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Ski Notebook

He’s always in a skiing state of mind

By Marty Basch and T.D. Thornton
Globe Correspondents / February 18, 2010

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One more state and Arnie Wilson can say he’s skied in every one in the United States with lift service.

That would be another on-snow accomplishment for the British Financial Times correspondent who skied into the Guinness Book of World Records after schussing every day in 1994, visiting 13 countries and 240 ski areas.

The West Sussex, England, resident was here last month skiing Rhode Island’s sole ski area, Yawgoo Valley, as part of a lengthy road trip that also took him to states he hadn’t skied - New Jersey and Ohio - and others he already had (Vermont, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Minnesota) so he could increase the total number of ski resorts he has skied around the world to 671 before returning home.

Boston Ski and Snowboard Expo chief Bernie Weischel accompanied Wilson.

At Yawgoo, Wilson left his heli-ski gloves behind, and they were sent to Weischel’s Boston office and then forwarded to the Brit in Minnesota.

“It occurred to me that skiing Yawgoo Valley with heli-ski gloves was a little pretentious anyway,’’ Wilson wrote in an e-mail.

From Yawgoo, the two went north to Stowe and Sugarbush before venturing to Mountain Creek in Vernon, N.J.

“I have always loved skiing in the East although this may not be as fashionable as the Rockies,’’ Wilson e-mailed. “I suppose if I only had one week’s skiing each winter I would head for Colorado or Utah, but since I am fortunate enough to ski most of the winter, I have had time to fall in love with that special East Coast ambience - skiing in the woods, hearing the owls hoot, and enjoying the New England hospitality.’’

The duo found fresh Pennsylvania powder at Camelback, took turns in Ohio at Boston Mills Brandywine, skied with one of Weischel’s college pals at Wisconsin’s Tyrol Basin, and carved in Minnesota at Welch Village.

“I’m amazed, if I say so myself, how much was accomplished,’’ commented Weischel.

Wilson’s last state: Arizona. He plans on doing that next season to reach a total of 38 states. When he started his quest in 1994, there were 40 states with lift service, with Georgia and Nebraska since shuttered, according to Wilson. Should any states add lift service, Wilson will be back to ski them.

Bridging the gap
Skiers wanting to tackle the Lower Nanamocomuk Ski Trail or snowshoe the scenic Boulder Loop Trail in the White Mountain National Forest have easier access now that a covered bridge is open again to pedestrians.

The Albany Covered Bridge over the Swift River is the gateway to several skiing and hiking trails. Located 6 miles west of Conway, N.H., on the Kancamagus Highway, the bridge - closed since November - will reopen to vehicles in the spring.

Bike show at Camden
Snowboardcross on mountain bikes comes to the Camden Snow Bowl along the Maine coast Sunday during the second stop of the two-state Winterbike World Championship Series 2010. No studded tires allowed and helmets are mandatory for the races, which feature four riders at a time down the course. There are cumulative championship points for the series, which began Feb. 7 at Auburn’s Lost Valley and wraps up March 27 at Bretton Woods in New Hampshire. A big air on bikes contest is planned at the finals.

Upcoming deals
Mothers have a day all to themselves on Monday at Suicide Six outside Woodstock, Vt. Mother’s Monday features $40 lift tickets, rentals, and lunch for moms . . . Grab a $99 Spring Fling Pass at Crotched Mountain in Bennington, N.H., and use it from Feb. 22 until season’s end . . . Athletes from local high schools vie for bragging rights in a terrain park showdown during Saturday’s Battle for Burlington at Vermont’s Bolton Valley, while at Jay Peak skiers and riders show what they’ve got in a rail jam . . . Jay Peak is also giving families of deployed soldiers free season ski passes to the resort. Residents from the surrounding counties - Franklin, Orleans, Caledonia, and Lamoille - also get half-off rentals and skiing and riding lessons . . . Free-heelers navigate gates, a small jump, and some cross-country terrain during the 26th annual Kare Anderson Telemark Race this Sunday at Bromley in Manchester, Vt. . . . Go huge at Nashoba Valley during Sunday’s USASA Slopestyle and Rail Jam. Bromley Mountain has a telemark festival this Sunday. The $55 ticket includes clinics, an assortment of demo equipment, and a series of races . . . Skiers who bring two nonperishable food items to the Bolton Valley food drive Feb. 25 get their choice of a ticket discount, either $25 for Alpine or $10 for Nordic . . . Wildcat has another $9 Friday lift ticket promotion scheduled for Feb. 26 . . . Pats Peak is offering free H1N1 flu vaccinations on Feb. 26.

Titles on the line
The Massachusetts high school Alpine skiing championships for slalom and giant slalom are at Wachusett Mountain Feb. 24. The races start at 9:30 a.m. . . . The next day, Wachusett will sound the alarm for fire departments from around New England to participate in the 13th annual Fire Fighters Ski Muster to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Teams of five - clad in full safety gear - blaze down the slopes in a series of relay and individual events. The highlight is the fire-hose slalom, in which teams race through gates while holding a 50-foot fire hose. Prizes will be awarded for fund-raising. Entry is $500 per team and includes lift tickets, T-shirts, and discount guest coupons. Details are online at www.wachusett.com.

Dogs set to dash
The Burke Mountain Sled Dog Dash Feb. 27-28 is a free way for families to spend a winter day (9 a.m.-3 p.m.) outdoors and close to animals. Kids can sign up for complimentary sled dog rides, and spectators can snowshoe or hike alongside the race trails. Local chefs will provide hot food on both days of the event. A spectator guide and full schedule is available online at www.sleddogdash.com.