Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Another Whopper Snowstorm!

Just a quick note to say Cranmore is in this current snow storm's sweet spot with up to two feet of snow forecast between now and tomorrow. So far there is about 4-6 inches of snow on the ground right now and it is still snowing like crazy.
This is my seventh winter season working at Cranmore and I would rate this as the second best ever - right behind last year's record-breaking snowfall. And there is still PLENTY of winter left so who knows where this one will end up in the record books.
Best of all, we have not had any of the "freeze/thaw" cycles that often happen up here in ski country. That means all of the snow that we made, plus all of the natural stuff, has piled up and stayed put. Conditions have been consistently packed powder surfaces and now, thankfully once again, with a sweet powder topping.
Those of you braving the roads today will already find half a foot of snow on top of the groomed stuff. By tomorrow morning, look for powder all around, especially in the woods and on trail's edge.
I know the Super Bowl is on Sunday and maybe you think this is reason enough to skip coming up for the weekend. I hope this snowfall convinces you how bad an idea this is. To make it easier, drop into our estore by Friday and buy a "Sunday Morning Solution" lift ticket. It is valid until 12:30pm on Sunday and is only $45. That way you can ski Sunday morning and still make it home in time for the big game.
Big snow and big savings - what a great combination for Super Bowl weekend!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ski and Save at Cranmore

What's better than blue skies, tons of white snow and sunny slopes here at Cranmore? How scoring up to 50% off with special discounts on lift tickets, just for buying from us in advance through our website. With 48 hours notice, you can save a lot!

This year, everyone wants to save a buck. We want to help - let me go over how much you can save by doing just a little bit of advance planning:

Midweek 2-fer-1s - Monday-Thurs. non-holiday tickets are 2-fer-1 (2 adult tickets for $55). Single tickets available for same periods/term for $45 per adult ($10 off).

Sunday Morning Solution: Ski and ride from 8:30-12:30pm any non-holiday Sunday when you buy online in advance, only $45. This ticket isn't available at any price in person at the resort and is a great option if you need to head back home early on a Sunday.

The Weekender: Two days of skiing for only $42.50 per day, any non-holiday weekend through our estore. $85 for this 2-day ticket ($5 off regular 2-day ticket rate).

Sunday Saver - This Sunday special gives you 2 lift tickets for $85, only $42.50 each, any non-holiday period online in advance.
Fun Zone - Visit our new indoor Fun Zone and get a $2 discount when you buy it through our estore - only $8 per person.

Three-Paks - This one you can buy online or in person at the Ticket Haus. 3 days of skiing with no blackout dates, only $135. That's only $45 per day, or $10 off! If you are coming to Mount Washington Valley a lot this winter and are going to ski around different mountains, this is the way to get savings usually reserved for multi-day ticket buyers, without committing to consecutive days a single mountain.

The slopes are calling ... don't let money get in the way of a good time here at Cranmore. Buy your tickets now and save.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bluebird Day

Today was one of those days that I truly believe I have the best job on the planet. For those of you reading this from your office cubicle, be forewarned - this will make you jealous.

We received 13.5 inches of snow in yesterday's storm - over a foot of the lightest, puffiest powder you could hope for, East Coast or West. Vail, eat your heart out.
Being the web marketing professional that I am, I knew I needed to go out for first runs on this blue sky morning to gather photography of the incredible conditions left in the wake of yesterday's storm. Tough job, I know, somebody's gotta do it. And I got a wicked good fresh baked chocolate chip cookie at the Meister Hut - hot out of the oven. What did I do to deserve this?
But the best was yet to come in the afternoon when I went for an out-of-bounds tour of some potential new trails with our GM, Ben Wilcox. He said I can't reveal where this new trail is located, so let's just say it is NOT off a trail that rhymes with "Find a Bar."

The potential trail is a skidder road used for logging last summer and offers some incredible views of Mount Washington with narrow windy passage ways, turns and drop offs. It will require quite a bit of grading (the uphill portions through knee deep powder were quite the work out!) but the potential is awesome. Can't promise it for next winter but we're definitely looking into it.

It was an adventure skiing through the deep powder in Cranmore's uncharted "back country." But it wasn't really back country, as someone else's ski tracks preceded us in places, and we met a woman skinning up at one point. I guess this isn't such a secret trail after all!

Warmer temps have returned to Happy Valley. That combined with the foot of snow, still clinging to tree branches, will make this week the best of the season so far for skiing and riding. See you out there!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bundle Up & Ski!

There is nothing like a cold snap to get New England news stations talking about skiing. For some reason, ski areas are the whipping boys for weathermen and news anchors when temps dip below zero.

To answer your question, yes, we are definitely open, and yes, people are skiing - right now as I type this. Let me give you some cold weather tips for skiing:

1. Choose the right mountain - now I'm biased here, but I think Cranmore is a great choice for skiing on a cold day. Our sunny south-facing orientation helps as well as our elevation, which doesn't put you up into the wind quite as much as some of our neighboring ski areas. We are also less prone to wind delays on our lifts for the same reason. We have two lifts to the summit - one fixed grip, one high-speed quad. This gives us redundancy so if one lift is impacted by wind, you can usually still make it to the summit here.

2. Dress for it - this may sound simplistic, but if you cover up all your skin, you'll stay warm. Wear a helmet - it's essentially a wind-proof hat. Wear multiple layers of polypro clothing, fleece and a wind proof outer shell. Do not wear cotton anywhere. Buy hand and foot warmers. Leave grand-ma's knitting at home and wear heavy duty water and wind proof ski or snowboarding gloves. Better yet, wear mittens - they are easier to use with hand warmers and your fingers can keep each other company and warm. Be sure to wear ski pants with multiple layers of fleece or polypro under them.

3. Cover your face - Goggles are big sellers on days like this. Not only do they protect your eyes, they also shield your face from wind and cold. This isn't a time to wear sunglasses on the slopes. Face masks - neoprene or fleece - are a good choice as well. I don't go anywhere without my fleece neck-up.

4. Take frequent breaks - This isn't the time to see how many runs you can get in a row without a break. Enjoy your day. Start a little later. Stop at the Meister Hut at the summit for coffee or hot chocolate when you get off the lift to warm up before your run. Take an early lunch or late afternoon break and eat something warm. Your body burns more fuel in the cold so keep yourself well-fed. Carry a Clif bar or other high-protein snack in your pocket for quick re-fueling.

5. Don't believe the hype - Weather is big news in New England. Don't believe everything you hear. Believe it or not, those of us who live here get up and go every morning to work even when the temps are sub-zero. Our cars start, our kids make it to school and businesses open and run. We just wear good rugged footwear and heavy jackets, gloves and hats to go grocery shopping. Live free or die!

If you've been planning for this long holiday weekend with your kids, don't disappoint them. Dress for it, take breaks and have fun, gosh darn it. This is what makes us New Englanders. We don't let the weather stop us from having fun. What's the alternative? Stay inside 6 months of the year?

Right now, the sun is shining and the sky is a brilliant blue. The snow is so cold that it squeaks when you walk across it. You know what I'm talking about. It's that breathtaking cold you'll think about on a sweltering August day when you're at the beach or on your boat.

New England is all about weather extremes - the changes of the seasons. Want weather the same all the time? Move to Arizona or Florida. The forecast there is high 60's - every day until further notice. I'll take North Conway on this incredible winter day.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Snowy New Year!

It's another beautiful day in the Valley as a sweet 5 inches fell overnight. It's the light puffy variety, the type that makes the trees look pretty and white.

I caught up with Johnny, our head of snowmaking and snow surfaces, and he believes we will be 100% open for the big holiday weekend. The only trails left to open are Koessler and North Conway. Ledges opened earlier this week and it is in the best shape I've seen it. Skimeister was also sweet and I'm sure with the fresh snow it's even better than yesterday when I got out there and did a few runs.

In listening to the local weather forecast, there is a chance of snow in the forecast off and on throughout the next 5 days. A typical weather pattern this time of year but it still brings this snow-lover something to look forward to as Monday rolls around.

Fans of our terrain park will be glad to know that a major build is going on this week. Today you can check out the whalebacks up and down the Zip trail and try to imagine what our Darkside crew and snow makers will do with it over the next few days. We also hope to have the Other Side progression park open for MLK weekend, giving us 3 parks for your sking and riding pleasure.

MLK Weekend is one of the busiest of the season for us. Be sure to reserve things like kids camps and day care as they can and do sell out.

Or better yet - come up midweek and you can enjoy the whole snowy place just about to yourself. That's where you'll find me!