December 22, 2019
Day 5
Skiers: Carla & Tim

Today we visited King Pine Ski Area in Madison for our NH Talls & Smalls Adventure. Neither Tim nor I have skied here before and were excited to check out another new mountain. King Pine is part of Purity Springs, a family owned resort with an inn, campground, and private lake. Along with skiing, there are miles of snowshoe and cross-country trails as well as options for tubing and ice skating.

The ski area is located on Rt 153, and parking & lifts are directly on the main road. We were warmly greeted by a parking attendant, as well as by staff at the ticket counter. I had a voucher for a free ticket that Tim had purchased for my anniversary gift, and we purchased him a full day ticket from Ski NH online last night for $44.

King Pine had 12/17 open trails today and was running two lifts to the summit. I would classify King Pine as a small, but this little mountain packs a huge punch! The runs are short (350 ft of vertical) and are playful and fun. Both the Polar Bear & Black Bear Triples provide a swift return to the summit. The trail map gives you a sense of there being trails to the left and to the right, but at the summit it is more like a pinnacle where both chairs meet, and trail access is a full 360. The best way I can describe this is to imagine skiing off the chair into an open circle. Then look around and select which trail you would like to access like a clock face: Crooked Pine at 12 o’clock, Knotty Pine at 11, Pine Splits at 10, Pine Board at 9, Pine Cone at 8, King Pine at 7, White Pine at 6, Pitch Pine at 5, Pine Brule at 4, Jack Pine at 3, Red Pine at 2, and Pokey Pine at 1. There is also a large learning area at the base with access via magic carpet that was busy today with novice lessons. The majority of skiers were in this novice area, with mostly parents and older children utilizing the lifts. Lines were non-existent so it was really easy to loop all these trails multiple times.

The weather was a beautiful 35 degrees with partly sunny skies and the snow was the best I have skied this season! Groomed corduroy, packed with fluff on top, no ice to speak of, and a deep base. Snow remained as good at noon as it was at 8:30. Snowmaking crews have been busy, there are huge whales on unopened terrain just waiting to be smoothed out. I really think these smaller mountains have such an advantage for snowmaking over the tall mountains, and am pretty confident they will be open 100% shortly after Christmas. We skied all open terrain and were pleasantly surprised with the steep advanced pitches on Jack Pine & Pine Slalom.

The lodge is long and spacious, it reminds me of a rambling cape where rooms flow into each other in a narrow linear procession. Upon entry to the main level is the ticket desk, seating area, cubbies, & fireplace. Then you transition into a hallway and ski shop, followed by the Pine Cone Café, and ending at another large seating area with bays of windows that overlook beginner terrain. Upper level houses admin offices & the Tavern. Lower level houses the rental shop and first aid. We did visit the Tavern for a pint of Switchback before leaving, but opted to stop for a late lunch offsite on our way home.

Overall impression: Fantastic small area for novice learning, with fun steeps to provide parent entertainment while the little ones are skiing. Outstanding grooming/conditions and light traffic keeping the trails in pristine condition throughout the day. No ski off here! A good comparison: size wise in both acreage and vertical King Pine is similar to the Tuckerbrook area at Cannon. But the lifts are much faster, the vertical much steeper, and there is no lift line waits. I definitely want to return here on a powder day…. like the type of day where the masses will flock to the larger areas & stashes will disappear by mid-morning. I really think this little mountain is a treasure trove of fun and it would be like my own private ski oasis.

Snowy Wishes,
Carla Frontfive

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Love this old sign! Beautiful patina and historic. From the resort website: “Since 1939, Ski & Snowboard Camp at Purity Spring Resort has welcomed boys and girls with fun & exciting possibilities for winter recreation. Wearing leather boots strapped to wooden skis, early skiers created many tracks… and many smiles… on these friendly slopes.”

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King Pine trail map, note trails appear 2D while they really flank all sides of the mountain like a clock face. Check out the expansive snowshoe trails that cross over Rt 153 and Purity Lake.

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Summit, endless options for trail access in all directions.

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View from top of White Pine looking down towards the base

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Tim stopping near the bottom of Pine Slalom. Look at the beautiful fluff & cord!

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Snowy covered pines

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Base lodge: Rt 153 to the left, novice learning area to the right

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Beautiful fireplace & my awesome Kulkea bag! This is an inviting seating area that was very popular with non-skiing visitors.

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The picture doesn’t really capture this well, but I totally love the Christmas tree made from old ski poles placed on the lift. I need this for my house!