By Kathy Bennett
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce
While the ground is brown south of here, the snow base is still deep and white at the ski areas in and around North Conway. The end of March usually sees some ski areas call it quits – due to a lack of skiers, not a lack of snow.
But there is still plenty of skiing left here into April.
Yesterday I skied the popular Ellis River Trail Loop at Jackson Ski Touring. As you can see from the photos, the snow is still deep. The rivers and streams were flowing but the trail was groomed with coverage edge to edge. JSTF former Executive Director Thom Perkins confirmed that their mid-November open date is among their earliest and manager Deb Deschenes said it was a great season right up until the end, which takes place on March 31.
Those wishing to continue xc skiing can continue fun on skinny skis at Bear Notch Ski Touring. They have not published a closing date yet, but the Garlands usually keep the groomers going as long as they can. Last year on Easter Sunday I enjoyed skiing there, taking advantage of their higher elevations and shaded trails which keep their snow longer than most.
Sunday brought me to Wildcat. The fog and forecast of rain scared off most folks, which left the deep, soft-turning snow for those of us who were more intrepid. The warm air was a treat and I skied without googles. The fog was not an impediment as visibility was reasonable and the fog was off and on skiing down through the elevations. What was consistent was the snow quality, with only a few areas showing more variable/spring conditions. They will easily make it to Easter, when they have fun events scheduled on April 21.
Cranmore ends daily operations today but will reopen April 6-7. Wildcat has not published an estimated close date on their website. Bretton Woods has posted an April 15 close date.
Closing dates are subject to change so visit each resort website for the latest and greatest. But don’t put those skis away just yet!