By David Schissler – As the story goes, 50 years ago this year Mt Tecumseh became a ski area. 135 acres were cleared making the project the most extensive construction of a major ski area completed in a single year. This season Waterville Valley is celebrating its 50th Anniversary in style! It opened its first expansion in more than 30 years and the only ski resort expansion in New England this year.
The much awaited Green Peak Expansion adds 10 new trails to the mountain with 2 green, 4 blue, and 4 black trails on 45 acres. Green Peak is so new the trails don’t have names yet. They only have numbers. If you have a good idea for a trail name you can visit Waterville’s website to enter a trail naming contest.
For some reason what was originally planned as a high speed quad chair became a fixed grip triple chairlift. According to the mountain “The Green Peak Triple Chair Lift was originally installed 1985-1986 as the World Cup Triple and was rebuilt in 2000-2001. In 2016/17 the Lift was upgraded, it will continue to service Waterville Valley Resort as the Green Peak Triple Lift. The lift runs from near the Valley Run Quad base terminal to the top of Green Peak with a capacity of up to 1,800 passengers per hour.”
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to preview some of Green Peak. I was at Waterville with my nephew Jay and his friend Wally on an incredible powder day. Both are good skiers. The lift wasn’t running yet but thanks to Waterville’s Communications Manager, Tatiana Baier, we were able to access trails 51 and 52. The trails lead us along the lower edge of Green Peak but we had a clear look at the new terrain above us. There are some great advanced cruisers down the spine of the peak and the most challenging runs are reverse-pitch, steep, rocky shots down the side facing the Valley Chair. That’s one of the trails behind me at left.
I’ve been a Waterville fan since my collegiate racing days. It’s where you went in the northeast to see Alpine World Cup Races. Green Peak adds a whole new dimension to an old friend.