2017-2018 NH Ski & Snow

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your guide to winter fun in the mountains


N H Ski a n d Snow.com


Top Instructors’

Tips & Tricks

A Day in the Life

of NH Ski Country Discover the Soul of NH Skiing Make Tracks on Skinny Skis 5 Great Things to Do Off-Slope

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Bill Burke art director

John R. Goodwin Contributors

John W. Hession, Brion O’Connor, Kristin Fuhrmann-Simmons production supervisor

welcome winter!

That familiar chill in the air has returned, and the long-dormant urge to head north at any given opportunity is becoming too strong to deny. After spending time talking with mountain managers, ski and snowboard instructors, lift operators and park rats, I can tell you: the Granite State’s ski country is ready. Managers at mountains large and small have worked all through the off-season to prepare – upgrading, improving and otherwise putting a shine on their respective resorts. Resorts from Black Mountain to Pat’s Peak to Loon to King Pine have upped their snowmaking capabilities, and Waterville Valley has completed the first phase of its base lodge renovations. While you’re in the area, wish hearty happy birthday to Wildcat (60), Mount Sunapee (70) and Gunstock (80) who are all celebrating milestone anniversaries. So don’t wait. Clear the cobwebs, sharpen the edges and evict any rodents that may have taken up residence in your boots during the offseason. Any day on the mountain is the perfect antidote to a day at work, and an opportunity to make lasting memories with family and friends – whether it’s a leisurely trip down a bunny hill or a chattering, pulse-pounding plummet down a black diamond. Ski safely, ski often and make memories.

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NH Ski & Snow is a publication of McLean Communications, Inc. 150 Dow Street, Manchester, NH 03101 603-624-1442 © 2017 McLean Communications, Inc. 4 | nh ski & snow

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8 8

Find Your Guru

From before you get on the lift to après ski, pick up some of the best tips and tricks from some of New Hampshire’s top instructors.


The Soul of Granite State Skiing

Immerse yourself in the sport and it reveals its greatest gifts. Skiing in New Hampshire does that.







The New England Ski Museum chronicles the Granite State legacy as it prepares to expand.

Make tracks on the Granite State’s cross-country trails and be prepared to like it for your own reasons.

Spend a day observing ski country through the eyes of those who live, work and play among our peaks.




Looking for even more winter fun? There’s plenty to do – just add snow.

Though conditions at your house may be dry, ski country is socked-in. Your back yard may be a nice place, but you can’t always trust it.

Pioneers, Enthusiasts and Innovators

Where New England Skis

Enthusiasts spill their secrets on their favorite New Hampshire ski destinations.

Skinny Skiing

Snow Much Fun!

A Day in the Life

The Backyard Effect


Mountain Milestones

A look at upgrades, celebrations and new experiences throughout the state’s resorts.

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Book Direct and Save on Lodging

Call 800.862.1600 for Reserva�ons


From summit peaks to the valley below, NorthConwayLodging.com is your vaca�on planning guide to New Hampshire’s North Conway and Mount Washington Valley region. Make lodging reserva�ons at awarded resorts, hotels, motels and inns – all at guaranteed best rates. Take advantage of ski and stay packages, and gain regional insight and informa�on to local a�rac�ons, events, shopping, dining, hiking, summit condi�ons and ski reports.

guru, find your

make your mark

Tips, Tricks and Advice from NH Ski Instructors


by Brion o’connor

hile New Hampshire is fortunate to have some of the best ski instructors anywhere, it’s Granite State skiers who are the beneficiaries. Today, all New Hampshire resorts offer PSIA-certified instruction, ensuring that every ski school staff is qualified. The key is to remember that they all have your best interests at heart. “Skiing customers, ski instructors, ski racers and race coaches, snowmakers, lifties, ski patrol, base-lodge staff –

we are all one big family,” said John “Johnny Mac” Macdonald of King Pine Ski Area. “We see each other from December through March, and have some of the best times of the year. It’s a fraternity/ sorority that loves to welcome new members. It’s a great family activity, and it’s a lifelong activity that gets better as you keep ‘figuring the next thing out.’” So we decided to take advantage of this collective talent, and offer their top tips for tackling the slopes.

before you jump on the chairlift . . .

John Macdonald Technical/Training Director, King Pine Ski Area Dress right, drink water, and eat a good breakfast. Then come out and have a ball.

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Peter “Webbie” Weber Snowsports Director, Waterville Valley Wear layers of clothes, goggles or sunglasses, and wear only one pair of socks in your ski or snowboard boots. Plus, take a lesson.

Karen Dolan Snowsports School Director, Cranmore Mountain Never believe the weatherman. Any day on snow is a good day; just dress for the conditions.

Patrick J. Doherty Instructor, Pat’s Peak We assemble a group lesson for students from countries all over the world. This reaps huge dividends when we interact with our guests.

Mount Sunapee Resort

The on-slope experience

First Turns

Calitri: We’re fortunate at Gunstock to have built a consequence-free, terrainbased learning area with sculpted features to make stopping, turning and sliding fun and easy. Dolan: Take a lesson. You’ll learn faster and have much more fun from the start in our Terrain Bases Learning program. TBL lets a beginner feel the sensations of sliding on snow in a safe environment, allowing success and confidence to build quickly. Macdonald: Relax and prepare for the healthiest addiction ever. Keep learning, and skiing just keeps getting better. Bevier: Learn something on the flats and try to perfect them on your normal terrain. Start slow, and work your way up to steeper terrain. Doherty: I try to create a positive learning environment. Ultimately,

Jeannie Masters Staff Trainer, Pats Peak and Waterville Valley There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. Skiing can be enjoyed in the cold, wind, rain or sun. And no ski outfit is complete without a helmet.

Rob Bevier Director Of Snowsports, Loon Mountain Get some rest the night before, skiing and riding is an athletic activity. Also dress in layers.

David Binford Assistant Snow Sports School Director, Ragged Mountain Make sure you have the right equipment, set up for your size and experience level. There’s nothing worse than using ill-sized equipment.


Robin Calitri Head Alpine Trainer, Gunstock Mountain Besides the equipment, it’s most important to relax, flex and have fun.

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Gunstock Mountain Resort

>> they’re “taking a chance – the risk – of something new.” They’re putting their trust in me. Once that atmosphere is created, “Breathe, look ahead (not down), and let’s have fun” are among my early instructions to students.

Masters: I focus on boot drills, prior to putting on skis. This enables students to isolate the movements needed to use their feet and legs to turn their skis, versus their hips, shoulders and upper body. Using the hips, shoulders and upper body to turn is a common crutch of beginner skiers who haven’t focused on leg rotation. Binford: The first goal when learning to ski and snowboard is to have fun. If the lesson isn’t fun and full of excitement, learning comes hard and often ends in frustration. We don’t want a lesson to feel like work. Weber: Don’t let you friends or family take you to the top of the mountain until you’re ready. You don’t build expert skills in one day, and over-challenging yourself can be a real negative affect. Plus it can be downright dangerous. 10 | nh ski & snow

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Moving up to intermediate terrain Dolan: Be aware of your surroundings while staying in balance and completing round turn shapes to control your speed. Ski the mountain as if you own it. Macdonald: Don’t stop periodically taking ski lessons. Your instructor will have you comfortably skiing the blues. Too many skiers stop refining their skills with professional guidance, and it’s too bad. Most skiers out there are capable of skiing terrain and conditions that they currently avoid. Bevier: Change your timing of movements, the intensity of those movements and the duration of moves on all types of snow conditions. See what works best for you. Doherty: Acknowledging students are taking a chance, I remind them that we’re building on the skills learned from their time in the beginner area.

Masters: Because it is steeper, they’ll accelerate quickly if they don’t complete their turns. Our skiers moving to intermediate terrain might react to speed increases by bringing upper body movements into a turn, quickly pivoting their skis, throwing them sideways and leaning up the hill. This feels safer, but has the opposite effect. If they continue to use their legs to turn their skis, and focus on a nice round turn, they can ensure a progressive, controlled descent. Binford: Going to the top of the mountain, whether it’s a green, blue, or black trail, their measure of success has nothing to do with the trail. The success is about enjoying the sport, taking steps each time they’re out to improve on the techniques that were given to them in their initial lessons. Work to get the techniques down, then gradually move up the mountain. Weber: Once someone understands that making turns is not only the way to maneuver around the hill, but the way to control your speed, you’re on your way to intermediate land.

Après ski advice Dolan: Head to Zip’s for a craft beer. Check in with your friendly bartenders, mountain staff or locals to learn where the best spots in Washington Valley are. Norton: Check out where the locals end up. Those are usually the best spots. Macdonald: The beauty of skiing is that everyone has had the same experience. New skiers went as fast as they could go, and are exhilarated. The experts went as hard as they could go, and are exhilarated. I don’t know another sport where everyone has a similar experience. Bevier: No need to be a rock star in the bar. It’ll hurt your performance on the hill the next day. Doherty: Be thankful for the experiences of the day, the opportunities to grow as a skier or rider, and the opportunities to renew or initiate long-lasting relationships. Masters: Après ski is where you gather to share your tall tales, your war stories and your belly laughs. It is a cherished time that I make sure not to miss. Binford: Après ski is an awesome way to meet other skiers and snowboarders, and often times it gives the students a chance to get to know their instructors, network, and even learn new techniques. Weber: Some people like to have a change of clothes with them to get out of any wet or heavy outdoor clothing. I stay in my ski clothes; they are like waterproof pajamas. But I always change into a dry pair of socks. Almost all resorts have great places right at the bottom of the hill, or around the resort, to get a bite to eat and drink.

The state has a long, well-documented tradition of ski instruction. In 1934, Carroll Reed of the White Mountain Ski Runners club heard about Austrian Hannes Schneider, who developed the famed Arlberg ski method. Schneider’s pioneering contribution refined a teaching technique of progression through increasingly sophisticated maneuvers. The Arlberg technique was nothing short of revolutionary. Schneider, after sending several emissaries – led by Benno Rybizka – relocated to New Hampshire to escape Nazi Germany. That was the beginning of a period of unprecedented growth in ski instruction, with New Hampshire leading the way.

The best piece of advice you’ve received Calitri: Take a lesson with PSIA/AASI Certified professional. Learn to make smooth, controlled, round turns on novice terrain. Learn to control your speed through shaping the turn. Dolan: I’m borrowing the quotation from Mermer Blakeslee. It totally sums but what skiing or riding is all about. “A memorable, breathtaking experience can make the hassle and expense that skiing demands worthwhile. Satisfaction eliminates exhaustion, thrill rejuvenates. It is the beauty of our sports that seduces our guest into becoming skiers and riders.” Norton: Relax, people get very nervous trying a new sport, especially one that is dangerous. As instructors, don’t get out in front of people. Be yourself.

Masters: Focus on putting more “touch” into your skiing. Great skiers involve every joint of their body in their skiing, including the ankles, knees, hips and spine. All of their joints work together, flexing and extending in a consistent way, not allowing any one joint to dominant, but rather working in concert. Binford: The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to ask my students about themselves, about their hobbies, the sports they play, and then find something within their experiences that relates to snowboarding. Learning about their experiences can help to overcome any anxiety they may have at their first lesson. ❆ Cranmore Mountain Resort

Macdonald: Pursue versatility. Learn to ski bumps, the woods, the race course, the ice, the powder, steeps, flats, corduroy, death cookies – all of it. Most skiers have the capability, and skiing gets more fun every time you figure out the next challenge. Bevier: Take a lesson from a qualified instructor, not your boyfriend or girlfriend, unless you want out of the relationship. It never seems to work out. Doherty: Turn your feet and remember POP – Parallelogram of Power. Several years ago, a senior trainer shared the Parallelogram of Power with me. Attempting to find and maintain a parallel relationship between lower leg angle and upper leg/spine angle in relation to the skied terrain. In other words, “being forward.”

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V I S I T N H . G OV

Morning skiing at Bretton Woods

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gRAnite stAte the soul of

A writer recounts the joys found on New Hampshire slopes


by Brion o’connor

n a cool, misty morning this past spring, my 18-year-old daughter Brynne and I drove west along Route 302, from Glen toward Bretton Woods and the Mount Washington Hotel. Along the way, we passed a number of old ski clubhouses, including the Skidaddlers and the Massa-Schussers Ski Club. A curious kid, Brynne asked about these rustic-looking structures, set back off the road, with signs boasting their oddball names. I smiled, and told Brynne that, for me, they represented a bygone era of skiing. Those were halcyon days before the condominium craze, when the sport engendered a sense of community. Pre-ski breakfasts and après-ski dinners meant social gatherings, a chance for skiers to regale one another with tall tales of on-slope exploits. "Jeez, those places were such a blast," I told my teenager. Then my words trailed off, my brain wandering down Memory Lane.... "Dad? Dad?" Brynne said, tapping my shoulder, snapping me out of my revelry. I laughed, admitting that I was lost in my thoughts. That happens to me fairly frequently in northern New Hampshire these days. In ski country. >>

Brion and Brynne O'Connor

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Wildcat circa 1960s

My first chairlift rıde, at Gunstock, is a part of family lore. The short story is, I fell off.


hough I was born and raised in northeastern New Jersey, I've always had a strong bond with New Hampshire. My mom was a native of Manchester's West Side, and her parents were an enormous influence on my five siblings and me. We took vacations to the Granite State throughout the year, but my favorite trips always came during winter. Grandmere and Grandpere were quintessential New Englanders. They didn't moan and groan about winter. They embraced it. So did my mom and her brothers, my uncle Bill and uncle Art. When my folks got

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married, in Manchester in January of 1954, they didn't look for a warmweather honeymoon. They went skiing. That mindset is contagious, and my parents instilled the same love of the seasons in their kids. A mid-winter trip to New Hampshire promised adventures in the hills. Mom and dad would load us into our cavernous Ford Country Squire wagon (seatbelts optional) for day trips to Crotched Mountain, Ragged Mountain, Pat's Peak and Gunstock, or exotic weekends further away to Sunapee, Waterville Valley, Cannon and Wildcat.

My father – the very definition of the gregarious Irishman – always sought lodging that offered big public areas and family style dining. The idea of sequestering our brood in a private condo was the antithesis of the man. I can still see him holding court at a large table, surrounded by friends new and old, swapping stories and adult beverages. If not a Norman Rockwell painting, it was the epitome of fun. How could a young, impressionable kid not fall in love with that? The on-hill experience was even better. I loved skiing from the get-go. Not fleet of foot, I was enthralled with the sport's sense of speed, the pull of gravity, and the ever-changing conditions. Sure, grooming in the 1970s was unpredictable, but that simply added to the challenge. We learned to love New Hampshire's boilerplate blue ice – the surface that launched the epic adage, "If you can ski here, you can ski anywhere." Powder days were treasured as much four decades ago as they are today. The après-ski hot chocolates (and later cold beers) and bonfires were icing on the proverbial cake. New Hampshire, of course, is steeped in United States skiing history, with places like the CCC trail at Wildcat across from Mount Washington's legendary Tuckerman Ravine, Black Mountain in Jackson

dating back to 1934 and Gunstock in Gilford, the highest peak in the Belknap Range. As I got older, my intrinsic interest in history pushed me to learn more about skiing's pioneers, and the "larger than life" exploits of Dartmouth's Dick Durrance and Brooks Dodge Jr., revolutionary Austrian instructor Hannes Schneider, Mount Cranmore's Harvey Dow Gibson, Tuckerman daredevil Toni Matt, the incomparable Mary Bird, and a handful of early Olympians (including Durrance and Dodge). I couldn't help but think what a hoot the ski trains that ran from Boston to North Conway must have been. My first chairlift ride, at Gunstock, is a part of family lore. The short story is, I fell off. Which, considering that Gunstock was home to the region's first chairlift (in 1937, known as the Rowe Mountain chairlift), is pretty funny. I was with my uncle Art, a mountain of a man, and I assumed he'd grab me. He didn't, and I slid off the front of the old wooden chair and fell about 10 feet, to my unending embarrassment and my siblings' unending delight. But not even that faux pas could dull my enthusiasm. We also loved Waterville Valley,

but not for the prevailing wisdom. Tom Corcoran introduced skiing to Camelot, as the resort became a popular retreat for the Kennedy clan and their celebrity coterie. Skiing became sexy. As a kid, I didn't know much about "sexy," but it became clear that this was a sport of the beautiful people, and that always draws a crowd. Which, in turn, was a big plus for the ski industry. After Dad passed away in the early 1970s, my family relocated to New Hampshire. As a hockey player, I sacrificed time on the slopes for turns on the ice. But I still managed a few outings, the most memorable being at Wildcat, and the two-person gondola that felt like an amusement park ride on windy days. Locally, McIntyre Ski Area – Mighty Mac! – opened in Manchester just before our clan moved to the Queen City. This was a huge boost for my high school buddies on the ski team. Unencumbered by hockey obligations, my brother Michael and his pals hung out at McIntyre rehearsing their freestyle moves like tip rolls and worm turns. "Fun stuff that kept us out of trouble," said Mike, still an expert skier. >>


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Wildcat circa late 1970s


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Gunstock Mountain

Wildcat’s twoperson gondola felt like an amusement park ride on windy days.

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>> My baby brother, Matthew, 12 years my junior, spent his formative years in Manchester, and many days and nights at McIntyre. "I remember riding the chairlift with (our sister) MaryEllen at McIntyre when I was 8 or 10 years old," said Matt. "I always felt like it was a special treat, like the babysitter going rogue. As a little kid, it seemed like the whole world." Really, isn't that what skiing is all about? Endless possibilities?


hen, later, in the 1980s and early '90s, I revived my love affair with skiing. I cherished trips to Loon Mountain with my brother Sean. Being in our 20s, we had the stamina to enjoy a night carousing and still make first tracks. Sean would jokingly refer to these early morning excursions as "ABC," short for "Angel Street for Breakfast Club." I wouldn't miss those turns for anything. When snowboarding first made its mark, I was enamored. Unfortunately, New Hampshire resorts initially didn't share that infatuation. Mike and I once headed to Bretton Woods, after an overnight snowfall, practically giddy with the promise that the slopes offered. Upon our arrival, we were unceremoniously told that only three trails were open to snowboarders. Mike was justifiably annoyed, and history has proven him right. Snowboarding hasn't only been accepted, it's been a savior for many resorts. The single plank brought an entirely new demographic, and a critical financial surge. Though there were learning pains – yes, snowboarders scrape more than their share of powder off the hill – there's no question that the snowboard itself has been an enormous boost for the business. However, challenges remain. The vagaries of Mother Nature and energy costs claimed a number New Hampshire ski hills and areas. The New England Lost Ski Area Project (nelsap.org) lists 172 "lost" areas. Many were local mom-and-pop operations (with a single rope tow), but we've lost several good-size areas like Temple Mountain, Highlands in Northfield and Mount Whittier in Ossipee. Today, Old Man Winter has been more fickle than ever regarding his annual allowance of natural snow. Snow, of course, has always been the sport's single most defining characteristic. Slope design, chairlift capacity, ski technology have all changed dramatically.

But that's all for naught if you don't have good snow. Regardless of the cause, the planet, and the Northeast in particular, is warming up. That's a fact. The result is an annual snowfall that is far less predictable than it was just 50 years ago, when I was a kid. The saving grace is that man-made technology, from snowmaking to snow grooming, has improved exponentially. "You don't typically think of snowmaking as customer service, but that's really how our guys think of it," said Ben Wilcox, Cranmore's general manager. "There's such a passion, knowing that you're making such a difference for the mountain and for all these people." The commitment to snowmaking also translates to a four-season obligation, maintaining and upgrading lines. That, combined with massive inseason grooming and energy costs, plus insurance obligations, makes the business of skiing an expensive proposition. That's reflected in lift ticket prices, which many resorts struggle to contain. Skiers, though, find a way to make it work. That's a testament to the allure of the sport. My wife and I have raised our two daughters skiing in New Hampshire. Winter doesn't faze them. Quite the contrary, it energizes them. That's how it should be. Still, whether my girls have discovered the soul of skiing is an open question. It's an elusive, even ephemeral, concept. For me, it's the shared experience of celebrating winter, of taking the seasonal offerings and making the best of them. Because when you immerse yourself in this sport, the sport unveils its greatest gifts. Skiing in New Hampshire does that. â?†

More Fun, More Affordable.


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Save big & ski more this winter season at

SkiNH.com And be sure to check out NHSkiandSnow.com for more winter-time inspired fun and adventure!

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preservingthe p New England Ski Museum Expandıng to North Conway


here was a time when New Hampshire was the focal point of the skiing world in the United States. People like Sel Hannah and Hannes Schneider, and even newsman Lowell Thomas, found themselves shaping the American ski industry from this small northeastern state. The New England Ski Museum transports visitors to the days when the steep, rugged peaks throughout the White Mountains drew enthusiasts, investors and innovators from around the world. “New Hampshire is an interesting story, because when skiing was getting popular in the 1920s and 1930s, really

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for a few decades, it was the leader in the country in terms of ski instruction and new forms of lifts and new forms of ski competition,” said Jeff Leich, executive director of the New England Ski Museum. “There was a time when New Hampshire was the epicenter of skiing in our country.” Step through the front door of this unassuming structure tucked into the foot of Cannon Mountain’s Front Five and a vibrant collection of equipment, art and artifacts breathes life into the story of the Granite State’s skiing history. “The whole country went to school on New Hampshire,” Leich said of the state’s industry-building roots.

By Bill Burke

“And particularly here on Cannon Mountain. It’s a difficult, hard mountain with a lot of different exposures, but they made it work. In learning the lessons here, they learned they could pretty much handle anything else. It was one of the hardest cases and so the lessons learned here at Cannon have been spread out around the world.” Leich weaves through the exhibits that fill the museum, pointing out rare items and pieces worth a closer look. The perimeter of the building holds the permanent exhibit, giving guests an overview of skiing from its earliest days – from the Stone Age up through New Hampshire’s best-known

e past skiing son, Bode Miller. Five of Miller’s six Olympic medals are currently on loan to the museum. The central space hosts a rotating exhibit that changes annually. This year, “Skiing in the Granite State” is on display. A photographic essay of New Hampshire’s alpine history guides visitors deeper into the room, casting light onto shadows of the past: images of the Nansen Ski Club; Sel Hannah, the father of ski area design; and former New Hampshire Governor Sherman Adams – President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s chief of staff and original developer of the Loon Mountain ski area. Prize pieces include Bode Miller’s medals, and a rather unusual item not

Left images: permanent displays at the Franconia location. Above: Five of Bode Miller’s six Olympic medals are currently on display.

normally associated with skiing: an Ethiopian sword that was discovered by the 10th Mountain Division – a mountain combat unit – during its time in Italy. At the end of World War II, the division was near a villa Mussolini had occupied in Lake Garda. The soldiers went into his villa, obtained the sword and gave it to the commanding officer, General Hayes. Years later, Hayes gave it to Charles Minot “Minnie” Dole, the civilian inspiration behind the 10th Mountain Division – and then Dole’s family passed it on to the New England Ski Museum. “It’s a little peripheral to skiing, but it’s an interesting story,” Leich said. “It was owned by Mussolini and came from the time when he had invaded Ethiopia.” As much as there is to see, it’s just a fraction of what the New England Ski Museum has in its collection. There’s another building at Cannon – twice the size of the museum itself – holding a further trove of skiing treasures. This season, however, space will be among the museum’s other assets. The New England Ski Museum is expanding its operations to include an additional museum located roughly 50 miles down Route 302 in North Conway. >>

The New England Ski Museum logo appears on the Franconia location’s exterior.

The Franconia location’s exterior, shown here encased in snow, is located at the foot of Cannon Mountain’s Front Five.

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An artist’s rendering of the new North Conway location.


“We do a lot with a little,” Leich said. “And at this point now, our focus is adding another location in North Conway.” Scheduled to open this season, the new location will provide the museum with more exhibit space and the opportunity to reach even more members. Sitting on the edge of Schouler Park, right on Main Street adjacent to the Victorian train station, the new location will provide visitors with a similar look at the state’s skiing history. Floor plans reveal space for exhibits focusing on iconic stories and skiers, a ‘Firsts and Losts’ section, and a reading room with a fireplace. New England skiing legends will also be in the spotlight at the North Conway site, along with a museum shop and additional interactive exhibits. The former North Conway Community Center, it will also give administrators ample room for storage in its 4,200-squarefoot space.

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Mirroring the Franconia location, North Conway’s branch will feature a closer look at Tuckerman Ravine – the irresistible slope that has lured skiers for generations. A massive, wall-sized image of brave skiers trekking up the bowl dominates one wall in Franconia – a shot taken in April of 1969 – and will also welcome visitors to the North Conway site. “We think that we’ll reach a bigger audience,” Leich said. “In North Conway, there’s a lot of foot traffic. Plus, this is a small building and we don’t have enough room for everything. We’ve got other collections and there just isn’t room to put everything here. So I think between the two [locations], I think we’ll be in pretty good shape.” ❆ The New England Ski Museum/Franconia 135 Tramway Drive, Franconia 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily Admission: Free History: Opened in December 1982, the museum now sees 20-30,000 visitors annually. The busiest time of year is from May through October.

The museum’s exhibit, “Skiing in the Granite State” features a photographic essay of New Hampshire’s resorts through the years.

The New England Ski Museum/ North Conway Route 16/Main Street, North Conway Opening winter 2017 Admission: Free

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skıs where

new england

Get the Inside Track on Why and Where to Go


y the time the first chill is in the air, they’re gone. They are our families, friends and neighbors who keep their edges sharp and their inner compasses trained north. They are the skiing and snowboarding sherpas who know every bump, trail and lift operator from the southernmost part of the state to the Canadian border – and these are precisely the people you want to listen to. Finding the best winter resort destination – whether it’s to rip up some perfect corduroy, test your

freestyle skills on some rails or just cruise the glades and shed the workweek stress – can be subjective. That’s why it’s best to rely on those who live for this time of year. The most reliable guides are quite often the people who frequent the Granite State’s ski resorts the most. They know where the steepest drops, the most perfect powder and the shortest lift lines are, so that’s who we turned to. Here, we talk to seven families who spill their secrets on some of New Hampshire’s best skiing destinations. The only caveat: you’ll have to catch these enthusiasts early in the season, because once the frost is on the pumpkin, they’ll be gone slopeside.

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The Roberts family of Windham, New Hampshire: Mike, Jennifer, Andrew and Wil

Favorite ski destination:

Bretton Woods brettonwoods.com

This active family has found its winter home in the shadow of Mount Washington. Almost every weekend from the first frost until late spring, Mike and Jennifer pile sons Andrew, 12, and Wil, 10, into the car each weekend and point it at this longtime Granite State favorite. Mike will often lead his older son through some of the resort’s 35 glades before taking advantage of one of four high-speed quads that get the group to the top without much of a wait. “If you get up into your 40s, like me, and you like to ski but your legs hurt and your knees ache, Bretton Woods is a great place because of the variety of terrain,” Mike says. “It’s a lot of fun, but you don’t have to be in fear of rolling down the mountain.” Andrew will often lead his dad down the bumps on Snake before heading for the back country trails off of the Black Forest Glade – a nice introduction – before testing himself on Roz’s, which twists through some trees before heading down steeper terrain. The day will quite often lead to freestyle classes and rails at the Bretton Woods Ski and Snowboard School. (“That’s what I do in my world,” Andrew says.) But the family remains loyal to this favorite for more meaningful reasons. Wil, who has autism, has learned to flourish at New England Disabled Sports – a program that provides adaptive sport instruction to people with physical and cognitive challenges. The individualized, thoughtful approach has helped create a safe environment the Roberts can enjoy together. “Wil will only ski at Bretton Woods,” Jennifer says. “That’s why it’s our family’s mountain.” >>

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The Balukas family, of Deerfield, New Hampshire: Ryan and Katy

Favorite ski destination:

Loon Mountain loonmtn.com

Diversity of terrain and easy access has kept this young couple at Loon since rediscovering the sport six years ago. Ryan, a cyclist and road racer off-season, will be the first to admit he occasionally likes to test himself – which is why Loon fits his personality perfectly. He cites “a little bit of everything” as the lure that keeps him returning: cruisers, steeps and a few trails that offer more than a little challenge. The two that fit that description best – Ripsaw, which features a fairly steep headwall allowing him to build up speed near the bottom, and Flume. “Flume is sweet because you go under the chairlift,” he says. “You can open it up and get people yelling and cheeringyou on.” The pair traditionally start their day at Camp III – a great breakfast spot nestled at the base of the North Peak Express Squad. Named after the third of eight logging camps on Loon, it sets these two up for a full day on the mountain. There are other elements that come into play, including accessibility. Loon sits just three miles off of I-93, making it an easy day trip for the couple. When the day is done and it’s time to relax, the pair can often be found in the Bunyon Room listening to some live music and soaking up the friendly vibe.

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The Kanes of Manchester, New Hampshire: Barry, Chris, Maddie and Emma Favorite ski destination:

Jackson XC jacksonxc.org

A wide range of family activities helps this family recharge in the fields and pines on the edge of the White Mountain National Forest. Flying down the hill at top speed is all well and good for many skiers and boarders, but this family of four prefers the Zen of gliding along through the gentle rises and slopes of Jackson. 154 kilometers of cross country trails wind throughout 60 square miles with views of Mount Washington and the Presidential Range, providing these Manchester residents with a placid weekend getaway that’s become a family tradition. The Kanes take advantage of the Covered Bridge Trail, a scenic trek great for beginners and perfect for warming up, before heading out on the 3.6-mile South Hall Trail, or testing themselves along the Woodland Trail. “You can learn to cross country ski there,” Chris Kane says. “They have a great support system. The first few times we

went, we took lessons – which is good because you can take easy trails until you improve and take on some of the more difficult trails.” While Chris and daughters Maddie, 15 and Emma, 14, speed along the trails, Barry often trades in his cross-country skis for a pair of snowshoes. Eighteen trails give this Manchester dad a chance to strike out on his own path before meeting up at one of the strategically-placed rest stops. “The girls and I will go off one way and Barry will look at the map and go a different way, but we always like to meet up at the hot chocolate hut along the way,” Chris says. “We like to go in and warm up and get some cocoa or snacks, and it gives us a strategic spot to meet up if we get separated.”



*Restrictions do not apply. Restrictions arenʼt fun.

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Brian Schlender of Durham, New Hampshire

The Kraus family of Amherst, New Hampshire: Sonja, Dave, Isabella and Jack

Favorite ski destination:

Wildcat Mountain skiwildcat.com

The affordability and classic feel of Wildcat keep this active couple heading back to Pinkham Notch all winter long. In a previous life, Brian Schlender was a self-described ski bum – he lived, worked and taught skiing in Winter Park, Colorado. So it’s with an appreciation for classic resorts that he rates potential destinations, and it’s why he and his wife, Stacey, repeatedly find themselves at Wildcat Mountain. Now an emergency room nurse in Portsmouth, Schlender enjoys taking advantage of his quirky schedule, and as a result, the affordable weekday skiing at Wildcat. “Wildcat gets a lot of snow,” Schlender says. “And I’m aggressive – I definitely like the steep stuff, which Wildcat does have, but it offers some great terrain for my wife and the more challenging trails, as well.”

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Ann McLaughlin and Rob Harrington of Manchester, New Hampshire

The couple appreciates the variety of terrain, which ranges from challenging steeps to some great scenic glades. Stacey prefers the long, winding Polecats – at 2.75 miles, the longest of its kind in New Hampshire – before heading into the glades and the more challenging trails, while Brian is drawn to Hainesville Pass, keep heading into Lift Lion, which starts at the 4,062-foot summit and runs just under the main quad. “Wildcat has an old-school feel but with big mountain skiing and terrain,” Stacey Schlender says.

Favorite ski destination:

Crotched Mountain crotchedmtn.com

The Kraus family skis all over New Hampshire, but always returns to this small mountain in Hillsborough County. Why? Speed. There are a number of mountains within reach of the Kraus’s Amherst home that offer some outstanding skiing. Yet when it’s time to load up the car and head out for a day on the slopes, they always seem to find their way to Crotched Mountain. “We’ve got our favorites up in the Whites,” Sonja Kraus says. “We like Wildcat because it’s old-school skiing and Cranmore, but literally every single weekend from the first week in December to April we’re at Crotched.” Both Kraus kids – Isabella, 13, and Jack, 9, are in the racing program there, which tests their skills while giving them a chance to open it up. “I like Satellite Summit to Meteor, but the kids like Pluto’s

Plunge,” she says. “It’s a black diamond that goes straight down the middle of the mountain and it’s got a good pitch so the kids really enjoy it.” Dave, meanwhile, tests himself against the sustained pitch of Jupiter’s Storm, which starts at the 2,066-foot summit. Sonja cites low crowds, the high speed chair, reasonable prices, and the fact that it’s only 30 minutes from their home as reasons this family loves Crotched. “That combination seals the deal for us,” she says. “And it’s definitely a very kid-friendly mountain that’s easy to navigate. We feel very comfortable bringing the kids there, and they have plenty to do.”

Favorite ski destination:

Gunstock Mountain Resort gunstock.com

Location, the opportunity to help others and the unmatched views lure this couple to Gunstock every weekend. A hockey player for most of his life, Rob Harrington took to skiing instantly when he first snapped into his bindings 15 years ago. The motions felt familiar and translated well to his new chosen sport. The next step: Find a resort to call his own. That’s where Ann McLaughlin came in. A highlyskilled skier (“She skis better backwards than I walk forwards – by far the best skier I see on the mountain,” Rob says.), she explored the state with him until they landed at Gunstock. “It’s a good-sized mountain with great views of Lake Winnipesaukee and Mount Washington and a great family atmosphere,” Rob says. “We’ve been here ever since.”

The 50-year-old enjoys pushing himself on Upper Recoil, a steep but wide black diamond that transitions into the woods of Lower Recoil; the Tiger Steeps; and then dialing it back a bit on Flintlock for those breathtaking views. “The Tiger Steeps has some pretty good vertical drops, and Flintlock just has some nice big, winding curves and great views. It’s a really pretty mountain.” Rob also teaches at the mountain’s adaptive skiing program, Lakes Region Disabled Sports. “I love it,” he says. “It’s much more rewarding than I could’ve imagined. The caretakers are fantastic, the instructors are fantastic – we’re definitely doing it again this year.”

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The Rivers family, of West Newbury, Massachusetts: Bryon, Erica, Lauren, Jake and Kelly

Favorite ski destination:

Erica Rivers on Exhibition Glade

Ragged Mountain raggedmountainresort.com

This surfer-turned-snowboarder has discovered the perfect mountain for his family of five. When Bryon Rivers first made the transition from surf to snow, he embraced the sport. As his family grew, however, so did the expense. That’s when he discovered Ragged Mountain. “We moved back to New England from Florida and my wife decided that if we were going to be living through the winters, we should make the most of it,” Bryon says. “Ragged Mountain was one of the mountains on our list to try – we had never been there before – and we really liked it. Ever since then it’s been my go-to. In terms of getting the most bang for your buck, you get a lot out of it.” The father of three cites the Mission: Affordable season pass program ($299 for the season with no blackout dates), the free lesson program, its accessibility to the southern part of the state and the sixperson high speed lift as reasons he keeps returning to Ragged. 32 | nh ski & snow

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“Especially as a family with young kids, it’s nice that all the lifts filter down into the same area,” he says. “Even though it’s a resort that might be roughly the same size as a Gunstock, it’s really difficult to lose your child. Everybody comes down to one central location, which makes it easier to keep track of everybody.” You’ll find Bryon boarding through the glades on Rags to Riches or cruising down the Flying Yankee – an intermediate trail that runs from the top to the bottom of the resort’s Spear Mountain. When he’s done for the day, however, you’ll catch him herding his family – wife, Erica, and kids Lauren, 13, Jake, 10, and Kelly, 6 – into Elmwood Lodge and the Birches Mountain Restaurant for an unexpected bonus. “The food is really good,” he says. “It’s excellent – a cut above the food you’d expect to find at a small resort, without a doubt.” ❆

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Skiing Make Tracks on the Granite State’s Cross-Country Trails


now blankets the outstretched limbs of the thick spruce and fir in the White Mountains forest. Despite the deep chill, the air is invigorating, the blue sky clean and clear. Flecks of color, like a kaleidoscope, appear fleeting as the sun reflects off the frosted landscape. Hearts pound on the ups, smiles widen on the downs. When it’s time, take a break with some warming hot chocolate. Then head back out on New Hampshire’s cross-country ski trails. With a fast learning curve, XC skiing is a fun, family-friendly and healthy outdoor winter pursuit. “Be open to enjoying it in a variety of ways,” says New London’s Ellen Chandler, a masters racer who captained her Williams College XC ski team. She’s a New England Nordic Ski Association board member and former Nordic director at two touring centers. “Be prepared to like it for your own reasons which may include fitness, getting out in nature, socializing with friends, playing with kids, excitement, >>

By Marty Basch

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Great Glen Trails

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Bretton Woods Mount Washington Cup

>> challenge, the physical pleasure

of gliding, and the opportunity to see new things and places.” Cross-country, or Nordic, skiing, can be traced back thousands of years to Scandinavia, when wooden skis were used for transportation by agrarian and subsistence societies and the military. Today, cross-country skiers have much more efficient equipment and techniques on tracked trails. The Granite State has vast opportunities for the skinny skiing set on well-groomed and maintained trails across the 18 ski touring centers belonging to Ski New Hampshire, the state’s nonprofit ski area trade association, and on lessmanicured public lands like the White Mountain National Forest and state parks.

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Touring centers are launching pads for the Nordic experience. From country casual like Bear Notch Ski Touring in Bartlett to the comfortably contemporary Great Glen Trails at the base of towering Mount Washington in Pinkham Notch, the lodges are hubs for trail passes, lessons, equipment rentals, last minute essentials, nourishment and togetherness. Some have showers. Some trails are dog-friendly. Many centers just serve Nordic trails while others are linked to downhill ski areas like at Loon in Lincoln, Gilford’s Gunstock, King Pine in East Madison, Bretton Woods near Twin Mountain, Granite Gorge outside Keene and Waterville Valley.

Be prepared to like cross-country for your own reasons. Beginners rarely have to venture far from the lodge for first tracks as kilometers – miles aren’t used much in European-influenced crosscountry skiing—of novice terrain are usually found outside the touring center. But with vast networks totaling upwards of 100-kilometers of trails like Jackson Ski Touring Foundation (the state’s largest at 150 km), skiers are able to drive to distinct trailheads after purchasing their trail pass to access various network trail systems.

More Nordic touring centers can be found across the state. Gaze out upon the Boston skyline from southwest New Hampshire’s Windblown Cross Country in New Ipswich. The Lake Sunapee area has a couple of choices in the communityspirited Pine Hill XC Club and Dexter Inn Trails by Norse Outdoors near Mount Sunapee. The Dartmouth Cross Country Ski Center sustains 25 kilometers of groomed ski trails on Oak Hill and Ga-ripay Field in Hanover while 30 kilometers of lanes await skiers at Wolfeboro’s Nordic Skier. Try skiing by rugged 4,000-foot peaks at Ski Hearth Farm in Sugar Hill and the Franconia Village Cross Country Ski Center or schussing by a playful troll house at Eastman Cross Country in Grantham and under the guise of the Moat Mountains at Mount Washington Valley Ski Touring and Snowshoe Foundation by North Conway. Trail passes are much cheaper than downhill, with adults paying an average of $16 last season across the state. Rates ranged from $8 to $21. On the trails, skiers kick, glide and skate along the way. They cross bridges, meander along waterways, stand in awe of mountains and wander by country inns. Seeing deer, moose or a scurrying squirrel is possible – or at least spotting prints left behind in the snow. Warming huts and cabins offer breaks from the cold and often contain warming hot chocolate. Cross-country is a lowimpact aerobic sport. Its whole body workout enhances endurance, balance, strength and agility. Many runners and cyclists, appreciative of its cardiovascular benefits, us it for cross-training in winter. >>

Waterville Valley Nordic

Getting Started Let the Stress Melt Away Gliding Through Hemlock and Birch Groves Nordic newbies tend to bundle up from head to toe before heading out. That’s the opposite of what you are supposed to do. As you ski you will warm up and big bulky jackets will be nothing but a burden. You will sweat. The key is to dress in layers. “As far as clothes, most people tend to overdress,” says Bob Abraham of Lincoln, a Nordic guide at Loon for some seven years. “They learn, once we get out on the trail, that they’re taking layers off. You basically want to be chilled when you go out, because you’re going to work up a lot of body heat. If you plan on staying out there a while, it’s good to take a layer with you.” The first layer next to your skin wicks away perspiration. Think synthetic thermal underwear like a polyester or a natural silk. The middle insulating layer, like a sweater, sweatshirt, vest or pullover retains heat and wards off cold. Quick-drying fleece and wool are good choices. The outer layer, pants and jackets – waterproof and breathable – combat snow, sleet, rain and wind. A jacket or shell with a functional hood is good protection. Zippers and pockets on pants and jackets are functional. Zip-

in insulation layers are helpful. Wear a light hat to contain escaping body heat. Snow’s a reflective surface so sunglasses are excellent protection. Waterproof and breathable gloves and mittens are critical. But which one? Mittens tends to be warmer but gloves provide greater dexterity. Keep your feet warm and happy with wicking lightweight to mediumweight socks. Hand and toe warmers and a lycra neck warmer in a zippered pocket is a nice back-up plan. Rent gear the first time—skis, poles and boots. Then you’re not committed to buying gear and staff can help demystify the equipment. The skis are generally light and thin. They come with free-heeling bindings that connect the front of the boot to the ski. Forget Frankenstein-style downhill boots. Cross-country boots are lighter and ankle-high giving them a sleek hiking boot feel. Poles tend to be strong and light, reaching from your armpits to the ground. They have straps at your wrists and small baskets at the bottom. So make a break for a touring center and hit the winter trails. NH S k i and S now.c om

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King Pines


Calories melt too. Even slow skiing can burn upwards of 400 calories per hour while those who do it well can burn more than 800 calories per hour while racing. New Hampshire has some top notch racers on its trails. Olympians Justin and Kris Freeman hail from the Granite State – Kris trains at Waterville Valley – while 1984 Olympian Sue Wemyss teaches at Great Glen Trails. Both the University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth College routinely field championship caliber XC squads while Jackson Ski Touring Foundation has hosted the collegiate NCAA skiing championships. Speed demon or relaxed recreational slider, new skiers will have to decide between Nordic’s two disciplines: classic and skate. Classic skiing, keeping skis in groomed tracks, mimics our natural movements. It’s more of a walking gait where you stride and glide. Skate skiing, done on packed and wider surfaces, requires more effort.

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“I think most people like to start with classic because the equipment is more stable and you can do it on narrow trails and untracked snow; and you can do it slowly if you want,” says Chandler. That’s where lessons become important. Adults, children, family, group or private, lessons are excellent introductions to XC. Many centers have package and discounted deals. “You have to have a positive attitude,” says Abraham, a Nordic skier for 22 years, who can lose eight pounds in a skiing winter. “You’re going to come out of it learning something. Most of the time when I bring people out for the first time, they can’t wait to get back out on the trails. Everyone thinks cross-country skiing is so hard, but if you work at it and do some miles, you can really pick it up pretty easily. ❆

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Much The beauty of the New Hampshire landscape is apparent year-round. Add a blanket of powder, however, and things really start to get interesting.

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kiing and snowboarding bring visitors to the state from all over the world, of course, but there’s a whole roster of activities to take part in away from the mountain. Whether it’s sliding atop a thin coating, diving into a deep drift or making it otherwise do our bidding, the chilly temperatures provide visitors to the Granite State with a myriad of options and opportunities. We’ve compiled a listing of activities particular to our favorite season in our favorite region. Dress warm, leave the skis and boards behind and embrace the snow. Cranmore Mountain Resort

walk a mile in my shoes There may be no better way to experience the quiet, remote beauty of a winter day in the Granite State than from atop some snowshoes. Duck in beneath the evergreens of Franconia Notch: just take exit 34B off of I-93 and park by the aerial tramway at Cannon Mountain. Head out onto the lower slopes of Cannon on the Franconia Notch Bicycle Path, past Profile Lake and along the Pemigewasset River. Remich Park in Littleton not only has some great sledding hills but it also is a great spot for snowshoeing and ice skating, and Prescott farm in Laconia has some great trails.

it’s totally tubular On the surface, there’s not much to sledding and tubing – just take a deep breath, hold on tight and push off. But there’s nothing like the thrill of rocketing down a slick hill with the bracing winter air in your face and the landscape whizzing by in a blur. Many of the ski resorts include a tubing hill. Great sledding can also be found off the mountains, too. Finding them can be a challenge, as locals often guard the information jealously. We’ll list a few here – just don’t tell anyone where you heard about them. Bragdon Farm Sledding Hill, Amherst Located off of Route 101, next to LaBelle Winery. (parking is actually located across the street but there’s a tunnel that goes under the highway).

Shaker Village Hill , Enfield This long run makes the walk-up worth it. Head along Route 4A by Mascoma Lake and you’ll find your fun. shakermuseum.org

Morningside Hang Glider Park, Charlestown

Carnival Hill, Wilton This hill isn’t super steep but the length makes it fun, especially for teens, tweens and young adults. You can find the hill along Hillside Road in the town of Wilton.

This park is mostly known to hang gliders, but in the offseason this hill is perfect for snow tubing, sledding and snow kiting. flymorningside.kittyhawk.com 40 | nh ski & snow

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Gunstock Mountain Resort

Visit the Eastern White Mountains

Muddy Paws Dog Kennel, Mount Washington Resort

take a sleigh ride together with me Snuggle under a warm blanket and clutch a cup of steaming hot chocolate as you’re whisked through the picturesque countryside in a horse-drawn sleigh. Hotels, inns, stables and farms throughout the state give visitors a chance to recreate their own, real-life Currier and Ives print.

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Great Ski Packages!

Bretton Woods, Omni Mount Washington Resort omnihotels.com

blaze through the trails More than 7,000 miles of snowmobile trails crisscross New Hampshire, thanks to a partnership between landowners, riders and countless volunteers from the more than 110 snowmobile clubs in the state. Club members groom and maintain trails, hold meetings and sponsor outings and safety workshops. New Hampshire Snowmobile Trail Map: nhstateparks.org/uploads/pdf/NH_ Snowmobile-Corridor_Map.pdf

Snowmobiling near Mount Sunapee area

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a day in the



in New Hampshire

Ski Country

Spend a day observing ski country through the eyes of those who live, work and play along the Granite State’s peaks.

hile most people are still asleep, snowmaking teams have been deployed across the slopes of New Hampshire’s ski country. Their nocturnal existence is a technologically-enhanced partnership with Mother Nature, each doing their part to build a deep base of snow for the skiers who will arrive in just a few hours. Snow guns need attention, conditions monitored and alterations made to finely-tuned routines – all of it designed to welcome skiers and boarders who will arrive in a few short hours looking to lay down first tracks.

Noon The first round of lessons at

Early morning snowmaking at Loon Mountain

Gunstock Mountain have wrapped up, and many of the skiers and boarders heading up on the Panorama lift have found their way to the Panorama Pub at the top of the mountain. The growing group grab a light bite by the fire in the main hall and enjoy the unmatched views of Lake Winnipesaukee below.

1:00 p.m. A gentleman picks his

6:00 a.m. It’s still quite dark out,

9:30 a.m. Just off I-89 in Enfield,

but Greg Kwasnik kicks the snow off his boots as he arrives at his office in Lincoln at the base of Loon Mountain. Today, Kwasnik is filling the role of snow reporter, reaching out to groomers, snowmakers and mountain ops people who have spent all night on the mountain. He’ll collect information and data and update the website, providing much-needed information for skiers looking to plan their day.

skiers gliding off the summit chair are getting a look at newly-improved trails at Whaleback Mountain. The Whaleback crew toiled through the summer and fall, clearing saplings and trees and showing new love to old favorites Jawbone, Blowhole and Jonah’s Revenge.

8:00 a.m. Kwasnik finishes assembling the snow conditions report and heads out onto the mountain where he’ll shoot photos and video of the conditions before heading back inside to upload it all to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. “It’s important to get that information out to people fast,” he says. 42 | nh ski & snow

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11:00 a.m. Just 15 minutes away in Grantham, a group of skiers has gathered outside the ski pro shop at Eastman Cross Country for the weekly Thursday morning social ski. Hosted by a team of ski hosts, the group prepares to head out onto Lazy Loop for a 30-minute workout before returning to the recently-renovated golf and ski pro shop for a cup of coffee. An intermediate group will trek out onto Brook Trail for a slightly longer route.

way through the skiers outside the Waterville Valley base lodge as they hurry back up onto the mountain after a quick lunch. He takes a deep breath and begins to sing. All heads turn as the majestic voice of Vladimir Popov fills the resort. A former professional opera singer who has performed in the most prestigious concert halls around the world, Vlad’s is a familiar and welcome face to Waterville regulars – and his voice even more so. When not singing, he’ll spend part of his day in lift operations and maybe some of it at ski-check. >>

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Visit the Western White Mountains

>> 3:30 p.m.

Ross Boisvert, president and general manager at McIntyre Ski Area, in Manchester, walks out of the base lodge to greet the first of a fleet of school buses pulling into the lot for the weekday school ski club program. Youngsters from across southern New Hampshire pile out and head onto the slopes – with some guidance from the team of instructors, including Boisvert, who became the snow sports director in 1989. He ushers kids into the rental office and lodge and spends his afternoons “kneeling down on buckle boots and sliding kids on snow.”

5:00 p.m. The sun dips below the horizon and as the ski towns across the Granite State blink to life, the Gypsy Café opens its doors for the dinner crowd. This Main Street Lincoln eatery fills with tired skiers, offering an eclectic, surprising menu in a dining room that bursts with the artistic color of owner Dan Duris and other local artists. 8:00 p.m. Alexandra Moore heads to a spot just outside the base lodge at King Pines in Madison to fulfill this evening’s duties: putting out some fires and starting others. Moore helps run Cynthia’s Challenge – a 24-hour ski-athon to help families encountering the staggering expenses associated with medical needs. Moore will spend her time answering questions, making sure everything goes according to plan and touching off the bonfire that will help warm skiers coming down off the trails for the annual event.

8:50 p.m. The grooming team at Crotched Mountain is back on the slopes – prepping trails for Midnight Madness. A number of resorts have night skiing, but Crotched takes it to another level, opening trails to insomniacs and enthusiasts from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. A live band keeps everyone moving as it grows later, and a slopeside bonfire warms those just finishing their nighttime runs. Midnight Madness at Crotched Mountain

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Starry Nights at Waterville Valley

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9:00 p.m. A line of skiers begins crisscrossing down Valley Run at Waterville Valley during Starry Nights – a once-every-few-weeks event that brings skiers, boarders and the curious together for a night of embracing the chill of a deep winter night. It’s one of several times each winter the resort celebrates with an evening of gourmet dining, music and camaraderie in Sunnyside Timberlodge. Starry Nights culminates in a visually breathtaking torch light parade down the mountain. Emergency flares and electric lights bob up and down during the descent, while grooming machines at the top fire up their lights to help illuminate the warm glow of the leisurely run.

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Overnight stay, 2 Lift Tickets, 2 full breakfasts, 2 box lunches (or $10 meal credit), $25 towards dinner at the Woodstock Station. .....................starting at $87* *see web for details

262 Woodstock, NH 03 m 135 Main St., No. nN H.co In ck to ds oo W 800-321-3985

9:20 p.m. The first glittering trails of the fireworks display illuminate the skies over King Pines. A highlight of the yearly Cynthia’s Challenge celebration that comes in the form of a donation from Atlas Fireworks and the Bank of New Hampshire, the display reinvigorates and launches participants into the later part of the evening, where they carve, glide, board and cruise all through the night, skiing toward the sunrise. Cynthia’s Challenge has raised more than $180,000 since its inaugural ski-a-thon in 2014.

Midnight: From the southern part of the state to the northernmost reaches of the White Mountains, New Hampshire’s ski resorts grow quiet – though not entirely so. Snowmaking teams head back up the mountain to fire up their equipment: monitoring, maintaining, grooming and making preparations – all of it designed to welcome skiers and boarders who will arrive in a few short hours looking to lay down first tracks.

Take flight on our nine exhilarating zip lines, named “the most amazing zip line experience in New England” by About.com. Ask about the “Zip & Ski” special.

603-278-4ZIP (4947) BrettonWoods.com

Visit the Western White Mountains



Since 1981

Stay at this legendary mountain resort, and ski at Bretton Woods,

Make your next day on the mountain … Your BEST day! Premier Gear, Rentals & Tunes

SKI magazine’s pick for #1 and #2 in the East for snow and grooming the last 5 years! Just 2.5 hours from Boston and 30 minutes from Lincoln and North Conway.

Situated in the heart of the best skiing in New Hampshire. Find us on Main Street, off Exit 32 on I-93 in Lincoln.

(603) 745-8347 rodgersskiandsport.com


Indian Head Resort

A CHARMING COUNTRY INN 35 guest rooms near Cannon, Bretton Woods & Loon ski areas!


Room Rates from per night for 2

Subject to change & availability. Restrictions apply

Skating & Sleigh rideS... 1172 Easton Road Franconia, NH 03580 reservations@franconiainn.com

603.823..5542 • franconiainn.com

Discounted Ski Tickets FREE SHUTTLE TO Loon & Cannon! No Parking Hassle

1-800-343-8000 Exit 33 off I-93, Lincoln, NH www.indianheadresort.com NH S k i and S now.c om

nh ski & snow | 45

backyard combating the



Your Backyard May Seem Like a Nice Enough Place, but You Can’t Always Trust It


FEB 22 | 10:57 AM



FEB 22 | 10:57 AM



t’s deep in the middle of ski season and homes south of New Hampshire’s ski country may be socked-in under mounds of fluffy, white powder. Or they may not. Clutches of crunchy leaves may cling to fence posts and foundations, blending into brown lawns, bare trees and dormant gardens – giving the impression that though there’s a chill in the air, snow seems as far away as spring.

This is the Backyard Effect: the impression that if there’s no snow in my backyard, there’s no snow on the mountain. “It’s definitely a phenomenon the industry has always had to deal with,” said Thomas Prindle of King Pine Ski Area, in Madison. “It certainly does help if there’s snow in the backyards of people who live south of us.”

FEB 22 | 10:57 AM



FEB 22 | 10:57 AM


Of courses, there doesn’t have to be snow south of I-495 for ski conditions to be outstanding. Snowmaking has long been the ski enthusiast’s best friend, and kept resorts thriving through even unseasonably warm winters. Liz York, of the Black Mountain Ski Area, in Jackson, says the team there works to combat the phenomenon by ensuring the mountain passes the eyeball test. “We try to combat it with our snowmaking,” she said. “We try to make it as visible as we can from the street view, and then we promote it on social media so people know there is snow here on the mountain.” Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat have been the mountains’ best friends in recent seasons. Where once snowmakers would have to hope word-of-mouth reached people whose lawns were providing contradictory reports, they can now rely on their own social media networks.

by Bill Burke

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2017 - 2018 Winter Season

“I will say that with social media so present now, it’s certainly less of a hindrance,” Prindle said. “The presence of social media means having to rely on major media less.” Skiers’ and boarders’ selfies, action shots and slopeside Tweets are home-grown, grass-roots ski reports that can potentially reach thousands of people who were previously unaware of conditions. Though the ubiquitous phones cameras and the constant communication they provide are valuable tools when it comes

Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat have been the mountains’ best friends in recent seasons. to spreading the word from ski country, technology helps in more ways than one. New snowmaking equipment and improved techniques make even the warmest winter less of a concern. “It could be 50-60 degrees in Boston and we’ll be making snow up here,” said Greg Kwasnik, of the Loon Mountain Resort, in Lincoln. “With new technology, semiautomated hydrants, plus the high-efficiency, low-energy snow guns we’ve installed since 2010, it allows us to make a lot of snow even when it’s not very cold. “The new equipment allows us to resurface terrain quickly. There can be a world of difference between here and southern New England.” Still, people like Prindle always hope for a string of strong snowstorms to keep things white. “Snow reports coming from friends and family are more valid,” he said. “But that’s not to say that a good old fashioned snowstorm down south doesn’t help.” ❆

Day out. Night in. Bring provisions. After a great day out on the slopes, an evening in can be the perfect way to unwind. To bring provisions, stop by one of our over 80 conveniently located New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets – so you’re not left out in the cold.


Please Drink Responsibly

NH S k i and S now.c om 002686-NHLC_4.375x9.375_SkiNHad-updated_v2.indd 1

nh ski & snow | 47 8/23/17 1:17 PM

mılestones mountain

Wildcat Mountain, which boasts one of the most breathtaking views in all of New Hampshire ski country celebrates its 60th year.

❆ The Balsams Bretton Woods at Mount Washington Resort welcomes back winter to the White Mountains for their 44th season of skiing and riding.

Attitash Mountain Resort brought in more than 3½ miles of new pipe to upgrade snowmaking to early season favorites on Attitash Peak.

Black Mountain ❆ St. Johnsbury

❆ Cannon Mountain

Waterville Valley, now in its 51st year, added $1.5 million in snowmaking equipment to Green Peak, installed two new carpet lifts and completed the first stage of renovations to its base lodge.

North Conway Lincoln King Pine Ski Area ❆

❆ Dartmouth Skiway

❆ Whaleback

Crotched Mountain, is home to Southern New Hampshire’s only high-speed detachable quad chairlift.

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2017 - 2018 Winter Season


Manchester ❆ Granite Gorge

Loon Mountain has installed 11 semi-automated snowmaking hydrants on Rampasture, and has upgraded its snowmaking in the West Basin.

Gunstock Mountain Resort, which celebrates its 80th will be using 37 new HKD snow guns and has installed radio frequency identification (RFID) access gates at its lifts.

Ragged Mountain ❆

Cheers to Mount Sunapee Resort, in Newbury, which turns 70 this season.

Cranmore Mountain Resort celebrates its 80th anniversary this year, and has introduced new night tickets, among other offerings, to celebrate.

❆ McIntyre

Pat’s Peak has added six new fan guns, installed a new triple-chair with a conveyer loading system, which doubles its capacity.

BEST IN THE EAST FOR A REASON. Discover why we’ve earned the distinction by SKI magazine of #1 and #2 in the East for snow and grooming the last 5 years. Explore the state’s largest ski area for cruisers, signature glades and powder stashes. After a day on the slopes, come inside and relax with award-winning lodging and dining.

(800) 258-0330 • brettonwoods.com

All just 2.5 hours from Boston and 30 minutes from Lincoln and North Conway. ©2017 Omni Hotels & Resorts

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