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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.