3-6-2020 Basch- Pond Skimming

Pond skimming is just one of the fun March events featured at valley ski areas. (MARTY BASCH PHOTO)

As we march into spring, March — and beyond — is a month filled with events at valley ski areas that inspire and humor skiers, riders and spectators. It’s a time to break out colorful T-shirts, vintage attire and, of course, sunscreen though many choose not to partake of the latter.

The grills are sizzling, the adult beverages are flowing and snow lovers escape outside from slope-side drinking holes for sun-drenched decks to regale stories of carving through a healthy diet of corn, mashed potatoes and powda on chowdah.

The slopes of Attitash teem with fun and competition beginning with the Ability Plus Springfest, the annual fundraiser for the adaptive sports organization, Saturday, March 7. A day of skiing is complemented by meeting volunteers and participants, a silent auction, raffle and glorious food.

If you have a need for speed, take part in the pro-style dual giant slalom 46th annual Red Parka Pub Challenge Cup on March 20. Test your mettle against some of the top New England ski racers that can include former U.S. Ski Team members and high level college racers. The U Go Girls Race on March 21 benefits Jen’s Friends Cancer Foundation. The popular Attitash After Dark series rocks with the U2 cover band Decades at 8 p.m. proceeded by 7 p.m. fireworks.

Youth Day on March 22 (Wildcat, too) sees $39 lift tickets for those 7-17. Bust a move during the March 28 Grandstand Mogul Jam.

The 17th annual 100,000 Vertical Challenge March 9 at Wildcat sees skiers taking between 48 an 50 runs down the Lynx trail to benefit Make-A-Wish New Hampshire.

Break out the Hawaiian shirts for the 33rd annual Beach Party at Bretton Woods. The day features $35 lift tickets, live music and lots of food. This year’s theme is Sunken Treasure and the Rules of Three which could be interesting if you have triplets in your life. The day also coincides with a Sport Thoma Demo Day.

The Friday Night Lights uphill series wraps up at Black this month with the last two events on Friday, March 6 and Friday, March 13, while the Granite Backcountry Alliance holds its Wild Corn skin and ski at Black April 4. In between is the fourth annual Mt. Washington Backcountry Ski Festival with various workshops and demos March 13-15 at Ragged Mountain Equipment and Theater in the Wood.

Cranmore wraps up its Cranapalooza apres ski parties Friday, March 6, in Schneider Square. This is the last chance of the season for music, dancing and $1 s’mores. March 8 is also the last Tend the Trails events where you can ski and ride with your favorite Zip’s Pub bartenders. Boot up at 8 a.m., ski from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and then head into Zip’s for a cash Bloody Mary Bar.

Lederhosen takes to Cranmore March 13-15 during the venerable 24th Hannes Schneider Meister Cup Weekend, a fundraiser for the New England Ski Museum. The governor’s been invited and the mayor of St. Anton, Austria, where Schneider refined his skiing technique, is coming. Mayor Helmut Mall is related to Edi Mall who taught at Cranmore in the 1960s and 1970s. The race is March 14.

Always good fun are the pond skimming contests and Cranmore’s Spring Splash Bash is slated at the base of the North Slope for March 28. Prizes are awarded for best skim, costume and splash.

King Pine is alive with a boatload of family events this month. The 20th annual Marky B Boardfest, in memory of Mark Bierweller to support King Pine’s snowboard program, is March 8 and features a slalom race over rollers and jumps.

The 24 hour ski-a-thon Cynthia’s Challenge takes place March 13 and 14, helps ease the financial burden upon children and their families associated with specialty medical needs. Everyone in the family can take part in the Vertical Challenge race on March 14, the last chance to qualify for the March 28 finals at Vermont’s Jay Peak.

Clever creations of cardboard, duct tape and more highlight the March 22 Cardboard Box Derby while pond skimming on March 29 is the final event on the East Madison ski area’s calendar.

Oh, don’t forget St. Patrick’s Day. There area $49 online lift tickets purchased at least 24 hours in advance at Attitash and Wildcat, At Bretton Woods, buy one lift ticket at regular price and get a second same day one for $17.

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