Category Archives: Mt Washington Valley

Skiing and Lunch and Fat Biking, Oh My

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

If you can come back from a day proud of just how much you ache, then it’s been a good day.

If any other sentence so sums up our outing at Great Glen, I can’t think of it. It started after a morning of skiing at Wildcat, as we decided to go relax with lunch at the Glen House Hotel at Mt. Washington. It proved to be wonderfully relaxing as we sat, nursing flatbreads and a beer in plain view of the Presidential Range.

It is the kind of restaurant where we could comfortably sit for hours. That is until we decided to go fat biking! Exploring Great Glen’s miles and miles of trails on bikes specially made for the snow was… difficult. Very, very difficult. But it was incredibly fun to do something so unique and get out into nature to appreciate the jaw-dropping vistas all around us.

If you miss spring, summer, or fall biking, then we recommend trying fat biking. It hurt – a lot – but it was an ache we could be proud of, for we had accomplished a lot. For more information contact Great Glen Trails.

Advertisements

Northway Bank Promotes Channele Wingrove to Branch Manager

Campton, N.H. – Northway Bank is proud to announce the promotion of Channele Wingrove to Branch Manager of the bank’s Campton location.

In her role, Channele will be responsible for cultivating and strengthening relationships in the greater Campton area and offering outstanding customer service and solutions to Northway Bank customers.

Channele’s valuable experience will be a tremendous asset as she leads her new team. She joined the bank with more than 10 years of customer service experience and most recently served as Assistant Branch Manager of Northway Bank’s Plymouth branch. Prior to that, Channele served as a Senior Financial Specialist and Employee Mentor at UW Credit Union.

NorthWay Bank promotes Channele Wingrove

A California native, Channele holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from California State University, Stanislaus. She currently resides in Campton and enjoys experiencing cultures around the globe with her husband, whom she met on a trip overseas. Channele can be reached by email at cwingrove@northwaybank.com or by phone at 603-342-1420.

Northway Bank is one of the largest independent commercial banks in New Hampshire, operating 16 branches and employing more than 200 associates throughout the state. It’s New Hampshire roots date back more than a century, establishing a long heritage of local commitment. Northway Bank serves individuals and businesses, combining the neighborly approach of a community bank with the extensive products and services you might expect to find only in a big national bank. At Northway Bank, community still counts. Call 800-442-6666 or visit northwaybank.com to learn how the right bank makes a real difference.

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.

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.

 

Pet Insurance Coverage Basics and Costs

Part of the series provided by Chalmers Insurance Group

Unfortunately, just like humans, pets can have medical problems that may yield expensive veterinary bills. Fortunately, pet insurance is available to combat those risks.

What is Pet Insurance?

Most pet owners consider their animals to be members of their family; therefore, their pet’s quality of life and health is extremely important. By purchasing pet insurance, pet owners are not burdened with veterinary bills and can focus on making sure their pets get and stay healthy.

Coverage Basics

Here are the details of a typical pet insurance policy:

  • Policies allow the pet owner to select a coverage percentage or monthly premium that will work best for them.
  • Pets must have an annual exam and owners must adhere to the recommendations of their veterinarians to remain covered.
  • Coverage is not extended to existing conditions and injuries.
  • Policy covers expenses relating to the following:
    • Some vaccinations
    • Lab work
    • Accidents, injuries and illnesses
    • Prescriptions
    • X-rays
    • Surgeries, including spay/neuter
    • Hospitalization
    • Dental work

Steep Costs

Medical costs for your pets can add up quickly. Here are some of the most common veterinary treatments and typical average costs:

  • Benign skin mass: $1000
  • Torn ACL or cartilage: $2600
  • Tooth extraction: $900

We’re Here to Help

Don’t take the chance of not being able to afford medical care for your furry family members. Call Chalmers Insurance Group today at 800-360-3000 to learn more about all of our insurance solutions.

For an immediate quote and our Strategic Partner Discount, please visit our trusted carrier partner FIGO using this link https://figopetinsurance.com/?p=9H8i8m7z1r5

Memorial Hospital Supports Ski Helmet Safety for Local Children

Memorial Hospital once again has ensured that every child in its community that wants a ski helmet, gets one, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. It’s all part of a helmet safety initiative to ensure that local school children have appropriate helmets for their participation in elementary ski programs including the Eastern Slope Ski Club’s (ESSC) Junior Ski Program in the Conway School District and, new this year, the Fryeburg Junior Ski Program.

Memorial Hospital Foundation created the Roger C. Clapp Memorial Ski Helmet Fund to help put “a lid on every kid.” Clapp, who passed away in 2013, was a hospital trustee for many years and a passionate lifelong skier. Family and friends make memorial donations to the fund and continue to encourage contributions to it. Special thanks this year go to former hospital trustee Phil Davies, who served alongside Roger Clapp for many years and this year made a generous gift to ensure that the program continue again this year. Additional contributors to the program include many employees who give through a special employee giving program.

The National Ski Areas Association reports on their website that while skiing or boarding responsibly is the first priority for safety, helmets are an important second line of defense. The group reports that wearing helmets can decrease the risk of head injury by 10 to 50 percent. It can also mean the difference between a major head injury and a minor head injury, or between a minor head injury and no injury at all.

Conway Elementary School students Mattie Macomber, Cami Newton and Jillian Howland pose at Cranmore Mountain with Jessica Stewart, Athletic Trainer at Orthopedics at Memorial Hospital. The students are wearing helmets received through the Roger C. Clapp Ski Helmet Program.

“Memorial Hospital provides many healthcare services to help injured skiers and snowboarders, from fixing broken bones to physical therapy, athletic training and concussion care, but our preference is to help skiers and riders to prevent injuries in the first place,” said Jessica Stewart, Athletic Trainer at Orthopedics at Memorial Hospital. “We are lucky that we have the Roger C. Clapp Helmet program to help local children prevent head injuries.”

Many families face difficult financial situations at home which can make it hard for them to find the funds for equipment. As families may struggle to pay for basic necessities, things like skiing equipment may not be a part of their budget. That’s what makes this program so important for students who may not be able to afford it on their own.

This year, over 200 helmets were distributed to students in December, prior to the start of the youth ski program season. To qualify for a free helmet, students must be enrolled in the school’s free/reduced rate meals program while others have the opportunity to purchase helmets at a significant discount.

Anyone wishing to donate to the Roger Ski Clapp Helmet Fund may find more information at www.memorialhospitalnh.org/ways-to-give/make-a-donation or call 603-356-5461, x2269.

A December to Remember

Snowvember came upon Mt. Washington Valley this year, with last month being one of the snowiest Novembers  in memory! The good news is that the snowpack is still in great shape, and low temperatures have given ski areas many ample opportunities for snowmaking. The skiing this month has made it a December to Remember with all local areas now open – from Black Mountain to Bretton Woods, from King Pine to Great Glen- to everything in between. This sets us up nicely for the upcoming Christmas Vacation Week!

Some Tips for Holiday Skiing

Business has been brisk at Valley ski areas, as news has spread about the amazing conditions and open terrain after several sizeable snowfalls fell through the White Mountains. This is reason to believe the holiday period will also be popular. A few tips to get the most out of your trip to the North Conway area:

  • Book your trip ahead of time and ask your hotel about discount lift tickets. Popular dates will sell out – especially New Year’s weekend. Cranmore Mountain Lodge and Colonial Motel are two nice values. Research lodging at http://www.mtwashingtonvalley.org
  • Beat the crowds – Christmas Day is usually a quiet day on the slopes, so some ski areas close all together, or offer discounted rates. Bretton Woods is open 10am – 4pm on the 25th with $45 lift tickets. That is less than half of the usual holiday rate, as their full day holiday lift tickets are $99 this year. Read about it at http://www.brettonwoods.com

    Wildcat Mountain
    My friend Marina makes her way with the wintery splendor of Mount Washington in the background. Shot 12/16/18.
  • Buy online in advance – Want to avoid paying full retail? Purchase your lift tickets online in advance. The further in advance and the more days you purchase, the better the savings. Attitash and Wildcat ski areas share a lift ticket, so your multi-day ticket purchased online lets you bounce between the areas from day to day. Buy online at www.attitash.com
  • Tune your skis before you go – With increased holiday skier traffic, the conditions can get skied off later in the day. Freshly edged skis will keep you carving up a storm until the last run. The Valley features many ski shops to do a tune, as do most mountains. Find out where to find your closest option for an edge and wax here.
  • Celebrate On the Slopes – Want to know another secret? New Year’s Day is historically a much less busy day than the rest of the holiday week. New Year’s Eve revelers sleep in or pack it up early to head home. Don’t be that person. Greet 2019 by breathing in the brilliantly freezing air from atop a ski lift and know that great things are ahead for the New Year.

So how are conditions you may ask? Season to date, starting in early November,  I have skied Wildcat, Cranmore, Great Glen, Jackson Ski Touring and Bretton Woods (ah, the benefits of living close to the mountains). Conditions have ranged from powder to packed powder, to today’s machine groomed/variable conditions at Wildcat. Cross Country fans will want to pay close attention to the grooming report and hit the most recently tracked trails as some refreezing has taken place. Overall, I would rate this December among the best for early season turns and tracks, truly one to remember!

Tunnel at Wildcat Mountain
Who doesn’t love tunnels? This one connects the cross over from the Bobcat Triple to the Wild Kitten beginner area at Wildcat. Shot 12/16/18.

 

 

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.

 

 

Thanksgiving Can Wait

By Kathy Bennett

The weekend before Thanksgiving is the time many spend to look up recipes, make shopping lists and gather the goods necessary for the turkey day to come. But snow came early this year to Mt. Washington Valley, so all the Thanksgiving duties got pushed aside as I spent both weekend days checking out the amazing early season skiing in and around North Conway, New Hampshire.

Bretton Woods opened for the season on Friday, Nov. 16 and conditions sweetened up overnight as light snowfall continued. The first thing visitors will notice is the new Gondola base being installed right in front of the base lodge. When complete, it will be the only 8 person gondola in the state.

The gondola base – coming soon with 8 person cabins.

With 7 trails open with 2 lifts operating, Bretton Woods had top to bottom runs ready for action. Skiing in mid-November usually consists of “the white ribbon of death” – a narrow swath of man-made snow down the center of the trail with no white stuff in the trees. Not so this year.  Snowy views greeted skiers as one looked off to Mount Washington and closer, Mount Deception. An all natural snow trail – Granny’s Grit – offered a foot of ungroomed freshies which challenged my first-day-of-the-season legs. Watch out for the water bars and point your tips downhill!

Fun, friends and snow at Bretton Woods on November 17.

I had prepared for the ski season by purchasing new boots at the annual Eastern Slope Ski Club ski swap the previous weekend, and followed up by having custom footbeds installed at the Ski Liquidators. What a difference. Do yourself a favor this ski season – invest in this personalized fitting and watch your skiing improve. I know I did.

Day two of the season saw me searching the basement for my skinny skis and cross country ski boots. With man-made snowmaking, pre-Thanksgiving alpine skiing is not unusual. But cross-country skiing? Now that’s a rare treat. Mt Washington Valley now has three cross-country skiing areas open – Great Glen, Bretton Woods and Jackson Ski Touring. Jackson’s Prospect Farm parking lot was completely full when I arrived at 10:30am on Sunday, so I was not alone in reveling in the early season splendor.  My legs burned, but I made it up to the Orchard Trail, then enjoyed the long downhill before banging a hard right onto Quail. Remind me to work on cardio strength before my next day out. I made it back to my car out of breath and excited to have traveled 3 miles under my own ski power.

Jackson Ski Touring’s Wildcat Valley Trail with tracked and skate grooming November 17

While I didn’t ski it personally, Cranmore reported their November 17th opening to be the earliest in their history. Hannes Schneider would be proud.

Thanksgiving week is predicted to be cold, a treat for snowmakers and skiers alike. Look for more areas to open with more terrain for the long holiday weekend.  

I’m glad I skipped the Thanksgiving prep this weekend – I just hope I remember to pick up the turkey on Wednesday.

2018 Employer of the Year – Badger Realty

The Employer of the Year Award is given each year to a business that demonstrates respect for employees and other business partners and excellence in creating a safe and inviting workplace. The Employer of the Year is also a business offering solid pay/benefits and the opportunity for training and advancement.

This year the Employer of the Year Award goes to Badger Realty. Since 1965, Badger Realty has been a staple of the Mount Washington Valley and a leader of community projects, volunteerism, and advancement. Dick Badger & Brenda Leavitt have created a family-oriented culture within an industry that had not historically been recognized through teamwork. They believe in the power of continuing education and encourage their employees to continue their professional development through education and training whenever possible.

Dick Badger is pictured with Janice Crawford, Executive Director, MWV Chamber of Commerce

Since 1995, Badger Realty has hosted an annual holiday party that included travel, lodging and meals for their employees and significant others. These annual trips have rewarded and brought happy employees (and spouses) to such destinations as Bermuda (5 times), Aruba, Captiva, the Bahamas, Walt Disney World, and Quebec.

A sign of a healthy company is their dedication to the community, which is why local non-profit organizations are crowded with Badger Realty’s agents and support staff. Some of the organizations served by Badger employees include Jen’s Friends, End 68 Hours of Hunger, Habitat for Humanity, Starting Point, Arts Jubilee, the Miranda Leavitt Diabetes Fund and the Mt. Washington Valley Trails Association.

Since longevity is an indication of a positive workplace, it’s notable that 18 employees with 10 or more years of service at Badger Realty, and eleven of those have more than 20 years.

Ragged Mountain Equipment Launches Factory Tours

If you thought American manufacturing had all gone to Mexico or China, then a pleasant surprise awaits you right here in the Mt Washington Valley. Ragged Mountain Equipment on Route 16 in Intervale has been quietly producing specialized outdoor clothing and gear since Ronald Reagan was in the White House. Starting this month, they are offering factory tours almost daily so you can see the entire fascinating process from start to finish. If you’ve been a regular at local farmers’ markets because you want to know where your food comes from, doesn’t it make sense to apply that same standard to the clothing you wear, and the gear you use?

You’ve driven by the Ragged Mountain Equipment factory countless times and probably stopped to grab a few items from their shop. But you may never have realized that skilled local designers and stitchers are hard at work right out back, producing those jackets, vests, gaiters and dog packs you see everywhere around you. And this isn’t one of those high-tech start-ups where robots follow a computer program to produce some mysterious widget; this is actual people handling actual fabrics and hardware, producing items you actually use. And, they’ve been doing it non-stop since 1985.

The Ragged Mountain Equipment factory tours run every Monday through Thursday, beginning at 10:00am. The guided tours only take about twenty to thirty minutes, and you’ll be able to witness the entire manufacturing process. Tours begin with fabric cutting, then progress through the kitting process and right on to the actual stitching. You’ll see products being  inspected and prepared for stocking in the retail department or boxed up to ship to other vendors or special order customers. Those customers include local non-profits, international retailers, and the US military. And finally, you’ll visit the design room and pattern library to see new products in the midst of the design process, with prototypes being tested and features being refined.

You’ll recognize a lot of the Ragged Mountain products–from Powerstretch Tights to TuckerMitts to Tuff Duffels–and wonder why you always assumed they were made somewhere abroad. There are ample opportunities to ask questions and chat with the craftspeople as they go about their work, and you’ll leave the tour with discount coupons for the products, some free samples, and the knowledge that American manufacturing is alive and well in Mt Washington Valley.

For more information on these new factory tours, call Ragged Mountain Equipment at 603-356-3042, visit their website at www.raggedmountain.com, or swing by their business at 279 NH-16 in Intervale.

March is for Skiing

While some people cheer an early spring, others pray for just a few more snowstorms to help preserve skiing and riding right into April. That would make for a majority of those of us who live and work in Mount Washington Valley (or at least the ones I hang out with).  Eyes were glued to the weatherman as last week’s Nor’easter became more and more likely, and once again as another storm targets us for next week. Baseball and gardening can wait. March is for skiing.

 

With said weather report looking pretty solid, I preemptively scheduled a last minute vacation day  for last Thursday so I could join the other snow worshippers for first turns on a powder day. Attitash was the destination and I was beat out for first chair by several dozen hearty types who braved the roads to arrive before the 8:30am start time.

Riding up the Bear Peak Express Quad, we scanned the untouched foot of snow underneath and picked our line. Avenger first, the steepest black diamond at Bear Peak, as the snow continued to fall heavily.

We barely made it off the lift before our inability to ski in deep powder became apparent. Both me and my husband did face plants in the snow on the first pitch. I temporarily lost my skis and a pole and struggled to get it all back together in the drifts that were above my knees.

A few runs later, I adjusted my stance and powered through the powder. Determined to take advantage of a full day off from work on a powder day, I lasted six hours before my quads gave up the ghost. Two days later, they are still singing.  More squats and lunges are in order before the next storm!

Snow showers continued off and on over the weekend, sweetening up conditions all over again. That plus daylight savings time and a close-to-7pm sunset will make it possible for an after work jaunt on cross country skis a likelihood for Monday at MWV Ski Touring Center. Did I mention it’s great to live and work up here?