MITTERSILL HISTORY - scroll down to see the entire history of Mittersill and plans for the future.
Mittersill Alpine Resort® is independently owned and operated and Cannon Mountain is not affiliated with the Mittersill Alpine Resort®.
In 1933, the Taft trail was constructed, thanks in
large part, to the efforts of Kate Peckett of Sugar Hill. The Taft ran
from the top of Cannon Mountain down to the saddle with Mt. Jackson, up
over Mt. Jackson, then down the north slope. 5 years later, in 1938,
the Aerial Tramway was opened, providing lift service to the Taft,
along with several other trails, mainly on the Cannon Mountain side.
In the several years prior to 1938, Baron Hubert von Pantz had been renovating the Schloss Mittersill outside of Kitzbuhel, Austria. The Schloss was taken over by the German Army in 1938, and the Baron fled the country later that year. In 1939, the Baron arrived in the United States, at the Lake Placid Club, where he found bobsledding, and ski jumps, but skiing was only available by climbing. He took a taxi from Lake Placid to Franconia to look over the new Tramway at Cannon. Over the next several years, he raised money, and in 1941, purchased 550 acres on the north slope of Mt. Jackson, including a section of the Taft trail.
He and some partners developed a hotel, built several chalets, and installed a ski lift, and in 1946, Mittersill opened for business. Three years later, in 1949,
Swiss Paul Valar and Austrian Paula Kann arrived in the area. Paul
would found the Franconia Ski School at Cannon, and with Paula, would
run the ski schools at Mittersill and Mount Sunapee through the 1970s.
In 1950, the Baron left the area, and returned to
Austria- back to the Schloss Mittersill. He found it heavily damaged,
and began work to restore it once again. Back in NH, Mittersill ski area
began early experiments with snowmaking, based loosely on a lawn
In 1961, the Professional Ski Instructors of America was formed, with Paul as one of the 7 original incorporators.
1969, Mittersill had 2 T Bars, and a Hall Chairlift, with a vertical drop of over 1000 feet.
The winters of 1980 and 1981 were very poor ones for
winter sports in the north country and though the Mittersill Alpine
Resort had remained open and strong (as it is today), the ski area
terrain was closed in 1984. The Special Use Permit from the Forest
Service was terminated in 1989. The privately held lands on which most
of the ski area was located were transferred to the State of NH for the
cost of one dollar, an effort spearheaded by the Valar family.
1990 - 2009
The ski trails in the Mittersill area were partially overgrown, although some had been kept clear by individuals, in spite of state and federal restrictions. The area is home to several federally listed sensitive species, including the Bicknell's Thrush, Peregrine Flacon, and possibly, the Canada Lynx. On the site of the ski area, there remained lift towers, top and bottom terminals, and miscellaneous lumber.
March 25, 2009
A celebration in the Governor’s Executive Council Chambers marked a long-anticipated exchange of federal and state lands. After extended contemplation and study, 100 acres of the upper portion of the dormant Mittersill Ski Area joined the system of State Lands as part of Cannon Mountain Ski Area; and the 244 acre Sentinel Mountain Forest, including approximately ¼ mile of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, became federal land to be administered by the White Mountain National Forest. Governor John Lynch, Forest Supervisor Tom Wagner, and Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Manager Pam Underhill joined in the celebration.
March 28, 2009
The official "rope cutting" ceremony takes place on the taft Trail with nearly 500 people in attendance. Christina Valar Breen and son, Cannon Breen cut the rope between Cannon and Mittersill, officially reopening the Mittersill ski area as part of Cannon Mountain. Many in attendance completed the hike and skied Mittersill "legally" for the first time in 20 years.
Cannon trail crew completed some limited trimming and clearing of some trail areas, and the removal of some hazards. The access from the Taft Trail on Cannon to the top of Mittersill was widened along with the route from the summit of Mittersill to the top of the old double chair.
Winter of 2009-2010
The area would be managed as one large gladed area, with all of the accompanying hazards and referred to as Mittersill Terrain Area/Backcountry Area. Contrary to the belief of many people, the area is not easy terrain. Much of it is steep and narrow, and must be used with extra caution, with extended rescue time a probability. Any construction of a lift at Mittersill was considered at least 1-2 years away, possibly longer.
During the land exchange process between the State of NH and the US Forest Service, an agreement was reached that would limit any cutting on the Mittersill site above the 2500 foot elevation to match, but not exceed, the 1989 trail and lift line footprint. This agreement was reached in an effort to ensure the viability of the Bicknell's Thrush and other species on Mount Jackson. Because of this agreement, and the width of the lift line, any lift accessing the upper elevations at Mittersill will be a double chair. Higher capacity lifts require a wider liftline, which does not exist in the old footprint.
Winter 2009 - 2010
Cannon opened and managed the terrain on Mittersill as a lift-accessed backcountry area (via the Tramway and Cannonball Quad).
The trail crew completed some thinning and brush cutting for ease of access, but nothing to change the culture or skiing & riding experience. With no snowmaking, limited grooming, very limited patrolling and extensive rescue time, the area carried a designation of “Extra Hazardous.”
Cannon ran a weekend/holiday shuttle service from the base of
Mittersill to Peabody/Notchview when Mittersill was open. Mittersill was
considered "officially open" for approximately 45 days during the
season. When shuttles were running, they carried up to 300 people per
day back from Mittersill. Cannon also offered Guided Mittersill Tours
through their Snowsports School.
Installation of the Mittersill Double Chair begins!
The double chair was installed in the same location as the old chair and planned to run the Mittersill Double Chair EVERY DAY that Mittersill was determined to be open and skiable (not just on weekends and holidays).
The New Mittersill Double Chair opens January 1, 2011
This lift operated whenever the Mittersill Area terrain was considered open during this season.
2012 Mittersill Improvement Project Proposed
This project would bring snowmaking, trail improvements, and a race training facility to Mittersill, to be gifted to Cannon through Franconia Ski Club.
Phase I of the Mittersill Terrain Improvement Project
For 2014-2015, Baron's Run was widened, cleared and graded to a width of 50 meters. Skyline and Ridge Run were widened enough to allow for future snowmaking. Cannon installed a new snowmaking compressor that added 28% more snowmaking capacity. Mittersill remained all-natural with no snowmaking and very limited grooming for the 2014-2015 season.
Phase II of the Mittersill Terrain Improvement Project
Snowmaking from top-to-bottom on Baron’s Run
The Mittersill trail footprint includes the final widening and shaping on Taft Slalom, Baron’s Run, Skyline, Ridge Run, and the new connecting trail from the top of the (future) surface lift back over to Baron’s Run
A new dam was constructed at Echo Lake to increase both our snowmaking capacity and downstream flow to support the fish habitat
More snowmaking and trail improvements
- Snowmaking on Baron’s Run—55 Tower Guns
- Snowmaking on Skyline, Ridge Run and TBD Trail with 75 guns
- Newly cut 19 acre Taft Training Slope
- New widened/cleared TBD Trail from Taft back to Cannon
2016/17 Major moves on Taft Training Slope!
- Snowmaking installed on Taft Training Slope
- New T-Bar on Taft Training Slope
- Franconia Ski Club begins to shift training and racing to Mittersill
Tina's Place is constructed giving Franconia Ski Club a building to base out of at Mittersill
New warming hut constructed for use by the General Public
Plans moving forward for construction of a large performance center for Franconia Ski Club.
Franconia Ski Club Performance Center officially opened.