Near Washington, Virginia, Sky Line Ski Area began as a private ski club by, and for, U.S. Senators, Congressmen and State Department employees during in 1960.
In 1972 the name was changed to Rapahannock. In The ski area had a vertical drop of 650 feet, give or take a few and operated five lifts. Rappahannock had an arsenal of five lifts including a Pullman-Berry Double Chair, a Borvig double chair, a Hall t-bar, a Stadeli handle grip and a rope tow. These five lifts carted skiers to one wide slope, one winding trail, three to four lower slopes, one long, open slope and one winding trail which passed through glades and woods. Four water pumps supplied the area’s snowmaking.
Following the 1973-74 season, the area was forced to close, unable to turn a profit. Rental equipment, ski school, and a lodge could all be found at Skyline/Rapahannock.
Ski Lodge photo courtesy of John Timmons
Timmons shared this insight as one of the last employees there, “That season was the year of the Arab oil boycott. That stopped most Americans from driving for recreation as gas was scarce. That really hurt us."
Another source informed us that two monsoon snow years, a gas shortage, and a recession induced Camelback (who had purchased and ran the ski area for two years) to cut their losses in 1974 or 75. The mountain had a 550' vertical but the lift only went about two-thirds the way up!
Word is that around 1984 there was an effort to bring the resort back but like a lot of now defunct ski areas there was way too much in the way of "baggage" to overcome. 75 acres of land which included the old ski area was for sale around that time.
Great circa 1972 image of the ski area by Dave Batcher Photography. Go look at all the
photos he has of the ski area via his website at www.davebatchelderphotography.com
If you have any information or photos about this ski area, post here or drop us an email at [email protected]. This portion of the messageboard was implemented so that those who have skied or played at any of the closed ski areas can share their experiences and discuss "old times". Understand that the content shared may not be 100% accurate.