skiing

Scott Coultas via Flickr CC

As warmer weather has moved into New Hampshire, most of the state's more than 30 ski resorts have already closed. But Loon Mountain, Cannon Mountain and Mount Sunapee will stay open Saturday and Sunday, Bretton Woods will remain open through Monday, and Wildcat Mountain is planning to offer daily skiing through April 26.

Molly Mahar at Loon Mountain says this ski season only really hit its peak in the spring, well after the more traditional high points such as Christmas, New Year’s and Presidents Day.

Courtesy of Loon Mountain

The owner of 16 major ski resorts including New Hampshire’s Bretton Woods, Loon Mountain and Mount Sunapee is considering leaving the ski industry.

The real estate investment trust CNL Lifestyle Properties says it is still weighing its options, which may include a private buyout or listing the properties as a publicly traded exchange.

The firm owns resorts from Maine to California including Sunday River and Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine, Okemo Mountain in Vermont, Brighton in Utah,  Crested Butte in Colorado and Sierra-at-Tahoe in California..

Mount Sunapee Advisory Committee

The Mount Sunapee ski resort is hoping to build out a new 75 acre area of the mountain known as the “West Bowl” with new trails and a new, high speed chairlift. But to do that, it needs to overcome some environmental concerns. Opponents to the plan say the build-out would likely raze a section of forest that a new report says is part of a thriving ecosystem with some trees as old as 170 years-old.

Some of the state’s largest ski areas owe their success to lease agreements that allow them to use land owned by the state of Vermont. But State Auditor Doug Hoffer says the state ought to be charging higher rates for use of this pristine mountain land.

Kelsey Ohman via flickr Creative Commons

In New Hampshire, skiing is one of winter’s biggest perks and the best cure for cabin fever. The first skiers put two planks on their feet and slid down a mountain, not as a past time but as a way to hunt. On today’s show, a National Geographic reporter sets out on the trail of the earliest skiers in human history and finds himself elk hunting in the far reaches of western China where he witnesses a skiing tradition thousands of years old.

Also, a couple embarks on a medical odyssey to find relief from a devastating illness. And talking to strangers may be good for your health. The psychology behind interacting with people you don't know.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Spring is finally here, but at least one New Hampshire ski resort is holding out for another weekend of running the ski lifts.  Wildcat Mountain is open this weekend. There's still snow on some trails.  The ski area began operating daily for the 2013-2014 season on Nov. 3.  It plans to close again on Monday, April 28, through Friday, May 2, with the possibility of opening again next weekend.  

Via CannonMT.com

The three remaining ski areas that are open in New Hampshire are planning to close after this weekend.

The "Ski New Hampshire" website shows that Loon Mountain Resort, Cannon Mountain and Bretton Woods plan to operate this weekend.

Loon and Cannon plan to close at the end of the day Sunday. Bretton Woods is offering skiing through Monday.

Fifteen other New Hampshire ski areas are closed for the season, with many of the larger areas closing last weekend.

Backlit Rings [Sochi]
Ken Yee / Flickr Creative Commons

 New Hampshire is well represented at the Olympic Games this year, with ten Granite Staters competing at Sochi. 

That’s particularly true in Men’s Ski Jumping, with two out of three team members coming from New Hampshire:  Nick Alexander of Lebanon and Nick Fairall of Andover.

Recently, NHPR visited the ski club where it all started for Fairall.

Top 10 Lost Ski Sites In New Hampshire

Feb 11, 2014
nelsap.org

Do you ski or snowboard? Do you find yourself going to the same crowded slopes all winter long? Do you need a change? If you said yes to any of these questions, then you need to discover (or rediscover) New Hampshire's 175 lost ski areas. The New England Lost Ski Areas Project (NELSAP) founded by Jeremy Davis has dedicated a website to sharing information, pictures, and brochures for those long lost ski spots. Even Concord, NHPR's hometown, has some lost gems at Russel's Pond and Snow Pond. Chances are, there's a hidden ski slope near year.

Here is Jeremy's list of the top 10 lost ski sites in New Hampshire:

Courtesy Pam Brooks Crowley

While looking for a photo to illustrate a Word of Mouth story on the history of skiing in N.H., I happened upon this gem on Flickr. The photo is of photographer Pam Brooks Crowley's father and his cross country teammates taken in Lisbon, New Hampshire in 1936. 

The Winter Olympics are in full swing, and among those going for gold at Sochi are eight New Hampshire residents. Today on Word of Mouth, we’ll go back to the days before lifts and lodges to find out why a tiny state with icy mountains has produced so many champs. Also, last night marked the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles’  first performance on the Ed Sullivan Show, an event that drew the largest audience for any program in the history of television up to that time, and has remained burned into America’s collective memory. We’ll take a deeper look into the start of Beatle-mania.

There’s certainly no shortage of enthusiasm for hitting New Hampshire’s ski slopes in winter, but there are concerns the industry is headed for tough times in years to come.

www.nickfairall.com

Andover native Nick Fairall will take part in the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February.

Fairall secured a spot on the U.S. ski jumping team with his win at the Olympic Trials in Park City, Utah this past weekend.

Fairall, 24, has been skiing since he was six years old, cutting his teeth at the Andover Outing Club.

He says while competing in his first Olympics will be thrilling, he won’t be satisfied until he has the ultimate prize.

“Well, obviously, like everyone’s goal, is Olympic gold.”

adamjackson1984 / Flickr Creative Commons

Whaleback Mountain, a one lift ski area in Enfield will open this weekend. A community fund-raising blitz helped secure the money to buy the mountain after its owners went bankrupt last year.

Whaleback was saved after a community group cobbled together $300,000 from fund-raising and a grant from the Byrne Foundation to buy the defunct ski area from the bank.

“We are wishing the weatherman was slightly more cooperative,” says John Schiffman a retired accountant in Lebanon who spearheaded the effort.

©Jonas Bendiksen/National Geographic

As the first snows fall, weekend warriors from all over New England will pack up the car, strap the skis to the roof and hit the slopes for a fairly expensive getaway. But in some places, skiing is a strategy for staying alive. Mark Jenkins, a contributing writer for National Geographic traveled to the northern most fringe of western China where skiing was invented many millennia ago. He spoke with the people who carry on the earliest skiing traditions, using the same resources and methods as their ancestors.

Photo courtesy Christopher Lamb

The 2014 winter Olympics begin on February seventh in Sochi, Russia. Until this week, talk about the games focused on worries that there might not be enough snow, and international criticism and threats to boycott the games because of Russia’s law banning what it called “homosexual propaganda.” On Monday, President Vladimir Putin reversed course and said that everyone will be welcome to Sochi. As to the snow, there are no certain answers.

Mt. Eustis Ski Area To Make A Comeback In 2014

Sep 11, 2013

Plans are in the works to bring back the Mount Eustis ski area in northern New Hampshire, which has been closed since the early 1970s.The town of Littleton will lease the 33-acre property to the nonprofit Mt. Eustis Ski Hill Group for $1 a year. A three-year lease starts Oct. 1.

The Caledonian-Record reports the plan is to reopen the slopes for skiers and local school ski programs after Jan. 1. It would be run by volunteers and funded through donations.

Mount Eustis has two open trails and a natural gladed area in between.

Years ago while chasing my then- toddler  around a small hillside park in Derry, I found a large chunk of iron; It was an odd site, this hulking engine block in the brush and undergrowth at the top of the hill. Then I noticed the telephone poles.  They were several feet back in the woods. Two of the poles had wheel hubs displaying just a hint of the yellow they were once painted. A thin wire bowed between two of them.

This was a rope tow.

Flikr / AspenSnowmass

A new study warns that climate change could devastate the economies of states like New Hampshire that rely heavily on winter tourism.

After a rough winter season last year, New Hampshire tourism officials predict nearly seven million people will visit the state between now and the end of February.

The state Division of Travel and Tourism Development says those tourists are expected to spend $860 million, which would be up by 9 percent over last year.

Those figures come from the Institute for New Hampshire Studies.

Matthew B. Brown

In winter sports communities out west, ski lodges are shedding their antlers for a more contemporary decor. But does the cocoa taste as sweet? And will New England ever give up its slopeside a-frame aesthetic?

N.H. Ski Resorts Begin To Open

Nov 16, 2012

At least two New Hampshire ski resorts are opening for business.

unofficialsquaw.com, courtesy Flickr

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

 

Dear EarthTalk: I’m in the market for a new pair of skis. Are there skis being made today that are made with materials and processes that are kinder to the environment? -- Scott Paxton, Rutland, VT