Big fun on small mountain

(Paul Lynch)
By Geoff Edgers
Globe Staff / March 5, 2011

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We headed north late last Thursday knowing there would be snow Friday. Sure enough, the flakes began falling just as we were making breakfast. By the time we reached King Pine — just over two hours north of Boston and less than 5 miles from my parents’ vacation house — the storm was on.

King Pine is not Loon or Attitash, meaning it’s cheaper and smaller. But it’s bigger than the bumps that pass for slopes in Massachusetts.

We wanted a ski weekend without breaking the bank. (Adult downhill day passes are $45; kids’ are $32.) We also were pleased to spend time with our friends the Lynches, and my parents, who had generously allowed us to use the vacation place.

Two years ago, I took Lila to King Pine for the first time. Then, I read a paperback and sipped hot chocolate while she took a lesson.

This time, I decided to hit the slopes for the first time since Milli Vanilli ruled the charts. Calvin couldn’t go. He’s just 10 months old. So Carlene hung back at the lodge for part of the day and took him along on a long snowshoe.

Rory and Avril ski a lot more than Lila, but kids learn fast and, without much trouble, the three of them were skiing together. I could keep up with the parents, Paul and Moira, but my form didn’t remind anyone of Alberto Tomba. What I lacked in skill I made up with in pure stupidity.

The kids were drawn to a big jump at the bottom of one of the main slopes. I slipped in between the hot-dogging snowboarders to take my own shot. My first three jumps went pretty much as expected. I caught some air and crumpled on the landing. I also provided some entertainment. At one point, before my fourth attempt, I stood next to Avril at the top of the jump.

“Can I go first?’’ she asked.

“Why?’’ I asked.

“I want to see you fall.’’

But I succeeded that time, taking a little mustard off my jump.

The Lynches had to head home Saturday afternoon, so they could only hang out for part of the day. We took the kids tubing in the morning, with Paul capturing their runs on his new, super-powerful Nikon. And then, sadly, our guests were gone.

After a quick lunch, Lila and I headed back to the slopes. Friday had been a blizzard — 16 inches of snow while we were there. Saturday was blue skies. Lila led me over the little jumps she enjoyed and through a series of narrow paths in the woods. She even conquered a black diamond.

By then, my parents had arrived, and so on Sunday morning, they watched the kids so Carlene and I could cross-country ski. (Day passes were $9.)

The trails are not as groomed as at some places. But they were beautiful and barely traveled. The sun was out, but in a muted sort of way. Two hours later, we went back to collect the kids, and headed home.

Geoff Edgers can be reached at

WHO: Globe reporter Geoff Edgers; his wife, Carlene;

their children, Lila, 8, and Calvin, 10 months; and the Lynch family

WHAT: Ski weekend

WHERE: King Pine. East Madison, N.H.

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