Hermon Mountain Thrives On Family Atmosphere
Many small Maine mountains describe themselves as family ski areas but Hermon Mountain goes above and beyond in that regard – three generations beyond. Owner Bill Whitcomb says it wasn’t his intention when he purchased the mountain 27 years ago, but Hermon Mountain has become the family business, with his children and grandchildren choosing to work there. Whitcomb shares general manager duties with his wife, Marlene. “Our ski school program is excellent,” he says. “We have a tot program for 3- to 4-year-olds that’s a really cool program.” Parents take the one-hour lessons with their kids and help the children learn by working with them on techniques the instructors want the kids to master over the next week. Whitcomb says children have an easier time learning to ski because they’re often pigeon-toed which creates a natural snow plow.
Hermon Mountain offers four-week learn-to-ski programs for both children and adults. The children’s classes are on Saturdays or Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and cost $75. The adult classes are at 6:30 p.m. on Fridays and cost $95. Both programs are offered in January and February. Young and older alike annually take part in the ski area’s signature event, the Hermon Mountain Challenge. Whitcomb says it may sound crazy but it’s a lot of fun: Using the three trails at the front of the 360-foot mountain, competitors ski or snowboard down the first trail, remove their equipment and run up the middle trail, then put the equipment back on and race back down the third trail. Multiple skiers and riders are going up and down the mountain at once but they are broken into age groups. “It’s an awesome one to watch,” Whitcomb says of the event usually run in February. A lift ticket is the only entry fee needed.
And if all that isn’t enough to hammer home the fun, family atmosphere at Hermon Mountain, how about this: No alcohol. “For some people it means nothing, but for us it means an awful lot,” Whitcomb says. He doesn’t believe there’s room for alcohol at a small ski area with no lodging or mountainside restaurants. Though people have inquired over the years about him getting a liquor license he’s never compromised on that. “It’s one of the things,” he says, “that makes parents comfortable.”
Address: Newburgh Road, Hermon
Opens for the season: TBA
Number & type of trails: 20; 6 beginner, 7 intermediate, 7 advanced
Vertical drop: 360 feet
Snowmaking: Yes, covers 100 percent of terrain
Amenities: Halfpipe, tubing, night skiing
Lifts: 3, including double chair, handle tow, surface
Ticket prices: Full day $25 adults, $20 juniors (ages 12 and under); half day or evening $20 adult, $15 junior
Specials: Season pass $275 for first family member, $195 for second family member, $155 for all others.
Signature events: Adaptive ski program for bi-skiing and sit-skiing; Hermon Mountain Challenge in February
Did you know?
According to owner Bill Whitcomb, the youngest person ever to “hit the trails” at Hermon Mountain was the 10-month-old child of a ski patrol member who skied on his own.