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It may be sound weird, but...

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
...we are going away from the wonderful soft snow of California to spend our skiing vacation in the East Coast.   I have an excuse: we are visiting our daughter who is working in Massachusets.  What would you guys recommend for a 3-4 day skiing trip in that area around Christmastime?  I heard about VT and NH, and I am familiar with ice skating and even some ice skiing, but would prefer a little softer than pure blue ice.  We will have a car, but will not want to travel too far from Andover, MA.

Thanks in advance!
-Alex
post #2 of 12
The reality would be uncertain snow conditions and large crowds if the snow is good.

Your best bet from Andover would be to shoot up I-93 and ski Cannon and the surrounding mountains. That's where the most skiing is.  That's about 2 hours from Andover (assumes no city traffic)

Sunapee (still open?) is about an hour and a half in a different direction.

Killington/Pico is about three hours.

Again....times based on no or limited traffic and good road and weather conditions. 
post #3 of 12

Northern Vermont resorts are not an entirely impossible drive from Andover, somewhere in the three-hour range, I'd estimate: Mad River Glen, Smuggler's Notch, Stowe and (further north) Jay Peak.

 

Southern Vermont or, particularly, New Hampshire is much easier to get to. But the snow's not as good. Neither is the skiing, really.

post #4 of 12
Andover is close to the NH border, with easy access to Rts 93 (NH, VT) and 95 (ME). Its 2 hrs to Loon/Waterville/Cannon, which are ok for day trips. Multi-day trip you'd be far better off going to Sunday River or Sugarloaf in ME (3 or 4 hrs, respectively) or Stowe or Sugarbush or Jay in VT (3-ish hrs for all). SR, Stowe, and SB will be crowded, not sure about Jay or SL. SR used to do an amazing job of making/grooming snow; haven't been in awhile.  Cannon is a cool mt but likely to turn anyone from "Sunnyvale" into a popsicle.
post #5 of 12
Cannon - good mountain I've skied there on great soft powder days, but one year during Christmas vacation we skied there and I swear it was the iciest hill ever.  They are not known for their excellent snowmaking and grooming.

Okemo - fun mountain, south-central VT, nothing any harder than skiing in SoCal, meaning no steeps.  Well deserved rep for snowmaking prowess and excellent grooming.  Will be crowded as hell between Christmas and New Years.

Berkshire East - fun throwback hill, out of the way, not a ton of vert. but interesting terrain.  Good if it snows a lot it won't be crowded at least.  Located in NW Massachusets. (probably a bit too west from where you will be.)
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drb View Post

Andover is close to the NH border, with easy access to Rts 93 (NH, VT) and 95 (ME). Its 2 hrs to Loon/Waterville/Cannon, which are ok for day trips. Multi-day trip you'd be far better off going to Sunday River or Sugarloaf in ME (3 or 4 hrs, respectively) or Stowe or Sugarbush or Jay in VT (3-ish hrs for all). SR, Stowe, and SB will be crowded, not sure about Jay or SL. SR used to do an amazing job of making/grooming snow; haven't been in awhile.  Cannon is a cool mt but likely to turn anyone from "Sunnyvale" into a popsicle.
 
Thanks for the nice overview.  Of course I have been spoiled by the nice weather in CA over the 18 years, but I remember the cold skiing, too.    I was born and lived for 27 years in Russia.  My wife's first ski day trip with me (actually, we were not married yet; so it was a date) was when the thermometer showed -20 Centigrade (-4 degrees Fahrenheit).  
post #7 of 12
Town of Jackson, NH could be nice then with holiday atmosphere.  Good skiing nearby at Wildcat, Attitash, Cranmore, Black. Outlet shopping and restaurants in North Conway.  These ski areas might be a little less crowded than other suggestions.
Three days at Bretton Woods at that time might be very nice too, if your budget allows Mt Washington Hotel. Ditto for The Balsams.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexG View Post
My wife's first ski day trip with me (actually, we were not married yet; so it was a date) was when the thermometer showed -20 Centigrade (-4 degrees Fahrenheit).  

 

Got a correction from my wife: she's 4 years younger than me; so she has a better memory (Plus, the wife always knows best). 
It was    -35 C (-31 F) on our first skiing date.
post #9 of 12
OK, that's a bit more impressive. -4 F is a mild winter afternoon at Cannon.
post #10 of 12
OK, that's a bit more impressive. -4 F is a mild winter afternoon at Cannon.
post #11 of 12
OK, that's a bit more impressive. -4 F is a mild winter afternoon at Cannon.
post #12 of 12
OK, that's a bit more impressive. -4 F is a mild winter afternoon at Cannon.
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