Tag Archives: adventure north conway nh

Sunset Soiree on top of Mount Washington

Life is short… Eat dessert first!

Sunset Soiree is the premier fall event of Mount Washington Observatory, combining decadent food and wine with a twilight drive to the top of Mount Washington. Each year is different and the mountain never fails to impress.

Festivities begin with a private wine and cheese tasting in the historic Douglas A. Philbrook Red Barn Museum at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road. Next, board a motor coach and enjoy a chauffeured drive to the summit of Mount Washington, where you can meet the staff and tour the Weather Room and Extreme Mount Washington Museum all while enjoying a sumptuous selection of desserts. As twilight falls, head to the observation deck for a sunset champagne toast. Return to the base for a dinner of small bites or “Tapas” including a diverse selection of seafood, poultry, beef and vegetarian creations expertly prepared and served by the Kennet High School Pro-Start Culinary Team and the Thompson House Eatery. The delicious food will be complemented with local brew from the Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery, coffee from local “Good Vibes Coffee Roasters” and a select pallet of wines. Mingle with the staff of the Observatory and the Auto Road for an opportunity to learn more about the work and life on top of Mount Washington.

Date: Saturday, September 12, 2015
Time: Approximately 4:45—9:15pm
Place: Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center
Cost: $140 per person for Observatory members, $150 per person for non-members

All proceeds from this special fundraiser benefit the nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory, helping to support our work in weather observation, research and education on Mount Washington.

For more information please call (603) 356-2137 x 231.


Mt. Washington Auto Road Adds a New 3-Hour Guided Adventure Tour

The Mt. Washington Auto Road has expanded guided tour options with a 3-hour version offering guests additional ways to explore Mount Washington. The Auto Road will now offer 2- and 3-hour versions of their guided tours allowing guests to spend more time exploring scenic areas along the Road as well the option to spend more time on the summit of the highest peak in the Northeast.

The newly-added, 3-hour guided tours are meant to provide guests the opportunity to explore the Auto Road anywhere from the base at Great Glen Trails to the summit of Mount Washington. Where current 2-hour tours are spent mostly on the summit, the 3-hour tour provides opportunities to stop and explore more of the opportunities along the Road itself – or to spend additional time on the summit.

“There’s so much to see and do along the way to the summit”, explains Dan Houde, Marketing Director at the Auto Road and Great Glen Trails. “Everyone knows that the summit is exciting no matter what the weather may be, but there are countless opportunities for adventure along the way. Guests who choose to drive their own vehicles can spend the entire day exploring the pull-offs, short hikes, alpine flowers and vistas, but with one of our knowledgeable guides leading the way, you can learn so much more and discover some of the hidden gems along the Auto Road.”

The 3-hour extended guided tours are available most days (weather permitting) throughout the regular season at 9 a.m and 1 p.m with at least 24 hours of advance reservation. Two adults or children are $60 per person, while groups of 3 to 4 persons are $55 per person and 5 or more are just $50 per person. The best way to book an extended 3-hour tour is to call the Auto Road staff at (603) 466-3988.

Regular 2-hour tours are available without reservation from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day (weather permitting) and run on a first-come, first-served basis. Departures are usually within 30 minutes of purchasing your tickets. Pricing is $35 for adults, $30 for seniors (62+) and children ages 5-12 are just $15. Children ages 4 and under are free. Regular 2-hour tours can also be reserved online 24 hours in advance for the 9:00 a.m. tour for $5 off per person.

Guided tours of the paddling variety are also available at Great Glen Trails located at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road. Guests can enjoy a guided kayak trip along scenic lakes and rivers of northern NH away from the crowds with brilliant mountain views and opportunities for wildlife viewing.

First opened in 1861, the Mt. Washington Auto Road is America’s original and oldest man-made attraction. At nearly 8 miles long, it stretches to the summit of Mt. Washington at 6,288 feet, the highest peak in the Northeast.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road is now open daily from 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., weather permitting. For the latest updates on Road conditions and the operating schedule, visit Mt. Washington Auto Road or call (603) 446-3988.

Take your vacation to new heights with ice climbing

With hundreds of thousands of acres of national forest, more than forty 4,000 “footers” to hike, plenty of mountains to ski down and rocks to scale, it’s no wonder Mt Washington Valley attracts those in search of the “vertical thrill”.   It’s the terrain, specialized outfitters and guides and two recognized ice climbing schools that have given the Valley its reputation as one of the premier vacation destinations for outdoor adventure, especially for ice and rock climbing. Situated perfectly amidst the White Mountains, with plenty of accessible ledges and climbs, there are opportunities for any thrill-seeker of any ability to take their ice climbing experience to the next level or merely give this dynamic sport a try.

The Mt. Washington Valley is home to three outdoor adventure centers and climbling schools which means there are also many experienced ice climbing guides whoknow the terrain in the Valley well. Booking a guide experience is a great way to learn of new spots to climb, take in the views from a different perspective, hone in your own ice climbing skills and make new friends. Between Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing School and International Mountain Climbing School, both in North Conway, NH and Northeast Mountaineering in Bartlett, NH there is a wide variety of adventure and experiences for ice climbers in the Mt. Washington Valley.

Because all of the Mt. Washington Valley climbing schools are located in the home of the tallest peak, Mount Washington, iceclimbers here areexposed to a wide variety of weather and terrain. This allows for truly unique climbing opportunities. Whether you decide to scale some of the valley’s infamous ledges or  tackle the “mother mountain,” Mount Washington, a guide service or climbing school are the way to go for those new to the sport.

If a day climb or more personalized ice climbing demo or clinic is what you’re looking for, all three climbing schools have a wide array of in-depth and comprehensive guide and lesson options.

Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) offers group climbs and private classes. Private, guided climbs ar537622_10152326526070084_1973891440_ne great for those that are looking to polish their skills and are looking to gain confidence in navigating a variety of ice climbing terrain. Share what you arelooking to learn and the guides will customize your needs to the structure of the class. A private climb also allows you to climb at your own ability rather than joining a group who may have multiple participants with different degree of skill levels. Pricing is determined on the length of the class and how many people are in your private climb group. Call 800-310-4504 to reserve your spot.

If you’re ready for the challenge and comradery of a group excursion, Eastern Mountain Sports also offers courses such as “Winter Climbing 101,” “Mt. Washington Ascent” and “Accelerated Mountaineering.” During the “Mt. Washington Ascent” course you will endure fast winds, cold temperatures, and a portion of the climb that takes place eight miles above tree line. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast who is excited by the challenge of the elements,  this clinic is right up your alley. You’ll employ all mountaineering skills used for ice climbing and hiking for this challenging, but fun climb. The cost of this program is $150 and includes no more than four people within your group.

Accelerated Mountaineering is one of EMS’ most popular courses. It is a three-day intensive that prepares you for even bigger and challenging hikes throughout the country. The Winter Climbing 101 course begins with the basics of hiking above treeline with crampons and an ice axe. On day two, you will apply the skills you learned on your first day on a moderately angled snow and ice route. Finally, on day three, you’ll put everything you’ve learned to the test with a thrilling summit attempt of Mt. Washington. Cost is $420 per person and lodging is not included. To book any of these programs or for more information, call 800-310-4504.

ice, ice, iceInternational Mountain Climbing School (IMCS)  is a world-renowned outdoor adventure school, offering guide services and programs to beginners and advanced climbers alike of all ages and abilities. The climbing programs will provide you with the knowledge to move efficiently over varied terrain evaluate future partners and select appropriate climbs. Choose from an array of programs from private climbs to introductory courses, which will help you focus on the strengths you wish to work on and gain confidence or put your skills to the test with more comprehensive climbs.

International Mountain Climbing School’s (IMCS) more advanced programming include the  “Vertical Ice Climbing Skills,” where more advanced ice climbers  will tackle a variety of different types of steep ice and attempt a multi-pitch climb.

For advanced ice climbers, the “Ice Climbing Leader Course” offers a three-day training in leading a group on a technical, physical and mental level. Day one covers advanced anchor & belay systems, racking of gear, rope management, and route finding while on a multi-pitch climb. You will end the day with a lead while top-roped and set up your own descent. Day two will build upon on what you learned from the day prior with   leading on top-rope with the possibility of leading your own climb. Day three will consist of more top-rope leading, setting your own descent and formal instruction on ice self-rescue systems. Climbers will come away from this course with a better understanding of the risks involved and the technical skills required to lead-climb waterfall ice.

For more guide and program options call the International Mountain Climbing School at 603-356-7064 and reserve your class. Rates vary depending on the program and number of people in your group. Guest services will work with you to customize a program that works for your interest areas, skill level and budget.

IMCS also rents high quality plastic boots, crampons, ice axes, winter clothing, and camping gear for all your mountaineering, hiking, and camping needs. In addition, avalanche transceivers are also for rent. Be sure to make reservations early for any type of equipment you may require during busy vacation periods and weekends. Finally, at it’s headquarters in the Interational Mountain Equipment retail location, climbers will find a huge consignment basement filled with used equipment at bargain prices.  From ice axes to climbing apparel, tents, backpacks, and technical gear, you’ll find it used in the consignment shop at bargain prices.

Northeast Mountaineering (NEM) prides itself on providing much more than just good views and a challenge during their guided trips. The guides at Northeast also bring a sense of friendship and self-confidence with a focus on team building to each of the experiences NEM provides. Operating out of a bunkhouse, with lodging options available in Bartlett, NH, you can choose from beginner courses such as “Ice Climbing 101” or more advanced courses including three-day climbing excursions.

Gather friends and family to try out the “Ice Climbing 101” program where you will safely try the sport of ice climbing on some real ice cliffs. Depending on your skill level and goals for the course, the NEM guides will choose a climb at one of a number of local cliffs to help you reach your goals for that day. The guides will also show you how we set up an anchor and how to belay throughout the course of the climb.

With the more advanced, three-day course you will begin with a full day of top-rope ice climbing on a local cliff, combined with learning proper climbing communication skills. Day two will build off the prior days techniques and add technical skills such as anchor construction, rope knotting and rappelling as well as learning more on different types of gear and protection. Day three culminates in a full day of multi-pitch climbing using all of the skills that day one and day two taught you. Rentals are available through Northeast Mountaineering and advanced reservation is appreciated. Call 978-413-4433 for full program details and rates.

Beyond the climbing schools and guide services and the great climbs within easy reach in Mt Washington Valley, climbers are also attracted to the region by the number of outfitters offering not only the gear but the expertise in climbing.  Beyond Eastern Mountain Sports and International Mountain Climbing School (IMCS), both in North Conway,  you’ll also find Ragged Mountain Equipment in Intervale.  This store also serves as a manufacturing headquarters for its own label of apparel for climbers and outdoor adventure seekers.  From hard-wear to climbing/kermantle rope and plenty of fleece clothing, you’ll find it at Ragged Mountain Equipment, EMS and IMCS.  There are few other places in the country that offer as many options for gear, instruction and expert advice – not to mention companionship – for ice climbers.

No matter what your skill level  or the type of adventure you are seeking, Northeast Mountaineering, Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing School and International Mountain Climbing School all provide personalized experiences to help you enjoy all that the Mt. Washington Valley offers when it comes to ice climbing. Enjoy the comradery and expertise of the guides, while you go on an adventure that takes you to new heights.

Zip Into Summer at Cranmore’s Aerial Adventure Park

Cranmore E-News

 Cranmore’s Aerial Adventure Park challenges participants to new heights. The park features 5 individual courses and varies in terms of elevation and ability level. Elements include ropes bridges, ladders, cargo nets, zip lines and an array of features. All courses are self guided and each person is attached to a guide line.

In an effort to further accommodate smaller children and families, Cranmore’s Aerial Adventure Park features a manageable Orange Level aerial ropes course designed for children ages 3 and older. The Orange Level course is $19 for up to two hours and children 48 inches and under must be accompanied by an adult to use the course.
Each two hour adventure includes a half hour ground school session, where participants will learn course safety and the basics of equipment use. Height, age and weight restrictions do apply for each individual course.   A full list of restrictions can be found at http://www.cranmore.com.  
Tickets for the Aerial Adventure Park are $49 for participants over 54”, $39 for participants 48”-54” and $19 for participants 3 years and older (orange course only). 
New for 2014, the Summer Season Pass includes unlimited access to Cranmore’s Mountain Adventure Park and Aerial Adventure Park all summer long, at just $99. 
To make a reservation for the Aerial Adventure Park, visit http://www.cranmore.com to reserve online, or dial 1-800-SUN-N-SKI or visit the ticket office during operating hours. The Aerial Adventure Park is open rain or shine and will only suspend operations in thunder and lightning conditions. 
The Mountain Adventure Park opens weekends starting May 17th and Aerial Adventure, May 25th through June 8th from 10am-5pm (10am-4pm on May 17-18); daily from June 14th through September 1st from 10am-6pm; then weekends only though Columbus Day, October 13th from 10am-5pm. Scenic Chairlift rides begin Saturday, June 21st.
Cranmore Mountain, located in the heart of North Conway Village in the White Mountains of New Hampshire only 2.5 hours from the Boston area, has been entertaining families with fun and festive activities for over 76 years. For more information on Cranmore Mountain and the latest news of special events, visit http://www.cranmore.com or call 1-800-SUN-N-SKI.


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Top 5 Mountain Top Adventures in Mt Washington Valley, NH

Named among the top 25 mountain adventure towns in the world by National Geographic and Men’s Journal, Mt. Washington Valley is one great place to find mountain fun this winter.

Whether on skis, snowcoach or via ice ax,
enjoy one of these unique adventures this winter. 

  1. Take a trip to the top of Mt. Washington with the Mount Washington Observatory. The
    Moountain Adventures, guided by Eastern Mountain Sports School, NH!
    Moountain Adventures, guided by Eastern Mountain Sports School, NH!

    Observatory’s Winter Day trips offer the chance to get to the top of New England’s highest peak in the winter. Enjoy a ride up the mountain in the Observatory’s snowcat, take a guided tour of the Observatory and meet Marty, the official summit cat, then enjoy lunch with the scientists and volunteers who live and work atop the peak before heading down the mountain in the afternoon For those who want something longer, the Observatory offers Overnight Trips as well.

  2. Travel up the Mt. Washington Auto Road via the one-of-a-kind SnowCoach. A specially constructed all-wheel drive and unique 4-track system allows the SnowCoach to deliver you to the world above treeline at the 4.5 mile mark on the Auto Road for an unforgettable winter experience. For the more adventurous, the SnowCoach offers the option to xc ski, telemark or snowshoe back down the Auto Road. SnowCoach tours last approximately 1.5 and depart daily, weather permitting, December through March from Great Glen Trails on a first come, first served basis.
  3. Want the thrill of getting to the top using your own two feet and hands? Mt. Washington Valley is home to three renowned climbing schools – International Mountain Climbing School, EMS and Northeast Mountaineering – all of which offer guided mountaineering and ice climbing trips to Mt. Washington and the surrounding Presidentials.
  4. Looking to make first tracks? With Shawnee Peak’s First Tracks, you and up to five of your friends or family can experience first tracks for only $75. Travel by six-person transporter up to the top of the mountain an hour before the lifts begin to turn for the day and the mountain is yours! Reservations required; first come-first served.
  5. For the expert XC or backcountry skier, the Wildcat Valley Trail offers a unique way to travel from the summit of Wildcat Mountain into Jackson Village. This 17.8 km XC ski trail was cut by Jackson Ski Touring in 1972 and descends along the Wildcat ridge, through birch forest, to the edge of Jackson Village. Experienced skiers only. An uphill trail pass at Wildcat must be purchased to ski or skin up the mountain; a special Wildcat Valley Trail pass from Jackson Ski Touring is also necessary for trail use. More information can be found here.

Plan your mountain fun vacation in Mt Washington Valley and find even more ways to get up and down the mountain for great stories by the water cooler when you return.  Visit www.mtwashingtonvalley.org for more information and complete trip planning resources or call 1-800-DO-SEE-NH   (800-367-3364) to talk to a vacation planning concierge.  For more information on winter fun in New Hampshire, go to www.visitnh.gov.

High and low resolution photos available upon request or check the
Extensive Mt Washington Valley Flickr photo sets or Pinterest boards.