Bretton Woods in New Hampshire has been achieving many accolades lately. It was ranked as the second-best ski resort on the East Coast by Ski Magazine, with them coming in #1 for lifts and grooming. It’s also got epic views of the Presidential Range and it’s located right next to one of the most famous hotels in North America: the Omni Mount Washington Hotel.
Because of this growing notoriety, along with my decision to go powder-hunting in the wake of weekend crowds, I decided to head up there on Sunday for some skiing.
My drive up was fairly rough due to the weather, with heavy snow and minimal visibility. I worried that this would lead up to Bretton Woods, but I was pleasantly surprised. The visibility was solid for a snowy day, and the conditions were soft and carvable thanks to 2″ of fresh snow on Sunday.
In terms of lift lines, there were none. It was ski thru for nearly every lift. The gondola had at most a small line of under five minutes for groups, but since I was skiing alone, it was practically a walk-on ride.
If you haven’t been to Bretton Woods in the past couple of years, the biggest change you’ll see at the base area is the Bretton Woods Skyway Gondola, which features comfortable eight-person cabins. This leads up to the new Rosebrook Lodge, which is a stunning two-level building with multiple dining options.
For their groomed runs, the best pitch is off the Rosebrook Summit Express Quad. These runs let you break out your GS turns. My favorite trail at Bretton Woods is Bode’s Run, which was sculpted by skiing legend Bode Miller. Another groomed highlight was Little Tuckerman to Oscar Barron’s on West Mountain, and Bretton’s Wood, which is home to their terrain park and racing trail.
The tree skiing, which is one of the things that Bretton Woods is most known for, was a little crusty when I went over, but they had good coverage. The conditions will definitely improve this week, as they have gotten 3-5″ since last night, and a few more inches of snow are expected by tomorrow morning.
The biggest gripe from critics of Bretton Woods is the lack of steeps, which I think is somewhat accurate. The top quarter of the mountain is relatively steep, and then, the bottom three quarters are a gentler pitch. There are still many fun trails and glades for advanced and expert skiers though.
During powder days like the numerous ones New England will see this week, there are many glades with steep pitches and obstacles. Additionally, there are numerous trails under the lift lines that feature rocks and cliffs where you can send it.
The most recent addition to their glade network is over on Mt. Stickney, which is serviced by a t-bar. Mt. Stickney has intermediate and advanced tree skiing. There is a warming hut cabin next to the top of the t-bar, and they have nordic ski trails around the terrain pod.
I had a great day over at Bretton Woods, as I got to experience some soft snow and minimal crowds. So with multiple powder days on tap for this week, I’d say it’s a good time to get into the woods.
Image Credits: Bretton Woods, Ian Wood Of Unofficial Networks