A couple people have mentioned in posts about this ski area that it had a (rickety, old) ski jump. Does anyone remember whether it was built when the area was still known as Summit? When it was torn down?
The former ski hiil is in my back yard. It was built between founding in1947 and 1965 when Summit, a commercial operation, became Kandahar .. a cooperative family-owned club. It was torn down in the early 90s after Kandahar vacated the property. I have a collection of historic photos that picture the jump over time. I’ll find a way to post them for general viewing soon.
Would like to see some pics Mr. Hammond.. I skied there quite a bit with the Philburns – and Chris jumped off the jump many times. Thanks!
Harry, Summit did not build it, Kandahar did after 1967. One of the members was a jumper. He spearheaded the project and taught jumping.. It was torn down by Kandahar in the late 80s because no one used it and it was unsafe.
Terry – Can you tell us how the operation came to be named Kandahar? And, did the founders have a prior organized group name?
Kandahar had 2 pomas – one facing south (“Timberline”) and one facing west (“North”).. Each had an adjacent rope tow. In addition there were at least 3 other rope tows (“Bob-El”, “East” and “Boomerang”). The lodge was very nice – 2 large fireplaces. I skied there all weekend through the winters in the early ’80s. There were a lot of families and in the fall we would all get together and do maintenance.
There was a go cart track there that had been abandoned before I was there – must have been in the ’70s.
Here is the location, which would be the middle of the poma up Timberline:
Oh I didn’t realize there were 2 pages for Kandahar!
One page for the ski area, one for the ski jump, another if you count the page for Summit Ski Club which preceeded Kandahar at the site.
Hello, I posted recently concerning my Dad’s ski area, Briar Hill in Mesick. Here is some additional history concerning the ski jumps at Kandahar near Fenton. My family was a member at Kandahar (#104-somehow remember that) in the 60s, 70s and 80s. My Dad, Ed, was the president during a very dry winter when they resorted to a new technology called snow making. I believe that was around ’66 or ’67. That is another story. Anyway, my brothers and I (Karl, Steve, Marty, Bruce) all competed in those early years at the annual winter carnival. Kandahar had alpine competition as well as jumping. The 22 meter jump was the main event, but I first competed off of what I believe was about an 8 meter jump which used the same landing hill. The main driver behind the jumping there came from a man name Bill Hyvonen. Bill was a certifed jumping judge and I believe did some of the judging at the bigger competitions like Suicide Hill and Pine Mountain in the UP. He helped get our (Benda) family involved as well as a couple other families (Gleason and Langen). These 3 families ended up competing in jumping tournaments in the Central Division-predominently in the Upper Penninsula (Munising, Ishpeming, Iron Mountain, Ironwood) and did very well. Largely from the coaching that Bill provided. At this time, Briar Hill also held competitions and was a private club similar to Briar Hill, but it only operated on weekends. The Bendas joined there probably around 68-70 time frame (I have medals from that time period). It was the Kandahar ski jumping connection that brought Briar Hill into our family with the eventual purchase in ’75. One other side note as the Olympics are less than 1 year away…My sister Lynn and Sharon Langen were the only 2 women ski jumpers during those years in the Central Division (my purview). Lynn did very well and was in the medal at many of our junior events. Eventually, another gal, Tereasa Altobelli, jumped out Iron Mountain jumping club. This being the first olympics wiith the woman jumping competition.
Jay, as a kid I remember Kandahar as that our family were members. I recall the work weekends to pay off dues. Question, was your family from Farmington?
Bob, yes. We grew up in Farmington Hills.
Cool! Yeah I do remember the carnival now – I did the alpine but didn’t have the cojones to go down that jump. Yes and I do recall there was a smaller jump built on the side of the big jump. I was there in the ’80s and it was pretty rickety then. Thanks for the post Jay!
I grew up skiing at this wonderful place, it will be missed
I started at Kandahar in 1969 as a 6 year old, stayed with it almost to the end. It was an awesome place for a family to ski. My whole family still loves to ski and it is all because of our time at Kandahar! I loved the winter “Olympics”, and raced and jumped every year. I remember huge lines for the pomp lift and duct taped gloves to ride bob-el. We were dang lucky!
The original Kandahar Ski Club was at Pontiac Lakes and famous midwest jumpers would often come there for weekend events: the Hall Brothers (originally Yoopers who moved to Farmington) and the Bietila Brothers (from Ishpeming) My family–Fred Waara from Wixom and Bill Waara from Redford–was very active at Kandahar. My Uncle Bill helped design and repair the rope tows on the alpine hills. When Kandar moved to Fenton they added lights for night skiing. The Tuck family from Wixom were also members. My family started spending weekends at Sheridan Valley in Lewison and we skied during the week at Alpine Valley and Mt. Brighton so our membership at Kandahar ended about 1962. Love the history of Michigan’s small ski areas. It’s what brought so many people to the slopes: affordable and friendly.
The first place I skied a lift service place was Summit Ski Club near Fenton (a rope tow then). Before there was Mt. Brighton there was Summit. It was late December 1961, I was 19 and on college holiday break. A friend, Jim Soper of Fenton, also a college freshman, accompanied me and my younger sister Elizabeth to this place he had been skiing. Liked skiing right away and I returned here three more times that winter. Went there a few more times over the next couple of years, but then went up north and learned about Boyne and Nub’s and the better snow and bigger hills took my allegiance. Then on to mountain skiing and now I have lived in Colorado for 37 years. Still remember well that Summit Ski introduction to skiing.
My Grandfather was a co owner of the Summit. My mom was named Miss Summit . IN THE 80s our family joined Kandahar ski club .
Was your grandfather Leo Doan? My father was Ed Ostrander.
The Fessler family we’re members of Kandahar Ski Club from maybe 1962 to 1976 ? My Father Chuck was a General Motors engineer and I believe that’s how he made acquaintance with Kandahar and Mr. Benda, Jay’s Father. I learned to ski and Jump there. Had to get my dad to come out and convince the tow attendant that it was ok to let me ride the tow rope that ran parallel to the Poma lift. I think I was 6 at the time. We would drive out to Kandahar after my dad got off work and we out of school and would night ski during the week under the lights. I eventually made my way over to the jump where I met the Bendas and Mr. Hyvonen who introduced me to jumping. I was invited and took several trips with the Bendas to compete in jumping events in Cadillac, Munising and Iron Mountain. I remember hot chocolate was a dime in the lodge and it was powder and hot water but man it was good. I’m soon to turn 60 and still have my jumping skis, along with some video memories my Father took of skiing and jumping at Kandahar. Started with cheap wood skis, lace boots and cable bindings. Eventually graduated to Cubco bindings and buckle boots! Remember the Peabody’s and The Apple Orchard.
Glad I ran into this site. Such good memories of Kandahar for my entire family (1984 to 1989). Both girls learned to ski there at age 3 1/2. They both turned into beautiful skiers and have carried the passion for their adult lives. They are currently teaching our grandkids to ski, I wish we had a Kandahar now.
A fond memory I have is of Ellen, my youngest, on “Tony’s trainer” run where she literally learned to ski on her own. I could not get her off, up & down for 2 1/2 hours. I was part of the group that came out on a couple of summer weekends to build the pond to feed our snow guns in the winter. Great members.
My girls new that once the snow fell US-23 became their favorite Saturday morning ski route from Ann Arbor.
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