Friday, November 30, 2012

Cut Your Own Christmas Tree in White Mountain National Forest

Tis the Season.. the air has a bite to it and it is almost time to start thinking about Christmas..

If you are looking for a great experience in selecting a tree,  why not cut your own?

The article reminded me of National Lampoon's Christmas when Clark hauls the family out to the woods to get a tree...  Just don't forget the saw!


Ready to get a Christmas tree? The national forests are full of them—and you're invited to hike in and cut your own.

Tree-cutting permits cost just $5; in the Northeast, they are available for the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire and the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont. In addition to cash or a check, you will need a handsaw or ax, warm clothes and other essentials for a winter hike, and a family patient enough to spend some time looking for the right tree and then working together to bring it out. (You have to select a tree that's at least 100 feet from a state highway, and not in or near a campground, picnic area, Wilderness, or other off-limits area.)

You can buy tree-cutting permits at White Mountain National Forest offices in Gorham, Conway, Campton, and Lincoln, New Hampshire; and at Green Mountain National Forest offices in Rutland, Middlebury, Manchester, and Rochester, Vermont. Before driving to the region to cut a tree, make sure the nearest office will be open.

Once in the woods, you may want to look for fragrant balsam firs, which retain their needles well, or spruce, with their full branches and classic shape. Or maybe a tiny, somewhat misshapen "Charlie Brown" tree will tug at your family's heart. In any case, you will be building outdoor memories to last a lifetime.

Learn More
Not sure how to distinguish between a fir and a spruce? Read some tips from AMC.

Photo by Christian Schwier -

Great Kids, Great Outdoors is an Appalachian Mountain Club blog, written by Heather Stephenson.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cranmore Mountain Named Among Best in the East for Family Programs and More by Ski Magazine

Our family had a great time at Cranmore last winter. This article from AlpineZone highlights why Ski Magazine names it one of the Best in the East. Think Snow!


via » News by AlpineZone News on 10/24/12

NORTH CONWAY, NH — Ski Magazine has published its 2013 Resort Guide, naming Cranmore Mountain in four categories for Best in the East. The historic North Conway, NH based ski area ranked #2 for Family Programs; #3 for Off Hill Activities; #7 for Apres Ski; and # 10 for Terrain Parks.

When measured against other New Hampshire ski resorts, Cranmore came in at #1 in Family Programs, Apres Ski and Off Hill Activities and #3 for Terrain Parks.
"We're excited to find ourselves regarded so highly by readers of Ski Magazine," stated Cranmore GM and President, Ben Wilcox. "With $8.3 million invested in the resort since 2010, Cranmore has focused on its kids snowsports programs and our Mountain Adventure Park activities like the Mountain Coaster. So it's not surprising that we are now being recognized in those areas. We thank Ski Magazine and its readers for this honor."

Last year, Cranmore launched KidsRule Mountain Camps, their exclusive children's day-long snowsports lessons. The Camps focus on safety, communication, fun and learning for children who want to ski or snowboard. Cranmore also recently built a dedicated learning center and developed gentle beginner terrain with its own lift.

This summer, Cranmore added to its Mountain Adventure Park, home to their "off hill" activities, with the addition of the Soaring Eagle Zipline. The Zipline opened in July and will also operate during the ski season. It joins the popular snow tubing park, mountain coaster, giant swing and indoor adventure center, all of which offer winter-time family fun, whether after a day of skiing or for those who aren't yet into snowsports.

The apres ski scene at Cranmore is unique and family focused, with weekly Cranapalooza apres ski festivals hosted by their penguin mascot, C-more. Every week, families can sprawl out in the base lodge and watch family entertainment, including magicians, clowns and live animal shows, after making s'mores around an outdoor fire pit. The apres scene wraps up with a family movie and on select weekends, early fireworks at 6:30pm. The goal? Keep the kids entertained while the parents enjoy an adult beverage or two, before heading back to the hotel or condo with a happily-exhausted family.

New this winter, Cranmore will unveil 5 new terrain parks for this winter, newly focused on families and beginners who want to get started on park elements and features. A skier/rider course is in the works as part of the new Double Feature terrain park.
Cranmore Mountain is located in the heart of North Conway Village in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, only 2.5 hours from the Boston area. Cranmore has undergone over $8.3 million in renovations since 2010 with new lifts, trails, children's center, zip line, mountain coaster, enhanced snow making capabilities and more. For more information on Cranmore Mountain and the latest news of special events, visit or call 1-800-SUN-N-SKI.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ski Bretton Woods for $12 on 12/12/12

Great deal for some early season skiing at Bretton Woods. Courtesy of the ski guru blog.

Ski Bretton Woods for $12 on 12/12/12

Bretton Woods, which already had a nice layer of snow on the mountain this past weekend, plans to open by Thanksgiving weekend, but in one month, the New Hampshire resort is celebrating the grand opening of its new Telegraph...

File:Bretton Woods Resort.jpg

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Wildcat and Attitash Mountain Prepare to Open

Wildcat and Attitash make a great tag team.. Looking forward to colder temps and more snow! 

Wildcat Mountain

Benefiting from its higher elevations, Wildcat Mountain began its initial snowmaking operations Tuesday evening and has continued to do so with the desire to open as soon as possible. If weather and conditions remain favorable, Wildcat Mountain may try to open as early as Thanksgiving Day. If not then, weather and conditions permitting, Wildcat Mountain is hoping to open the Friday or Saturday of the Thanksgiving Weekend. Operation times and/or ticket rates have not been set at this time, and we encourage you to visit for up-to-date information as Thanksgiving approaches. The guest service desk and season pass office in the base lodge will be open Friday, November 23 & Saturday, November 24 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. if people wish to pick up their season pass or purchase gift cards and other available seasonal products. In addition to opening, Wildcat Mountain will be hosting an event that had originally been scheduled for Attitash.
Cans or Cash @ The Cat | Saturday, November 4 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Snow/weather permitting, Wildcat Mountain will host a jib session with a rail and box set up at the base of Wildcat. Skiers/riders are asked to provide three canned goods or make a $3 donation that will go to a local food pantry. The ticket for the hike jib session will be separate from the ticket for lift-accessed terrain if Wildcat is open at that time. Visit for more details as they come together and as we know better what the conditions may be like.

Attitash Mountain Resort

Attitash Mountain Resort is prepared to begin its snowmaking efforts when conditions become more favorable for a productive and long-term push. It will not be offering lift-serviced skiing or riding for the Thanksgiving Weekend, but the Nor'Easter Mountain Coaster will be open Friday & Saturday, November 23 & 24 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. weather permitting. For those days, Attitash & Wildcat invite all of its season passholders to enjoy one free ride on the Mountain Coaster when they show their season pass at the Attitash ticket window. Attitash also plans to have its Season Pass office open in the main base lodge from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. if people wish to pick up their season pass or purchase gift cards and other available seasonal products. Visit for more information.

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Aurora Borealis over New Hampshire

Did you catch the Aurora Borealis? Some great photography by Ernie Mills

Courtesy of Great Glen Trails 

One of the cool things about living up in the Notch is access to the night sky for photographs. Monday night November 13th was one of those nights for sure. I actually got the heads up about a Northern Light Show that had begun from a Mt. Washington Weather Obs Facebook posting. I’ve seen the show in the sky several times before, but never for this long. I went out to the parking lot at Great Glen Trails around 11:00p.m. and could immediately see the Aurora Borealis out on the horizon north towards Gorham. I got a few shots off, made some camera adjustments and sat on the grass to enjoy the light show. After midnight, the pillars began to shoot up and into the night sky. The whole scene became brighter the later it got.

A spectacular green haze bank across the sky formed. My exposures ranged between 20 seconds and 2 minutes. This shot of the Snow Coach was a tough one, as I wasn’t sure how to light up the van. The colors in the sky were brilliant and I decided to wave a few passes of light from my Petzl headlamp onto the vehicle. It took a couple of tries, but it did the trick.

Calm before the storms?

For all you NH ski fans out there, lets hope this is the calm before the storms..

Courtesy of the Observatory.

Mon, 19 Nov - How Often Does This Happen?

Up here on the summit, what many would consider normal weather is unusual for us. We've been in the clear with calm winds for much of the last 5 days. Extended clearing on the summit in November hasn't happened in the recent memory of many of the observers, so I decided to look into our weather archives to see how often clear spells like this occur on the summit.