CONWAY — Splash ponds, live outdoor music, barbecues and fun races help make spring one of the best times to be out on the sunny tracks and trails of Mount Washington Valley. Most areas close by early April, but the ski season keeps going strong at a few areas such as Bretton Woods and Wildcat well into the month, and often beyond at Wildcat. Here’s a brief overview of some of the fun events that take place at local resorts and other businesses.
Attitash (374-2368, www.attitash.com) presents Spring Mania all spring, starting with the BaHa Brothers on March 7, 3-6 p.m. on the outdoor snow stage. The alternate location for all scheduled performances based on weather/conditions will be Ptarmigan’s Pub. The outdoor series continues March 14 with the Pearl Jam tribute band, King Jeremy Band.
Attitash hosts the 42nd annual Red Parka Pub Challenge Cup March 20. The Red Parka Pub Challenge Cup is the longest-running, pro-style dual giant slalom ski race in the United States. Considered the premier New England amateur ski race, the RPP Challenge Cup attracts some of the best racers in the region. All proceeds from the race benefit the Eastern Slope Ski Club, a local organization that funds youth skiing in the Mount Washington Valley.
The Red Parka Pub Challenge Cup is sponsored by the Red Parka Pub and Steakhouse, located in downtown Glen. The event is held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by awards a 2 p.m. in the South Wing. More information on the race may be found at redparkapubchallengecup.com.
Spring Mania continues with a Grandstand Mogul Jam at Attitash March 21. Live music will follow from 3 to 6 p.m. on the snow stage featuring the 1980s cover band, Ovation.
Spring Mania continues March 28 with the annual Attitash Pond Skim, with registration in the South Wing from 8 to 11 a.m., followed by the splashy event at noon. The always fabulous and energetic, Afro-wigged Motor Booty Affair follows on the Snow Stage — grab your bling and disco clothes to join in on the spring fever!
Highlights of the spring season at Attitash’s sister Peak Resort of Wildcat Mountain (466-3326, www.skiwildcat.com) include the 12th annual 100,000 Vertical Foot Challenge March 9.
An Ability-PLUS Ski-A-Thon will be held at Wildcat March 21, followed by the second annual Cat Scratch Fever Mogul Freeride Event April 4.
Other events include a Wildcat Easter Egg Hunt April 5. Be sure to ride the Snowcat Triple chair lift and join staff for a children’s Easter egg hunt (limited to 12 and under) on the beginner “Snowcat Trail.”
Wildcat’s Spring Pond Skim is set for April 11. Après ski at the Wildcat Pub will feature the Dean Machine.
Black Mountain offers fun spring events, including the Eastern Inter-Club Ski League championships March 7, and the annual Shannon Door St. Patrick’s Day Children’s Parade and Easter Egg Hunt March 8. A spring splash party always ends the season in late March. Call 383-4490 or visit www.blackmt.com for details.
King Pine (367-8896; www.kingpine.com) in East Madison offers the 15th annual Marky B Boardfest March 8; a King Pine Costume Parade March 15, the King Pine Cardboard Box Derby March 22, a Wacky Obstacle Course Race March 28, and a Pond Skimming Party to end the season March 29.
Bretton Woods alpine area will host its annual Beach Party March 28, complete with a pond-skimming event. Bretton Woods will host a Patriots Day event with special prices on the last day of the season April 20.
Cranmore Mountain Resort
Cranmore Mountain Resort (356-5543; www.cranmore.com) will feature the Hannes Schneider Meister Cup March 6 through 8; the annual Mascot Jam March 14, a Mountain Mush Human Dogsled Race to benefit the Conway Area Humane Society, also March 14; a learn-to-ski and ride event March 15; a Gaper Jam March 22 featuring an informal rail jam and barbecue at Cranmore’s Double Feature Terrain Park; Sport Thoma Demo Days March 22, and the annual Spring Splash pond skimming March 29.
Jackson Ski Touring
Jackson Ski Touring’s late season events include a Snowshoe Fun Run to benefit Jen’s Friends March 15, along with its traditional snowshoe tours and other weekly programs through March 29. For further information, call 383-9355 or visit www.jacksonxc.org.
Great Glen Trails
Among the highlights of the late season at Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center (466-2333; www.greatglentrails.com) are a Winter Fatbiking Afternoon from 12:30 to 4 p.m. March 1 and 15; the Ski and Snowshoe to the Clouds uphill race March 1; a Women’s Skate Ski Clinic March 2 and 9; the Carl Johnson Memorial Ski-a-thon March 14 to benefit ALS research (wear your wildest ski tights in keeping with Johnson’s spirit).
Mount Washington Valley Ski Touring
Mount Washington Valley Ski Touring (356-9920) presents its 26th annual Chocolate Festival — “the sweetest day on the trails”— Feb. 22.
Bear Notch Ski Touring
Bear Notch Ski Touring (374-2277) is always one of the last ski touring centers to close for the season. Located in a snow belt of Bartlett, just west of Attitash, Bear Notch is the place to ski in spring.