MLK Magic at Cranmore Mountain

By Kathy Bennett

Just in time for one of the busiest winter weekends of the season, light snow was falling as I arrived at Cranmore Mountain in North Conway on January 16.  While their snowmakers have done the heavy lifting to get more terrain open recently, the light and fluffy stuff coated every branch and twig on the trees, making for a lovely visual both on and off the mountain.

Snow surfaces were packed powder with a dusting of powder thanks to the natural snowfall which started around 7am and didn’t stop until late afternoon. While not fully open yet, open trails included many of my favorites, such as Kandahar, Bandit, Koessler and Schneider. Many other trails appeared to be on the kusp of opening with many white whalebacks waiting to be groomed out.
View from Meister Hut deck
View from Meister Hut deck. Photo: Kathy Bennett
Gibson cabin at summit
Gibson cabin at summit. Photo: Kathy Bennett
Jimmy Mersereau Memorial at Cranmore Mountain Resort
Jimmy Mersereau Memorial at Cranmore Mountain Resort. Photo: Kathy Bennett

If you haven’t skied Cranmore in the last 5 years, it’s worth giving it another look. New ownership in 2010 invested heavily in snowmaking and lifts. As much as us ski history buffs loved the East Double Chair, the oldest operating chairlift in the East when it was dismantled in 2011, its replacement cuts a slightly different lift line and allows for multiple runs off the summit without returning to the base area and its crowds.

One of the best things about Cranmore is the Meister Hut, a 1940s era vertical log cabin. We came inside to dry off and enjoy hot cocoa and a blueberry muffin on the couch in front of the fireplace. The lunch menu, offering a special of bratwurst with kraut, was tempting. Cranmore’s husband and wife food and beverage team, Mike and Sabrina Rennie, have worked hard during their tenure to take the standard ski fare and kick it up a notch.

Snowmaking efforts were continuing even as the “real” stuff fell from the sky, promising for more terrain throughout the long holiday weekend. Check out their website for the latest snow condition: www.cranmore.com.
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