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First Visit to Bretton Woods

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

My daughter and I should be trying Bretton Woods for the first time tomorrow.

If anybody has any tips or recommendations for me, I'd appreciate them.

We probably won't make first chair, as we have to stop in Campton after 8am, but I hope to be there not long after 9am.

Some folks have told me to expect lots of long groomers but not a lot of excitement, unless we try some tree skiing...and, I'm not in a position to attempt challenging tree skiing right now (my daughter would probably be fine). Honestly, I'd be fine with a day of cruising and cruising, but something steep and a bit hairy might be fun, too.

post #2 of 8

Expect a tremendous view of Mt Washingtons West side if it is a clear day, a well run area with lots of well groomed intermediate terrain. I think you'll be disappointed if you are looking for steep and hairy. The trails to skier's right have a few short steeps but there is nothing intimidating or seriously challenging. This is a great mountain to develop skills within the comfort range for many skiers. Its also a great place to take a lesson.

post #3 of 8


Originally Posted by Virtus_Probi View Post


My daughter and I should be trying Bretton Woods for the first time tomorrow.

... I'd be fine with a day of cruising and cruising,...


Good, 'cause that's what you're in for.  There are a few steep-ish short drops from the upper mountain fixed-grip chairs, but most of the hill is greenish cruisers.  There are some easy tree runs at the top on skiers left, and maybe you'll find a bump run or three, but that's about it as far as challenge.


I guess the one piece of advice I'd give is to say that for the most part, the blues are no more difficult than the greens.


I like BW, cause I like over-groomed easy cruisers.  It's not for everyone.

post #4 of 8

Doesn't BW have a nice expert tree skiing area on the left side of the map I believe?

post #5 of 8

Most of BW is well groomed, relatively low angle cruising.  There are great views of Mt. Washington.  Ther are green rated trails off every lift.   While the overall pitch is tame there are few flat spots.  We seem to like to start working the East side of the mountain (Zealand, which is marked black but is fine for intermediates, Bode's which has one steep head wall,  McIntre's Ride, I think there's a trail they usually leave to grow bumps over on that side.  Then sometimes we'll go down a blue that drops off just behind that far East upper mountain lift.  You can either drop off than into Deception Bowl or Darby's drop (the latter is usually bumped).  Sawyers Swoop is a beautiful bluish green trail that is much less travelled than the main greens off the main lift.  Range view and Cascade are also really nice mellow cruisers.  The blues around Coos Caper are easy blues but are fun.  Further west Waumbeck and the blues next to it are fun, though a bit short.  We usually avoid the the middle trails that finish near the lodge.  If not busy they are nice easy cruisers but lots of folks seem to never venture toward the edges of the are and they tend to be the most congested.  Not much to challenge real expert skiers other than glades.  But if you're looking for mellow cruising, BW has much to offer.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Well, you guys pretty much pegged it.

Most of the runs that looked challenging were either tree skiing or moguls, neither of which is my cup of tea at this point. I did do some blue of each that were fine for me, but also got in some black trees by Jacob's Ladder that I clearly did not belong in (Wild West). I scrambled out quickly, but my daughter did fine in them.

Waumbek, Bode's, and Deception were all pretty fun, but not big challenges today. "Little Tuckerman" has GOT to be a gag name. Darby's Drop looked steep enough to be very interesting, but it is a mogul run. McIntire's Ride was closed first thing in the morning and I didn't think about it again until we went by it heading for a glade as our final run of the day...wish that we had given it a shot. We were excited about "Two Miles Home" and did it first (excepting the short run between lifts), but it was pretty flat and quite dull, so we never went back. Spent most of the day zipping down whatever groomed blues and blacks we could find and trying to stay off the greens. Doing a few mogul and tree runs was a good change of pace for me.

Conditions were pretty good for my tastes in the AM, mostly hardpack with a bit of recent snow on top. The ungroomed runs seemed to have 2-3" of fresh stuff from yesterday. Things got gluey with the warm temps in the afternoon, which hastened our departure.

Seemed like a great place to learn or ski in big groups of mixed abilities, and I'd bet that a good tree skier could find lots of places to stay busy there. I'm sure we'll be back as long as it's on our three mountain pass, but I'd probably just stop at Loon if I were heading that way if I had to pay for a day pass at BW and I had another chance to ski during the week.

post #7 of 8

I went to BW for my 1st time 2 weeks ago, it was a sunday and i had left boston earlier than expected.  Not wanting to sit in the lodge at Loon for 45 mins waiting for 1st chair i decided to press on to BW for something different. 


Agree with the above posts about difficulty.  Lotsa blues that were pretty mild, a few blacks with a steep(er) pitch, albeit for a short portion of the run and plenty of glades.  The glades to the skiers left in the "deception bowl" area were great as were some of the denser glades to the right of the main area.


 What made it one of my better days of 08/9 was the fact that the mountian was EMPTY.  Literally from 8am to 10 it was barren and even after that i didnt wait in a single lift line.  The runs were sparsely travelled and the trees were totally devoid of people.  The lifts and amenities were fine and the mountian was easy enough to get around. 


It was a really nice, refreshing change from being mobbed at loon/k-mart/okemo etc. 

post #8 of 8

It's not my regular mountain, but I'm fortunate to get a free season pass there (long story) so I've gone a few times for the last couple of years.  The negatives have been mentioned here but a couple of positives to note:


The base elevation is 1600 ft.  That combined with their location results in them getting snow when other places don't.  I've been shocked a couple of times when I've pulled into the lot seeing them dig out of a small storm I knew nothing about.


On the majority of trails, if not all, they leave ungroomed strips on one or both sides of the trail.  It's pretty sweet, and I wish more resorts would follow suit.  I suspect they can't because....


Bretton Woods is extremely wind resistant.  I think that powder gets preserved and is less inclined to blow away or become rock hard.  Wind holds almost never happen there.


All that said, the negatives mentioned are accurate.  It's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. 

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