The mountains of Northern New England have benefitted from a very snowy second half of the winter. There is still a ton of snow and many mountains are operating near capacity. Combine the great conditions with warmer weather and late-season deals on lodging and lift tickets, and it is a great time to head north. Luckily, I was able to sneak away for a couple of days earlier this week to take two of my children to Bretton Woods for spring skiing. We drove up at the end of the big windstorm on Wednesday, and made it to the historic and beautiful Omni Mount Washington Resort by late in the afternoon.
The grand hotel opened in 1902 and they are in the last phase of an $80 million expansion and renovation, including replacing the iconic red roofs. The hotel sits in the shadow of Mt. Washington where winds were gusting well over 100 mph on Wednesday afternoon. Meanwhile, we were enjoying the warmth of the nice indoor pool and hot tub.
It still looks like mid-winter with feet of snow on the ground and no sign of the two golf courses that will reappear in the next month as spring warmth finally arrives. We were happy to see nothing but snow because we had a big ski day planned for Thursday. The resort is directly across the street from Bretton Woods, the largest ski area in New Hampshire.
Originally, I had planned on taking the kids up Monday into Tuesday, but the threat of the big storm combined with unseasonably cold weather early in the week lead me to switch our trip to Wednesday-Thursday. It was a good choice as even the locals were excited about Thursday’s weather and snow conditions. The sun was shining and the snow was soft, but it was still cold enough to keep conditions perfect through the day. There was no wind, and every square inch of the ski-able terrain at the mountain was open. This time of the year, weekday crowds are small, and lift lines were non-existent. Needless to say, it was a perfect day to ski.
I spent the morning working in the lodge while my son and his friend shredded the gnar (or something like that) and my daughter had a practically private lesson at Hobbits ski school. After lunch I joined the boys for a few runs through the glades and challenging terrain. I can honestly say it was the best New England snow I’ve skied on in years. The bumps were soft and there was no ice to be found. We managed to cover a lot of ground in a couple of hours before I picked up my daughter from ski school.
I peeked at part of her morning lesson and she was flopping around like a loose noodle. She’s a little older (7) than my boys were when they started and I was worried that she’d have trouble catching on. Boy, was I wrong! The instructors at Hobbits worked some kind of magic, and she was confidently skiing all three bunny slopes by 3 pm. It’s a great feeling to see your kids conquer a challenging new task, and we had a lot of fun taking a few more runs before the lifts closed at 4pm.
Many Northern New England mountains will be open for several more weeks, and this weekend’s Southern New England rainstorm will bring snow to the higher peaks of NH, ME, and VT – just adding to the great spring skiing conditions. Don’t put away that equipment just yet! There is still great skiing to enjoy through most of April.
Disclosure: We received a media rate of $99/night for our stay at the Omni Mount Washington Resort. We also received Bretton Woods lift tickets courtesy of the Omni Mount Washington Resort and SkiNH.