The Cedar Pass Snow Park, one of California’s oldest ski areas, will not open for this season because of problems with the T-bar that transports skiers and snowboarders.
Nicole Battram, the snow park’s past president, said in a statement that ski hill managers have to replace the T-bar cable before the tramway inspector will give approval. A new cable has been ordered, but will not arrive until mid-February because it is being sent from Switzerland to Los Angeles, then trucked to Modoc County.
“We are looking forward to having the new cable installed and being ready to open next season,” Battram said. “Thank you for supporting us through all of these years and hope you continue to support us for many more to come.”
Located 17 miles east of Alturas and 10 miles west of Cedarville near the summit of Highway 299, Cedar Pass began seeing skiers in 1932. As interest grew, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) spent portions of two years clearing runs. The area was used extensively, but it wasn’t until Feb. 23, 1941 that the first rope tow was installed and allowed skiers to ride, not walk, up the hill.
In her release, Battram noted the current T-bar was purchased used from a Taos, New Mexico, ski area and installed in 1988.
“Countless volunteer hours were donated to locate, purchase and get the used T-bar operational; a lot of it had to be completely redesigned … The cable, as far as we know, has never been replaced. That is pretty amazing since it has been roughly 40 years and had lot of families set towed up our gem of a hill.”
Battram said the volunteer group that oversees Cedar Pass’s operations is seeking people to help with tasks involving replacing the cable, including unloading and moving the cable.
“All of us volunteers at the ski hill were pretty bummed,” she said the not operating this season. “But we are taking it in stride and doing the best that we can to make a bad situation into a good one” by doing such things as selling Cedar Pass Snow Park sweatshirts.
Detailed histories of Cedar Pass, where Glenn Jobe, a member of U.S. Olympic biathlon team learned to ski, are available in the Modoc County Historical Society Journal No. 13, Year 1991, and in “Sports and Athletes in the Land of the Lakes,” the Shaw Historical Library’s Volume 29.
For updates on Cedar Pass, follow their Facebook page and website or contact Battram at 530-640-2077. Donations to help cover costs of the new cable – can be mailed to Cedar Pass Snow Park, P.O. Box 323, Alturas, CA 96101.