Evan Dybvig Buys
Whaleback Ski Area
Tunbridge-bred Olympic skier Evan Dybvig announced this week that he will purchase Whaleback Mountain Ski Area in Enfield, N.H.
Dybvig, now a resident of Bethel, plans to re-open Whaleback next year both as a ski area and as a four-season resort specializing in serious training for various freestyle sports.
The 154-acre Whaleback has been dormant since 2001, after nearly 30 years as a neighborhood ski area. For 11 years it has been owned by Timothy Herbert, who found that he didn’t have the time and energy to run it and closed it three years ago. However, he wanted it to continue as a ski area and sold it to Dybvig Dec. 8.
Dybvig had a career as one of the United States’ most dazzling and recognizable champions in freestyle skiing. He was the U.S. National Mogul Champion in 1994 and 2000, and won the Jonny Moseley Invitational in 1998. He was a member of the U.S. Olympic Team in both 1998 and 2002.
He hopes to use his expertise and contacts to create an exciting center for freestylers in many sports.
Presently, he is a freestyle coach at Stratton Mountain.
Whaleback Mountain, which is prominently visible from Route I89, consists of 30 trails of diverse terrain, with a snowmaking system that covers 80% of the trail network. It is known for its night skiing, which Dybvig said will continue. Even though it’s been closed for three years, the area has been well cared for, he said.
'Whaleback fans will be pleased with our changes,' Dybvig said. 'We’re making necessary improvements without compromising the traditional skiing and racing that was key to the mountain’s popularity.'
In addition to the skiing, Dybvig hopes to create a four-season recreational and training center for 'freestyle' action sports like snowboarding, skateboarding, BMX, and in-line skating.
'The infrastructure and terrain of a ski area, combined with a serious, indoor, freestyle sports facility, will create an unparalleled union of summer and winter sports in one place,' he said.
He said he foresees the rebirth of Whaleback as 'a neighborhood ski area enhanced with a cutting edge facility where athletes will have an optimal training environment to learn techniques quickly and safely.'
Initial plans include the construction of a 30,000 square-foot building to house the skate park, trampolines, fitness equipment, foam pits, and a tumble floor; dorm-style accommodations for participants in the camps throughout the year; and enhancements to the existing base lodge.
Whaleback should continue to serve area towns as a neighborhood ski area, he said. 'But with the identity of a free-style sports area, you’re going to be able to reach a much broader audience,' he predicted.
His father, Dick Dybvig of Tunbridge, is an architect and developer and has been helping him with his plans, said Evan, who since his competitive skiing career ended, has taught for two seasons at the Killington Mountain School.
He has lived for two years on Peavine Drive in Bethel with his wife, Sarah Ireland, and sons Owen, 3, and Louis, six months.