Category Archives: Life in Mt. Washington Valley NH

2020 MWV Ice Fest in the Mt. Washington Valley!

Outdoor adventure in the Mt. Washington Valley has so much to offer. Visitors and residents alike are lucky to have access to acres of national forest in which to experience outdoor activities from hiking to climbing and beyond. The Mt. Washington Valley is known for being home to the highest peak in New England, Mount Washington. It also has garnered fame for being a premier destination for waterfall ice climbing.

Being known for waterfall ice climbing in the Mt. Washington Valley, also means that some amazing people come out to climb them. With this combination a group of dedicated climbers in the Mt. Washington Valley in partnership with the International Mountain Climbing School in North Conway, NH created the MWV Ice Fest!

Going on 27 years now, the MWV Ice Fest is a three-day event focused on climbing clinics, gear demos, entertainment and more. The theme that always runs through this event, year after year, is a celebration of climbing. You’ll see old friends at this event, make new ones and even connect with potential climbing partners! You’ll gain a deeper respect for the great outdoors, learn new skills, and try gear out before you invest in it.

Over forty clinics are being held Friday through Sunday. Clinic topics range to include:

Steep Ice – Intermediate and Intro,” where you’ll learn how to move smoothly on steep ice, identify different types of vertical ice and its colors and how to make quick and efficient decisions based on those characteristics;

“Thin Ice,” where you’ll learn skills and confidence on how to gauge thin, scrappy terrain, how to move confidently when it gets a little spooky, and how to finesse your way up inches-thick ice safely.

One-Day Ascents Up Mount Washington, where participants and the clinic guide will discuss general mountaineering skills, winter navigation and we will be able to practice basic crampon, ice axe skills and self arrest techniques.

“Snow and Ice Anchors,” which is a full day course that offers important information about construction and equalization of anchor systems for both snow and ice climbing.

“AIARE Level I Avalanche Course,” which is a three-day clinic that provides a basic understanding of avalanches, describes a framework for decision making and risk management in avalanche terrain, focuses on identifying the right questions, rather than on providing “answers,” gives lessons and exercises that are practically oriented, useful, and applicable in the field, and breaks down how to use Mammut’s beacon system.

These are just a sampling of the forty clinics being held during the 2020 MWV Ice Fest. For a comprehensive break-down of Friday’s, Saturday’s, and Sunday’s clinics, click the links.

Friday and Saturday evening is headlined by a live presentations from decorated Alpinists that have made ascents around the world. A DJ’d dance party, beer tasting and silent auction are also staples of these “after parties.” Each presentation is held at Theater in the Wood, in Bartlett, NH.

The Mt. Washington Valley offers a depth of varied natural terrain. It’s a premier ice climbing destination, and is a main source of opportunities for winter climbing in New Hampshire. The MWV Ice Fest, highlights what a treasure this source is, and is an event not to be missed. Perfect for beginners and seasoned climbers, your winter is not complete without taking part in this comprehensive ice climbing celebration.

Featured photo by Brent Doscher, c/o MWV Ice Fest

Awesome Ski Deals in the Mt. Washington Valley!

Spending time skiing Mt. Washington Valley is as good as it gets. But if you can find a great deal to ski the White Mountains, then that is just fresh powder on the slopes…icing on the cake…the cherry on top. You know what we mean, a great deal on trail passes in the Mt. Washington Valley is pretty great!

We’ve taken a sampling of specials the Mt. Washington Valley Nordic ski centers and ski mountains have put together and shared them here with you. Be sure to mark your calendars for some of these dates and specials! The Mt. Washington Valley ski areas have put a lot of thought into fun and affordable ways to share the magic of skiing in the White Mountains with you and we’re psyched to pass the information onto you!

Jackson Ski Touring Foundation: On Saturday, February 8th, Jackson Ski Touring is hosting WinterKids Family Day! This ski center is giving away free and discounted trail passes for the whole family, including: One free junior trail pass;  five dollar sibling trail passes; fifteen dollar parent trail passes; and fifteen dollar rental packages Skiers looking to enjoy these specials must have a WinterKids App membership. Jackson Ski Touring staff will be on hand with information about its programs and are there to create a fun day on the trails, so come out and join them!

King Pine Ski Area: Skiing is as easy 1-2-3 with its 1-2-3 Ski or Snowboard package. This special is geared for First-Time Skiers and include rentals, lessons and lift tickets. You purchase this special and the time you take the lessons are up to you.

Each 1-2-3 Package includes

  • 3 All-day lift tickets (beginner lifts on day 1 and All-lifts tickets on your 2nd and 3rd day)
  • 3 group lessons
  • 3 days of rentals (skis, boots and poles OR snowboard and boots)
  • 50% off tickets, rentals and lessons upon completion of all 3 lessons!

When you take your group lessons is up to you– take one now, one in a couple of weeks and one later in the 2020 season. Upon completion of all 3 lessons, you will receive a pass good for 50% off tickets, lessons and rentals for the remainder of the current 2020 season.

Bretton Woods: This ski area is full of surprises and is always coming up with great events and specials to get you out on the slopes! Try its 2-4-1 Wednesdays, where during the 2019-20 ski season you can get two alpine lift tickets for just $88.00

Nordic skiers can ski Bretton Woods’ trail network fo $21.00 for two Nordic trail passes.

Are you a single skier? Get a single day ticket on Wednesday’s for only $78! **Pricing excludes holiday periods and the following blackout dates.

Also be mark your calendars for “The Big Game” special on February 2nd. Ski or ride at Bretton Woods for $54.00 and then make your way to Slopeside Pub to cheer! This special also applies to Nordic skiers! Gather a group of four and get four trail passes for $54.00!

Great Glen Trails: Get total access to Great Glen Trails with the T3 Pass! For one discounted price the T3 pass includes:

  • a trail pass for XC skiing
  • a trail pass for snowshoeing
  • XC ski rentals
  • snowshoe rentals
  • all-day access to the tubing hill
  • a winter tour on theMt. Washington SnowCoach

Swap your rental skis for snowshoes and back again and spend the entire day with Great Glen Trails! Try every winter activity that has been on your list! You don’t even have to leave the grounds for lunch! Great Glen Trails offers lunch at its Glen View Cafe or consider an apres-ski drink or snack at The Glen House, across from Great Glen Trails!

Where to Play on New Year’s Eve in Mt. Washington Valley, NH!

Are you looking to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the Mt. Washington in a new and fun way this year? We’ve compiled a list of New Year’s Eve events going on throughout the valley to make your search easier. From fireworks in North Conway, NH to family-friendly activities in the Mt. Washington Valley, you and your whole clan will delight in!

For a run-down of New Year’s Eve Dining  in the Mt. Washington Valley, NH click here and scroll to the bottom!

Tuckerman Brewing Company: Tastings and live music with “Pig’s Eye” will be going on at Tuckerman Brewing Company, starting at 3:00pm.

Attitash Mountain Resort and Ptarmigan’s Pub:  Live music with different bands going on from afternoon to after dark, starting at 2:00pm will get your party started!

New Year’s Eve at the Mountain View Grand: Make a tradition out of the Mountain View Grand’s annual New Year’s Family Celebration. Starting at 7:00 pm with an adult and children’s buffet, dancing and entertainment provided by Pete and Chris Amusements will follow. Holiday games and a fireworks display at midnight are part of the evening! Reservations are required.

Live Music at Saco River Brewing: Start your New Year’s Eve celebration with Sheehan & Holden at Saco River Brewing from 4:00pm to 7:00pm! Maine-based singers/guitarists Bobby Sheehan and Jeremy Holden perform a dynamic selection of rock, folk, and blues music by Tom Petty, Neil Young, the Grateful Dead, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, and many more.

Apres-ski at Bretton Woods: Keep the party going after you get off the slopes. Listen to some après ski entertainment and try a new brew at Slopeside Pub located on the 3rd level of the Bretton Woods Base Lodge. Entertainment and promos will be going on from 3:00pm-5:30pm. Kid friendly après ski fun will be going on in the !  Mount Washington View Room. Each party is supervised and includes themed activities and refreshments for kids.

Live Music at Shovel Handel Pub: Come Celebrate NYE with the band Shark Martin, at The Shovel Handle Pub in beautiful Jackson, NH! Enjoy appetizers and a champagne toast along with live music. 200 tickets, $25.00 per person, are available.

Cranapalooza at Cranmore Mountain Resort: Celebrate New Year’s Eve all day at this family-friendly celebration! Ski all morning, then transition to Schneider Square at 2:30pm for $1.00 S’mores, music and dancing and outdoor games.

From 4:00pm to 7:00pm The Wayfarers will be playing live music. At 6:00pm fireworks will start over the South Slope.

From 6:00 – 8:00pm the party continues on the third floor of the Main Base Lodge with cookie decorating, a photo booth, music and Blue Moon glass decorating. Throughout the entire event, Cranmore will be doing giveaways, with a special appearance from Cranmore’s penguin mascot, C-MORE!

New Year’s Eve “Party-bration” at Santa’s Village: Celebrate from 4:00 – 9:00pm by riding your favorite Santa themed rides with a fireworks show at 8:00pm. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Fireworks over Schouler Park: Take in a spectacular fireworks show in the heart of North Conway Village. Grab dinner at main street restaurant and gather in the park at 9:30pm. for a show in the night sky!

Fireworks over King Pine Ski Resort: Ski into the Night with night skiing/snowboarding lift tickets from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. Snow tubing will going on, along with ice skating in the covered and well-lit Tohko Dome. S’mores will be for sale around the campfire at the base of King Pine. The night concludes with  fireworks at 9:45 p.m.

New Year’s Eve Bash at the O Club: All ages are welcome to this party! Starting at 7:00pm, your ticket provides live music by the band, “Lie to Me,” food and a champagne toast.

Rock and Roll and American Roots with Wildcat Tavern: Going on from 7:00pm to 1:00am. Enjoy dinner in the restaurant and listen to and dance the night away to Jonathan Sarty and his band playing in the Tavern.  Reservations required.

Live Music at McGrath’s Tavern New Year’s Eve with Live Music at 9 pm. No cover – no reservations need. 603-733-5955

New Year’s Eve Party at Cigar Shenanigans – No Commitment. No tickets necessary! Come, relax, hear some great music (beginning at 9), have a champagne toast at midnight! 603-307-1036

Holiday Ski Preview for Mt. Washington Valley, NH

By Kathy Bennett

With the first big ski week for the 2019-20 season coming in a few days, we’d like to share a coming attraction of what skiers can expect for conditions and activities from Christmas to New Year’s 2019!

First  a word about conditions. Skiing today at Wildcat Mountain was superb. Rebounding wonderfully from last week’s warm weather and precip, snowmakers and groomers returned with a vengeance, prepping the slopes for the coming holiday visitors. Wildcat was reporting machine groomed/packed powder conditions today and it was a joy to run laps on their high speed quad under blue skies. Highly recommended to erase any pre-holiday stress.

All our local downhill mountains are open. Attitash had both peaks open and connected – and had since their opening day December 6. They are planning a humdinger of a New Year’s Eve with fireworks and the first of their After Dark concert series featuring Yellow Brick Road, an Elton John tribute band.

Bretton Woods has been running their new gondola since opening day, now offering 3 ways to summit from the base area and a weather proof one to boot. It’s the only 8 person gondola in NH so expect it to help alleviate lift lines and give you a chance to warm up on colder days.

King Pine is also hosting a New Year’s Eve Party with special early fireworks. Young families will appreciate their easy terrain open for night skiing – and the excuse to call it a night early!

Cranmore is planning on a big week for their Kids Rule kids camps. With their own learning center, specialized terrain and kid-friendly lift, it’s perfect for active families. Not a skier? Hit the Mountain Adventure Park and tube, soar and swing on their outdoor rides and attractions. It’s as close to an amusement park you can find in winter.

Black Mountain is back at it for another season. Off the beaten track with fewer guests and shorter lift lines, Black is a great choice for busy periods especially on days that are cold or windy. Stay at Adventure Suites for two nights or more and get two free Black Mountain lift tickets included in your room rate. Sweet!

Just over the border in Maine, Shawnee Peak also recently opened. Shawnee Peak offers the most night skiing in the state of Maine – so head over sometime and check out their great night-skiing terrain. It’s a treat to ski down towards the lake a night and see the lights twinkling all around! Can you make out the letters that spell out “L-O-V_-E”? Try it! They’ve got a whole line up of events for the holiday too.

A quick cross country skiing update for you … there is definitely skinny skiing to be had. For Jackson Ski Touring, head up to Prospect Farm where they have been grooming for both skate and classic. As of this writing there is some skiing on the Wentworth Golf Course. Review their snow report for details as conditions can change.  Great Glen Trails has been open for weeks and this is a year where yes, elevation matters.  They had 40km open as of this writing.  Bretton Woods is also reported to be in nice condition and got 6″ of snow on Dec. 18.  Bear Notch, King Pine and MWV Ski Touring, check their websites for the latest.

Another quick note – some but not all areas are open on Christmas Day. Be sure to call ahead and confirm operations. I for one am heading to Bretton Woods for our annual Christmas Day family ski, a great activity to burn off the extra holiday calories!

Vacation week weather is looking promising – no snow in the forecast right now but projected to be nice for being outside and enjoying all the Valley has to offer!

Happy holidays and enjoy skiing this week!

Snowmobile Insurance

Presented by Chalmers Insurance Group
800-360-3000
Proudly Representing Patriot Insurance Company

We can help you cruise through the coverage you need to ensure years of snowmobiling pleasure in the future.

Coverage Basics

A typical snowmobile insurance policy includes the following:

  • Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability (BI/PD): Covers liability for an accident involving injury to other people or property, up to your liability limits. If your limits are 100/300/100, no more than $100,000 would be paid per person for bodily injury, no more than $300,000 would be paid per accident for bodily injury and no more than $100,000 would be paid per accident for property damage.
  • Comprehensive and Collision Coverage: Policy pays to replace or repair your snowmobile if it is stolen or damaged, regardless of who is at fault. You select and pay a deductible and then the insurance carrier pays the remainder. Collision coverage applies if you hit a nonliving object or other vehicle. This coverage also pays for damages caused by events other than collisions, such as fires, theft or vandalism.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: If you get into an accident with someone who is uninsured or underinsured and you were not the at-fault party, the policy will pay for your medical treatment.
  • Roadside Assistance: Policy covers the labor needed for repairs and towing to the nearest repair facility if your snowmobile is disabled.
  • Accessory Covered: Policy covers items that were not originally manufactured on the vehicle, altering the appearance or performance of the snowmobile. This may include trailers, custom modifications, seats/backrests, exhausts, etc.
  • Medical Payments

Do I Really Need to Purchase Coverage?

Snowmobiles are primarily used on off-road terrain, over frozen bodies of water and alongside roads. As a result, they generally operate at high speeds and are prone to accidents and theft.

In addition, many snowmobiles are customized, so it is difficult to establish their value after a loss. Contact Chalmers Insurance Group to learn more about your specific risks and how to protect against them.

Count on Us

Snowmobiles can present many hazards to drivers, passengers, other motorists and property. Before the temperatures cool and you get eager to hop on your snowmobile, contact Chalmers Insurance Group at 800-360-3000 to learn more about how you can insure your vehicle and protect yourself and others.

Shop Mt. Washington Valley: Where to Find Gear This Winter

A universal law that comes into play during the winter months is that you’re nothing without your gear.

Any vet of Mt. Washington Valley winters can attest to this. If you want to have a peak experience playing in the snow, then investing in quality socks, thermal wear, coats, snow pants, gloves, hats and more is crucial to your outdoor adventure.

Sure, winter fun in the Mt. Washington Valley is endless it’s a mecca for snowboarding, skiing, snowmobiling, skating, ice climbing and more. But if you feel the cold air seeping into the cracks of your clothes, then your time limit for being outside starts to considerably shorten.

The Mt. Washington Valley is full of experts that know just how to outfit you for a day, a season or a lifetime outdoors. Shop Mt. Washington Valley, and check out our favorites and have your mind blown about how proper socks and thermal underwear can keep elevate your outdoor adventure.

Eastern Mountain Sports:  “Eastern Mountain Sports knows that every adventurer needs to believe in every single thing that’s in their pack – starting with the pack itself.” Eastern  Mountain Sports belief in functional gear begins with the value of the people and the process involved in creating said gear.  “Eastern Mountain Sports shares your passions in the great outdoors. It isn’t just about what they sell, it’s about who they are.” Featured brands include Eastern Mountain Sports – Techwick, Black Diamond, Merrell, Sierra Design, Mountain Hard Wear, Marmont and much more!

Ragged Mountain Equipment: Located on Route 16 in Bartlett, Ragged Mountain has been a valley staple since 1978. Starting with hand-made swami belts, chalk bags, and gear slings as anchor pieces, Ragged’s fleet of gear and clothing has evolved to outdoor performance gear and casual apparel for men and women. Ragged’s own brand is manufactured in Bartlett, New Hampshire. They’re a must-stop for quality hand-made women’s and men’s apparel, as well as finding your favorite brand-name labels in winter gear.

Olympia Sports:  Wants to be your community sporting goods store! Anchoring the North Conway Village with sports-wear for over 20 years, Olympia Sports has over 120 brands of athletic wear. Featuring brands such as SmartWool, The North Face, Avalanche and more, you’ll find all you need for men’s, women’s and children’s winter apparel.

Synergy Sportswear:The best brands in town are at Synergy: Patagonia, The North Face, Ugg, Birkenstock, Sorel, Maui Jim, Oakley, Ray Ban and so much more!

REI Co-Op: Settlers Crossing in North Conway is home to New Hampshire’s first REI Co-op. This particular Co-Op is REI’s first-ever outdoor experience center, high-end equipment in addition to offering expansive gear rentals, high-end equipment demos and guided outdoor experiences. One interesting aspect to REI is that it’s a member-owned co-op. While anyone may shop at REI, members pay a lifetime $20 membership and share in the company’s profits through an annual dividend.

 

Meet The Artist Behind Macomber Glass Studio

Take a leisurely drive south on Route 153, and it won’t take long after leaving Conway Village to find a gem in Mt. Washington Valley Arts and Culture scene: The Macomber Glass Studio. Unmistakable due to its brightly colored barn door, the multi-colored mural provides more notoriety than the humble business sign hanging on a granite post at the end of the drive-way.

And that’s just the way artist and owner Nathan Macomber likes it.He isn’t looking for fame or fortune (any more than any other business owner), through his art. The main pillar behind his work is that he enjoys it.

Growing up, Macomber was always fascinated by stained glass. He loved the translucence of stained glass windows and how it threw light onto surfaces. He exercised this interest through classes as a young adult, but after attending a MassArt class on glassblowing wile visiting his sister who was a student at the college, he knew what he had to do.

While Macomber grew up in Vermont and spent summers and winters at his grandparent’s home in Conway, he took his tie to New England and stretched it to Prescott, Arizona. There he attended school and worked as an apprentice at a local glass-blowing studio. Armed with grit and determination to make his interest in glassblowing, real, he called all of the local artists he knew and offered himself as an assistant without pay. The artist that called him back became his teacher.

After six years of working his way from apprentice to professional artist Nathan felt the call of home. Spending childhood vacations on his grandparent’s farm in New Hampshire embedded the mystique and magic of the Mt. Washington Valley in his heart. When that same farm hit the real estate market,  he and his wife decided to buy it. (This also meant excavating the foundation of the historical farm. As young adults, and new entrepreneurs, diving this deeply into a renovation project before even opening the Macomber Glass Studio is amazing. It speaks to the belief Nathan had in the future of his studio and the talent he has to showcase in it.)

Now, seventeen years after purchasing the farm and the initial excavation, Nathan is blowing glass daily, featuring his works of art and showing in regional fairs. He and his wife are also carting their two children to baseball practice, tennis and swim lessons; as well as caring for chickens, harvesting for eggs, tending a vegetable garden and walking his dog.

Macomber Glass Studio features an array of anchor pieces from blown drinking glasses; to glass globes and ornaments; wall hangings; sculptures; door knobs and more. Nathan also books custom pieces for clients who have fallen in love with his work.

Regular store hours don’t really exist at the studio. If you’re interested in purchasing a piece just swing on by, knock on the door and Nathan will greet you. And if not Nathan, then Clemmie, the farm dog, will say hello first. From there, walk through his working studio into the gallery that is located in the original part of the barn; an intimate room, with lots of natural light and original  wood flooring.

His work rests on shelves, where you can either pick from his inventory or begin talks with him about custom colors and pieces he can create for you.

Beyond his studio work, a special service that Macomber Glass Studio offers is small group lessons. Perfect for groups of three to five people and lasting for up to four hours, Nathan will walk you through the glass blowing process and help you craft your own ornament and work your way up to plates or bowls.

These semi-private lessons are perfect for families looking to supplement their ski vacations with an off-slopes activity. It’s also a great option for art lovers or creatives that want to try something new or someone that just loves the idea of adventure and learning a new skill.

A concept even more novel than a glass-blowing class, are impromptu ornament lessons. From Thanksgiving through the spring, you can show up on weekends, without an appointment and for $40.00 Nathan will teach you to blow your own ornament. Sometimes he has a line of people waiting for a lesson, sometimes you’re the only person in the studio. It’s part of the fun and spontaneous nature of these lessons.

The Macomber Glass Studio is a hidden treasure in the Mt. Washington Valley Arts and Culture scene. It’s this exact quality that makes the experience of working in the studio and taking a piece of Nathan’s art home, so special. His dedication to his work and his passion for the art he creates stays with you. Especially when you’re drinking out of one of his custom blown glasses or admiring one of his wall hangings in your home.

Life Events that Affect Your Insurance Needs

Presented by Chalmers Insurance Group
800-360-3000

Proudly Representing Patriot Insurance Company

As we age and reach different milestones in our lives, our insurance needs change. In order to ensure adequate coverage, contact your insurance broker if you’re affected by any of the following life events:

  • New home ownership— Purchasing a new home is a big investment—one that you will want to protect. After purchasing a home, ensure that you have homeowners insurance to protect against things like fire, weather damage, theft, vandalism and accidental damage. This advice also holds true if you are buying a new condo or vacation home.
  • Home renovations—Once you own a home, you may want to make updates to create a better living space. Be sure to report major home improvements to your insurance company to protect any increased value to your home.
  • New children—Having or adopting children is not only a huge life change, but it’s also a major financial commitment. As such, it’s important to purchase the right policy to secure your child’s future. Add your child as a beneficiary on any life insurance policies, and make sure your coverage is sufficient.
  • Teenage drivers— Teen drivers often carry the highest risk of auto accidents. While you want your teen driver to remain safe on the road, costly accidents can happen without warning. Consider adding your teen driver to your auto policy, as it is generally cheaper than purchasing a separate policy.
  • Retirement—When you retire, you may change residences. If you have more than one home, this is a good time to let your insurance provider know where you plan to spend your time.
  • Valuable purchases—A standard homeowners policy has limited coverage for highly valuable items. Supplement purchases and gifts that exceed the policy’s limits with a floater—a separate policy that provides additional insurance.
  • Marriage—When your marital status changes, so do your insurance needs. Marriage typically leads to the combination of households, vehicles and other property, so it is critical to update your insurance policies accordingly. What’s more, life insurance is vital to married couples as it can ease the financial burden in the event of an untimely death of a partner. Ask about discounts on car insurance for married policyholders.
  • Purchasing or selling a business—If you’re an entrepreneur, there will likely come a time when you will either buy or sell your business. During these times of major change, the proper coverage is crucial.

Insurance is critical for nearly every stage of life. Seeking coverage should be an active process, and individuals shouldn’t assume their insurance needs remain steady over time. Consider contacting your Chalmers Insurance Group  agent today to better understand your insurance and future needs.

Double Header Season Opener

20191117_131822
Wildcat Mountain, Shot on Nov. 17, 2019

What’s better than skiing at one of your favorite ski areas on opening weekend? How about skiing at two of your favorite ski areas on opening weekend?

One of the benefits of skiing in Mount Washington Valley is the proximity of so many amazing ski mountains all within a short distance of one another.

Last weekend saw three local ski areas open – Bretton Woods, Cranmore Mountain and Wildcat Mountain. Rather than choose where to ski, we decided to ski the morning at Cranmore and the afternoon at Wildcat Mountain!

Cranmore opened its earliest date ever on November 16. The South Quad was spinning and the South Slope and Beginners Luck were great trails to gain one’s ski legs. The slopes were in nice shape with edge to edge coverage and the guns were blasting on terrain sure to open soon.

20191117_100851
Snowmaking at the bottom of Jimmy’s Run at Cranmore, shot on 11/17/19

After a quick lunch in the cafeteria and a 20 minute drive north to Wildcat, the ski boots were back on the feet and we were riding the Quad to the summit for a top to bottom run on Lynx. A little natural snow had fallen earlier so the terrain was decidedly wintry for mid-November.

More mountains will be opening Thanksgiving and beyond. But it sure was fun claiming bragging rights for two mountains on opening weekend!

Live Music in Mt. Washington Valley

Looking for some entertainment to cap off an awesome day exploring the White Mountains? Live music in Mt. Washington Valley has you covered. Talent is over-spilling in taverns, theaters, breweries and more! Take your pick of musical stylings and the kind of artistic adventure you’re looking for. The musicians and entertainers of the Mt. Washington Valley won’t disappoint.

Below is just a sampling of the Valley’s live music offerings to help get you started on your tour of live music in the Mt. Washington Valley! Click here for a list of valley events!

Tuckerman Brewing Company: A five time winner of  the “Best Beer” award at the Attitash Mountain Oktoberfest event and recipient of the Best Brewery Tour in the Best of NH awards, Tuckerman Brewing Company does not disappoint.

And we’re not just talking about its beers! Tuckerman Brewing Company also hosts a Live Music Series. We’re not even in the 2020 season yet and its concert calendar already features some amazing acts, such as Jesse Dee and Tricky Britches. Be sure to add these events into your calendar and make a point to feature them in your weekend or vacation!

Tuckerman Brewing Company also hosts an Open Mic Night, every Tuesday from 6-9pm. Hosted by local band Chimera, you’ll be entertained all night long.

Red Parka Steakhouse and Pub: Always living up to its motto “Good

Live Music at Red Parka Pub

Food and Good Times,” Red Parka is always featuring live entertainment in its pub. You’ll find a solid line-up of bands and singers ready to jam the night away. An open dance floor exists in the pub for a reason. The bands are so lively, you’ll be on your feet in no time.

Red Parka Pub also hosts annual events such as a Halloween Party, Adult Prom, Kentucky Derby, Skiers Appreciation Night and more.

A staple of the apres-ski scene Red Parka Steakhouse and Pub is an expert in live music and a must stop for a drink, a steak and a good time during your Mt. Washington Valley vacation!

Stone Mountain Arts Center: Is a truly unique experience for live

Live Concerts at Stone Mountain Arts Center

music. Instead of traditional tavern surroundings and a casual listening experience, Stone Mountain Arts Center is a timber frame hall tucked in the mountains. It hosts national acts like Robert Cray, Los Lobos and Madeleine Peyroux and more. With a year-round calendar of robust musical and comedy acts, Stone Mountain Arts Center is a cultural epicenter in the White Mountains. Purchasing tickets in advance to shows is highly recommended and you can choose to enjoy dinner prior to the show at the Arts Center as well. (Trust us – go for the dinner. It’s just as much a work of art as the performers featured on the stage!)

Wildcat Hoot Night:  Hoot Night is an integral part of the valley’s history! A 30 year veteran of the Valley’s music scene, Hoot Night is the longest running open mic night in the area! This weekly open mic night is not to be missed if you’re new to the Mt. Washington Valley!

Hoot Night is hosted by accomplished musician, Jonathan Sarty from 7pm to 10pm at Wildcat Tavern in Jackson, NH. Jonathan helps to create an incredible blend of music as local performers arrive with guitars in hand and visitors to the Valley make their first appearance at the legendary Hoot Night. Come as a performer or as a spectator. Either way, just come! You’re guaranteed a great show.

Thompson House Eatery: Every Wednesday local musicians, bands

Live music at Thompson House Eatery

and soloists perform in the Thompson House Eatery’s bar. Enjoy anything from indie-funk music, to acoustic and rag-time country blues music, to 80’s themed songs and pop.

Thompson House Eatery is a homestead restaurant, made up of a restaurant, barn and farm. Steeped in history, fine craftsmanship and phenomenal cuisine; eating and drinking at Thompson House Eatery is an experience all its own. Owner, (along with owner and wife, Kate Fournier), Chef Jeffrey Fournier sources the finest and freshest ingredients, to offer the utmost in quality, making nearly everything on the menu from scratch. From pasta, to bread, to ice cream and pastries we strive to provide an outstanding culinary experience steeped in tradition and integrity. Stop by for a drink, an app and some great live entertainment.

Sea Dog Brewing Company: Enjoy dinner, great beer and entertainment! Located in downtown North Conway, Sea Dog Brewing Company hosts local bands and a karaoke night! Be sure to check out its always happening events schedule to see who is playing next! Featuring post and beam décor with a fireplace and multi-level dining, its large, horse-shoe shaped bar serves 14 beers on tap, including special cask conditioned ales brewed on the premises in its nano-brewery. Sea Dog is a great stop on your musical tour of the valley.

A Culture of Skiing

screen-shot-2019-10-07-at-8.43.24-pm-260x185
The 2018 ESSC Ski Swap

By Kathy Bennett

When I moved to the Valley in 2002, I was drawn to this region’s love of skiing. I remember visiting the playground at Conway Elementary School, looking north towards Cranmore and Mount Washington, looking over at the ski racks outside of the school, and thinking to myself, “What an amazing place to live and raise a family!”

17 years later, I still feel drawn to this aspect of our community and so impressed by the culture of skiing that has been part of our fabric for generations.

No organization more purely embodies this than the Eastern Slope Ski Club, a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of skiing. Those ski racks were outside of that elementary school for a reason. One afternoon a week all winter long, every school kid in the Valley (over 1500 at last count) has the opportunity to ski or ride for free with their classmates and volunteer community members (400 volunteers total). Every ski mountain in the area donates lift tickets to these children and legions of volunteers. Midweek afternoons, you’ll find trucks and trailers carting ski gear from schools to ski areas and back again. Parents send kids to school that morning with their ski bag packed, knowing the children will come home rosy cheeked and excited after a day of skiing with friends. ESSC, as it is known locally by its acronym, understands that not every family can afford lift tickets and ski gear, so they raise money and amass volunteers to ensure that our culture of skiing endures.

ESSC started in 1935 – a time that predates the earliest lift-served ski areas in the Valley such as Cranmore and Black Mountain. It was clear that ensuring that every kid in town learned to ski would be an important part of the long term success of what would become a booming ski business in an otherwise agriculturally driven area. How brilliant a concept that was and how well has it worked, as anyone who comes here realizes; this is a town that LOVES to ski.

One of ESSC’s largest fundraisers of the year is its annual Ski Swap. If you have a family of skiers and are looking for a more economical way to trade up your children’s ski gear each year, this is the way to go. But adults can score deals too as equipment being sold is for all ages, some of it brand new. Last year I bought a brand new pair of ski boots for $129, and had a knowledgeable boot fitter from a local ski shop there, because he was volunteering for the program. Score! If you are looking to offload unused (modern) ski gear, this is a way for you to sell off ski clothes, skis, snowboards, helmets, etc. and have a portion of the proceeds support ESSC, and the rest lands in your wallet. You don’t have to swap equipment to participate – feel free to just visit to buy gear for yourself like I did last year!

The 49th Annual Eastern Slope Ski Club Ski Sale will take place at the North Conway Community Center on Friday, November 8th (3pm-8pm, with a special member only entry at 2pm) and Saturday, November 9th (9am-1pm).

Plan on dropping off your clean Alpine, Cross Country and Snowboard gear you’d like to sell at the North Conway Community Center on the evenings of Wednesday, November 6th and Thursday, November 7th between 6pm-8pm. Each item requires a tag ($1 each), which will be available for purchase when you are dropping items off. That $1 also goes towards ESSC’s fundraising!

All unsold items (and proceeds from your sales) must be picked up at the Community Center on Saturday, November 9th between 4pm-6pm. Anything NOT picked up will be considered a donation, and all proceeds from the sale will benefit the ESSC.

Is cross country skiing more your style? No worries because Jackson Ski Touring, a non-profit in its own right, holds its annual ski swap on Nov. 9 from 9-2pm. Right-size your ski fleet: buy and/or sell used xc ski equipment and meet up with ski friends old and new. 

The Best Places to Bring Your Dog in the Mt. Washington Valley!

We get it, no family vacation is complete without your furry, four-legged family members. The Mt. Washington Valley is a dog-lover’s paradise and a dog’s dream vacation spot. There is plenty of space to roam, run, hike and play fetch! Whether you have a big adventure planned or are looking for something a little more low-key and you want to include your pup, the valley has you covered!

  1. Whitaker Woods. This network of trails in North Conway, is a great place to run, walk, mountain bike and cross-country ski with your dog. This trail system comes complete with a map and signage throughout the woods to keep you on track. Choose your mileage and turn this into a short walk or add miles for a longer run or walk.
  2. Karla’s Pet Rendezvous. Drop your pet off for a day of fun at this pet center focused on grooming, overnight care, play groups and more. Whether it’s just for an afternoon or an overnight, your beloved pup will get attentive care, at this full-service pet resort.

    Aunt Cindy’s Albany Pet Care is another fantastic option for pet care. “The Next Best Place to Being Home”, Aunt Cindy’s offers dog training, walks, 5 large fenced indoor/outdoor play yards and more!

  3. Schouler Park. Right in the heart of North Conway, across from the Conway Scenic Railroad, (which is also a pet friendly
    photo c/o of Conway Scenic Railroad

    attraction!) this park is a perfect spot for dogs and their families. Grab a coffee at The Met or Frontside Grind, right next door and spend the morning playing fetch and taking in the local buzz of the town.

  4. Jackson Ski Touring Foundation. Located in Jackson Village, this cross-country ski area is dog-friendly. Featuring an expanse of 150 km of trails, covering 60 miles, your dog will be in pup-heaven as it follows you along pristine trails.
  5. Bear Notch Ski Touring Center. Another phenomenal choice to bring your dog for fun, is this cross-country center. You and your pup have over 65 km of trails throughout Bartlett to play on. Bear Notch also offers a warming hut with soup, snacks, homemade bread and beverages to take a rest at.
  6. Adventure Suites. Rest your legs and your paws at this adventure themed and pet-friendly hotel. Choose your adventure, whether it’s through staying in the  Deserted Island Suite,  Motorcycle Madness Suite, Sky Captain’s Lounge Suite, Wine Cellar Suite or any of its other pet friendly suites. Each suite includes a two person Jacuzzi or larger, free movies from its extensive DVD library, breakfast in the 1950‘s Diner, free WI FI, in room coffee, billiards, outdoor brick fire pit overlooking the mountains and evening “munchies” including popcorn and fresh baked cookies. For a list of other pet-friendly accommodations, click here.
  7. Four Your Paws Only. Also known as the “local canine hangout,”
    photo c/o Four Your Paws Only

    this award winning, pet-friendly store caters to pets and their owners by providing the best customer service, the best quality supplies, locally made pet products and all natural pet foods. They also offer the most unique pet themed gifts, a pet bakery and an exceptional shopping experience for you and your pet. Also unique to Four Your Paws Only, is its in-store Puppy Playroom where they host walk-in Doggie Playgroups every Saturday and Sundays,  at no charge.

  8. Mountain Division Trail. This eight mile paved trail is located in Fryeburg, Maine. It’s a great option to bring your pup for a run or walk. Stroller and bike friendly this trail network provides controlled terrain for those looking to get mileage in for the day. The MWV Trails Association provides information on this trail system as well as others throughout the Mt. Washington Valley.