By David Schissler –
Bretton Woods is a bit of a contradiction. It’s the largest ski resort in New Hampshire with 464 skiable acres yet its 1,600 feet of vertical is on the high end of a mid-sized resort. The attraction is outstanding cruising nearly everywhere on the mountain. If you’ve ever skied Aspen Snowmass think of Bretton Woods as its eastern little brother. They share wide, long, moderate terrain with superior grooming. The mountain’s three HSQ chairs make moving from peak-to-peak a breeze. If you can ski mid-week, you’ll get lonely in the lift line. Much of the time, you’re it. Rest assured, you’ll get all the vertical you can handle in a day.
When on the mountain with friends recently we had plenty of soft, dry snow and sun. Although it was only 16 degrees we were never cold. The trees protected us from the wind and the sun was strong enough to keep us warm. My wife Ann and father George had a fun day testing skis and putting new gear through its paces.
I loved skiing Oscar Barron’s and Avalon on West Mountain and Swoop/Sawyer’s Swoop on Mt. Rosebrook. They’re long cruisers with lots of dips and rolls to hold your attention and steep enough to build speed. They’re good examples of the playground that’s Bretton Woods. I shot some POV video of each of these trails. You can take a run with me down Swoop or Oscar Barron’s and see this great cruising terrain for yourself.
No trip to Bretton Woods is complete without a visit to the Omni Mount Washington Hotel. The OMWH is loaded with history. The property’s web site states: “On July 28, 1902, the front doors of this Grand Hotel opened to the public with a staff of no less than 350. The most luxurious hotel of its day, The Mount Washington catered to wealthy guests from Boston, New York and Philadelphia. As many as 50 trains a day stopped at Bretton Woods’ three railroad stations. One of these stations, Fabyan’s, is now one of the Resort’s dining establishments.
The hotel has been host to countless celebrities, including Thomas Edison and three U.S. presidents. In 1944, The Mount Washington hosted the Bretton Woods International Monetary Conference. Delegates from 44 nations convened, establishing the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, setting the gold standard at $35 an ounce and designating the United States dollar as the backbone of international exchange. The signing of the formal documents took place in the Gold Room, located off the Hotel Lobby and now preserved as an historic site.”
The Hotel offers 3 restaurant options. Whether you dine in the Main Dining Room, Stickney’s Pub, or Fabyan’s, the food is excellent. If you get the chance to stay at the OMWH try to book a room on the mountain side of the hotel. Stunning views of Mt. Washington stare you right in the face. In fact, this is perhaps the only destination in the northeast that reminds me so much of my days along the Divide in Colorado.
If you’re unable to stay or eat at the Hotel at least have a drink there. It’s worth it just to see the place, as these lobby shots show. The whole property exudes such elegance.
For more history or to book your reservation please visit: https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/bretton-woods-mount-washington