December 29, 2019
Day 6
Skiers: Carla & Tim

Today was a gamble on conditions from the aftermath of varying temps with thaws & refreezes. 12/27-12/28 I absolutely would not have skied anywhere in the state! Conditions where slick, iced, and calling it “dust on crust” would be far too generous. We opted to ski today knowing the groomers just needed time to work their magic- and that they did!

We used our Ride & Ski cards to support Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD) and paid a discounted cost of $64 per ticket instead of the standard Holiday rate of $89. 37/68 trails and 8/11 lifts were open, not bad considering the lack of snowfall and warm temps. I think Santa is listening to too much Jimmy Buffet and took off to Christmas Island, forgetting to deliver Christmas snow to NH…. I honestly can’t recall the last time the trails were this bare over holiday vacation week.

We started the day on the Flying Yankee Quad and took the Upper Highway (blue) to Spillway (black) back to base. We then rode the Summit Triple to the top and climbed the observation tower to get some pictures. Wouldn’t you know, more stellar views of Mount Washington! This 6288K beast has appeared in 4/6 of my posts. We did a few more runs on Attitash Peak including blacks Humphreys Ledge, Tightrope, Idiots Option, Upper Ptarmigan, and blues Upper/Lower Saco, Cathedral, Northwest Passage, Moat, and Chickens Option. The morning snow from 830-1030 on Attitash Peak was lovely and smooth, like skiing on a bed of shaved Kona Ice. It definitely took some serious grooming to achieve the quality of snow, and it totally surpassed our expectations.

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View from the Attitash Peak summit observation deck overlooking Upper Saco. Mount Washington flanked by Monroe & Madison with visible snow. Foreground is Mt. Stanton, Iron Mtn, and Pinkham Notch.

We then worked our way over to Bear Peak. Conditions here were much different- imagine a freezer burnt ribeye, hard as a rock with a frosty exterior. We made a few runs on blues Kachina, Illusion, Morning Star, and Snow Dancer, but they all rode like blacks and were not suited for novice/intermediate skiers. After a break for coffee at the Bear Peak base lodge we worked our way back over to Attitash Peak.

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View from summit of Bear Peak. Morning Star trail to the right, Avenger (closed) to the left. Note these two young ladies carefully sidestepping over icy conditions. Mount Washington can be viewed in the background.

By this time it was close to noon. The crowds had picked up a bit, and the Kona Ice that rode so smoothly in the early morning was skiing off rather quickly. I almost got wiped out by a group of little ones in ski school on a slick portion of the green trail Far Out, then worse by a young girl in a full on snow plow going way too fast on black trail Spillway. I figured that was my cue to pack it up. We did consider heading over to Wildcat to ski for the last two hours but opted not to since there was no new terrain open from when we skied there a few weeks back. It also was in the opposite direction from home and would have added on an extra hour of drive time.

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View of the base lodge & loading area of the Flying Yankee. I took this picture on our last run around 1230, not exactly crowded for an Epic mountain during vacation week. Note the blue Alpine Slide.

Overall impression: Great recovery from an ice ball of a weather week with smooth early morning tracks. Open terrain is comparable with other ski areas in the region, and offered a nice variety of blacks (which many mountains haven’t opened yet). Crowd was minimal considering this was a peak weekend between Christmas and New Year’s, and lift lines moved swiftly. Lastly, please bring back your Waffle Cabin! I seriously was so excited to visit Attitash and get my first waffle of the season…. I sadly settled for the PB&H in my brown bag lunch on the ride home.

Snowy Wishes,
Carla Frontfive

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Riding the Flying Yankee. Note the lack of snow & the rails for the mountain coaster. Summit Triple can be seen far right.

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A graveyard of old pipes near the top of White Horse

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This CAT is a beast!

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I climbed under it to get a close up of those menacing teeth

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A selfie as I was headed out for the day