By Ann Schissler

(Jan. 2016) We recently had the pleasure of attending a NASJA-East meeting in New Hampshire. It was co-hosted by Pats Peak and Crotched Mountain ski areas. Having spent many years living in the area it was nice to return and see the many changes made to our local mountains. After experiencing torrential rain over the weekend, we didn’t have high expectations regarding snow conditions. However, both of these mountains have 100% snowmaking coverage and are experts at using the technology effectively. They can recover from such deluges remarkably quickly and cover trails as effectively as Mother Nature herself. Simply put, we had a blast. The lesson here is don’t let the weather deter you from riding. Chances are it’s better than you think!

What these areas may lack in stature, they make up for with service. The staffs are friendly, courteous, and determined to make your visit memorable. Crotched Mountain has the only high speed detachable quad in southern New Hampshire. It whisks you to the summit taking full advantage of the 1,000 foot vertical. The pub fare at both resorts was homemade, very good and reasonably priced. Both areas feature top to bottom night skiing on all main mountain trails. Having trouble finding time to ride because you work the second or third shift? No worries. From December 26 through February 27, Crotched offers “Midnight Madness”. It’s an on mountain party featuring live entertainment, freestyle events and skiing and riding until 3 am!

Pats Peak has a WOW (Women’s Only Wednesday) program that begins with a continental breakfast and a discussion of topics such as skiing/boarding fears and risk factors, yoga, exercises, nutrition, equipment and boot fitting and more. After morning discussions, you’ll head out to an on-hill clinic taught by women only. The morning wraps up with a delicious lunch with the instructors presenting feed-back about what was experienced on the slopes.

Crotched also offers a Women’s Alpine Ski Clinic. Spend five fun filled days building confidence and improving technique by learning from certified female instructors intent on helping you expand your comfort zone.

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