Skiing Pleasant Mountain


Pleasant Mountain trail system, ca. 1950s

Pleasant Mountain trail system, ca. 1950s
Item 18887   info
Ski Museum of Maine

Projecting a positive image has always been part of the ski scene, and this publicity shot of a young woman posing on frozen Moose Pond, with Pleasant Mountain's ski trails in the background, reflects that concern.

Many of the photos in this exhibit were taken for publicity purposes.

Aerial view of Pleasant Mountain ski trails

Aerial view of Pleasant Mountain ski trails
Item 18916   info
Ski Museum of Maine

Pleasant Mountain's original ski slopes were located on the north side.

The "Old Blue" chair lift ran from the base area to a shoulder a few hundred feet north of the northernmost of the mountain's seven summits. Most of the trails lie to the west.

Kids load the T-bar, Bridgton, ca. 1955.

Kids load the T-bar, Bridgton, ca. 1955.
Item 18915   info
Ski Museum of Maine

The latest in lift technology was slow to arrive in Maine.

The first T-bar, a revolutionary and fairly inexpensive ski lift that was invented in the 1930s by Swiss engineer Ernest Constam, came to the Pine Tree State in 1953 when Pleasant Mountain installed one to serve the Main Slope.

Loading the main T-bar, Bridgton, ca. 1955

Loading the main T-bar, Bridgton, ca. 1955
Item 18886   info
Ski Museum of Maine

Pleasant Mountain's T-bar solidified the ski area's reputation as the most advanced in the state during the mid-1950s.

Mechanical uphill transport ended the era when skiers had to hike to the top of the mountain for each run or had to wear out their hands and arms by hanging on to fast-flying rope tows.

The T-bar opened vast new markets for skiing.

Riding the Old Blue chairlift at Pleasant Mountain, ca. 1972

Riding the Old Blue chairlift at Pleasant Mountain, ca. 1972
Item 18888   info
Ski Museum of Maine

The chair lift, the next level up in uphill transport, was invented in the 1930s for Sun Valley in Idaho.

Maine's first was installed in 1954 and further established Pleasant Mountain's reputation as the state's leading ski area.

Old Blue chairlift, Pleasant Mountain, ca. 1960

Old Blue chairlift, Pleasant Mountain, ca. 1960
Item 18885   info
Ski Museum of Maine

The Pleasant Mountain chair lift was painted a light blue color.

When new lifts were later installed, it was known as "Old Blue."

When it was replaced in 1984, many of the chairs were sold as souvenirs. Several remain in public view, including one at the Sports Haus in Bridgton and the other hung in a tree at a private home in Westbrook.

Tucker Sno-cat, Pleasant Mountain, ca. 1960

Tucker Sno-cat, Pleasant Mountain, ca. 1960
Item 18917   info
Ski Museum of Maine

Snow grooming technology kept pace with lift technology.

The Tucker Sno-Cat was the state-of-the-art grooming vehicle of the 1950s and 1960s.

Its main job was to tow a roller and pack down the snow after each major storm.

Lacing ski boots, Pleasant Mountain, ca. 1955

Lacing ski boots, Pleasant Mountain, ca. 1955
Item 18907   info
Ski Museum of Maine

Ski boots were made of leather from the inception of the sport through the early 1970s, when plastics began to dominate the scene.

Then as now, a very, very tight fit aided performance, and lacing up leather boots was always a demanding task.

Skiers, Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, 1963

Skiers, Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, 1963
Item 18909   info
Ski Museum of Maine

Teaching newbies has been part of the economics of ski mountains from the 1920s and 1930s.

This photo of two women reading a ski school brochure was undoubtedly shot for publicity purposes.

Pleasant Mountain ski instructor, ca. 1965

Pleasant Mountain ski instructor, ca. 1965
Item 18908   info
Ski Museum of Maine

Publicity photos generally depicted attractive men and women to publicize the ski area.

This young man was a Pleasant Mountain ski instructor.

Instructor shows his style, Bridgton, ca. 1965

Instructor shows his style, Bridgton, ca. 1965
Item 18889   info
Ski Museum of Maine

Extreme body angulation and skis so close together they almost touch were two of the key elements of the European "wedel" style of skiing that was taught in the 1960s.

This publicity shot features the head of Pleasant Mountain's ski school, Hans Jenni, demonstrating the technique.

Skiers, Pleasant Mountain, ca. 1960

Skiers, Pleasant Mountain, ca. 1960
Item 18920   info
Ski Museum of Maine

In the sport's pioneer days, skiing was overwhelmingly an activity for very athletic young men.

As technology improved in the 1950s and 1960s -- especially with respect to equipment, lifts and trail maintenance -- millions of casual enthusiasts got into the act.

That's clearly the point of this publicity photo from about 1960.

Posing at Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ca. 1955

Posing at Pleasant Mountain, Bridgton, ca. 1955
Item 18910   info
Ski Museum of Maine

This photo underscores the appeal that skiing held for women after many of the sport's rougher edges had been removed or at least buffed smooth.

Skiing became a social scene and the publicity photos from that period reflected that set of values.

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