Published DateBy Tom Eastman
CONWAY — So much for those who think Punxsutawney Phil knows what he’s talking about, right?
The little groundhog didn’t see his shadow in Pennsylvania on Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, leading some to think that winter would soon be over — then the potentially record-breaking Nemo the Nor'easter roared into the Northeast yesterday and into today, with strong winds, drifts and up to two feet of light, fluffy snow possible in some areas, confirming that when it comes to winter in New England, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over!
fter creating hazardous travel conditions Friday evening and up to 4 p.m. Saturday, the storm was predicted to wind down early Saturday evening. Sunday is shaping up to be a great day for getting outdoors, with mostly sunny skies and highs in the upper 20s.
The snow is adding to the manmade bases that were put down by area snowmakers over the past week, and put local ski areas in great shape heading into February school vacation week, which starts Feb. 16.
Trail counts at alpine areas and groomed cross country ski kilometer trail totals will be increasing over the weekend, so be sure to check www.skinh.com for updated trail totals.
Among the weekend highlights are the American Cancer Society’s 36th annual Hope on the Slopes Race to Beat Cancer at Cranmore Sunday, Feb. 10, and the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation’s Jackson Snowshoe Race, also on Sunday (registration ends at 4 p.m. Feb. 9).
Also topping the weekend highlights is the Radio BDC Coors Light Drafters apres ski party at Black Mountain Saturday, and entertainer Jonathan Sarty at the Lostbo Pub Sunday.
• ATTITASH (374-2368, www.attitash.com): Attitash presents Freeride February, with three events planned, beginning with a Big Air competition Feb. 9, to be held at 11 a.m. on Myth Maker. A slopestyle event kicks off February vacation week Feb. 16, and the series ends with a skier/boarder cross Feb. 23.
The Peak Resorts Stunt Airbag will also be back in the mix this month, making a tour stop during February Vacation Week, Feb. 20-24.
Now is Now at Ptarmigan's Feb. 9 from 3 to 6 p.m. with a Sam Adams promo as well. Martin England performs Feb. 9 in the Den Sessions at Bear Peak from 2 to 4:30 p.m.
• WILDCAT (466-3326): Attitash's sister resort of Wildcat launched its Blues Brunch Sunday Jan. 27. It will feature a blues band and brunch/lunch the fourth Sunday of every month, with Mo Blues scheduled for Feb. 24. Join WZLX radio Feb. 9 for a party in the Wildcat Pub, along with D.J. Cooper Fox is there Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• BLACK (383-4490): Sunny, friendly and affordable, Black Mountain hosts on Feb. 9 hosts a visit by the Boston Globe/RadioBDC Coors Light Drafters, an elite team of skiers and riders, who will be at the Lostbo Pub for an après ski party offering tons of prizes. On Feb. 10, Black hosts the annual USSA Eastern Division U10-U14 Open Slalom.
Join American roots music entertainer Jonathan Sarty in the Lostbo Pub Sunday afternoon.
• BRETTON WOODS (278-3320) offers night skiing Fridays and Saturdays through March 9, and nightly, Feb. 15 through 23.
The Jeremy Dean Band plays at the Slopeside Pub Feb. 9 with a Woodstock Beer promo from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.
• CANNON (823-8800) hosted the Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge Feb. 8, as well as a movie premier of Greg Stump’s latest release, “The Legend of Ahhh’s.”
Feb. 9 is Red Dress Day at Cannon in honor of American Red Cross Heart Health Month — Cannon is hoping to break a world record by having everyone don red attire creating the largest human red dress on snow. Sign up at the tent from 10 a.m. to noon and enter to win a Blueray DVD player.
• CRANMORE (356-5543) presents another of its Cranapaloozas Saturday from 2:30 to 7 p.m, with today's featuring a sports theme. The Tugg Brothers and Bobo The Clown will be on site for entertainment. Check out the Mountain Adventure Park's mountain coaster, Giant Swing, Soaring Eagle Ziprider, 10-lane tubing park and Indoor Adventure Center.
RACE TO BEAT CANCER: The American Cancer Society’s 36th annual Hope on the Slopes Race to Beat Cancer returns to Cranmore Feb. 10.
Whether you’re a recreational skier, a hotshot snowboarder, a downhill racer, a tubing enthusiast, or just want to help in the fight against cancer, you can participate. Participants gather donations from friends and family and enjoy a fun-filled day on the slopes. All ages and abilities welcome. A NASTAR format ski/snowboard race and timed races for snow tubing. Race categories include: skiers and snowboarders (male and female by age) and tubing. The tubing minimum height requirement is 42 inches. Trophies will be awarded to first, second and third male and female skier/snowboarder in each category and for tubing.
• KING PINE (367-8896) has night skiing offered Fridays, Saturdays and Tuesdays. The Tohko Skating Dome is open. The Twisted Terrain Park is now open. King Pine presents a Kids Fun Run ski race Saturdays through March 30. Shine It On is at the Trail’s End Tavern Feb. 9 from 3 to 6 p.m. King Pine presents a Women’s U16 qualifier Feb. 10.
• • •
SKI TOURING: Ski touring areas are rejoicing at the arrival of the powder from the nor’easter.
• Bear Notch Ski Touring (374-2277): 60 kilometers expected to be groomed by the end of the weekend, with lots of terrain open for skiers and snowshoers.
This avid-skate-skiing reporter skied the always excellent Waterfall Trail behind the center last Sunday, and greatly enjoyed the beauty of the woods, Albany Brook and the winter sun. Be sure to sample the great homemade soups, and remember, well-trained canine companons are always welcome at Bear Notch.
• Bretton Woods (278-3322): Try the tubing hill. “Expect awesome conditions and significant terrain expansion,” noted the resort’s website at the start of the storm Friday.
• Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center (466-2333): Great Glen offers SnowCoach tours, conditions permitting, and a tubing hill. Scheduled weekly events include: Ski with a naturalist Sundays at 10:30 a.m. Skifabs for women clinics are held Mondays, 9:30 a.m. to noon. Nordic Meisters race series is held Tuesdays, with an awards party set for March 16.
• Jackson Ski Touring (383-9355): Scheduled event highlights: Snowshoe instructional tours Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. and afternoons at 1 p.m., and Sundays at 10 a.m. Guided Tuesday Trekker Snowshoe Tours Tuesdays at 1 p.m. Friday Gliders at 1 p.m. and Eric's Awesome Waxing Demonstrations Fridays, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
JSTF hosts the previously noted snowshoe race Feb. 10 at 10 a.m. — registration deadline is Feb. 9 at 4 p.m. Visit www.jacksonxc.org to register on-line for this fun event.
• Mount Washington Valley Ski Touring and Snowshoe Center (356-9920): Friday Nights Under the Lights 6 to 8 p.m. featured through Feb. 22 — for further information, call Steve and Sally Swenson at 356-9021. Guided snowshoe tours Saturdays at 1:30 p.m (reservations requested). Looking ahead, 24th annual Chocolate Festival returns Feb. 24
. • Purity Spring XC and Snowshoe Reserve (367-8896). Enjoy 15k of skiing and snsowshoeing. Guided Audubon snowshoe tours Saturdays at 2 p.m. — meet at the Mill. Sleigh rides by reservation.