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March, 2015 E-Traveler
The Insider's Guide to Mt Washington Valley
Anything is possible!
Photo Credit: Dan Houde/Wiseguy Creative
Greetings from snowy Mt Washington Valley where we're now measuring snow in feet rather than inches. February's snowstorms have left us with more than five feet of snow and in great shape for a fabulous spring skiing and snowmobiling season in Mt Washington Valley. This is one great place where snow and ice worshipers can gather to play. Conditions are as good as they get on our trails and in our woods. So whether it's dogsledding, skating, skiing, riding, snowshoeing, hiking, sleighing, or snowmobiling, you'll find plenty of options and primo conditions in Mt Washington Valley's winter wonderland. And while we hear that the colder-than-usual temps may impact the timing, the sap will begin to run soon and we'll be enjoying a month of syrup-making in Mt Washington Valley throughout March.
Event of the Month
Photo Credit: New England Ski Museum
19th Annual Hannes Schneider Meister Cup at Cranmore, March 6-8
The annual Hannes Schneider Meister Cup at Cranmore combines the best of skiing today with the rich legacy of skiing tradition Cranmore Mountain is known for. The Hannes Schneider Meister Cup honors the late founding father of ski instruction, Austrian Hannes Schneider, who brought his world-renowned skills to North Conway and Mt. Cranmore in 1939.
Friday, Mar. 6
9:30am to 3:30pm: Current Army 10th Mountain Division servicemen learn to ski for the first time on Cranmore's terrain-based learning slope.
8:00pm: Torchlight parade on Cranmore's North Slope
Saturday, Mar. 7
9:15am: Color guard honors Nelson Bennett, one of the oldest surviving members of the 10th Mountain Division. One hundred years old and a New Hampshire native Nelson was inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 1986.He has been a beloved fixture of the Meister Cup for many years and skied at Cranmore up to the age of 95.
10:00am: Meister Cup ski race featuring accomplished 10th Mountain servicemen, World War II veterans including N.H. resident Richard Calvert, 91, of Wolfeboro, N.H., and the general public. Calvert is believed to be the oldest surviving member of the 10th to still be skiing competitively; some say he's perhaps the oldest ski racer in New England.
March Maple Madness at B&Bs INN Mt Washington Valley
Time to shake off those winter doldrums and join The Bed & Breakfasts Inn Mount Washington Valley for their annual March Maple Madness (MMM) Tour on Saturday, March 21, 2015 from 10:30AM -5PM. Embarking on a self-guided inn-to-inn tour, ticket holders will sample tasty delights both savory and sweet.
Each of the participating inns are offering a Maple Madness package including two nights lodging for two, a full Maple Madness breakfast each morning, home baked maple goodies in the afternoon, two tickets for the March Maple Madness Tour, souvenir recipe collection, an Inn-to-Inn tour map, Maple Madness March clues and directions, plus a special Maple gift. Rates start at $200 and vary by inn. Add a third night for 50-percent off the daily rate for that room category at the inn you choose. Some inns might add Maple theme dinners, horseback rides, maple centered truffles, and other treasures. Inns participating in March Maple Madness each offering their own special package include: Buttonwood Inn,Covered Bridge HouseThe Farm By The River & Stables, Mt. Washington B&B,The Notchland Inn, Spruce Moose Lodge & Cottages and two lodging country including the Inn at Ellis River.
Tickets are included as part of every MMM stay and tour package or are available for $20 per person purchased in advance from any of the participating inns. Ticket sales end on March 14th. Info: click here.
News from the Valley
Mark the Calendar for the 2015 Be Kind Festival
The snow may still be falling on Mt. Washington Valley, but planning is still well underway for the 5th Annual Be Kind Festival to be held in Schouler Park June 5 - 6, 2015. The Be Kind Festival has evolved during its history and shared much with the community through music, acts of kindness, guest speakers, health and wellness activities, a candlelight labyrinth and many free hugs. In fact, Be Kind bumper stickers have been spotted on cars from many states around the country. Be sure to mark your calendar for a visit to Mt Washington Valley June 5-6, and get in on all the random acts of kindness. The event is the biggest fundraiser for Visiting Nurse, Home Care & Hospice in support of their services and programs. Info on Facebook or here.
Family Fun in Mt Washington Valley
Celebrate Maple Sugar, New England's favorite nectar
The New Hampshire Maple Producers Association is gearing up for the 20th Annual Maple Weekend, March 28-29, 2015. Businesses throughout Mt Washington Valley will be alive with "mapleishous" demonstrations and tastings for Maple Sugar Weekend. There are plenty of opportunities throughout the Valley for families to taste maple sugar and for kids and adults both to watch how maple syrup is made.
Sat, March 28: Maple Sugaring Day Open House at Remick Museum and Farm: Celebrate the sweet taste of Spring at Remick Museum & Farm in Tamworth Village. Spend time from 10:00am to 2:00pm in the museum's working Sugar House learning about methods of producing syrup and modern evaporation while savoring a sample of their own maple syrup. Syrup and farmhouse kitchen goods will be for sale, while they last. Piglets and lambs are expected be ready for a visit, too. This is a free event. Info: Click here.
Maple Sugaring in the 100 Acre Wood:
Have you ever wanted to tap your own maple trees, but didn't have the equipment? Now you do! Believe in Books Foundationhas a "Tap Your Own" Program. "Tap Your Own" kits are available for you to rent complete with drill bits, spiles and buckets. They provide the supplies - you provide the trees!
Kits will be available in their 100 Acre Wood Sugar Shack on the weekends in March and at their office in Intervale during the week. After you've collected your sap, you can bring it back to their Sugar Shack and trade it for maple syrup! Isn't that cool?
The Believe in Books Sugar Shack and Storybook Self-Guided Trails opened the last weekend in February, and will be open weekends until the sap starts running - and after that, probably more regularly. If there is steam rolling out of the Sugar Shack, you are welcome to step inside for a firsthand look at the historic and innovative process of turning sap into maple syrup. Stop in, learn more about one of Mother Nature's sweetest and healthiest offerings and taste a sample.
Sugar Shack Tours will be held each weekend 11am-4pm and
guided tours through their Sugar Bush will be offered weekend afternoons. Enjoy a wagon ride through the woods, learn about the history of sugaring, how to identify maple trees, tap for sap, and participate in collection and sample tasting. The tour is approximately one hour. Dress according to weather. Suggested donation: $5/per person. The net proceeds of the "100 Acre Wood" Maple Syrup go directly toward Believe in Books literacy programs. Info: Click here.
The Sugar Shack at Weston's Family Farm: Always a fun place to stop for locally made and grown items, Weston's Farmis gearing up for maple syrup production. The approximate dates of production are from the end of February to mid April, depending on the weather. Visitors are always welcome to visit the sugar house to see the process first hand, but be advised to call ahead first to be sure that the sugar house is open (207-935-2567). Weston's Sugar House will definitely be open on Maine Maple Sunday (always the fourth Sunday in March and March 22nd this year) with tours and demonstrations and free samples of syrup on ice cream. Info: http://www.westonsfarm.com/.
Nothing goes better with a day on the slopes than a night of active après ski fun, and with après ski comes great food. Dine like a localand bookmark some of the Valley's "Local's Night" deals. Each restaurant has its own spin on Local's Night with some featuring a two-for-one special, while others create discounted menu items or special featured entrees just for locals (and by the way, everyone is a local!). Plan to be a "local" for the night and enjoy a great meal at a great price at some of these fun restaurants perfect for apres-ski and apres adventure.
White Mountain Cider Company features "Street Food Night" every Monday, which highlights tapas style food and international delights. They are also known for their craft cocktails and rustic atmosphere. It's Tuesday Tapas atMargarita Grill featuring specialties such as featuring chicken & Andouille sausage sliders, blackened Salmon tacos, fried Goat Cheese with caramelized onions & homemade Sangria.
How about a Pint & a Pound atOxford House Innin Fryeburg and every Thursday night? A pint of local beer or glass of wine comes with a pound of steamed mussels or clams prepared one of five different ways and a basket of fresh focaccia & sourdough multi-grain bread for just $11.95. Oxford House also features a Taco Trio Night every Tuesday, which includes a sampling of three tacos prepared with individual seasonings and spices paired with margarita specials.
Christmas Farm Innin Jackson has weekly specials from their famous Friday Fish N' Chips to their Italian Night special which offers a 3-course dinner and wine for only $29.00.
Max's Tavern atSnowvillage Innholds a "Local's Night" every Monday night, with reduced prices on special menu items. Entrees include anything from homemade gnocchi to spaghetti and meatballs. All of the cuisine at Max's Tavern if fresh, local and produced from scratch. Max's Tavern also features a Thursday night Flatbread and Oysters, plus a Burger and Beer Night on Sundays, which lets you enjoy $3 Moat or Tuckerman pints and their "Famous Max's Tavern Burger."
Traditions Restaurantat Purity Spring Resort in Madison, offers up a two-for-$25 special, featuring a prefixed three course menu. It includes a choice of soup or salad, entree, and one dessert of the evening at one base price. Traditions also features a "Buy One, Get One Half Off" special every Wednesday night.
For a great list of ideas for dining and partying in Mt Washington Valley, click here.
Get out and play in Mt Washington Valley
Red Parka Challenge Cup - longest running dual GS in the US
Registration for the 2015 Red Parka Pub Challenge Cup (RPPCC) is open. Now in its 42nd year, the RPPCC is the longest-running, pro-style dual giant slalom race in the United States. More importantly it is a fundraiser event for the Eastern Slope Ski Club, which supports youth ski development programs in the Mt. Washington Valley. This year's race is slated for Friday, March 20, at Attitash Mountain Resort. Skiers must be 21+ and both men and women skiers are welcome to compete. The registration fee is $60 in advance or $70 on race day and this is one really fun race. Your registration includes a lift ticket, guaranteed two runs on the course, an official race hat, a raffle ticket and a free dinner at the awards ceremony served by the Red Parka Pub in Ptarmigan's Pub after racing concludes. Registration forms are available at the Red Parka Pub in Glen or online at redparkapubchallengecup.com.
Fatbiking: The newest trend in the Valley
With all the fresh powder the valley has received over the last few weeks conditions are primo for outdoor winter adventure. The valley is a four season vacation destination, so of course mountain biking and cycling is a huge part of summer fun, yet some think biking has to come to an end as winter approaches. Not anymore! Great Glen Trails, Mt. Washington Valley Ski Touring FoundationandStan and Dan Sportshave partnered together provide the hottest trend in all-season biking; Fatbiking.
Great Glen Trails has 45 kilometers of trails that overlook Mount Washington and the Presidential Range. Great Glen Trails opens their trail network to fatbikes on the first and last Sunday of the month from 12:30 to 4:30pm. Upcoming dates include March 1 and 15. Trail openings are weather dependent so be sure to call guest services to confirm at 603-466-2333.
All trail and season pass holders are welcome to ride atMt Washington Valley Ski Touring & Snowshoe Foundation. The foundation has opened its ungroomed trails and its designated bike trails for fatbikers to enjoy. Trail openings are weather permitting and can be confirmed by calling 603-356-9920.
While fatbikes aren't available for rent at Mt Washington Valley Ski Touring Foundation, it does recommend rentals from Stan and Dan Sports. Bike rentals are $20.00 for a two hour ride, $25.00 for a half-day or $30.00. Spurly and Specialized are the featured fatbikes for rental and bike technicians are on hand with friendly and knowledgeable services to ensure proper fit and form.
To learn all about this hot winter biking trend and how you can add it to the list of all the fun things to do in the Mt. Washington Valley while on vacation, click here.
March events to plan your trip around
March 7: Toddler Trails and Tails at Jackson XC: Starting at 9:00am, enjoy a one hour ski (shuffle) followed by stories and snacks in the Touring center. This series is for babies/toddlers ages 0-4. All pulks, backpacks and little skis welcome. This program is FREE with adult day or seasons pass. Info: Click here.
March 7: Great Glen Trails Starlit Snowshoe Tour: From 7:00pm - 8:30pm experience the wonder of a guided night time winter walk with an Appalachian Mountain Club. You will use our senses (and no flashlights) to navigate the trails while listening for owls calling. Cost is $12 per person over 12, or $35 per family of four or more. It's free for under 12, and the minimum age is 8 years old. Snowshoe rentals are $10. Reservations are required, max participation is 20 people. Call 603-466-2333. Info: click here.
March 15: Start Fun. Start Free at Cranmore: Learn to ski or ride for free at Cranmore on March 15th. Take one of their signature GET lessons, powered by terrain based learning and get the best of the spring skiing season to practice. Free, but limited to 50 people, ages 8 and older. Reservations are required, call 603-356-5544 ext. 333 to sign up and get full details.
March 26: What's your story at Max's at Snowvillage Inn: The storyteller and the audience embark on a high-wire act of shared experience, which is hysterical, terrifying and exhilarating at this monthly event. Each show starts with a theme, the storyteller explores it, often in unexpected ways. $25 includes a 3 course dinner and tickets to the show. Doors open at 5:00pm, dinner is at 6:00pm, Showtime is at 7:00pm. Info: Click here.
Free or almost free ideas and events
Have a budding meteorologist in the family?
The Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Centerfeatures interactive science displays that are not only learning opportunities but fun for the whole family. The only museum dedicated to weather in the country, it's no wonder the Weather Discovery Center is based in the destination renowned for the world's worst weather. While here, make believe you're a weather reporter and storm watcher in the mini-weather studio featuring a real green screen and monitor. Experience what it felt like to be surrounded by the world's highest winds inside the a replica of the Observatory's original weather station. Interact with a life-size, touchable tornado; real weather instruments and a boat pond that lets you control the wind and more. The museum is open to the public, with free admission and is open daily, 10:00am - 5:00pm.
King Pine Super Savers
Enjoy the slopes at night with King Pine'sMoonlight Family 4-pack for just $58.00. On Saturday evenings family of four can ski or snowboard at King Pine from 4:00 to 9:00pm. This also includes free family racing. Also, go tubing for only $10.00 on Friday evenings at King Pine Ski Area by printing this voucher and bringing it to guest services. Info: www.KingPine.com.
New England Ski Day at Shawnee Peak
Because New Englanders are hearty skiers, Shawnee Peak is offering a special deal on March 6th for any skier showing a driver's license from a New England state. Purchase your ticket to ski or ride all day and night on Friday March 6th for just $19 with the presentation of your New England driver's license. And the deal doesn't end there. Rentals will just be $19 all day too. Better yet, kids get the deal with a license holder. Info here.
Special Offers from Black Mountain
Every Tuesday is Ladies Day when ladies ski for only $25 and childcare and clinics are available with reservations. Then it's Happy Hump Day every Wednesday when everyone skis for $17 starting at 12:30pm. On Thursday, Silver Foxes (55+ skiers) can ski all day for $25. Info: www.BlackMt.com.
The family that skates together
For families seeking a more active adventure, head over to the Ham Ice Arena in Conway. Located in Conway Village, skate to your heart's desire with open skate times and public stick and puck sessions. Public skating is $6 for adults and $4 for children aged 14 and under. Stick and Puck sessions are $10 per player and the Ham Ice Arena has skate rentals for figure and hockey skaters for $4 per pair of skates.