Ski Guru

Ski in The New Year!

Last season I remember how desolate the ski landscape of New England was at this time. On January 10th the thermometer topped out at 70ºF in downtown Boston. There was very little snow to be had anywhere because our mountains were constantly battling the warm air and that nasty “R” word.

Fast forward to NOW.

The Ski Season: So far New England ski areas could have not dreamt up a better start to the season. Plenty of cold air for snowmaking coupled with above average natural snowfall have made the skiing and riding the best the region has seen in decades for this time of year. Current conditions are approaching “World Class to So Ridiculous it is almost Unbelievable!”

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Mount Ellen, aka Sugarbush North and Slidebrook to the left. pic ~ S.G. taken Sat 12/15, apx 9:00 am

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View image of the same spot 24 hours later on Sun 12/16

Really we do not normally see the areas in this kind of shape heading into the Xmas/NYE holidays. Get out there and take advantage of it while you still can.

Here is a breakdown of what is happening in the north country this holiday week.


Would you rather stay close to home? Then hit up Wachusett in Princeton, MA. Here is what they ae selling.

There are 2 packages to choose from:
Mountain Package – $49*
– Ski or ride until Midnight
– Fireworks Display
– Balloon Drop at Midnight
– Magician Eddie Raymond
– Live Music by Bruce Jacques
– Kids Karaoke
**Snow Tubing 6-10PM ($5 additional)**
Call to order tickets in advance 978-464-2300 ext. 3200
*Century Passholders- your passes are valid all night!
**$10 COW Card 1/2 night refund available for people who only ski until 10 PM
Champagne Package – $85 (plus tax and tip)
– Hor D’oeuvres in the Coppertop
– All of Mountain Package listed above
– Gourmet Buffet in the Spruce Room
– A Champagne toast at Midnight
– Party Favors
– Dessert
– Complimentary Lift Ticket for Season Pass Holders
**Snow Tubing (6-10PM) also available- $5 additional
Reservations REQUIRED, space is limited 978-464-2300 ext. 3705

Are you thinking about heading up to Sunday River? Then you may want to check out this package from the Bethel Inn Resort.

NYE Stay & Dine Packages start at $140 pp/pn at this classic New England resort, just 6.8 miles from Sunday River Ski Resort. Enjoy country elegant resort accommodations, a five course dinner in the Main Dining Room and Veranda, hearty country breakfast and full use of resort activities including an health club with an outdoor heated pool, whirlpool, saunas, fitness center with NEW Spa services and XC skiing available. Ski packages available at Sunday River with a complimentary ski shuttle and overnight slopeside ski storage included.
Plus, live entertainment at two venues… A five piece rhythm and blues band at the Conference Center or live entertainment with our in-house entertainer Rob Robbins at the piano bar at The Millbrook Tavern. Kids’ party, complimentary sleigh rides and family activities and events on the Bethel Common.

Shawnee Peak, ME is offering $12 tickets from 4-9pm on December 31! There is also a dinner party detailed below.

Enjoy A Sumptuous Dinner And Maine’s Best Rock and Roll One-Man Show in Blizzard’s Pub at Shawnee Peak!
Choose from one of our incredible dinner specials or order off the menu.
Just $10/person Includes:
Entertainment – 8:30pm-12:30am
Party Favor, Champagne toast
Reservations welcome for parties of 4 or more.
Credit Card Payment Required for Reservations. Limited Seating for Walk-ins. First-come First served. Call 207-647-8444 ext. 20 for more information or reservations.

Here is the breakdown from America’s best family ski resort: Smugglers’ Notch, VT

Enjoy a Grand New Year’s Eve Celebration featuring fireworks, late night entertainment, party favors and a variety of optional dining alternatives right in Smugglers’ Resort Village.
Kids’ Night Out is available until 12:30 am so parents may choose to paint the town as a couple while the children enjoy their own holiday party. Families who want to stick together may play at the indoor FunZone, watch fireworks and ice skate under the lights. Smugglers’ free on-demand shuttle service lets guests enjoy a fun and celebratory evening in the Resort Village without driving.
The Club Smugglers’ Advantage Package is loaded with all the best deals Smuggs can offer – lodging in well-appointed condominiums, daily lift tickets to ski/ride three inter-connected mountains, all day on-slope teaching programs for 3-5 year olds and daily group lessons for ages 6-17. Beginner adults also receive a daily 1.5 hour learn-to-ski lesson. Families on the package receive unlimited use of the FunZone indoor family play center, teen centers, heated pools and all the evening family and adult entertainment provided.
Guests who are able to stay during the first week of the new year, January 1 – 5, 2008 can take advantage of the special School’s Out rate.
Holiday rates on the popular Club Smugglers’ Vacation Package are in effect through December 31. Beginning on January 1, rates drop to $149 per adult and $135 per youth for a 5-7 night stay. Guests on the Club Smugglers’ package receive 50 percent off child care programs at TREASURES for a cost of $36 per day from January 2-27, 2008. From January 6-26, Club Smugglers’ Vacation Package rates are at the lowest rates of the year; $109 per adult and $95 per youth on a 5-7 night stay.
For package details, rates and recommendations by Smugglers’ knowledgeable reservation staff, call 1-800-451-8752 or book online at www.smuggs.com

handout pic from Smuggs’

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How about a quick list of events from Ski New Hampshire!

December 31 GUNSTOCK: Mountain Magic Eve
December 31 – MOUNT SUNAPEE: New Year’s Eve Celebration
Enjoy fireworks, dancing, and buffet dinner in Goosefeather’s Pub.
December 31 – PATS PEAK: New Years Eve Party
Enjoy live music, a Monte Carlo raffle, kids activities, fireworks and more.
December 31 – WATERVILLE VALLEY: Little Slammer-Snowboard
Terrain park event for Little Slammer/Snowboarders
December 31 – WATERVILLE VALLEY: Fireworks
New Year’s Eve Fireworks in Town Square

The week of the New Year’s at Wildcat, NH there will be some fun on the snow. The resort is also celebrating it’s 50th year of operations:

December 30th – 31st Nevado Mountain Adventures On Snow Demo
Come ski and ride with Nevado Demo Team members and get the most out of what is new in the industry. Just bring a valid drivers license and each hour you can test the new products Nevado (www.nevado.com) has to offer.
January 1st Liftopia.com Discount Tickets
A limited number of discount tickets for New Year’s Day are now available online at Liftopia (www.liftopia.com). If you haven’t already used Liftopia already, it is similar to that of the now familiar online discount airfare, hotel, or rental car vendors, and it allows a good number of New England resorts, resorts out West, and skiers and riders to meet up via a more fluid marketplace. Definitely good deals will be had at Wildcat this season through Liftopia.

Loon, NH is getting a buzz on at this NYE party. Note there is a dress code?!?!

The Bunyan Room will once again host its NYE party. It’s from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets cost $25. Price includes appetizers. There is a DJ. Dress: No jeans, no t-shirts, no “sweatsuits”. This party usually sells out in about 5 days, and Charlie will start selling tickets in the Bunyan Room next weekend, December 22.

Jiminy Peak, MA is stepping out and showing off a lot of early season snow. The Berkshires are doing as well as anyone in New England and it always nice to be there around the holidays.

After the holiday festivities are done, come join us at Jiminy Peak for a little break. There are just 10 rooms available in buildings 6 and 7 of the Country Inn being offered at a special $399 per night, including 2 lift tickets and tax. This offer is valid December 26th through December 31st. There is a 2 night minimum stay with this offer. Call a Jiminy Peak reservation agent at (800) 882-8859 to reserve your stay over the phone. Relax and enjoy a great ski getaway at Jiminy Peak!

Okemo, VT seems to have all the bases covered as usual.

Okemo has your New Year’s Eve plans all dialed in. Since you’ve been skiing and riding all weekend, there’s no sense taxing yourself when you have a full day of celebrating ahead of you. Okemo is extending its Sunday Solution Ticket offer to Monday, Dec. 31, so you can ski from 8 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. This special 5 1/2 hour lift ticket is just $63 for Adults, $52 for Young Adults and Seniors, and $41 for Juniors and Super Seniors.
Treat yourself to a nice lunch at Epic or any one of Okemo’s slopeside eateries. Enjoy the afternoon with a relaxing sauna, soak in a hot tub at Okemo’s Spring House, or get a massage at the Jackson Gore Inn. The New Year festivities begin with an après ski party in the Sitting Bull. Jen Murdza will warm you up with her rockin’ rhythm and steamy blues after a day on the slopes.
If you’re thinking of making it an early night so you can be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed while everyone else is nursing a new year hangover, opt for Willie Dunn’s Annual New Years Eve Dinner Buffet. Please call ahead for reservations at 802-228-1387. Or how about an ice skating pizza party at Okemo’s Ice House skating rink?
For those champagne tastes and caviar dreams, how about dining and dancing in the new year at Okemo’s Coleman Brook Tavern and Wine Room. Enjoy Executive Chef Michael Breen’s culinary creations while listening to the music of Brawner Brothers Band. Dinner starts with an amuse bouche and ends with a champagne toast at midnight. The prix fixe is $125 per person and reservations will be accepted starting at 9 p.m. Call (802) 228-1435. For more info about Okemo, call 802-228-1600

This (amongst other things) is what will go down at Sunapee, NH

December 26 we have Sugar on Snow. A local sugar house sets up outside Sunapee Lodge and serves sugar on snow to our guests.
December 27 and 30 we have Andrew Pinard (Absolutely Magic) in Sunapee Lodge from 11am until 1pm moving from table to table doing sleight of hand and table magic with our guests. We have a lot of families and he is a big hit.
December 31 we have our New Years Eve Celebration in Goosefeathers Pub. It is a family event. We serve a family buffet followed by a DJ. Dinner is served from 7:00 – 8:30pm. $20 age 13 and up. $10 12 and under. Fireworks are at 9:00pm so the kids can hit the hay and be up early for skiing and riding on New Years Day.

Cannon, NH is primed with snow. Great Mountain! www.cannonmt.com

Cannon will be close to 100% open for Christmas week. We just received 18” of new snow in this last storm and snowmaking has been hammering the trails non-stop for over a month. Total snow received this year is at 84” – WOW. Skiing/riding couldn’t be better for December!!
Over the vacation week we have the following:
Buy a 10 pack of tickets for only $499!
December 27 – Radio Disney will be at the mountain.
December 29 – Torch light parade and Fireworks at 5pm, during Apres
What’s a “Cannonista?!”… Find out at www.cannonmt.com

Thinking about acting like a Maniac on NYE? Check what Sugarloaf, ME has happening.

The Widowmaker Lounge has taken NYE to a new level by extending the party all weekend long. They have four nights planned to span the decades. On Friday and Saturday, they’ve got The Returnables playing the hits from the 1960s. On Sunday night, the funk and groove of the 70s comes to life with the one and only Motor Booty Affair, and then for Monday, NYE, hop in the Delorean and go back in time to the 1980s with Fast Times, which is an all 80s retro cover band in cringe worthy attire.
Because NYE is always a sell out, the Widowmaker is selling weekend-long passes for $55, which covers all four nights.

handout picture of the NYE band Fast Times from Sugarloaf

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Bretton Woods, NH – tons of options, endless events for all tastes, this is on tap…

December 24th – Christmas Eve Full Moon Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Tour
Join our Nordic Center staff on this hour-long excursion along the cross-country moonlit trails of the Resort. If the views and experience are not hot enough, hot chocolate and a roaring fire will warm you following the adventure.
December 26–29th – Winter Family Fun Break
Spend the day skiing at Bretton Woods or participate in any one of a myriad of daytime offerings at The Mount Washington Hotel. Ongoing activities include snow tubing, ice skating, sleigh rides, dog-sledding, snowmobiling, a variety of snowshoe tours, as well as the Kid’s Club day and evening programs at The Mount Washington Hotel. For details, or to make a reservation for one of these activities, please call (603) 278-8989.
December 26-28th – Rooster’s Rockets Training Camp for Skiers ages 4-12
This will be the ideal opportunity to warm-up the ski legs and start the season on the right track with some good coaching and video analysis. The program begins at 9:30 and finishes the day at 3:00 pm, with a break for lunch from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm. The cost of the program including lift ticket is $250.
December 30-January 1, 2008 – A New Year Celebration
Enjoy fine cuisine, music and libations during Mount Washington Resort’s three-day gala celebration at The Mount Washington Hotel. Whether you prefer an elegant dinner in Grand Ballroom with dancing to the sounds of a live big band, or a fun family-friendly celebration with music in The Dining Room, New Year’s Eve will be an occasion for all to enjoy. Special children and teen parties are available. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 1-877-873-0626.

handout photo from Bretton Woods

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Stratton, VT step up to the plate with all sorts of options.

Vermont in all its beauty Full Moon Snowshoe hike December 23rd at 6 PM. Our guide will accompany you on a moon lit stroll across Stratton’s Golf Course. You’ll arrive at the Pearl Buck House where you’ll sip on hot chocolate and enjoy a snack. Reservations are required at 1-802-297-4230.
We’re also excited to introduce a series of Knitting for Your Soul knitting classes. The event, sponsored by Yarns for your Soul, will feature a different knitting project each class. There will be three different sessions; December 24th, 26th, 28th, held at The Mill House on the Village Common from 1:15 to 2:45., by telephone at 802-362-3151 or visit Yarns for your Soul online.
Be sure to join us December 31st as we celebrate the New Year here at Stratton. The festivities will kick off at 6 PM with a family buffet dinner in the Green Mountain Ballroom at the Inn at Stratton. Reservations are required and can be made at 1-800-Stratton. From there you can you can move on to the main base area for dancing and games.
Stratton’s famous torchlight parade. Starting at 9 PM you can watch our snow sport instructors wind their way down Suntanner with torches. Following the parade we will begin our fireworks display.
Grizzly’s will celebrate the New Year with live music from Funky Town. They’ll also have an ice bar, fire pits, snacks, party favors and of course, a midnight toast. The party will kick off at 8:45 and requires a reservation. This is a 21+ event only, sorry kids!
The Wreck, Stratton’s under 20 club is now open. The Wreck has plenty of activities for kids. Videogames, pool tables, a trampoline and a weekend climbing wall are just some of the many amenities.

Last, but certainly not least is the capital of skiing celebrations – Killington, VT

From the Killington Grand Hotel down Killington Road to the Wobbly Barn and Pickle Barrel and everywhere in between, Killington celebrates New Year’s Eve like no other resort in Ski Country.
Enjoy dinner, dancing and desert at the Killington Grand Resort Hotel New Year’s Eve celebration in the Oscar Wilde Ballroom at 7 p.m. with cocktails, followed by a lavish dinner menu that includes apps, prime rib carving and entree station and dessert. Live entertainment provided by Starlight.
Wobbly Barn features dinner in the steak house followed by live entertainment in the nightclub with Headtrip. Those that dine in the steakhouse on New Year’s Eve are guaranteed admission to the nightclub for the evening festivities.

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That is it for now folks. Not quite as much out there as last season, but that is a direct result of all the snow! So NO complaining!
If I catch wind of anything else I will update this entry and put a note up on the message board.
Keep thinking SNOW! More on the way Wednesday night!
S.G.