A snowboarder checks out the great conditions at Bretton Woods this week. Bretton Woods has 60 of 62 trails and all 10 lifts open. (MARK BUTTERFIELD PHOTO)CONWAY — It's the start of February vacation week, and thanks to concerted snowmaking efforts by all of the valley's areas, aided by Mother Nature in the form of up to eight inches of natural snow this week and great cold temperatures, things are looking good for alpine skiers and riders this weekend.
Ski touring center grooming crews have also been at it, shoveling snow from the woods and laying down cover on the trails.
True, it's going to be exceptionally cold this weekend, so be sure to bundle up. Remember, as one wise sage once said, there is no such thing as bad weather — just inappropriate clothing, so be sure to cover up and not leave any exposed skin during the Polar Vortex, and then head out and enjoy the tracks and trails.
• Feb. 13, Black Mountain hosts a chairlift speed dating contest. Music starts at 11:30 a.m.; registration starts at 12:30 p.m., followed by loading the double chairlift at 2 p.m. and apres ski entertainment. A winter festival will be held that day inside the lodge.
• Feb. 13: The Mount Washington Valley Ski Team's Comedy Night is set to be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Attitash Grand Summit Hotel in Bartlett. There will also be live and silent auctions, a raffle, food and a cash bar. The show will feature Maine comedian Bob Marley. Tickets are available at Stan and Dan's, Sport Thoma in Glen, and at the hotel the night of the performance. For further information, visit mwvstbobmarley2016 or call the MWV Ski Team office at (603) 356-7627.
Here's an overview of local events and conditions:
• Attitash (603-374-2368): 51 of 68 trails and six of 11 lifts. Feb. 13: Attitash Freeride Series Big Air (Part 4 set for March 19). Feb. 13: Apres ski: Daniel Byrne at the Den Sessions; Shark Martin and 92.5 The River radio promotion at Ptarmigan's. Feb. 14: Al Shafner at the Den Sessions; Pat Foley Band at Ptarmigan's. Feb. 15: Ryan St. Onge at the Den Sessions and Packman Dave at Ptarmigan's. Feb. 16: Mitch Alden at the Den and Pat Foley at Ptarmigan's. Feb. 17: White Steer at the Den and Explosive Entertainment DJ/Karaoke at Ptarmigan's. Feb. 18: Greg Walsh at the Den and The Grumps at Ptarmigan's. Feb. 19: Al Shafner at the Den; the Gravel Project at Ptarmigan's. Feb. 20: Chuck 'n John at the Den and The Dean Machine at Ptarmigan's. Feb. 20: Attitash Freeride Series Slopestyle. Feb. 21: Kristen Corrigan at the Den.
• Black Mountain (603-383-4490): 15 of 45 trails, three of five lifts; Apres ski weekends at Lostbo Pub. On Feb. 13, chairlift speed dating contest. Black will host live entertainment and beer promotions Feb. 13-21 for vacation week beginning at 3:30 p.m. A ride and ski party with entertainment by Pat Foley and prize giveaways (including a ski trip get away for two to Kimberly, British Columbia) will be held 2-5 p.m. Feb. 20. Apres ski entertainment is held Saturdays and Sundays 3:30-5:30 p.m.
• Bretton Woods (603-278-3320): 60 of 62 trails and all 10 lifts; night skiing 4-8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays until March 12, plus Feb. 14-18. Breast Cancer Fundraiser for Norris Cotton Cancer Center at ticket windows, Feb. 12-14. Feb. 12-29: February Fun Break at Omni Mount Washington Resort and Bretton Woods Nordic and alpine areas. Apres ski, base lodge, Feb. 13-20 and Saturdays, Feb. 27-March 26: Feb 13: Chuck 'n' John; Feb. 14: Cause and Effect; Feb. 15: Randy and Brad; Feb. 16: Shark Martin; Feb. 17: Jeremy Dean Duo; Feb. 18: Shark Martin; Feb. 19: dj Chuck Noel; and Feb. 20: Sean Patrick McGraw. Moonlight Rambles: enjoy illuminated Nordic loop between 6-8 p.m. Saturdays at Nordic Center.
• Cranmore Mountain Resort (603-356-5544): 45 of 57 trails, six of seven lifts. Two Cranapalooza celebrations are scheduled for the week, on both Feb.. 13 and 20.. Families are invited to join in the fun, starting at 2 p.m. in Schneider Square. Feb. 13: Cranapalooza with fireworks at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 14: Ski with the General Manager Ben Wilcox (also Feb. 28 and March 13). Meet at the base of the Skimobile Express Quad at 7:45 a.m. for first tracks, followed by coffee and pastries. Feb. 14: Sport Thoma Demo Day, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (also Feb. 28). Apres ski: Feb. 14: Andrew Gravel 3:30-6:30 p.m.; Feb. 16: Ben Cook; family-friendly karaoke 3-5 p.m. on third floor of the main base lodge; Feb. 17: Rek'lis; Feb. 18: Bill Cameron; Feb. 19: Martin England; and Feb. 20: Ben Vincent Cook. Feb. 20: Guided Mountain Tour with Cranmore ambassadors: meet at 10:30 a.m. at base of Skimobile Express. Feb. 21: Apres ski: the Gravel Project. Feb. 21: Jibbin' for Jen: freestyle event for skiers and riders to support Jen's Friends. Cranmore’s tubing and Mountain Adventure Park activities will offer extended hours for the holiday period. Activities will run Feb. 13-20 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Feb. 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• King Pine (603-367-8896): All 17 trails and all five lifts. Night skiing is available every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday evening from 4-9 p.m. and each night during the holiday period, Feb. 13-21. Apres ski: Trails End Tavern, Saturdays, 3-6 p.m.: Simon Crawford. Feb. 13: Mitch Alden. Feb. 20.
Ongoing activities on the slopes include Kids Fun Races and Night Family Races Saturdays; Sunday a.m. Events: Feb. 14: Sweetheart Race. Feb. 15-19 and Feb. 22-26: Winter Carnival Weeks, featuring Silly Bag and Slalom Racing Tuesdays; Family Challenge Wednesdays, fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Feb. 18; kids fun races and Gold Rush races Thursdays; and a kids torchlight parade Feb. 26 at 8:45 p.m
King Pine features the longest-running ski camp in the country, geared for boys and girls ages 8-16. Week 1 is Sunday, Feb. 14-20; Week 2 is Feb. 21-16; and Week 3 is March 13-18. Tubing park, terrain park; Tohko Dome covered slating rink.
• Wildcat Mountain (603-466-3326): 20 of 48 trails, four of five lifts Feb. 13: Pat Foley Band in Wildcat Pub. Feb. 14: Shot of JD, apres ski. Feb. 15: Pat Foley, apres ski. Feb. 16: Kitty Litter Cardboard Race. Feb. 16-17: Packman Dave, apres ski. Feb. 17: Nine Lives Lunch Tray Race. Feb. 18: Chuck 'n John, apres ski. Feb. 19: Ryan St. Onge, apres ski. Feb. 20: Crazy Hat Day; Wildcat Mountain Torchlight Parade at dusk (ice cream and a movie showing for children). NOTE: The date for the torchlight parade was changed this week from Feb. 13 to Feb. 20, too late to be corrected for the Feb.-April issue of North Conway Magazine now on the stands).
SKI TOURING CONDITIONS
• Bear Notch Ski Touring and Snowshoe Association (603-374-2277): 0 of 70K classic; 20 of 70K skate; the soup is always on in the warm-up shack: be sure to try the hearty corn chowder, chili and chicken noodle.
"We have classic skiers who are just thrilled with our conditions," said owner Doug Garland Friday afternoon. "We have 15K that is exceptionally good, and another 10K that is surprisingly good. We have been shoveling it, raking it, pulling it, whatever it takes, we're doing and the skiers are telling how great the skiing is. They are amazed," he said, adding that Bear Notch's trails are well-protected by trees from the wind. "Come on up and ski — and have some soup."
• Bretton Woods Nordic Center (604-278-3322): 0 of 100K classic; 33 of 100K skate.
• Great Glen Trails (603-466-2333): 0 of 45K of classic and 10 of 45K skate groomed; 30K snowshoeing. SnowCoach: call for updates on operation; FatBikes on Sundays, trail conditions permitting. Snowtubing hill; guided snowshoe tours Saturdays at 1 p.m.
• Jackson Ski Touring (603-383-9355): 39 of 154K classic and 39 of 154K of skate; two-hour guided snowshoe nature hikes Saturdays at 10 a.m.; guided ski tours Saturdays at 11 a.m.; Tuesday Trekkers snowshoe tours at 1 p.m.; Friday Gliders and Easy Sliders group tours Fridays at 1 p.m. Feb. 13: evening wellness series Saturdays (Feb. 13, 5 p.m.: Dr. Trish Murray: "Stress, Hormones and Heart Health"). Feb. 15: Fischer Demo Day. Feb. 19: Skate Clinic Series. Feb. 20: Smokey Bear visit, 2-3 p.m. Full Moon Snowshoe Tour Feb. 22 6 p.m.
• MWV Ski Touring (603-356-9920): 10K skate groomed in Whitaker Woods an Intervale; 45K snowshoe trails; FatBikes on 3K on Fat Bike Trail in Whitaker Woods; 27th annual Chocolatefest Feb. 28. Guided snowshoe tours Saturdays at 10 a.m. from the center.
• King Pine Purity Spring Nordic Reserve (603-367-8896): 15k open, Tohko Skating Dome, tubing hill.
Indoor skating and rentals are available at Conway Village's Ham Arena (603-447-5886; www.hamarena.com) along with stick-and-puck sessions year-round. You’ll also find sheltered skating under the Tohko Dome at King Pine/Purity Spring Resort (603-367-8896).
Outdoor skating is provided in Schouler Park in North Conway, maintained by the Parks and Recreation Department. Skate rentals are available through Joe Jones Sun & Ski (603-356-9411) in North Conway.
Ice skating and rentals are also offered at the Victorian Emerald Pond at Nestlenook Farm (603-383-7101) in Jackson. Sleigh/wagon rides are also offered, as well as at the Stables at the Farm by the River (603-356-6640) in North Conway, Omni Mount Washington Hotel (603-278-1000) in Bretton Woods and King Pine/Purity Spring Resort (603-367-8896) in East Madison.