It’s been a good week to be a skier in the Valley. It started Wednesday when we got over a foot of snow in a 12 hour storm that was nothing but powder. Those of us who were lucky enough to take an unplanned day off did so. I landed at Cranmore by 1pm, a convenient place to get in a lot of vertical in a short amount of time, with its in-town location and high-speed quad.
As I always do, I stopped by to pay respects to former co-worker and long-time Cranmore Groomer Extraordinaire, Jimmy Mersereau. This granite marker features his likeness and reminds me what skiing is all about – loving snow and respecting the mountain. You’ll find this on Jimmy’s Run, a great transition between Artist’s Falls and the storied South Slope.
Friday night into Saturday brought more snow and I got up early to get to Wildcat Mountain ahead of the crowds, or so I thought. A conga line of cars inched up Route 16 North. After parking, I eagerly booted up and ran in to try to claim first tracks. My ski buddies arrived 4 minutes earlier and did not wait for me. As they say, there are no friends on a powder day.
Soft mounds of snow met me on my first run on the Wildcat trail, big juicy bumps from top to bottom. The glades Wildcat is famous for were in fine shape too.
Tomcat Schuss was tasty as well, and Lift Lion – long a fearsome trail for me – was in such nice shape even a scaredy-cat like me was able to ski it like a rock star.
When the rest of the madding crowd showed up a few hours later, we hopped on the triple for a slower but more peaceful ascent. Skiing glades or more bumped up terrain often gives you less crowded terrain when the hordes arrive.
All this snow sets us up for a great February Vacation week, kicking off with President’s Weekend February 17. Make your lodging reservations now as it’s likely to be a popular time to come to North Conway!