Whoohooo January!

Amy Patenaude

by Amy Patenaude
Outdoor/Ski Writer

New Year’s Eve is a distant memory and here we are already in the middle of January—time flies when you’re having fun. With some help from Mother Nature and great thanks to man-made snow, most of the trails are now covered knee deep with snow! The resorts are open, including

Winter in the Mountains, in between skiing Yours Truly snowshoed with Bryan Cuddihee of Rochester, NH to the top of Black Mountain in Jackson, NH. We followed the Black Mountain Ski Trail cut by the Saco CCC in 1934.  We met a group of high school students on their way up to stay at the Black Mountain Cabin, an old log cabin built by the CCC and now rented out by the US Forest Service. The cabin can also be reached by cross country skiing up the Jackson Ski Touring’s Pasture Trail (trail fee required).
Winter in the Mountains, in between skiing Yours Truly snowshoed with Bryan Cuddihee of Rochester, NH to the top of Black Mountain in Jackson, NH. We followed the Black Mountain Ski Trail cut by the Saco CCC in 1934. We met a group of high school students on their way up to stay at the Black Mountain Cabin, an old log cabin built by the CCC and now rented out by the US Forest Service. The cabin can also be reached by cross country skiing up the Jackson Ski Touring’s Pasture Trail (trail fee required).

Nordic centers too.IMG_5668

Fireworks and Torchlight  Parade at Cannon Mountain during Christmas week were FUN! and they’ll do fireworks again on February 20th! Saturday Family FUN Nights at Cannon on January 16th will include the Bouncy House and a movie just for the kids while the parents enjoy live music and dancing in the Cannonball Pub.
Fireworks and Torchlight Parade at Cannon Mountain during Christmas week were FUN! and they’ll do fireworks again on February 20th! Saturday Family FUN Nights at Cannon on January 16th will include the Bouncy House and a movie just for the kids while the parents enjoy live music and dancing in the Cannonball Pub.

January is the beginning of a new year and the beginning of the new snowsports season. The first week of January is a busy week. Busloads of school children enrolled in ski and snowboard lesson programs have hit the slopes for their first outing of the season. Thousands of New Hampshire youngsters are taking advantage of snowsports lesson programs at their local “hill.”
This is a good time to mention the good deal that Ski New Hampshire offers—the 4th & 5th Grade Snowsports Passport! Available from SkiNH.com for the price of $35, the Passport provides one lift ticket/Nordic pass to each of the 33 alpine and cross country ski resorts the association represents. The Passport also includes an additional special offer from each resort for your 4th or 5th grader. That’s a lot of snow fun.
Adults are hitting the slopes after work in January too. Adult racing leagues began the first week of January. It still might not be too late to join a race league since a few teams may still have a slot or two yet to be filled. Pats Peak, Gunstock, Bretton Woods, Crotched, Granite Gorge and Whaleback have night race leagues. Cranmore, Cannon and Loon race mid-day. Don’t be shy. Why not give your favorite resort a call and find out if they can squeeze you in on a team; or at least go be a racer chaser and watch your friends weave through the gates.
If racing isn’t your gig there are learning programs just for adults. You can be coached (doesn’t that sound like more fun than taking a lesson) in a private or adult group. Every ski area offers their own great deal for novices. There are packages that will reward you with a season’s pass or even a pair of new skis for you to keep.

Charlie Gunn of Henniker, skate skiing up the trail at Bretton Woods.  New Hampshire Nordic Centers are open. Don’t delay signing up for the 15th Annual New England Nordic Ski Association’s Women’s Day being held at Jackson Ski Touring on January 24th, The Silver Fox Trot in Hanover on February 27th and the New England Ski Museum’s Nordic Marathon at Bretton Woods on March 7th--for more information for all these events and more visit NESA.net
Charlie Gunn of Henniker, skate skiing up the trail at Bretton Woods. New Hampshire Nordic Centers are open. Don’t delay signing up for the 15th Annual New England Nordic Ski Association’s Women’s Day being held at Jackson Ski Touring on January 24th, The Silver Fox Trot in Hanover on February 27th and the New England Ski Museum’s Nordic Marathon at Bretton Woods on March 7th–for more information for all these events and more visit NESA.net

I race on a team at Pats Peak on Monday nights. This was the first fast skiing that I tried to do and for a few of my teammates it was their first time on skis this winter. What great fun. It was a homecoming celebration for returning teams and a welcoming party for the new teams. I think I was faster last year, ha ha. We all are hoping to get faster as the weeks go by. Apres ski in the Sled Pub we may have eaten the pizza and the wings faster than we skied but I bet we were in the top three for having the most fun! Our team’s result of 10th overall leaves lots of room for improvement. We’ll try harder next Monday.
Charlie and I have cross country skied at Bretton Woods, Jackson Ski Touring, Bear Notch and right in our backyard on the Franconia Inn’s trails. Snow coverage varies but the conditions for the most part were quite good. There was just enough snow for the light machines to get out to groom the snow.
Jackson Ski touring will be hosting this year’s version of the 15th annual New England Women’s XC Day on January 24th. Space is limited for the popular gathering of never-evers to high school racers to learn or to improve their skills by being coached by some of the best women cross country skiers around. The top-notch volunteer coaches are Olympians, college & master racers and great coaches. Rentals and demo-equipment will be available. For more information and to sign up, visit the New England Nordic Ski Association’s website—nensa.net.
In between skiing I’ve been out for some winter mountain snowshoe adventures. Winter is fun and we are lucky there are so many snowsport options. Snowshoeing, snow-tubing, snow-bikes and even fat tire bicycles are out on the trails along with the skiers and snowboarders. No more excuses, bundle up and go outside.
I hope to see you on the trails.
Have fun.