Tag Archives: jackson ski touring

Still Skiing in Mt. Washington Valley

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. 

Check here for the most recent listing of closings and end of season events.

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!

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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.

‘Art Along The Trails’ at Jackson Ski Touring Center

On Saturday, February 11th abstract painters Rebecca Klementovich from Bartlett and Kristen Pobatschnig from Conway will display their art in nature at the Jackson Ski Touring Center in Jackson, New Hampshire. Instead of a traditional white-walled gallery, this gallery consists of walls made from nature – snow, hemlocks, and birches!

art-along-the-trails

Klementovich and Pobatschnig are a painting duo who call themselves the “Femme Fatales of the North.” They are working to bring more attention to female painters in northern New Hampshire, especially abstract artists.

Viewing hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost is $5 on foot, or $21 for a trail pass for those on skis or snowshoes (less for seniors and children). For more information about this event, please visit http://jacksonxc.org/events/list-of-events/ or call the Jackson Ski Touring Center at 603 – 383 – 9355. 

Squam Lake Science Center & Jackson Ski Touring present ‘Owls of New Hampshire’

squam-and-jackson-xc

Who calls in the night? Who glides on shadowy wings in silent flight? What makes owls such extraordinary night hunters? A naturalist from Squam Lakes Natural Science Center will introduce you to three of our state’s owls to help you find out what is myth or fact about these amazing nocturnal birds.

The family event, sponsored by the Squam Lakes Science Center and the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation, will be held on Saturday, February 11th from 6-7pm in the Jackson Ski Touring Base Lodge in Jackson, New Hampshire.  A $5 suggested donation is greatly appreciated for entry.

For more information, contact the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation by email at Info@JacksonXC.org or by phone at 603-383-9355 or the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center by phone at 603-968-7194.

jackson-xcsquam-lakes

Visit Jackson Ski Touring and Get Out on The Trails

Jackson Ski Touring Center in Jackson has had consistently good skiing and snowshoeing due to snow management and fantastic groomers.

Enjoy some of the great activities coming up this month!

  • Four week skate clinics with PSIA certified instructor Laurel Smith start up on Friday, Feb. 5. These clinics are designed for the advanced beginner and will help fine tune skate techniques. $75/members, $100 non-members.
  • On Feb. 13 from 5-6 p.m. Dr. Tish Murray will present “Stress, Hormones & Heart Health.” Dr. Murray will discuss how hormone imbalances in men & women can distort a person’s midsection despite diet & exercise. Come learn about how you can optimize your health & reserve hormone imbalances.

Full-Moon-Snowshoe

  • A full moon snowshoe tour will be held on Feb. 22 from 6-8 p.m. departing from the Eagle Mountain House. $15; includes snowshoes & poles.
  • The Cross Cat Touring Challenge will be held on Feb. 27-28. This Randonee race uses the alpine touring method and special bindings and “skins” that stick to the snow. Starting from Jackson XC, competitors will ascend the Wildcat Valley XC trail up the backside of Wildcat Mountain & then descend the Wildcat Ski Trail. Different lengths & divisions will be offered.

Just a reminder that Jackson XC also has several ongoing weekly events including Tuesday Trekkers, Friday Gliders & Easy Sliders, Guided Snowshoe Nature Tours and more. See a complete list here: http://jacksonxc.org/events/weekly-ongoing-events/.

Please let me know if you would like to visit the Jackson Ski Touring Center or would like more information!

ABOUT JACKSON XC
The Jackson Ski Touring Foundation is a community based not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, chartered to maintain trails in and around the charming Village of Jackson, NH. The Foundation maintains 150 km of varied and breathtaking cross country ski and snowshoe trails. Foundation trails connect with A.M.C. trails in Pinkham Notch and White Mountain National Forest backcountry adventure trails. The Foundation operates under a Special-Use Permit with the White Mountain National Forest, and with the cooperation of 75 private landowners, and the Village of Jackson.  More information about the Foundation and its offerings can be found on the web at http://www.jacksonxc.org.