Great Day at Great Glen Trails

By Kathy Bennett

One of the best things about skiing in Mt. Washington Valley is the sheer number of options you have within a very reasonable driving distance. A snowy November continues here so there were several choices for alpine and Nordic skiing options this weekend. I was undecided on my direction when I left my house Saturday morning, so I tossed both downhill and cross country gear in the trunk and decided to wait for inspiration to guide my car.

The inspiration came at the intersection of Route 302 and 16 by Dairy Queen. A bright new billboard beckoned me to Great Glen, home to the new Glen House hotel. It had been about 2 years since I skied there last so it was time for a return visit.

Great Glen TrailsAmazing views great skiers from the base lodge

Driving past Wildcat, which has been open for weeks and looked to be in fine form, I felt a twinge of regret for not choosing downhill. But too much turkey and stuffing made the cardio blast of XC the right choice for me.

Great Glen Trails
Mt. Adams looms large

Any regret quickly dissipated as I arrived. The day was crystal clear and Mount Washington and Mount Adams gave a silent white welcome to those arriving to ski. I was in good company, as a large holiday craft fair was going on, and a competition of some sort brought many young folks to the Notch. All in all, it didn’t feel like November, either by snow conditions, head count or energy level.

I changed out my gear in the convenient and well appointed locker room – changing rooms, bath rooms and space to change made it comfortable to get ready for the day. I asked what was open and groomed and was delighted to hear the answer … “Everything.” How often can you expect this in November?

Inside the Great Angel Cabin

I headed out under the bridge and around the new Glen House. Its huge wall of windows point to the Presidential Range. I made a mental note to return to try out their restaurant, which is gaining a great reputation for both its views and its cuisine.  I skied several loops, across fields, uphill and down, until I came to the Great Angel Cabin. A picnic table outside and Adirondack chairs inside beckon to weary skiers. I stripped off my jacket and relaxed for a bit – the ski uphill definitely got my heart rate up!  After my break, I enjoyed the long turny downhill back towards the lodge, across fields, streams and another view of that lovely new hotel.

Thanksgiving Weekend was a skiers’ dream. What areas were not open are planning on doing so in the next few weeks. Given the natural snowfall, cold temperatures, and the arrival of another foot of snow Tuesday, they should have no problem doing so.

 

 

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