Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Silly Season on the Slopes

We skiers and snowboarders may take our days on the slopes seriously, with hours devoted to studying the right gear, finding just the right flex for our skis and the perfectly fit jacket and pants, and we might spend way too much time researching the snowfall totals to find the perfect mountain getaway. We find ourselves in the car driving for hours to the resort and devote, sometimes unsuccessfully, numerous days praying to the snow gods for a powder day.

But in the end, we don't take ourselves that seriously. When the days are longer and the trails a bit narrower, despite our hopes otherwise, we know the end of the season is nigh. So what do we do? We build a pond, don the most outrageous costumes we can find, and hurl ourselves across the water on our boards in front of hundreds of onlookers who are not-so-secretly hoping we fall face-first into the icy waters.

True spring weather temps brought out even Outdoor Dad this year for the Bretton Woods Slush Pool competition. 

Outdoor Dad saved his grass skirt just for this special occasion. (Jess Lynch photo)

Cat wore her "Paws" t-shirt and unicorn bike helmet with hopes it would catapult her across the pond. (Jess Lynch photo)

Ryan was so confident, he made a call to his mom while making the pond skim look easy. (Jess Lynch photo)
Those who aren't brave (or old) enough to pond skim could still get in on the fun. The whole day was devoted to Beach Party fun, and everyone from lifties to the kids dug out their best hula skirts and leis.

The Easter Bunny joined us for a few runs on Saturday too.

We wait all year for a sunny day on the deck to enjoy some burger dogs, and perhaps a cold margarita.

If you didn't see the Easter Bunny, you might still have come across Pirate Skier. His double planks kept him sailing the snowy seas.

There's still one more weekend left to find your silly side on the the mountain, with the last day of the season April 3. In an effort to appease those snow gods with a nod towards the 2016-17 season, tickets will be just $16.17 on Sunday.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Spring Trail Count

Friends have been asking me, how are the conditions up at Bretton Woods? There is no getting around the fact that this winter hasn't been the epic one we had last year, but the snowmaking and grooming teams at Bretton Woods have made some delicious lemonade out of the lemons we were handed this year.

This past Sunday we decided to create a little challenge for ourselves: ski every open trail on the mountain. With 189 acres to cover, it took much of our day to hit every run. With bluebird skies and not a lick of wind, the stark contrast of Mount Washington's snowcapped peak kept watch over us as we cruised the mountain. The morning's twenty-degree temps felt a bit chilly compared to the tropical blast we'd had the week before, so we started with the lower mountain runs off the Bethlehem Express Quad as the sun began to warm up the corduroy.

As the day progressed, layers were shed and corn snow began to form at our feet. Never a lift line, we hopped on and waved hello to the friendly lift operators as we loaded again and again.

For a steep run, Darby's never disappoints. Water Tank's corduroy lines were still fresh into the morning.

After we decided to document our ski trail challenge, my subjects took it upon themselves to spice things up a bit.

Our run down Bretton's Wood included a stop at the NASTAR course, where my enthusiasm overcame me and I missed a gate. At the bottom I discovered I wasn't the only one.

Fabyan's is always one of my favorites. Since In Between is closed, the only access is to take a right off the Bethlehem Express Quad, when most everyone usually goes left towards Latitude 44. We had the trail all to ourselves.

McIntire's Ride had a bit of everything - some bumped up corn snow on top, a steep drop and some fun cruising around the trees towards the bottom.

Can't miss Zealand, with that big left hander that takes me on a giant swing under the Rosebrook Quad for more turns in the soft snow.

We stopped for a family photo before conquering Bode's Run, once again basking in the sun and views of the Presidentials.

After Lunch we hit the Zephyr trails. Avalon and Range View didn't disappoint.

Following a ride up the Zephyr discussing our favorite types of candy, we couldn't resist a stop at Chutter's  for a sweet treat.

On a warm spring day like today, there was no reason to do anything but have fun and enjoy ourselves on the slopes.
Crawford's was the last trail we hit to check them all off the list. With a sunny afternoon still beckoning us, we then went back and hit out favorites again. 

It may not have been a year to cross every glade on the mountain off our list, but every day has proved to be a chance to get out on the snow and enjoy our time together. 

Next on the list: Beach Party happens March 26, and we'll be gearing up with our best island attire. Do you think we can convince Outdoor Dad to take his chances on the slush pool?