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2017 Ski, Shoe & Fatbike to the Clouds: North America’s Toughest 10K Proved To Be This Winter’s Stand-Out Event

Written By Crispin Battles, Marketing Director
Mt. Washington Auto Road & Great Glen Trails

Pinkham Notch, NH — Since the Mt. Washington Auto Road first opened in 1861, it has been a proving ground for all types of adventurers. Throughout the years, many have secured their place in the history of the Auto Road, be it with a fastest time, or a landmark ascent.

History was made again with the 2017 Ski, Shoe & Fatbike to the Clouds. Held in cold, blue-sky conditions on March 5, it marked the first time that fatbikers have joined this annual winter event. First held in 1996 as Ski to the Clouds, it quickly proved to be a new and unique challenge for Nordic skiers, and at that time was held entirely on the Auto Road. In later years it was modified to increase the race distance to 10 kilometers, utilizing the Great Glen Trails Nordic system for the first four kilometers, before beginning the steep ascent up the Mt. Washington Auto Road. The race finishes just before the halfway point of the Auto Road at about 3,800 feet.

In 2013, a separate snowshoe category was added to entice snowshoe racers to take up the challenge, and was so successful that in 2014 the event was renamed as Ski & Shoe to the Clouds. In 2016, a new fatbike category was added, which quickly became the largest group of racers, but was sadly cancelled due to lack of snow.

Mother Nature was kind to us this year, and the 2017 event was attended by 120 racers in three disciplines–18 Nordic skiers, 33 snowshoers, and 69 fatbikers. Whether on skis, snowshoes or fatbikes, the race lived up to its reputation as North America’s Toughest 10K, testing the racers as only Mount Washington can.

The fastest time was posted by veteran racer Tristan Williams, with a blazing time of just 48 minutes 37 seconds, winning the men’s Nordic division. Tristan was closely followed by fatbiker Jeremiah Macrae-Hawkins, winning the men’s fatbike division with a time of 50 minutes 37 seconds–the second fastest time on course. Kudos to all the racers who battled the Mountain and finished, but particularly to the winners of each division:

Men’s Nordic Tristan Williams 48:37
Women’s Nordic Meredith Pietrow 1:01:42
Men’s Snowshoe Andrew Drummond 51:49
Women’s Snowshoe Hilary McCloy 1:05:56
Men’s Fatbike Jeremiah Macrae-Hawkins 50:37
Women’s Fatbike Renee Bousquet 1:12:26

A heartfelt “thank you” goes out to all the event sponsors, who have helped make this annual event such a success. For 2017, those sponsors included Dion Snowshoes, Stan & Dan Sports, Polartec, Littleton Chevrolet, Hannaford, and the Old Village Bakery.


King Pine Cardboard Box Derby

King Pine invites creative cardboard box races of all ages and experience levels to their Cardboard Box Derby on Sunday, March 19th, from 11:30am to 1:30pm. Creative racers young in age and young at heart, create a theme and build your carboard box racer and don’t forget to pair it with your own theme music to race down their racecourse designed specifically for the event!

Box racers can be designed for two or four racers and must be built entirely out of cardboard (sorry – no wood or metal allowed!). Boxes may be held together with tape, glue, or may be stitched. Contestants are highly advised to wear helmets for safety.

The entrance fee is $5 per cardboard box and a completed registration form and signed waiver are required to enter the race. Registration, inspection, and style judging opens at 12:00 p.m. in the Fireplace Room. The race will start at 1:00 p.m. at the base of the Open Slope.  Awards will be presented after completion of race at base of the Open Slope under categories of style, speed and durability. Happy racing!! 

Winter Wildlife Tracking in the East Bear Paw Lands

Winter is alive and thriving here in the Mount Washington Valley and it’s time for children and adults alike to go outside and play! The Upper Saco Valley Land Trust’s Easement Exploration Series welcomes you to attend their January exploration in Winter Wildlife Tracking  on Saturday, January 21st, from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. The event, co-sponsored with the Tin Mountain Conservation Center, will be lead by Dr. Rick Van de Pol. Explore the Bear Paw Lands, where wildlife abounds, and snowshoe the trail network of approximately 6 miles long, an excellent beginner’s adventure.

Participants are asked to meet at the Maine Visitors Center, located on Route 302 in Fryeburg, Maine. It is recommended that participants dress warm, bring a lunch, and pack their snowshoes or rent a pair from Tin Mountain Conservation Center. To reserve a pair of snowshoes, please call 603-447-6991. For more information about this event, visit http://www.usvlt.org/easement-exploration-series/. Please email info@usvit.org with any questions about the event.

About the East Bear Paw Lands
The East Bear Paw Lands consist of a 500-acre section of easment located off of Route 302. Within these lands is a trail network of approximately 6 miles long, that is excellent for beginner mountain biking, hiking, snowshoeing, and trail running. The forested landscape is home to an abundance tracks from fox to fisher and the Easement Exploration Group will snowshoe in search of these and other signs of wildlife.


About the Easement Exploration Series
Upper Saco Valley Land Trust’s “Easement Exploration Series” showcases conservation easements and properties we own and is designed to connect community members with the protected lands that surround them.  Once a month they host a themed visit to a preserve or easement.  Visitors might find themselves walking, hiking, running, snow-shoeing, or even canoeing or kayaking through local conservation lands.  These events are led by Land Trust staff, board members, and volunteers, as well as experts in the field: naturalists with specialties ranging from tracking to birding, from limnology to lichenology.  Most of the events are open to the general public, whereas a few visits to easement lands where public access is limited are open only to Land Trust members.

A core component of USVLT’s mission is “to preserve the ecological systems and cultural values of the Upper Saco River Valley.”  Providing a tangible way for community members to connect with these protected lands furthers our mission at its most basic level.

Chill with Cocktails at the Annual Ice Bar

Winter in the Mt. Washington Valley tests even the most seasoned New Englander, but with all the winter fun in the region, we just can’t stay indoors! Speaking of winter fun, The Stonehurst Manor welcomes you to attend their 3rd Annual Ice Bar on Friday, January 20th and Saturday, January 21 from 4pm to 10pm.

The Annual Ice Bar provides many options for winter fun and socialization. Sip hot cocktails from the event’s special menu and behold the beauty of New England’s winter wonderland, relax on ice-carved seating, set your drink on their full-size outdoor ice bar, and enjoy the company of friends new and old. Keep warm by one of many fire pits or choose a warmer seating option by relaxing on hay bales. Looking to warm up on the dance floor? Stonehurst Manor’s got you covered with music by the Music Man. Guests may also enjoy complimentary hors d-oeuvres and a fashion show by Spruce Hurricane.

Tickets are $25 per person. You must be 21+ to enter. To purchase tickets, visit their event page or call the Manor at 800-525-9100. Please take note: all tickets are non-refundable. 

‘Tis The Season for Cranapalooza at Cranmore Mountain


Cranapalooza, Cranmore’s signature winter event, returns January 7th for the season! Enjoy everything Cranapalooza has to offer – from DJ dance parties with C-more the Penguin, live music, outdoor entertainment, family activities, fireworks on special nights, and more!

Cranapalooza takes place every Saturday night from January 7th through March 11th, with bonus days during holiday and vacation weeks. Special nights for fireworks include December 31st, January 14th, February 18th and March 11th.

For more information, visit Cranmore Mountain Resort’s website at www.cranmore.com or call 1-800-SUN-N-SKI. You can find the page for this event here.

Cranapalooza is one of the many events and adventures in the Mt. Washington Valley for winter fun! To plan your winter adventure in the Valley, please contact Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce Visitor Services by calling 800-367-3364. We hope to see you soon!

Nordic Ski with Olympian Sue Wemyss at Great Glen Trails!

Hey Skiers…..

If you went Nordic Skiing right now, how would your legs feel after? Tired…sore…strained?? Get a jump on ski season with Great Glen Trails’ Nordic Warm Up!! Led by Ski School Director and Olympian Sue Wemyss, Nordic Warm Up will get you ready for skiing in no time. Relearn and reestablish cross country specific muscle movement patterns and regain ski balance through drills on snow and/or dryland exercises.


Mondays December 9th, 16th & 23rd: 10:00- 11:30am with an optional waxing clinic before each session from 9am-10am.

Open to men and women, ages 16 and older. Participants should have prior cross country skiing experience and be interested in personal ski technique improvement, taught in a group setting.

Nordic Warm Up will be held on snow (weather permitting).
If conditions permit, the first week of instruction will focus on skating techniques; the second week on classic techniques; and the final week on skiing through changes in terrain and direction.


Cost: 3 Weeks: $60, includes trail pass
Single session: $25, includes trail pass

Season pass holders: 3 Weeks: $50
Single session: $20
Get your Season Pass now!

Registration is on first come first served basis and is limited to 10 participants! Registration closes December 6th.

Give us a call at Great Glen Trails, 466-2333 or email Sue at sue@greatglentrails.com.
Snowmaking has begun!
We made snow around the clock for three days last week!

Sue giving positive feedback
The class works on classic techniques

Start Your Winter Off Right with our About The Snow Newsletter!

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Welcome to About the Snow, a weekly look at everything snowy in the
Mt. Washington Valley.
November 14, 2013
Snowmaking on Lynx Trail at Wildcat, November 13, 2013. Photo by: Max Gosselin/Wildcat.
Opening day at Bretton Woods, November 9, 2013. Photo by: Mark Butterfield/Bretton Woods, Omni Mount Washington Resort.
Snowmaking at Cranmore, November 13, 2013. Photo by: Dan Houde/Wiseguy Creative.


11/14 to 11/17

11/29, 11/30, 12/1, 12/7, 12/8, 12/14 and 12/21

11/29, 11/30, 12/1, 12/7, 12/8, 12/14, 12/15, 12/21, 12/22 and 12/23


11/30, 12/1, 12/7, 12/8, 12/14 and 12/21

12/2, 12/6 and every Monday and Friday

12/6 and every Friday

12/9, 12/13 and every Monday and Friday

12/13 and every Friday

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Black Mountain
Bretton Woods
King Pine
Shawnee Peak

Nordic Centers
Bear Notch
Great Glen Trails
Jackson Ski Touring
Purity Spring

Trail Report

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To learn more about skiing getaways and for complete vacation planning resources, visit our website or call 



Up-to-date information about winter fun in the Mt. Washington Valley can always be found at AboutTheSnow.com.
AboutTheSnow.com is your resource for up-to-date information on contests, weather reports, winter activities, events, and, of course, current snow reports from Mt. Washington Valley’s 13 ski resorts and XC centers.

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This Week: It’s Winter in the Valley

Welcome to About the Snow

Each week, from November through March, the About the Snow newsletter will bring the latest in news, events, deals, lodging packages, tips for winter outdoor adventure, and most importantly snow conditions from Mt. Washington Valley, NH. Brought to you by the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce, About the Snow offers weekly updates on the Mt. Washington Valley’s 13 ski resorts and XC centers and much more.

We’re excited that our first edition of the season includes news that snowflakes are flying and piling up, snowmaking has started, and Bretton Woods opened for the season on Saturday, November 9th. Winter has arrived in Mt. Washington Valley!

Pre-season tricks at Bretton Woods on October 30, 2013. Photo by: Dan Houde/Wiseguy Creative.

Bretton Woods is reopening today, Thursday, November 14th, after being closed earlier this week to further expand snowmaking efforts. Skiers and riders will be greeted with five trails for skiing and riding and two lifts spinning. Be sure to check the snow conditions page on Bretton Woods’ website for early season ticket pricing and the most up-to-date information regarding trail count and snow conditions.

With cold air in place over the past few days and nights, Wildcat and Cranmore have been making snow as conditions allow. Weather permitting, Wildcat is planning to open before and for Thanksgiving Day, while Cranmore is planning to open for skiing and riding on Friday, November 29th, with the rest of the Valley’s ski resorts not far behind. 

Snowcoach at Great Glen Trails, November 10, 2013. Photo by: Ernie Mills.

The Nordic Shop at Great Glen Trails is open weekends from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, so head up to try out the latest in new gear or purchase your seasons pass. Great Glen Trails will open for xc skiing as soon as conditions permit; Snowcoach tours will begin mid-December.


This Week’s Weather Report: The forecast for Friday and Saturday, November 15th and 16th, is calling for mostly sunny skies with temperatures in the low 50s on Friday and upper 40s on Saturday. On Sunday, skies will become increasingly cloudy, with daytime temps in the upper 40s. For the complete Ski NH Outdoor Lovers weather forecast, click here

This Week’s Photos: The Chamber’s Flickr gallery is a great place to view the most up-to-date photos of winter fun from around the Mt. Washington Valley.

View our photos on flickr  

Valley Finds of the Week

First snowfall at Jackson Ski Touring on November 10, 2013. Photo by: Thom Perkins.

Mt. Washington Valley is full of great finds, giveaways and special promotions, just waiting for you to discover! No wonder TripAdvisor has named Mt. Washington Valley the most affordable ski town in the Northeast for the past two years!

Each week we’ll highlight a few of the Valley’s great “finds” on and off the slopes.

Here are the Valley Finds for this week:

  • Stop in to Brandli’s Pizza Pasta Grille in Settlers’ Green Outlet Village for a re-cap of a great day on the snow. Get a free half order of wings when you purchase a pitcher of beer from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.

For a complete list of 2013/2014 ticket deals and special rates at Mt. Washington Valley’s 13 ski resorts and XC centers, click here.

Top Five: Special Ticket Deals and Season Passes

Each week we’ll offer a list of top five ideas to make your winter getaway to Mt. Washington Valley memorable, easy and affordable.
It’s beginning to look like winter 2013-2014 is going to be a snowy one. We hope you won’t miss out on the opportunity to spend as much time as possible enjoying the skiing and riding this winter. All 13 of Mt. Washington Valley’s ski resorts and XC centers offer season passes and now is a great time to purchase one, with many resorts and centers offering early season pricing!
Here are our top five ideas for pre-season special ticket deals and season passes being offered throughout Mt. Washington Valley: 
    1. To celebrate their twentieth anniversary, Great Glen Trails will be offering half-price season pass pricing for first time buyers – this means season pass rates are only $70 for an adult; $40 for junior; and $47.50 for teens and seniors if you are a first-time season pass buyer. If you’re not a first time Great Glen Trails season pass buyer, you can still get a good deal: take $25 off your season pass price if purchased before December 1st! That means an adult pass is only $115 from now until November 30th, 2013. Jackson Ski Touring is also offering an Adult Pass for $115 through November 30th. 
  • Have a college student in the family? The Shawnee Peak College Student Season Pass for $239, which allows a student to ski every day and night during the season, might be just the perfect holiday gift! 
  • There are a number of passes being offered this season that allow a skier or rider to enjoy not one, but two, resorts in the Valley. Bretton Woods and Cranmore have teamed up with the Sun & Snow Pass, allowing skiers and riders to make turns at both resorts, while all season passes purchased at Attitash and Wildcat allow the purchaser the opportunity to ski at both mountains, plus other Peak Resorts. 
  •  A number of lodging properties also offer free or almost free skiing with a midweek stay. Check out the Snow Much Fun Vacation Specials page for more details.

Snow Much Fun: Take the Kids to Visit Santa

Ho! Ho! Ho! 

Christmas may not be until December 25th, but there are many ways to celebrate Santa early at special events throughout the Mt. Washington Valley this month and next. Take the kids to visit the jolly ‘ol soul and the whole family will be instantly in the holiday spirit!

Take a ride on Conway Scenic Railroad’s Santa’s Holiday Express on November 29th and 30th, December 1st and weekends through December 21st. Santa will be on board for a special holiday train ride, and his mischievous elves will be sharing their hot chocolate and cookies with everyone. More information on rates and train departure times can be found here.

Or head north to Santa’s Village, where Christmastime is the most wonderful time of year. Bring the kids to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, enjoy rides like the Skyway Sleigh Monoride and the Merry Christmas Ferris Wheel, laugh at the showing of the 3-D “A Tinkerdoodle Christmas” and celebrate with Yuletide festivities too. Santa’s Village will offer special Christmastime hours on weekends starting Saturday, November 23rd through December 22nd. For more information, click here.

Santa will be visiting Jackson Village during the Village’s Traditionally Yours celebration. On Friday, November 29th at 4:30 pm, Santa will visit the Jackson Village gazebo. Be sure to come a little early so you can see Santa as he arrives on a horse-drawn sleigh! The Traditionally Yours event also includes open houses, taste testings, story telling, jingle bell sleigh rides and more.

Santa will also be on hand for photos at Settlers’ Green on November 30th and December 1st, plus additional days in December. Photo shoots with Santa on specific days/times will benefit Angels and Elves. More information can be found here.

Weekly Contest

Each week we give away a lift ticket or trail pass to one lucky About The Snow reader. We announce winners on the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber’s Facebook page. Stay tuned to our Facebook page to see if you are a winner. 

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