A short history of Crabbe Mountain
Provided by: Doug Embree, long time Crabbe skier and friend of the mountain
Crabbe Mountain is named after the first known owner of much of the property of Crabbe Mountain. Lemuel Jenkins Crabbe lived and worked in the area for most of his life from1799 to 1865. He lived on the property that is directly below the Crabbe parking lot and is buried in a small, out of the way cemetary on the property. Many of his descendants still live locally and some work at Crabbe Mountain. Some local names include; Jones, Webb, Billings and Knox's.
1958: The telephone company builds a road to the top of Crabbe Mountain, the tallest peak in the region (393m / 1,289 feet above sea level), and erects a tower.
1959: In late April three skiers, Dave McIntyre, Fred Spinney, and Jerome Sullivan journey to the top, find corn snow on the north side of the mountain, from the top all the way to the bottom, 853 feet below - and talk it up. The first trail, Tippy Canoe, is cut in the fall.
1960: Springtime brings about an article in the Fredericton paper "Tomorrow members of the Royal Road Club are planning an outing to Crabbe Mountain. Don't miss this opportunity for fellowship, snacks in the snow, and even some real spring skiing".
1961-62: Crabbe Mountain Winter Park Ltd. is incorporated on Dec.13th.,1961. Facilities consist of a rope tow, three trails, tarpaper warming hut, ski school and a small number of shareholders. Capital and operating expenses are $1,509.63, income is $15.50.
1962-63: A plywood lodge ( 16x 24 ft.) at a cost of $860 replaces warming hut. Profit for 1963 soars to $660.57.
Sunday skiers on the top of Crabbe in 1964
1964-65: A beginner's hill with rope tow is added, the lodge expanded, and the ski patrol is formed. A bombardier (Big Red), a tracked vehicle, grooms the trails. Skiers no longer have to pack the hill. Hill property increases from 25 to 100 acres.
1968: T-bar is installed, trails are extended to the bottom. A 40x20 ft. lodge, complete with a bar in the basement, is built at base of beginner's hill. A racing trail, King's Horn, is cut by inmates from Kingsclear Prison. Alpine events of the first New Brunswick Winter Games are held. Olympic Ski Champion, Nancy Greene, visits the mountain and likes it. There are many shareholders.
1976: A second T-bar is purchased from Mount Douglas. Two trails , a mile long family trail , Dineen's Ravine, and Elgee's Bumps, designed to live up to it's name, are cut on the west side of the mountain. The lodge area is increased with the purchase of portable school buildings.
1979-81: A new trail, Greg's Way, provides a by-pass to Dave's Dream, and the addition of the Glades trail rejuvenates trails, such as Little Brave and War Dance, on the east side of the mountain.
1986: The lodge is expanded to two levels. The bar is moved from the basement to the second floor for the view. Number of employees reaches 35.
1987-88: Great advances occur with the coming of the quad chair, plus snow-making, night-skiing, two exciting new trails (Norm's Nightmare and Harold's Fun Run), and existing trails widened and grassed. With the coming of snow, natural and home-made, and all 14 trails manicured with a new state-of-the art hill groomer (goodbye boiler plate), Crabbe Mountain rockets into the big time.
1991: Crabbe Mountain Winter Park Ltd. changes hands and becomes Ski Crabbe Mountain Ltd. The new owners (who also own Ski Wentworth) retain existing staff and modify lodge facilities to increase comfort level of skiers. Canteen and washrooms are constructed at the base of the mountain.
1998: First cross country trails are laid out.
1999: Snowboard park is established beside Hume's Flume.
Some original Crabbe skiers commemorate the first trail at Crabbe Mountain - Tippy Canoe. Doug Embree, Jerome Sullivan, Bill Kinghorn, Murray Neilson & Bob McCullough. The sign reads: "Tippy Canoe - the first ski trail - 1959. Established by: Dave McIntyre, Fred Spinney & Jerome Sullivan. They came in search of of a place for spring skiing and instead started this ski development.
2000: Glade skiing opportunities were increased with the cutting of Pug's Powder connecting Harold's Fun Run and the Family Trail (Dineen's Ravine), and the rejuvenation of Diddle Daddle by members of the Crabbe Mountain Race Club. Sunvalley Glades was cut by the Crabbe Mountain Ski Patrol.
2001: Large scale new developments, a new terrain park, state-of-the-art snow guns, beginners hill bypass, and a much-enlarged sewage system are undertaken. The cross country trail system (26 K.) is completed with the addition of two new trails. First Downhill Mountain Bike Course and Race is held at Crabbe Mountain.
2002: Ski Out Terrain Park & Trail are widened, and Flume Terrain Park is flattened with the intention to use only snow to make the terrain features. Kitchen Facilities are also expanded. Steve's Drive Thru glade is cut.
2003: 4 new beginner nordic ski trails are cut by Doug Embree, Bud Irving, and Jules Picot. More nordic trails are added to current trails. Connection is made to the Slippery Mitten nordic ski trails. Rental Shop starts renting nordic equipment. Planning begins on a major snowmaking upgrade project. Embree's Passage is widened to allow easier access to the Flume Terrain Park. Two more Mountain Bike Trails are cut. Long time General Manager and Mountain Employee Norm Hull retires.
2004: A new groomer helps maintain excellent skiing and snowboarding. A fireplace and other lodge improvements increase the comfort in the lodge. New ski/board tuning equipment are added to the rental shop and lights are added to the Ski Out/Terrain Park. Gregor Wilson is brought on board to replace Norm Hull as the General Manager.
2005: More lodge and major rental shop improvements create a better experience for all new skiers and snowboarders.
2006: Hotdog and Diddle Daddle glades are cut. Three new mountain bike trails are built and yet even more lodge improvements are made.
2007: Jason Crawford is promoted to the position of General Manager.
2008: Lodge improvements include new flooring, renovations to the Ski Mitt, and Thirsty Boot Lounge, including adding Draft Beer to the menu. Whopper Glade is finished.
2009: Brand new Prinoth BR-350S groomer is added to our grooming fleet. Thirsty Boot Mug Club is launched, more flooring in the lodge. Little Dodge Em Beginner Glades is cut.
2010: Major Snowmaking upgrades including doubling our capacity and boosting pressure with 2 new pumps to our Main Pumphouse building and a new pump to our Burnt Brook Pumphouse. 25 new state of the art HKD air/water guns produce more snow at less energy. Long time Lodge Manager Chrystal Jones retires. Pole Line trail is opened. Little Dodge Em has now been cut from the top and renamed Tonys Trees, Pokerface Glade is finished.
2011: New pipelines on the Lower Kings Horn and an extension on Gregs Way is added to improve our snowmaking system. Old T-Bar 1 is removed and a new trail Dax Traxx is opened in it's place.
What's in a name ?
Crabbe Mountain is named after Lemuel Crabbe. The early trails, Tippy Canoe, Little Brave and War Dance recognized first nations people. Subsequent trails recognized individuals who were instrumental in the development of Crabbe Mountain. These were Dave McIntyre (Dave's Dream), Lloyd Humes (Hume's Flume), Bill Kinghorn (King's Horn), Glendon (Bumps) Elgee (Elgee's Bumps), Norm Hull (Norm's Nightmare) and Harold Gunter (Harold's Fun Run). Memorial trails commemorated Jim Dineen, ( Dineen's Ravine), Greg Neilson (Greg's Way), Mark Laurence (Pug's Powder) - Pug was his canine friend, and Steve Peppin (Steve's Drive Thru). Dax Brown (Dax Traxx). Diddle Daddle, cut in the early 70's, was designed as an easy way down and sounded that way, it's not exactly the case today! Sunvalley Glades was named by the Ski Patrollers who cut the glade. A Sunvalley is a splint that is used to support the lower leg. Hotdog was named in honour of the classic ski movie of the same title. Whopper Glade is a play on words because it is located next to the Kings (Horn) and a cross with Burger King. Tony's Trees is names after Tony Little who logs over 30 days each season working on the glades. Pokerface is the straight face you use when some one asks if the skiing is good in there so it will keep it's powder longer. Whoopie Pie bike trail was named by trail builder, Gregor Wilson, who loves Whoppie Pies. Another bike trail was built by Phil Belanger, Jason Sullivan, Marcel Thomman, Jason Crawford and many other volunteers and is named Hectic because that was how they felt trying to finish it before race day.