uppermost section of the power line. Additionally, the plan Ginn had for the East Bowl lift would have top out around that elevation as well.

I was one of those folks ;)

P.S. – does anyone else have issues with using the <Enter> button to start a new paragraph in their posts?

Every once in a while I do. Not today though.
 

from_the_NEK

Active member
Joined
Jun 5, 2006
Messages
4,575
Points
36
Location
Lyndonville, VT
Website
fineartamerica.com
Double Note: IMHO Jay Peak is one of the worst offenders of the elevation padding game. At least Stowe, Whiteface, and Killington actually have a rock you can actually hike to to reach any potentially quoted elevations. The peak of Jay has never been listed as 3,968’ on any map I have ever seen. Even their own engineering drawing for their master plan have the summit at a very specific 3856.7’.
 

thetrailboss

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 4, 2004
Messages
28,610
Points
63
Location
NEK by Birth; Alta/Snowbird by Choice
Double Note: IMHO Jay Peak is one of the worst offenders of the elevation padding game. At least Stowe, Whiteface, and Killington actually have a rock you can actually hike to to reach any potentially quoted elevations. The peak of Jay has never been listed as 3,968’ on any map I have ever seen. Even their own engineering drawing for their master plan have the summit at a very specific 3856.7’.

JPR inflating any of its figures? Say it ain't so! ;)
 

SIKSKIER

New member
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
3,667
Points
0
Location
Bedford and Franconia NH
I posted about Saddelbacks overinflated numbers in the past and was shot down by using old GE photo.The one I just looked at is from 2012 and shows the new lower lift below the lodge.From that base to the top of the Kennabago is 1850 ft.Total bs on the 2000 ft claim.
 

dlague

Active member
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
8,789
Points
36
Location
CS, Colorado
I can't say this is something that ever really crossed my mind. I really do not look at that when I ski and focus more on runs!
 
Top