Ski resorts across New Hampshire are taking full advantage of the harsh turn in weather this week and, with the help of some natural snow that fell on Tuesday and Wednesday, they started turning on the lifts on Friday.
Wildcat at Pinkham Notch opened for ski lift operations on Friday. Another ski resort operated by Vail Resorts in Mount Sunapee plans to open next week just before the Thanksgiving holiday. Crotched, Cannon, Pats Peak and Ragged are scheduled to open the following weekend.
Jessyca Keeler, president of Ski New Hampshire, the statewide organization that sponsors and champions 32 downhill and cross-country skiing areas, said the summer’s drought in some parts of the state hasn’t had a significant impact on pond snowmaking and water , which is needed to cover the trails with people. made snow. However, it and cold weather are key to the strength of the ski season.
“I haven’t actually heard anyone raise concerns about the drought, especially after we’ve had more rain in recent months,” she said in an email to InDepthNH.org. “But no question, it’s always a good thing! Hopefully we will continue to have regular rainfall and when it does the temperatures will drop and it will snow!”
The state ski industry is planning a winter media kickoff meeting at McIntyre in Manchester on December 2, where each ski resort will showcase their work over the past summer months in preparation for the upcoming ski season. One aspect of skiing that’s growing in the state doesn’t require a lift, and ski resorts accommodate those who prefer to ski or hike uphill on their skis and split snowboards, then ski down.
On its website Wednesday, Wildcat said uphill access is now allowed on its trails, with skiers and riders asked to avoid areas where workers are preparing to open trails.
Bretton Woods, a multi-year preseason opener, said it got 4 inches of snow as of Wednesday noon, but didn’t give a date for when the mountain will open.
Cold weather, particularly with teenage lows Saturday through next Tuesday, offers state and regional ski resorts an opportunity to open their snowmaking valves. Many are taking to social media to show how work is going on to lay the groundwork for the 2022-23 ski season.
Mount Sunapee in Newbury is scheduled to open on November 23, the day before Thanksgiving.
Cannon in Franconia Notch, which received 3 inches of natural snow on Wednesday, hopes to open on December 3, while Crotched in Francestown and Ragged in Danbury expect to open on December 2. Pats Peak in Henniker is eyeing December 2nd Gilford plans to open on December 9th. McIntyre in Manchester reports it will open on December 10th. Other ski resorts say an opening date has yet to be determined.
Keeler said, “We have invested an impressive amount this year in capital improvements that will improve the skiing and driving experience for our guests this winter.”