Ghost Hunters Weekend Coming to Bernerhof Inn

Are you a fan of paranormal activity and would like to be part of the fun and mystery of a ghost hunting adventure? Central Maine Ghost Hunters and the Bernerhof Inn of Bartlett, NH are coming together to offer an exclusive Ghost Hunters Weekend, March 29-30, 2019. A complete lodging package including breakfast, dinner, lodging and ghost hunting activities is offered for just $749 per couple.

The event takes place at the Bernerhof Inn, the distinctive historic inn located on Route 16 in Bartlett, NH, just minutes from Attitash Mountain in the heart of Mount Washington Valley and close to North Conway activities and outlet shopping.

Guests at the Ghost Hunters Weekend have their choice of rooms at the historic inn. Shown here, the Jackson Village Room.
The crew from Central Maine Ghost Hunters. Photo credit: Central Maine Ghost Hunters

Guests will enjoy a pre-investigation orientation meet and greet and discussion on understanding paranormal investigating. Innkeeper Nick Panno explained, “Guests will be invited to learn how to use the equipment you’ve seen on TV, including K-II EMF detectors, spirit boxes, voice recorders, dowsing rods and more. After the meet and greet,  you’ll get to use these pieces of equipment in a group investigation. This is going to be an amazing experience! We are so excited to work with Central Maine Ghost Hunters to bring this exclusive event to the Bernerhof!”

But the ghost hunting is just part of the experience at this luxurious bed and breakfast. Guests will be welcomed Friday night with a three-course meal prepared by the Inn’s executive chef. Saturday night’s dinner will be served family-style before kicking off an evening of ghost hunting festivities. Each day will begin with a scratch-cooked breakfast in the Inn’s cozy dining room.

When booking, guests can select among the Inn’s 12 unique rooms, many with in-room Jacuzzi tubs, electric and gas fireplaces, flat screen TVs and free wifi. The rooms feature many fine traditional antiques and European styled touches, with a dose of modern elegance and many state-of-the-art amenities.

Ski season is still in full swing in Mount Washington Valley so guests can ghost hunt at night and ski all day at the many ski areas minutes from the Inn. Ask about how to access discount ski tickets when making your reservation.

Due to limited availability, reservations for this special package are only available by calling innkeeper Nick Panno directly at 603-383-4200. Room choice is on a first-come-first-served basis. The Bernerhof Inn was recently rated as the #1 Inn in Bartlett, NH by TripAdvisor.com and is well known for its high level of customer service and personal attention. For more information, visit them online at www.bernerhofinn.com.

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Great Night Skiing at Shawnee Peak

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

Do you like skiing, but find that it’s hard to get up and go some mornings? Well, night skiing may be for YOU!

Shawnee Peak hosts a standout example of this, boasting the most night skiing in New England with 5 lifts servicing 19 trails and two terrain parks from 3:30 until 9:00 pm. You can (literally) ski the night away and their Monday Night Madness is a great deal for just $15


And, if you’re hungry, Shawnee Peak also has Blizzard’s Pub, which boasts some delicious cheesesteaks.

If you’ve been busy all day and want to get on the slopes, and save some money, this post goes out to you.

Protect Your Key Assets with Key-person Life Insurance

Part of the series provided by Chalmers Insurance Group

Most organizations employ at least one individual who is essential to the company’s success. This person may be a partner, majority stockholder or an individual with expertise that’s unmatched throughout the rest of the company. If this person’s exit from the company is planned, such as through retirement or voluntary termination, then you can prepare for the loss and take the necessary precautions to minimize the impact.

However, if the departure is unplanned due to a death, disabling accident or sudden resignation, then the company is exposed to financial risks. If your organization employs individuals who are vital to its success, consider key-person life insurance to offset your risk. This coverage can protect your organization’s solvency in the event that you lose the key person or people without warning, and also the investments made by lenders and investors to the company.

How Does Key-person Life Insurance Work?

It’s important to know how key-person life insurance works while you consider if it’s the right fit for your company:

  • The employer purchases key-person life insurance on the key individual(s).
  • The employer is the beneficiary of the policy and applies for and owns the coverage. If the key employee dies prematurely, the policy pays out to the employer.
  • In some cases, IRS guidelines allow for tax-free dollars from the policy to be put towards finding, hiring and training a replacement employee, compensation for lost business during the transition, and financing timely business transactions.
  • Depending on the specific language in the policy, it can sometimes be transferred to a departing key employee as a retirement benefit.
  • The policy can be used to buy out the key employee’s shares or interest in the company.
  • Premiums are based on several factors, including the key employee’s age, physical conditions and health history. The amount of coverage also affects the premium.

Advantages of Key-person Life Insurance

Key-person life insurance has a number of advantages that can help mitigate your company’s risks:

  • Policies can be easily implemented and don’t require IRS approval. Your business only needs to prepare an annual report for the IRS.
  • If all IRS guidelines are followed, the policy’s benefits may be paid to the company tax-free.
  • Customers, creditors, lenders and stockholders have the assurance that the business has a continuation plan and coverage in place.
  • There’s flexibility when using funds paid by the policy.

Considerations before Purchasing Key-person Life Insurance

The following points should be considered before purchasing key-person life insurance:

  • Estimate the value of your key employees. Think about the projects that would be lost without these people, the amount of sales generated by these people and costs associated with replacing them.
  • Determine if this coverage is necessary, as credit insurance will cover outstanding loans and debts.
  • Create a business continuity plan that outlines how your business will function if you lose key employees.

Chalmers Insurance Group understands that your key assets need protection and we’re here to assist you. Please contact us today at 800-360-3000 to learn more about our key-person life insurance solutions and other ways to mitigate your risks.

Remick Country Doctor Museum & Farm’s 16th Annual Ice Harvest & Winter Carnival

Remick Country Doctor Museum & Farm’s 16th Annual Ice Harvest & Winter Carnival was held this past weekend in Tamworth. As a family who’s attended the past two years, we were aware of what to expect and what the challenges would be with young kids, especially parking. We made sure to get there early enough to enjoy the whole day so arrived close to 11:30am. The day ahead hardly seemed like it would be long enough for my two, who couldn’t get enough and were sure to be among the last to leave.

It was a great day spent with family and friend, a day filled with fun for everyone. We started with the kids games and scavenger hunt, a visit to the ice house, followed by the interest of harvesting ice ourselves. My 3-year old was very intrigued and determined to push the block of ice her 7-year old brother cut. After watching the huge blocks of ice being hauled by the oxen we were ready for s’mores and some sweet treats as we sat outside of the sugar shack by the fire.

Before we left for the event I asked my kids what they were most excited to see and do. My 3-year old said, “I want to see the pig.” Hmm. Not sure that would happen if I reminded her of everything else we’d see but she seemed satisfied. When we arrived we were happily surprised to find out that this year’s ice sculpture was a pig. After tons of fun and two sleepy kids, I asked them what their favorite activity was. My son took a second and thought, “all of it.” My daughter looked at me with confidence and said, “the pig.” Of course!

What a great day. Thank you to the staff at Remick Museum & Farm.

 

Save Money Insuring Your Teen Driver

Part of the series provided by Chalmers Insurance Group

Insuring a new driver can be expensive. Learn what you can do to keep your premiums as low as possible and your teen accident-free.

Tips to Keep Costs Down

If you’re the parent of a teenager who is getting ready to climb behind the steering wheel, insuring your new driver can be an expensive endeavor. This is because the risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16 to 19-year-olds than among any other age group. We’ve gathered some helpful tips to help you keep your premiums as low as possible, and keep your teen safe and accident-free.


Add Your Teen to Your Auto Policy

Rather than setting up an independent policy for your teen driver, consider adding him or her as an additional driver on your auto insurance policy. Also, if you have more than one vehicle, keep costs down by designating which vehicle your child will be driving.

Deductible Considerations

Auto deductibles typically range from $250 to $1,000. By upping your deductible and using your insurance for big repairs, you can significantly reduce your premium.

Ask for the Student Discount

If your teenager maintains at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA), he or she typically qualifies for a rate discount.

Weigh Your Buying Decision

Wanting to get your teenager a new car to drive with the latest safety equipment is understandable, but you may be better off purchasing a safe, used vehicle in terms of premium prices.

Set Your Expectations for Safety and Minimize Distracted Driving

Teens can get distracted easily. To help reduce potential accidents:

  • Restrict your teen’s nighttime driving
  • Do not allow them to drive with more than one other person in the car
  • Ban cell phone use while driving
  • Ride with your son or daughter occasionally to make sure they are keeping up with the safety habits that they learned in driver’s education

We’re Here to Help

Call our office today at 800-360-3000 to learn more about all of our automobile insurance and personal risk management solutions.

Top Ways to Save on Your Auto Premium:

  • Raise your deductible.
  • Ask about a good student discount
  • Have your teen keep up their good driving record
  • Ask about Chalmers Advantage personal lines discounts through your Chamber Membership

The Secrets of Skiing at Attitash

By Kathy Bennett
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

Looking forward to skiing in Mt. Washington Valley this upcoming February vacation week? Join the club! You’ll have lots of company as you hit the slopes but we’d like to share some tips on how you can ski like a local, spending more time on snow and less time in lift lines.

  1. Buy Online in Advance – It’s vacation week, so don’t expect big savings at the ticket window. But if you plan ahead and buy online in advance, you can score some savings at www.attitash.com. Buy multi-day tickets and mix and match with their sister mountain, Wildcat, just up the road.
  2. Park at Bear Peak – Skip the Attitash parking lot and continue on Route 302 until you see the sign for the Grand Summit Hotel and Bear Peak.  This big flat lot doesn’t fill up as fast as the one closer to the main lodge and doesn’t require crossing the highway or trudging gear through the tunnel. On a warm day, consider booting up in the car and skip the lodge all together!
  3. Arrive Early – Find out when the bullwheel starts turning and plan on arriving at least 30 minutes prior to lifts opening. Not only will you get first tracks, you can get in lots of runs before many folks roll out of bed at the ski house or condo.
  4. Avoid the Lodge at Noon – Not only should you get there early, take an early (or late) lunch. Whether you are brown bagging it or grabbing a burger at the cafeteria, you’ll have a better chance of finding a seat if you get there before 12pm or after 1pm.
  5. Explore Lesser Known Lift Pods – We all do it. You arrive at a resort and head right to the main lift, which at Attitash consists of the Summit Triple and the Bear Peak Express Quad. You obviously will want to spend some time on these lifts early, but as the lift mazes fill up, check out other lifts that may take you to new territory. I spent much of last weekend riding the Abenaki Quad. No lift line and lots of nice expert and intermediate terrain was available.
  6. Hit the Glades – Under that Abenaki Chair you will find wide-open glades with little to no skier traffic. The masses remain on-piste. Don’t be like them. This week brought up to a foot of snow in the mountains so you’ll find a nice snowpack in the trees.

  7. Apres at the Bear’s Den – Sure, everyone knows that Ptarmigan’s Pub in the Attitash base lodge is the place to go to hear a live band and enjoy the big apres ski scene in all its loud glory. But a smaller and just as fun scene can be found at the Bear Peak Lodge at the Bear’s Den. They feature music by solo artists every weekend and a full bar and snacks from the adjacent cafeteria.
  8. Party Like a Local – Want to capture the true local spirit of apres ski at Attitash? Head across the street from the main base lodge and enter the world of Matty B’s. Live music, great pub food and the local flavor the Valley is famous for.

Winter started early here, with ski areas opening and snow falling in October! We are having a great ski season. Check out lodging, restaurants and more at www.mtwashingtonvalley.org.

 

10 Cyber Security Resolutions to Reduce Your Data Exposures

Part of the series provided by Chalmers Insurance Group

Cybersecurity threats and trends can change year over year as technology continues to advance. As such, it’s critical for organizations to reassess their data protection practices at the start of each new year and make achievable cybersecurity resolutions to help protect themselves from costly breaches.

The following are resolutions your company can implement to avoid becoming the victim of a cybercrime:

  1. Provide security training—Employees are your first line of defense when it comes to cyber threats. Even the most robust and expensive data protection solutions can be compromised should an employee click a malicious link or download fraudulent software. As such, it’s critical for organizations to thoroughly train personnel on common cyber threats and how to respond. Employees should understand the dangers of visiting harmful websites, leaving their devices unattended and oversharing personal information on social media. Your employees should also know your cybersecurity policies and know how to report suspicious activity.
  2. Install strong anti-virus software and keep it updated—Outside of training your employees on the dangers of poor cybersecurity practices, strong anti-virus software is one of the best ways to protect your data. Organizations should conduct thorough research to choose software that’s best for their needs. Once installed, anti-virus programs should be kept up to date.
  3. Instill safe web browsing practices—Deceptive and malicious websites can easily infect your network, often leading to more serious cyber-attacks. To protect your organization, employees should be trained on proper web usage and instructed to only interact with secured websites. For further protection, companies should consider blocking known threats and potentially malicious web pages outright.
  4. Create strong password policies—Ongoing password management can help prevent unauthorized attackers from compromising your organization’s password-protected information. Effective password management protects the integrity, availability, and confidentiality of an organization’s passwords. Above all, you’ll want to create a password policy that specifies all of the organization’s requirements related to password management. This policy should require employees to change their password on a regular basis, avoid using the same password for multiple accounts and use special characters in their password.
  5. Use multi-factor authentication—While complex passwords can help deter cybercriminals, they can still be cracked. To further prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to employee accounts, multi-factor authentication is key. Multi-factor authentication adds a layer of security that allows companies to protect against compromised credentials. Through this method, users must confirm their identity by providing extra information (e.g., a phone number, unique security code) when attempting to access corporate applications, networks, and servers.
  6. Get vulnerability assessments—The best way to evaluate your company’s data exposures is through a vulnerability assessment. Using a system of simulated attacks and stress tests, vulnerability assessments can help you uncover entry points into your system. Following these tests, security experts compile their findings and provide recommendations for improving network and data safety.
  7. Patch systems regularly and keep them updated—A common way cybercriminals gain entry into your system is by exploiting software vulnerabilities. To prevent this, it’s critical that you update applications, operating systems, security software, and firmware on a regular basis.
  8. Back up your data—In the event that your system is compromised, it’s important to keep backup files. Failing to do so can result in the loss of critical business or proprietary data.
  9. Understand phishing threats and how to respond—In broad terms, phishing is a method cybercriminals use to gather personal information. In these scams, phishers send an email or direct users to fraudulent websites, asking victims to provide sensitive information. These emails and websites are designed to look legitimate and trick individuals into providing credit card numbers, account numbers, passwords, usernames or other sensitive information. Phishing is becoming more sophisticated by the day, and it’s more important than ever to understand the different types of attacks, how to identify them and preventive measures you can implement to keep your organization safe. As such, it’s critical to train employees on common phishing scams and other cybersecurity concerns. Provide real-world examples during training to help them better understand what to look for.
  10. Create an incident response plan—Most organizations have some form of data protection in place. While these protections are critical for minimizing the damages caused by a breach, they don’t provide clear action steps following an attack. That’s where cyber incident response plans can help. While cybersecurity programs help secure an organization’s digital assets, cyber incident response plans provide clear steps for companies to follow when a cyber event occurs. Response plans allow organizations to notify impacted customers and partners quickly and efficiently, limiting financial and reputational damages. This can be costly but cyber insurance can help.

Talk to your Chalmers account manager for more information about cyber 800-360-3000.

Check out Great American Ski Renting Company

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

Looking for equipment on the quick, but also looking for quality? Stop by Great American Ski Renting Company, on Main Street in North Conway. They rent retail-level high-quality products for all ages and all levels of skill, all for what the mountain charges, if not less. They rent anything you could need for the winter – coats, helmets, poles, downhill skis, cross country skis, snowshoes, fat bikes, snowboards.

Even better, they offer a rare personal touch by renting custom-fitted boots. To quote the owner, “If you come in here in a t-shirt and jeans, we can get you ready for skiing.”

It opens weekends at 7:30, weekdays at 8, so there’s plenty of time to stop by and hit the slopes before they get skied off. For more information visit >

 

Ski North Conway, New Hampshire

By Kathy Bennett
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

What ski areas are in North Conway? Where can I ski in North Conway? Why was North Conway voted the best ski town in North America? These are the questions skiers are searching for online and we’re glad to share the good news – North Conway is the place to go with plenty of ski deals, ski shops, ski condo rentals, ski packages and more!

First, a bit of clarification. The Mt Washington Chamber of Commerce represents dozens of towns in and around the greater Mt Washington Valley region including northern Carroll County and western Maine, with North Conway at its heart. But thanks to our strong reputation with North Conway recently voted the best ski town in North America, some people refer to the region as just “North Conway.” That’s OK – but let me share with you my week on skis so you can see how much further the skiing extends.

Wednesday, I took part in Mountain Meisters at Cranmore Mountain which is, indeed, in North Conway proper. Mountain Meisters is the country’s largest recreational ski race league. Every Wednesday, literally hundreds of skiers take to the NASTAR course and take timed turns. Meisters are known for being great apres skiers as well. Many locals either arrange their schedule to take Wednesdays off, while others take their runs on their lunch break (as I did). That my friends is the benefit of living and working in a ski town. Don’t live here? No worries. You can be part of the Meister scene in Zip’s Pub. It would be inaccurate to say it’s apres ski because the party is all day, indoors and out. As the days get longer and warmer, many take to the back deck to sun worship. Learn firsthand why Cranmore is known as “Tanmore.”

The glades were open at Cranmore this week!


Are skinny skis more your style? North Conway is also known for its xc ski centers. The biggest in North America is
Jackson Ski Touring just north of North Conway. My husband and I stopped at the Old Village Bakery in North Conway Village and loaded our backpack with snacks, then went to the Touring Center to wax our skis. As it was a cold and fast kind of day, we applied Klister with a coating of hard wax over it. It did the trick with just the right combination of kick and glide. Jackson has a full-service ski shop in its lodge – stop by Gorham Bike & Ski and ask for advice on waxing. We took to the Ellis River Trail to the Coco Cabin where we enjoyed our baked goods by the outdoor fire pit. Perfect!

The Coco Cabin
Ever dream of skiing through a covered bridge?


As an outdoor fresh air junkie,  I wasn’t satisfied with a few hours cross country skiing, so I tried night skiing at
King Pine Purity Springs Resort once the sun set. My 21-year-old got out of work at 4:30pm so we were able to spend a few hours of quality time on the slopes together. Night skiing at King Pine is very economical, only $29 to ski ‘til 9pm. Grab a rental for only $25 and you can get your gear and a ticket for less than the cost of a lift ticket alone. Such a deal!

Sunday was a day for alpine skiing. Another way to ski North Conway is to go to Bartlett, NH and ski Attitash. Attitash has two peaks and a slopeside hotel.  I got a great deal on lift tickets with a 40% discount when I bought online in advance. Check out their site for what specials they have online now. Remember that their tickets are interchangeable with Wildcat. Ski conditions have held up nicely after snow started accumulating here in October!

So if you are making plans for your February ski vacation, remember that there is more to North Conway skiing than North Conway! From Madison to Jackson, from Bretton Woods to Conway, we have dozens of ski areas to keep you busy all winter long! Look for your North Conway snow reports at SkiNorthConwayNH.com and ski and stay packages at MtWashingtonValley.org

Personal Automobiles for Business Use

Part of the series provided by Chalmers Insurance Group

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 240 million registered motor vehicles in the United States, and an estimated one-fourth of those are used for business in some way. If you have employees who use personal vehicles for business use, you could be exposing your business to a significant liability risk.

Even if your employees have Personal Auto Policies (PAPs) for their personal vehicles, in the event of a serious accident that occurs during business use, your business could be sued to collect additional damages.

Hands on the wheel

What is “Business Use”?

Activities that constitute general business use include visiting customers, picking up supplies, attending conferences, and commuting to and from work. For activities like this, the general business use of a personal vehicle is usually covered by a PAP. This is because a policy purchased for a specific vehicle is considered the primary insurance, which covers damages before any other policy takes effect.

An exception to general business use is livery, or carrying goods or people for a fee. Livery includes the delivery of items such as food, flowers, or wholesale or retail items to customers, as well as chauffeur services. Carpooling or ridesharing is not considered livery and is covered under a PAP.

Employees that work from home can still pose a risk if they use personal vehicles for business use. It may be more difficult to ascertain the driving habits of employees that work from home or the operational status of their vehicles. Communicate regularly with these employees concerning your company’s policy for the use of personal vehicles.

Employee PAP Coverage

For employees using their personal vehicles, the primary insurance on the vehicles will likely be their PAPs. You should know how your employees are covered for the business use of their vehicles. Encourage your employees to speak with their PAP carriers to be sure of their coverage and to make it clear to the insurance agents what business activities the vehicles may be used for.

Some PAPs appear to exclude coverage for business use, but they may include broad exceptions for a private passenger automobile, or pickup trucks and vans. However, some policies may be stricter depending on the circumstances. Clarification may prevent complications if a claim must be filed.

Four Ways to Reduce Risk

Though employees’ use of personal automobiles may pose a risk to your business, there are steps you can take to help protect both your employees and your business from liability.

  1. Review driving records and create an approved-driver list: All employees that use a vehicle for business use should be cleared to drive by a manager. This process should include reviewing motor vehicle records and PAP coverages regularly and maintaining records to help reduce risk exposure.
  2. Establish standards for personal vehicles: Even employees without any incidents on their motor vehicle records can be a risk to your business if they are driving personal vehicles that are not properly maintained. Establish company guidelines for maintaining personal vehicles. If employees are compensated for time spent driving or if they routinely use their personal vehicles for business, consider regularly collecting maintenance reports to gauge the reliability of personal vehicles.
  3. Make the company policy clear: After you create guidelines for the use of personal vehicles at your business, be sure to communicate them to your employees in a clear and timely manner. Although it is common to have policies against the use of intoxicating substances or mobile devices while driving, reminding employees of all of your company policies is an effective way to mitigate risk.
  4. Establish rental vehicle policies: The use of rental vehicles for business also presents exposure to risk. It may be beneficial to establish a relationship with a particular rental vehicle agency to determine which vehicles best suit the needs of your business and employees while traveling. You should also give your employees guidelines on which rental vehicle insurance coverages to accept during the rental process.

Obtaining Appropriate Liability Insurance

Additional coverage may be needed if any potential risks from personal auto use threaten your business. A standard Business Auto Policy (BAP) will protect your business from any additional liability after an employee’s PAP has paid for damages related to personal auto use.

Although employees who have personal vehicles should be required to have PAPs, obtaining liability insurance should be a priority to protect your business. In the event of a serious accident, your employees’ PAP coverage may not be adequate to pay for all the damages. Be sure to prepare a list of vehicles that may be used by employees and the type of business they may be used for, and contact Chalmers Insurance Group 800-360-3000 in order to discuss your coverage options.

Visit Tuckerman Brewing Company for music, friends and beer!

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

Just recently we visited Tuckerman Brewing Company to enjoy the  band Dark Train Express. The atmosphere is very comfortable with picnic tables, cornhole games and, of course, their great local beer. Personally, we really like the Rockpile IPA.

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Starting in 2015 Tuckerman Brewing Company has hosted a concert series and each summer they have some of the top regional acts entertaining the crowd outside under the tent in warm weather. And every Saturday they feature great local musicians in their Tasting Room.

Check out their event calendar for future tasting room and concert events. The brewery is also available for private parties, rehearsal dinners and birthday parties.

Next up – 21st Birthday Bash! The brewery turns legal!
January 19th, 2019
Doors open at 7:00
This is a 21+ show (legal ID required)

Photo Credit – Shem Roose

Band: Kat Wright Band plays from 8-10pm
Cover Charge: $15
Food Provided by: Magic Foods Catering

Limited tickets are available online or can be purchased in the Tasting Room during regular business hours.

For more information >

 

Ice climbers love North Conway NH and the White Mountains

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

We hung out and watched a group of ice climbers learn safety techniques at Cathedral Ledge. Led by an outfit from Maine this group learned safety procedures, how to use ice axes, finding the best handholds, and proper climbing stance.

And, if you didn’t know already, the White Mountains are a mecca for ice climbers and renowned for climbing in general!

Ice climbing isn’t scary, and there are lots of opportunities all around us. If you want to try this unique sport, don’t hesitate! Find an instructor and enjoy it while you can. So check out one of our local outfitters at IME, EMS and Northeast Mountaineering. >>

Anything is Possible!

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