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To ski or shop this weekend?

Posted by Heather Burke  December 13, 2012 10:43 AM

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This weekend is notoriously under popular on the slopes. As procrastinators scurry around decorating and tackling their holiday to do list, the slopes are white and often wide open. The weather has been more seasonably cold, allowing resorts to lay down some freshies the last few nights.

Here are my top picks for where you should be skiing, instead of shopping.snowmaking_sunday_river.jpg

Sunday River has the most terrain open in the East, 44 trails and 200 acres, and they are celebrating their annual Winterfest Weekend with lodging deals, $5 night skiing Saturday 4-8pm (free if you have a lift ticket that day), fireworks at 8:30pm, and a Viking Party at the Foggy Goggle. You may remember that the Viking was Sunday River's original logo, so dress in Viking God or Goddess attire and your could win a gold season pass.

Saddleback opens for the season on Saturday, and lift tickets are only $29 through December 20.

Okemo and Mount Sunapee are both celebrating the spirit of giving this weekend. Saturday is Okemo Cares and Shares, donate at least five non-perishable food items, a new child's toy, or a new clothing item, and receive a $39 lift ticket good that day. Mount Sunapee offers the same special this Sunday.

Killington has 35 trails and 182 acres of skiing and riding, its Vermont Holiday Fest at the Killington Grand Resort Hotel this weekend so you can ski then shop at the Jack Frost marketplace, and view the 100 decorated Christmas trees on display there.

Stowe has 31 and 120 acres, while Stratton has 35 trails and 168 acres - and both have fantastic shopping in town. Mount Snow has on snow demos on Saturday, and 16 trails to ski on 100 acres.

Crotched has 5 trails and top to bottom skiing served by their spiffy new Rocket quad that reaches the summit in under 4 minutes. Loon has the most open terrain in New Hampshire, 20 trails covering 134 acres. Bretton Woods is not far behind with 15 trails and 101 acres of skiing.Bretton_woods500.jpg

Wachusett has a shop and ski special, do you holiday shopping at MTNside ski and ride shop now through Christmas eve, spend $200, and get a free lift ticket you can use anytime.

So there is plenty going on in the mountains this weekend, way more fun than the mall.

See you on the slopes.

Photos by Greg Burke of Sunday River and Bretton Woods

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Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.

Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.

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