Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Kick Off the Ski Season at the Boston Ski & Snowboard Expo!

The ski and ride season has begun! Bretton Woods started turning lifts for the 2014-2015 season Sunday, November 9. “Free Ski Sunday” was a great day to get our ski legs back and everyone who donated a canned good for the local food pantry got to ski Rangeview for free. It looks like BW is planning to reopen on Friday, now that we getting some more snowmaking weather.

Happy to have had a bit of a homecoming on Sunday, I’m really looking forward to the fall event that kicks off the season for many of us: the Ski and Snowboard Expo at the Seaport World Trade Center November 13-16. Northeastern skiers and riders may consider the Expo to be the biggest homecoming party of the season.

Admission is $15 for adults and free for kids 12 and under. Tickets are available online or at the door and $3 coupons are available online.

Many people come to the show for the great deals on lift tickets and lodging. Snow sports fans line up for the deals of the season and find out what’s new for the coming winter at their favorite resorts.

The Prinoth Bison (Prinoth)
I’ll be joining the Bretton Woods crew at their booth again this year, and I think my mighty-machine-loving boy will be really excited to see what we’ll have on display.  In honor of Bretton Woods’ number one ranking for grooming and snow in the East by readers of SKI magazine, we will have a Prinoth Bison groomer cab right in our booth for everyone to check out. Having had the opportunity to ride in one of the groomers last winter with my little guy, I can tell you these are very cool machines.

BW will be selling lift ticket specials at the show this year, and anyone who purchases at the show can draw a prize from the “Groomer Grabs” for a chance to win great prizes like lunch, Zip & Ski tickets, pedicures, or even an overnight stay at the Omni Mount Washington Resort. You’ll also be entered to win a two-night ski and stay for four people at the Omni Mount Washington Hotel.

Here are some of the great deals being offered at the show:

  • $19 Early “Bluebird” Ticket – good any day before December 19. This ticket can be purchased at the show or at

  • $35 Midweek “Golden” Ticket  - valid Monday through Friday during non-holiday periods, in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Bretton Woods Monetary Conference. This ticket can be purchased at the show or at

  • $59 Any Day “No-Brainer” Ticket – good any day all season long. Save up to $26 off regular ticket prices. You can only purchase this ticket at the Ski & Snowboard Expo.

  • $199 Detachable “Quad” Pack  - Four unrestricted tickets valid all season long. Save up to $141. You can only purchase these at the Ski & Snowboard Expo.

  • Season Pass Price Roll-Back – Purchase the White Mountain Superpass or 4-NH College Pass by midnight November 17 and get early-purchase rates, plus get one free lift ticket for a friend, good any time during the 2014-2015 season. This is another deal that is exclusive to ski show attendees.

If you come to the show, stop by the Bretton Woods booth to say hi!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Case For Spring Skiing

Seems like we should have bought stock in hand and toe warmers this past winter. But now we're
ready to swap the neck gaiters and balaclavas for sunscreen and sunglasses.

Spring skiing is absolutely the best time of year on the slopes. I know this is a hard sell for many - we've lived through a cold and snowy winter and even I am ready for a change. People have bikes and hikes and golf on the mind. But why not go spring skiing or riding, while we have all this great snow on the ground?  Nearly 80 percent of Bretton Woods' terrain is still open.  

Sure, I start thinking about skiing in the fall, and by Thanksgiving I'm chomping at the bit to hit the one or two slopes that have some man-made snow. Even by Christmastime we often don't have every trail open and we're hoping and praying that the snow gods will bless us with some of that white gold.  Now here we are in April and there's more terrain open than we had in December.  Spring fever is here and we are all eager to get outside.  But why forsake skiing and riding when it is just getting so good?

We paid our dues in January, bundling up like the Michelin Man with layer after layer of fleece and down until we could barely recognize who we were skiing with.  We came inside and took frequent breaks to warm up, and we bought lots and lots of hand and toe warmers.  Now, we can unbundle and enjoy soaking in some vitamin D and working on our goggle tans.

Although it warms up considerably during the day this time of year, it's still cold at night, which means the snow hardens up.  We stick to the groomers in the morning, where the snow has been buffed up and the corduroy is soft and inviting.  This is the time of year when my strict preference for arriving for first tracks falls away.  The ungroomed stuff may take some time in the sun to soften up.  Once it does, anything that is open is fair game.

Think you don't like skiing moguls, those bumps that are created when skiers curve turns and the snow piles up into bumps? Try some soft spring bumps.  The forgiving snow allows you to practically float from side to side, and the rhythmic slide from bump to bump is one of the best feelings a skiers knows.

Mashed potatoes and corn are served up with a smile in the the spring.  No, not in the base lodge cafeteria, but out on the hill. The big pellets of snow that are formed after a warm up and then freeze make for fun sliding.  As the snow bakes the corn snow during the day, it often turns to the consistency of mashed potatoes.  We also call it hero snow, because you don't have to lay into the turn to make your ski grab like you do in firmer conditions - every turn makes you feel like a hero.  The kids had a few tumbles in the mashed potatoes - it does take some effort to push through the big piles,  but they are learning to instinctively read the snow conditions and adjust their ski pressure accordingly.

It's also a great time of year to ski if you are looking to save a few bucks.  Through the end of the season, every lift ticket, every day of the week, is $29.  And if you think the skiing bug has bit you for good, you can buy next year's season pass and ski the rest of this year for free

The Stickney Cabin hosted a barbecue for its end of season bash last weekend, and you can be sure we enjoyed some burgers and dogs before the marshmallow roasting commenced.

Our friend and trusted ski instructor Susan brought her three-year-old daughter out to the cabin for the first time, and she had a blast.  She cruised right up the T-bar without batting an eye, and after lunch followed Timmy fearlessly into the glades.  As I've said before, there's something about the kid posse that makes everything fun.

Don't worry, your bicycle and your golf clubs will still be waiting for you when the season ends, and unfortunately, it's going to end all too quickly.  We are going to savor every moment.