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Reader Comments

Below are some emails I've received over the years regarding Hahn Mountain. If you have a story you'd like to share, please contact me. The messages are arranged from top to bottom in the order they were received. Any editing on my part is light. My goal here is to present memories, not check and correct for historical accuracy.

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Hi Jeff:

My name is Rick, and I too spent too much of my childhood at Hahn. I really enjoyed your site, it really brought me back. I don't have any memorabilia to share, but I'm sure my family has some pictures from there. There are probably patches, pins, brochures and trail maps, even ski hats with blood on them due to wipeouts on Hahn's slopes somewhere in this house.

We were there every Friday night during ski season from Wyomissing. My brothers and I took lessons from Flying Dutchman ski club back then. It always felt like we knew everyone there, like we owned the place. We'd get away with stuff that would get us arrested at today's slopes. Same was the case for poor old Heidelberg/Blue Marsh ski area. I even recall the 'arcade' they had, and the pinball and high-tech pong games they had. I always wanted to spend my time and my parent's money down there and they'd get so mad.

As a lightweight 3-5 year old, that t-bar was my nemesis! It took forever for me to get up that damned thing, because I was so lightweight it would just pick me up, spin me halfway round, then set me back on the ground. I'd make it backwards... for about 10 feet, then hang on for dear life as it dragged me to the top. A great way to build character, I tell you! I was too small to go on the chairlift by myself, so it was my only option.

I recall the small pine trees that lined the slope that ran parallel to the chairlift. My brother and I would start at the t-bar drop off, pick up some speed, then jump off some random mogul into the top half of those trees, which were probably only 12' tall. They were so soft and spring-y they would bend down, then spring back, throwing us back up the hill. We'd repeat until we eventually got to the bottom! We laughed ourselves silly!

Our skiwear (aka Montgomery Ward one-piece snowmobile suit) never made it through the whole season. I remember my mom/dad and ski instructors yelling at us for laying on the slopes eating snow, saying that someone would ski into us because they couldn't see us. Nowadays, I see snowboarders sitting in the snow and I want to yell at them, too.

A couple years ago I hiked up to The Pinnacle with my future wife and was telling her all these stories about that small ski area up in that area. Just before I got to pinnacle I remembered that there was a sign on a tree at Hahn Mtn that said "pinnacle" with a view of that peak. When our hike got to the pinnacle I was finally looking at the ski area for the first time in over 15 years. Even though it was summer I only saw the lodge as it looked covered in snow, I could smell the french fries and the water hot chocolate, and I could hear the pinball games and the snowguns. I could even feel the bruises I always got from falling down those steps in the lodge when trying to go up and down in my ski boots.

By mid-80's we stopped our Flying Dutchman lessons, and that stopped our trips to Hahn. We started going to Doe, and by the time we graduated from high school and had our driver's licenses, we did longer treks to Little Gap. Both those places aren't the same, but at least they are still open.

Now I have 2 kids that will soon be the same age as I was when I was experiencing this. I hoped to have them grow up in New Hampshire, but as things are, they are now in my old Wyomissing stomping grounds. I can't wait to give them the same experiences.

Now, if you've read this far, I thank you for your patience. I didn't expect to ramble on, but I love to reminisce about the way skiing used to be. My 2 kids are also really into trains. Not just Thomas Tank Engine stuff, but anything that looks like a train. I would love to learn more about the WK&S railroad if you can spare the time.

Thanks again for reading my ramblings. I really enjoyed your site. If I come across any BV/H Mtn memorabilia I'll scan it and send it to you and other lost ski area sites.

Rick

Wyomissing, PA

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Hi Jeff,

I skied there back when it opened.

I join the ski patrol there the season of 1970/1971 at age 15.

I knew the owner's son so I used to sleep over in the first aid room on weekend nights. Most of the night I would be out on the mountain with the snowmakers. Somehow I got addicted to snowmaking there since I still make snow but only in my back yard. For photos of my snowmaking and equipment, go to my website http://www.findsnap.com/ and go all the way to the bottom of the page and click on the snowmaking links.

As for Big Valley's snowmaking system in addition to the five rented diesel compressor outside (rented from Quarrymen's Supply) there were also four electric piston type compressors in the building and one water pump.

Most of the original owner's names I can still remember. Yeager, Forry, Cummings, Ratnick.

I'll use your map and try to put in two other original trails as I knew them. There the ones in yellow. The area circled in green originally didn't have lights on it. I don't know the trail names now, but will try to find out.

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Also when Hahn took over they regraded the upper Rim Trail, redid the lodge taking out the ceiling tiles and added the deck.

Other local extinct ski areas I know of.

Apple Hill, North of Allentown

Sharp Mountain, Pottsville

Pine Forge, Between Douglassville and Pottstown

Levan's Old Mill, Kutztown

Crystal Ridge, Virginsville

Blue Marsh, Bernville

Thanks,

Scott

Lyon Station, PA

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Hello Jeff,

Can you believe I Google this ski area about 5 years ago but found nothing. Now, your site is great!

I skied Hahn Mountain when I was attending college at K-town in the 1982 - 1984 time frame. I remember it being cheap and even having some moguls. I went by there a few years back taking my family for a hike on Hawk mountain, but didn't leave the parking lot believing it was private property and the gun club would not want me looking around. I really did want to hike up the trails. Are any of the lift parts still on the mountain? Do you know what ski areas purchased the lifts?

Thank you for a great memory!

John Richards

PS: I road that train about 10 years ago when my girls where little. Good time

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I skied at Hahn Mt. in the late 70's , early 80's. I live in Lititz and would drive up there week days and weekends too. My friends were in a ski club in high school and I think that's how they knew about the place. Lot of memories there, I remember on weekends they had a DJ or band in the lodge and I remember everybody dancing with their ski boots on! When I would go down stairs to use the bathroom the floor was moving up and down when you looked up at it from everybody dancing! I took a drive there a couple of years ago to look around. I was on bing maps tonight looking at an aerial view of the place. Thanks for bringing back some great memories with your web site.

Barry

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Jeff:

A friend found your website about Hahn Mountain and we thoroughly enjoyed it!

I have attached copies of my memorabilia.

While I am envious I do not have your poster, I did find a bumper sticker (and I do have the ski patch).

Also attached are brochures from the 82-83 season (on blue paper) and 83-84 season (on green paper) as well as an undated brochure (on "glossy" paper).

My uncle (Henry Peters from Fleetwood) was a ski instructor there at Big Valley and Hahn Mountain. My brothers skied Big Valley in high school and I arrived on the scene when it became Hahn Mountain. We taught all of our friends how to ski there -- it was our Saturday night hang-out place.

Thanks again for bringing back our fond memories.

Linda Peters

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Hi Jeff,

A friend of mine just forwarded your site to me. How great! I worked at Hahn the winter of 1977-1978. That was a good snow year. I'm almost sure it was a banner year for Hahn. I worked in the snack bar but knew all the skiiers who would come in to eat. Greg Monroe was the bar tender, and the owner Mr. Hahn (can't remember his first name but can see his face clearly) would always be there eating hot dogs from the kitchen. We served yogurt, which I thought was very modern. The french fries were excellent.

I learned to ski from the Nash boys, Greg, Cliff and Dave, who hung out all the time. They lived around the corner. I remember the skis that we would rent; they had a binding that snapped on the bottom, not like the good skis today. I think they were really dangerous. Of course the skis were way longer then and did not carve nearly as well. But, boy did I have fun. My dad would ski there too, he was a prof at Kutztown State College.

I worked as much as I could. We loved Friday nights because a band would play and it was the only action around. We had fun in the parking lot, the rental place, the first aid station, everywhere we could on that mountain.

I remember skiing one night on the mogul area which was to the right and getting stuck because the new snow was so deep and I wasn't going fast enough (maybe the slope wasn't steep enough, maybe I wasn't good enough). I also remember skiing in jeans and army jacket because that is what I had, nothing fancy like now a days.

What memories. The lady who I worked with was Lavina and also Julie Stark, who lived on the other side of Hahn, Mary Guinther, who lived in Stony Run and is still in the area. I wish I had saved some of the stuff that I had, but that was long ago. I was 22.

I now live in Vermont with a view of Jay peak out the window. My kids race both Alpine and Nordic, they also work at Jay Peak. Ha-ha (what we called it then) was a joke compared , but it holds good memories. Global warming and the expense of snowmaking led to it's demise. What happened to Blue Marsh and Doe Mt?

I also remember the ski mt at Crystal Ridge? We used it for sledding and there was a cave nearby that we could go into. The one at Eagle Point in Kutztown is now overgrown, the Wirtz's owned the property I think, now the Renningers own it. Are you familiar with Piper Hill ( I think) in Pipersville Pa? It is long gone but there is some information about it on line. Here in VT. my husband spent hours at a little mountain here in Newport, which is now sadly out of business. We have snow too, but the insurance is too high. It cost 50 cents a day in the 70's! Tow rope only! It was called Chamberlin-Birch. He still has his long skis.

I moved here because in the elementary schools, there are ski programs. My kids got lessons, equipment and a day at Burke Mt (a great place to ski) for $5.00 a week for 10 weeks. It was part of the school curriculum. Awesome. Us old timers could go as chaperones for free. Of course I took full advantage of it and started skiing again. That too has changed. The schools only go maybe once every other week for $7.00. Not a bad deal. Skiing is important here. It's how we survive the intense cold.

Thanks for the memories.

Lisa Eshleman Foster McCrae

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Hi Jeff,

I started as a Jr patroller in 1970 while I was in high school. Loved skiing there and liked the good ski deals I got by being on the patrol. Great comraderie. I came back to the area and the patrol in 1979 with Paul Pretzman as the head patrol leader. It was like a private area. I coached the racing team and was able to set up gates at will. Sunday nights were always spent at the bar with Jim Coyne as bartender listening to Dead music. One Sunday night somebody turned the lifts on for our private pleasure, as the area closed at 4, some skiers even "streaked" down the mountain. Easy area to get to and beautiful natural surroundings made this area special.

I can say without hesitation that there were better mountains, but few mountains that were more fun.

Thanks for the memories.

Rob Hamill

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Hi,

Attached is a link to some old photos of Hahn Mt I scanned after I stumbled on to your site.

I grew up and currently live about 3 miles from Hahn Mt.

Hahn Mt and skiing was a big part of my growing up. I am sure we crossed paths at the Mt.

I worked at the mountain for I think like 9 years I think I started when I was 14 or 15 parking cars in the lots on weekends. It was a great job with the best perk of free skiing which was a sport I loved growing up.

I pretty much did every job at Hahn Mt. except snowmaking over the years. I also worked in the summer mowing the slopes, cutting trails back of brush and logs and even operated Caterpillar heavy equipment (955 loader and D5 dozer) widening the trails and top where you got off the lift. I did the kitchen, bused tables, maintained those Franco Belge coal stoves and mostly likely served you coffee or hot chocolate. You name it I did it LOL.

I even lived at the crappy mobile home below the lodge for a few weeks one summer. That is where Dennis Reiss the GM used to live during some of his tenure at the Mt.

The worst job I got stuck was one day it was so bitterly cold and snowed so no one came in to operate the lifts and I was asked to operate the T-Bar helping people get on the bar. It must have been one of those -20 wind chill days. I was so friggin cold I'll never forget it.

I knew Bob Stavin and Sue Butz very well.

Still of course living so close I drive by it almost every day and for many years held out hope someday it would re-open but not a chance anymore.

All the best,

Lloyd Lutz

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Hello Jeff

In 2015 I got a chance to go inside the Hahn Mountain Ski lodge. Now most of you remember skiing. I remember my dad Ray and several Hahn employees busting their ass to make it work. I never got to ski there but Stavin said my brother Kevin and I could ski for free. I remember going out there opening day with my dad. We met with Stavin to see how it was going. He said everything went well but they ran out of toilet paper. LOL. They ran to the Hahn plant and got some. My brother spent many hours there welding pipes for the snow. Anyway for me it was a trip through time. I couldn't believe how well it was preserved. I had tears in my eyed looking out those front windows at the slopes. I always said if I became rich I would buy the whole place and move my family there. Well that's not going to happen but I'm thankful that my brother and our two sons got to experience Hahn Mountain. I'll send the other pics in 2 emails as the files are too big. Enjoy and please put on your website.

Don Hartman - 2017