North Conway, NH – As we approach the month of love in February, it’s time to focus on great ways to get the heart pounding in Mt Washington Valley. While tackling the steeps at any of Mt Washington Valley’s seven ski resorts, or an exhilarating uphill XC trail at any of the Valley’s six XC Centers is always a popular way, here are a few of the unconventional, yet effective, ways to get the heart pounding in the Valley this winter.
Try AT backcountry skiing
A number of outfitters offer up the perfect way to explore Mt Washington Valley’s extensive back country terrain. Black Mountain has partnered with Andrew Drummond, a local backcountry professional, to offer backcountry ski rentals and lessons in the newest craze – AT (Alpine Tour) skiing. Drummond’s Ski The Whites program at Black Mountain offers a fleet of modern and lightweight ski equipment for all abilities and skill levels, allowing anyone to try AT (alpine tour) skiing in a controlled environment before heading into the true backcountry. In addition to ski rentals, Ski The Whites will also host additional clinics and events.
Redline Guiding offer guided hiking, snowshoeing, alpine and Nordic backcountry skiing, 4000-footers, and mountaineering winter trips. Their educational opportunities include wilderness navigation (map and compass), winter hike skills, mountaineering skills, glacier skills, camp craft/backpacking, a hiking introduction, river crossing skills, and a Nordic backcountry skiing introduction.
For those seeking the extreme heart-pound, skip the lift and skin up the mountain! Several Mt Washington Valley’s ski resorts offer an uphill ticket, which allows skiers and riders to hike up the mountain on their own then ski down. King Pine, Bretton Woods and Black Mountain all offer this option for those who like to REALLY earn their trip down the mountain.
Grab the ice ax, and go climb a rock
Mt Washington Valley is considered one of the premier ice and rock climbing destinations in the country. Surrounded by 770,000 acres of White Mountain National Forest, access to popular climbs has put Mt Washington Valley on the map for ice and rock climbers for some time. Beyond the exceptional and accessible terrain offered to rock and ice climbers, Mt Washington Valley’s outfitters, guides, climbing schools and events offer up the ideal infrastructure for everything climbers need. From advice and workshops to technical clothing and gear, the Valley is Mecca for everyone from beginner to serious climbers. Climbers will even find among the largest consignment retailers and new this year, climbing rental options, in the country. The annual Mt Washington Valley Ice Fest, scheduled for Feb 2-4, 2018, draws ice climbers and “chicks with picks” from throughout the country for workshops, demonstrations and valuable networking opportunities among the big names in the ice climbing community. Click here for a complete guide to the ice climbing schools and outfitters in Mt Washington Valley.
Soar high in the sky
Whether it’s high above the canopy of the trees, or swinging through the air on a giant swing, enjoy heart-pounding exhilaration this winter on Bretton Wood’s Canopy Tour or Cranmore Mountain Resort’s Giant Swing. Located at the Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, the three-hour Bretton Woods canopy tour takes thrill-seekers across a series of tree-top zip lines and through a network of platforms high in the ancient hemlocks high above the canopy of the woods. Platforms and bridges milled from locally harvested wood sources help to maintain the environmentally friendly commitment of the resort. The Bretton Woods canopy tour includes 9 zip lines ranging from 120 to 830 feet long, 2 sky bridges, 3 rappels and heart-stopping thrills during the thousand-foot descent.
If that’s not enough, take a ride on the Giant Swing at the Cranmore Adventure Park. Grab a fellow thrill-seeker and climb aboard. You and up to three friends will arc higher and higher in the sky as the Giant Swing takes you to the limit. Both the Bretton Woods Canopy Tour and Cranmore Giant Swing can be combined with a day of skiing on the mountain for a full day of exhilarating fun.
The skinny on Fat Biking
Fat biking was happening in Mt Washington Valley even before it became the rage. With plenty of terrain available throughout Mt Washington Valley, who says you have to put the bike away at the sight of the first snowflake. Fat Biking is a great way to get the heart racing and enjoy the outdoors year-round. Fatbiking loosely translated means winter biking, with specially outfitted mountain bikes that use a different tire system. To be considered a true “Fatbike,” the bike’s tires are oversized with a typical size of four inch or larger and rims that are wider than 89 millimeters. The bike itself has a wider frame to accommodate larger tires and rims. Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center and MWV Ski Touring & Snowshoe Center both offer trails for fat biking. Rentals are available through Stan and Dan Sports too. Click here to learn more about fat biking in Mt Washington Valley.
No Chillin at Chili Festival
It may still be chilly on April 7th for the 15th Annual MWVCC Chili Cookoff, but the chili will be hot-hot-hot! Sponsored by the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce, this friendly chili cookoff competition will be held at the North Conway Community Center for participating non-professional chefs representing non-profits and other businesses, and at the Gibson Center for Senior Living for the Professional category chefs. Plus, stroll through North Conway Village for red hot stop offers among participating businesses. And for those who don’t feel the heart pound from the spicy chili tasting, the Feelin’ Good 5K certainly will get the blood moving. Our forecast: April 7th promises to be the hottest, heart pounding day of April in Mt Washington Valley, NH.
Whether it’s rest and relaxation or heart-pounding fun, you’ll find it in Mt Washington Valley, NH. Simply go to www.MtWashingtonValley.org to plan your winter getaway or call 800-367-3364 (800-DO-SEE-NH) for information on visiting our special corner of New Hampshire. To plan a vacation to other parts of New Hampshire, go to www.VisitNH.gov.