Five Things To Do If You Don't Ski or Snowboard!
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Five Things To Do If You Don't Ski or Snowboard!

January 12, 2023

As Published in The WEIRS TIMES Newspaper

December, 2022

by Amy Patenaude
Outdoor/Ski Writer

It sure feels like winter!

I have skied in the sunshine, the rain, the cold and a snow storm all while it was still officially Fall. Calendar winter began Wednesday, December 21st at 4:48 pm! It’s going to be a great winter.

Let’s all enjoy winter. Here’s five things you can do even if you don’t ski or snowboard!

5 Après Ski!

Après is a French word for After. Après Ski means After Skiing! Did you know that apres ski can be celebrated even if you didn’t go skiing or snowboarding? All it takes to join in on the fun is to be happy it is winter. Après Ski can even take place in the middle of the day. The fun of socializing at a resort or a ski town can be enjoyed by everyone. On weekends and holidays the resort’s pub will have entertainment or a promotion event. Most people don’t dance in their ski boots so you’ll fit right in.

Resort’s pubs, nearby restaurants and brewpubs all encourage skiers to celebrate the winter inside their warm cozy places and talk about the weather and snow conditions.

4 Take a lift ride to the summit of a mountain.

Some of the lifts at ski resorts can carry passengers that have no intention of sliding down the slopes.
Cannon Mountain’s big Tramway car will whisk you to their summit building, home of aMcafeteria and a pub with “the highest taps” in New Hampshire at elevation 4,000 feet! It isn’t a far walk to the summit observation tower, but truly the views of Mount Lafayette and the Franconia Range from the Tram building are just as wonderful.

Bretton Woods’ gondola gives an eye popping vista of Mountain Washington and the Presidential Range and the red roofed Omni Mount Washington Hotel below. Once at the top of Bretton Woods’ gondola riders can go into the Rosebrook Lodge and enjoy the view more, dine in the restaurant, grab a bite in the cafe or warm up with a cup of hot chocolate.

Loon Mountain’s gondola takes riders to the top of Loon Peak where visitors can enjoy theviews of the White Mountains by climbing the viewing tower or from the deck of the Summit Cafe. Loon’s Summit Cafe offers breakfast, lunch and beverages. Of course the people watching is an excellent activity at all the resorts. You might be surprised by what skiers and snowboarders wear while flocking on the slopes.

3 Go Snowshoe!

If you like walking or running you can do it on the snow with snowshoes.

Most resorts rent snowshoes and have dedicated snowshoe trails. Jackson XC is known for their excellent cross-country skiing but they also have 40 kilometers of dedicated snowshoe trails and they offer guided tours and rentals too. Gunstock’s Nordic Center offers rentals and hosts a Saturday evening snowshoe ridge tour–ride the chairlift up the mountain and then traverse the ridge down the snowshoe trail. 

The New England Nordic Ski Association’s annual Women’s XC Ski Day will be held at JacksonXC in Jackson on January 22nd, visit to register–sign-up soon before it sells out! Ski clinics are coached by volunteer top women instructors, including a few Olympians. Clinics are for beginners and good skiers that want to improve their technique at classic and skate.

2 Like Riding a Bike?

If you can ride a bicycle you can ride a bike with skis instead of wheels. Pats Peak has Snowbikes and Loon Mountain has Sno-Go, both offer lessons and rentals. I have done it a few times at Pats Peak and on the bunny slopes I had a blast carving nice turns and it felt like coasting down hill on my bicycle

Fatbikes–they’re mountain bikes with big fat tires that perform well on packed snow. You can mfind them to rent at Great Glen Trails, Bretton Woods Nordic Center and Waterville Valley’s Adventure Center. Fatbikes are permitted on some Nordic trails when the snow conditions are not too soft.

Ski Instructors at Pats Peak gathering to start the day. The snowsport school at ski resorts and Nordics Centers are looking forward to teaching you to learn to have FUN.

1 Learn to Ski or Snowboard!

If you don’t ski or snowboard every cross-country center and downhill resort is ready and waiting to teach you to ski or snowboard.

Go on-line and check out the learn-to- ski programs or give the ski school a call. Make a reservation, get bundled up in your winter clothes and head to your lesson.
Ragged Mountain has an extra special program for people who have never ever been on skis before, the Bebe Wood
Learn-to-ski or ride program. Monday thru Thursday for just $30 a newbie gets a two-hour lesson and rentals with a lift ticket for the entire day.

Be sure to sign your children up for the ski and snowboard programs that New Hampshire’s resorts provide for their local kids. That’s how my friends and I all learned how to have fun on the slopes.

Have a fun winter.

Written By
Amy Patenaude