Winter Notes: Snow-centric events for February school breaks

By MEGHAN McCARTHY McPHAUL February 15. 2018 9:09PM
Snowshoers take off from the start of the annual Whitaker Woods Snowshoe Scramble, a fundraiser for the Mount Washington Valley Ski Touring Foundation, scheduled this year for Saturday. (COURTESY)

February is a month we winter lovers live for. There’s usually lots of snow, not quite as much bone-chilling cold, and daylight lingers a bit later into each evening — which means more time for playing outside. Plus, the kids get sprung from school for a week. And both weeks of February break — this coming one and the following week — are chock full of fun snow-centric events.

King Pine offers its Overnight Ski & Snowboard Camp at Purity Springs Resort for kids aged 8-17, from Feb. 18-24 and again Feb. 25 to March 2. Camp features daily instruction on the hill, along with free ski time and opportunity to enjoy skating, snow tubing, and swimming in the indoor pool.

King Pine has myriad events scheduled throughout the week for day-trippers, too, from fun races and snowshoe tours to horse-drawn sleigh rides and torchlight tubing. Both Saturdays (the 17th and 24th) feature Saturday Night Family Races, and King Pine’s mascot, Powder Bear, will be out mingling with the kids. Check out the schedule at www.kingpine.com.

This Saturday, the Mount Washington Valley Ski Touring Foundation (www.mwvskitouring.org) hosts its eighth annual Whitaker Woods Snowshoe Scramble in North Conway.

Eastman Cross Country (www.eastmannh.org) holds the Lazy Loop Loppet & Chili Cook-off to benefit David’s House, where families with a child receiving care at Dartmouth Children’s Hospital may stay.

Attitash (www.attitash.com) hosts a Skier/Boardercross, with multiple competitors simultaneously racing over berms, jumps, and rollers.

Loon (www.loonmtn.com) will have a Lil’ Plankers jump jam for kids 14 and under.

Manchester’s McIntyre (www.mcintyreskiarea.com) holds its third annual Retro Race. Neon gear is optional, but highly encouraged.

Cannon (www.cannonmt.com) gets in on the action with a Family Fun Night, featuring live music in the pub, a bouncy house for the kids, and $5 skiing and riding on the Huckerbrook handle tow. (Family Fun Night returns Feb. 24, this time with fireworks and a torchlight parade.)

And Cranmore kicks off a week-long stretch of Cranapalooza Saturday, with fireworks added to the mix of music and games on the 24th.

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Weekday events this first week of vacation include the Kitty Litter Cardboard Box Race at Wildcat (www.skiwildcat.com) on Tuesday, and the 9 Lives Lunch Tray Luge Wednesday.

Loon will open its Little Sister Park and Burton Progression Park from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.

Crotched Mountain (www.crotchedmountain.com) is offering online $44 lift tickets ($35 for youth and seniors) throughout the week.

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Saturday the 24th is another busy event day.

Abenaki Ski Area in Wolfeboro holds its Abenaki Winter Triathlon — a half-mile snowshoe, 5-kilometer cross-country ski, and one-mile lap on the indoor skate rink — during the day.

The Annual Progressive XC Ski Dinner happens that night, with participants skiing or snowshoeing through a lit 4-kilometer loop to earn appetizers, an Italian dinner, and coffee and dessert at different stops along the way.

Visit www.wolfeboronh.us/abenaki-ski-area for info on both events. While you’re there, check out the happenings planned for Winter Carnival week at Abenaki.

At Great Glen Trails (www.greatglentrails.com) on Feb. 24, Appalachian Mountain Club naturalists will be on site for two events. The morning Ski With a Naturalist will introduce skiers to various animals tracks, bird calls, and different tree species. Participants in the Evening Snowshoe Tour will explore the landscape by dark.

Crotched Mountain hosts Ladies Night Midnight Madness, with $1 night skiing tickets for women, good from 5 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday. Also at Crotched, kids 17 and under ski free from Feb. 26 through March 2 when accompanied by a paying adult.

McIntyre hosts the Bring in Spring Race for all ages Saturday and the costume-friendly eighth annual Little Macs Jamboree for kids 3-7 on Sunday, March 4.

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Save some energy for Sunday the 25th, because that’s when the Mount Washington Valley Ski Touring Foundation’s annual (and fundraising) Chocolate Festival returns. Ski, snowshoe, or ride the shuttle from stop to stop, enjoying an excess of chocolate in various forms along the way.

Gunstock (www.gunstock.com) closes out the vacation week fun with a Grom Jam Park Event for kids 15 and under on Saturday, March 3.

Wildcat hosts one last kitty-centric event with the Crazy Catwalk Challenge the same day.

At Cannon, the annual Bill’s Race to beat Amyloid (www.billsrace.com) features a fun race, silent auction, and raffle to raise money for the Amyloid Research Center in memory of longtime ski instructor Bill Cunningham.

Finally, the hard-core athletes among us have a chance to tackle Mount Washington during Great Glen Trail’s annual Ski, Shoe & Fatbike to the Clouds event, which begins on the groomed trails there before heading up the Mount Washington Auto Road.

Get out, explore, and have fun!

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Winter Notes is published on Fridays during ski season. Contact Meghan McCarthy McPhaul at meghan@meghanmcphaul.com.


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