On a quick trip to New Hampshire’s North Country this past week we found that the state of skiing is wonderful. True, there are not feet of powder, but there is plenty of snow and the conditions are just right for all levels of skiing. I would describe it as packed granular, nice and thick with beautifully groomed surfaces and no thin spots.
First of all, we wanted a cozy ski area where we could snuggle in, a place where the skiing was close by the lodging and the atmosphere laid back. Purity Spring Resort in Madison fits that description. Rather than stay in one of the guest houses we elected to stay in a room right over the lodge of King Pine, a small ski area that belongs to Purity Spring but is open to the public as well. A small mountain, it nevertheless has some great trails and they are superbly maintained. Top-notch snow making coupled with expert grooming means that the conditions are always among the best in the White Mountains. We skied just about every trail and they were all fun.
On Saturday, for a change of pace, we opted for Cranmore Mountain in North Conway. One of the very first ski areas in the state, this mountain continues to be one of the best choices. While the off-trail woods showed forest floor, the trails had a deep snowcover. In spite of the day’s intense cold, we enjoyed hours of uninterrupted slope time on trails that were beautifully maintained and groomed. The cold and the snow pack meant that there were no great heaps of wet snow to trip us up, just a thin layer of granulated snow over a good carvable surface. Cranmore is well set to be able to last well into the end of the month and into early April.
The next few weeks will be a good opportunity for late season skiing and in spite of the fact that there is no, or little, snow on the ground outside your windows there is plenty where it belongs, on the ski trails of northern New Hampshire. Get out there!