NEW HAMPSHIRE’S 6 BEST SKI RUNS FOR SHOWING OFF
New Hampshire’s 6 Best Ski Runs for Showing Off By Alex McIntire
We’ve all heard it from our buddies, “Well I skied this trail and it’s the steepest in New England” or, “I skied such and such and it’s the hardest in Utah.”
That’s great. I’m proud of you, really. But, let’s be honest, I’m not concerned with WHAT you skied. Anyone can tumble their way day Corbet’s Couloir and say they’ve “skied” it. For me, it’s 100% HOW you skied it that matters. And there’s no better way to prove what type of skier you are than by fully exposing yourself and your skills to the harshest crowd of any mountain: the chairlift crowd.
While the majority of well-known trails in this country are out west, don’t for a minute sleep on the east. If you’re on a quest to establish your skiing alpha-ness at a mountain in New Hampshire, here are my top six places (in no particular order) to do so. Ski them well and you could earn the adoration of literally DOZENS of chairlift riders.
(Note: I’m not including terrain parks. I’m talking about ski runs where people with normal length ski poles ski. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Go to a terrain park.)
PHOTO CREDIT: Alpinezone
1. Showboat at Ragged Mountain
The name kind of says it all here. The groomed portion of this trail is steep, but not the steepest. To get the gentle ski pole taps that signify impressiveness and acceptance, ski immediately under the chair. There are subtle drops, jumps and pitches that really lend themselves to the Showboat moniker. Showboat is this writer’s favorite trail in New England.
2. Hurricane at Pats Peak
Ragged first, now Pats Peak? What’s with the small mountains? Hey man, size doesn’t matter. Not when you’ve got the steeps like Hurricane. The top of this trail is steep. Like, really steep. I don’t know that there are many trails steeper than it in New England.
If you want to show off how you handle such steepness, this could very well be the place. Two lifts run along Hurricane so your ego should go up double after you hit it at a controlled Mach 5. Double points for nailing it when it’s full of bumps.
3. True Grit at Waterville Valley
What was that about bumps? Waterville is known as the birthplace of freestyle skiing, and if that’s the case, True Grit might have been the delivery room. The Sunny Side Triple runs the length of this half groomed, half mogul double black.
Care to show of your bump skiing ability? This, hands down, is the place to do so in all of New Hampshire and potentially the east.
4. Upper Flying Goose at Mount Sunapee
Same situation as True Grit, bumps on bumps on bumps. If you’ve got the knees for it, this is a great place to make your mark. The North Peak Triple that runs directly above isn’t the fastest in the world, giving your audience plenty of time to soak up your awesomeness.
5. Ripsaw at Loon Mountain
This trail is the youngest of the five. It opened along with the rest of South Peak back in 2007, but that really has nothing to do with the 45 degree slope it claims (that means it’s steep).
The high-speed quad zips by it pretty quick so if you’re going to make an impression, do it quick. If you’ve got the goods, it shouldn’t be tough to pick you out. You’ll be the one taking it on like a downhill course while everyone else is just kind of in survival mode on the sides.
6. DJ’s Tramline at Cannon Mountain
I know I said these were in no particular order, but let’s be real. I saved the best for last. Tramline isn’t always open, but when it is…oh boy. This is where New Hampshire’s best ski. I’m not talking about the ones dressed in the most expensive apparel, with the newest skis and the biggest wallets. I’m talking about the ones with six-month old facial hair, duct tape cured jackets, lumberjack gloves, all covered in the scent of… woodstove smoke.
This trail doesn’t do much to stroke the ego, since the tram only goes by maybe a couple times. But mark my words; if those tram riders see you, and you’re doing it right, they won’t forget you.