Live Free and Ski in New Hampshire

by Kirsten Dobroth | December 11, 2017

Whether you’re a first-timer or a longtime local, there’s plenty of reasons to ski in New Hampshire, especially after resorts around the state racked up some serious snow totals over the past few days.

Tuckerman Ravine is a bucket list item for East Coast skiers and snowboarders. That being said, it’s not for the faint of heart, and definitely not for the novice skier or rider. Found on the southeast face of Mt. Washington, the bowl itself has different hike-to runs to choose from, all ranging from 40 to 55 degrees, with many runs featuring prominent cliffs or chutes (“The Icefall,” for example, features a harrowing 55-degree slope with mandatory cliff drops of up to 25 feet). If the mere idea of looking down on such terrain is vertigo-inducing, you can still hike in via the Tuckerman Ravine Trail and join the party at the bottom of the bowl (especially in the spring time when the snow turns to slush) and watch the carnage unfold.
Looking for some of the best scenery in the state? Spend a day at Wildcat. New Hampshire’s northernmost ski area stakes its claim as being both a burly hill for no-nonsense skiers, as well as having some of the best views in the state, as ranked by Ski magazine, thanks to surrounding 4,000 foot peaks.
Cannon Mountain offers some serious lines for skiers and snowboarders pining for a big mountain. Cannon’s another favorite of the no-nonsense crowd (and Bode Miller, who grew up ski racing there) with a vertical drop of 2,330 feet to boot.
If you’ve got little ones in tow, head to Bretton Woods. Another Granite State resort found near the top of Ski magazine’s 2017 Best of the East listing, Bretton Woods gets high marks for its snow-making capabilities and grooming. Its beginner terrain, in particular, is some of New Hampshire’s (and all of New England’s) best. It’s also the state’s biggest (and most upscale) ski resort, making it a sought after spot to spend a ski vacation even if you’re not looking to cruise greens the entire trip.
Location, location, location make Mt. Sunapee the perfect spot for a day trip. Less than two hours via I-93 (without factoring in traffic) is all it takes to get your ski fix on one of Sunapee’s 66 trails. Although, easy access does come with some pitfalls, like crowded slopes on weekends. A recently approved plan for a West Bowl Expansion should help solve the problem, though, by adding four new trails and a high-speed quad chairlift to the resort.
And if you just can’t decide which slopes to hit, head to North Conway. Easy access to classic New Hampshire resorts like Attitash, Cranmore, and Wildcat make North Conway an ideal spot to stay while sampling regional skiing, plus easy access to the state’s iconic Kancamagus Highway (NH Route 112), where other Granite State favorites like Loon and Waterville Valley are just a stone’s throw away.
Feature photo courtesy of Sime Basioli.

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