Winter Notes: Spring weekends get wacky on the slopesBy MEGHAN McCARTHY McPHAUL March 16. 2017 8:39PM
Maybe it's fatigue near the end of a long and mercurial winter. Or the alignment of the stars and planets around the spring equinox. Or some kind of maniacal sadness over the looming end of ski season. Whatever the reason, skiers — and ski areas — tend to get a little crazy come springtime.
This translates to wild outfits on the slopes, serious goggle tans and lots of events to celebrate the culmination of the season. Whether you’re looking to put that ’80s one-piece to good use, want to try your luck at pond skimming or have an extra cardboard box or two you’d like to reuse, the spring skiing season swings into full force with myriad events this weekend.
Get your Irish on and start the weekend early with St. Patrick’s Day deals. Waterville Valley, Wildcat and Attitash are hawking $17 tickets today. Bretton Woods has a two-for-one St. Patrick’s Day deal. And at Wildcat, besides the ticket deal, skiers and snowboarders can participate in the Pot-of-Gold Scavenger Hunt, where clues posted to Wildcat’s social media outlets will lead someone to a 2017-2018 season’s pass. Learn more at www.skiwildcat.com.
King Pine kicks off its annual Cynthia’s Challenge 24-hour ski-a-thon Friday at 4 p.m., with skiers making laps right through Saturday. This event is dedicated to supporting families with children who have special medical needs. This year, funds raised will help a local family purchase a wheelchair-accessible van. For more information, check out www.kingpine.com or call 367-8896.
Saturday, grab the fat boards and head to Pats Peak for the Pond Skim. Ski or board across the pond, or face the icy-cold (and very wet) consequences. A costume is mandatory for this pond skim, and prizes are awarded for best costume, best skim and best splash. The fun begins at 1 p.m. Details at www.patspeak.com.
For lovers of the 1980s and all its hotdogging ski glory, Cannon Mountain is the place to be Saturday. Dress in your best 1980s outfit — the more neon the better — and get $10 off your lift ticket. There’s a group photo and Best Dressed contest at noon, followed by the Old School Duel, where competitors are encouraged to throw down their best helicopters, double daffys, and spread eagles. An ’80s cover band plays in the pub during après ski. More info at www.cannonmt.com
Gunstock Mountain celebrates the season with its Spring Thing Weekend. Social media-savvy skiers can join the Instagram Scavenger Hunt on Saturday, where teams follow clues to various locations around the mountain and snap a pic to post with a designated hashtag. There’s also a magic show, corn-hole tournament, and cardboard box race. The fun concludes with fireworks after dark. Details at www.gunstock.com.
Crotched Mountain hosts a spring carnival both Saturday and Sunday, with a cardboard sled derby Saturday afternoon and the Slush Cup pond skim on Sunday. Rules and info at www.crotchedmtn.com.
Loon’s much-anticipated annual cardboard-box race is slated to begin at 11:30 a.m. Sunday. Bring your A-game, because these kids don’t mess around. Past entries have included a life-sized moose (full of kids), a helicopter and a Loon shuttle bus. Prizes are awarded for the most creative entry, best Loon theme, and fastest down the hill. Check www.loonmtn.com for more information.
King Pine also hosts its Cardboard Box Derby Sunday, with participants invited to include theme music with their ride down the hill. Awards will be given for style, speed and durability. Go to www.kingpine.com for details.
If you’re into costumes, but not ponds or cardboard, head to Mount Sunapee Sunday for the annual Family Fun Day. From goofy wigs and tutus to princess dresses and 1980s garb, anything goes. This is a no-pressure dress-up day. Just don a costume, bring your family, and have fun. Find out more at www.mountsunapee.com.
Finally, one just for the snowboarders: Ragged Mountain hosts its Back-in-the-Day Pipe Jam Sunday afternoon. Judges are looking for creativity, style and amplitude, but the emphasis here is on fun. Go to www.raggedmountainresort.com to learn more.
Wherever you ski or ride — or spectate — this weekend, winter’s recent snowy return combined with spring skiing festivities should make for a fabulous time.
Winter Notes is published on Fridays during ski season. Contact Meghan McCarthy McPhaul at email@example.com.