"Nice mountain scenery; two mountains with excellent variety"
Tucked away in the small town of Bartlett is a major mountain resort that deftly combines the old and the new.
Still bucking the modern trend toward wide-open, homogenized slopes built for groomers, Attitash, the original half of this Mt. Washington Valley resort, is a throwback. Its "challenging, narrow, twisting trails," as one reader describes them, offer a glimpse of old-time New England skiing and place a premium on - imagine this - turning. On adjacent Bear Peak, added in 1994, wide cruisers and large gladed areas prevail. That gives the resort what several readers describe as "excellent variety," with "something to offer everyone." Since Attitash's sale last year to Peak Resorts, regulars are again wondering if new terrain is on the horizon - specifically the tantalizing but undeveloped steeps between the two peaks. (The resort is mum on expansion plans, but longtime regulars remember when the Bear Peak expansion was just a rumor, too.) Readers seem positively impressed with Peak's initial efforts. "The new owners are trying very hard to bring better snow, improved terrain and more variety to the mountain, and it shows," says one. Attitash puts up Top 10 rankings in both Snow (No. 9) and Grooming (No. 7). The biggest complaint is a long-standing and valid one concerning the lack of a high-speed lift from base to summit at Attitash. But at least the weather isn't bad (No. 4) during those long rides. Meanwhile, the resort and the greater Mt. Washington Valley region offer plenty to do besides ski (No. 4 for Off-Hill Activities, No. 7 for apres-Ski). So while it's become the norm for Eastern skiers to seek out variety by visiting multiple resorts, many families are steadfast in their loyalty to Attitash. And after they've exposed the kids to that "incredible view of Mt. Washington" on a clear day, they may well have hooked the next generation, too. - T.S.
Expanded snowmaking, upgraded grooming fleet, additional glades and upgrades to the base lodge
The Nor-easter Season Pass ($949 adult) offers access to Attitash, Mount Snow, Crotched Mountain and Jack Frost Big Boulder in the Poconos.
The Jackson Cross-Country Ski Touring Center offers 154 km of trails in a quaint setting that features a white steepled church, covered bridges and rivers.
The Scarecrow Pub on Route 16/302 in Intervale has been offering great eats for decades. Or try the Shannon Door Pub in Jackson, celebrating 55 years of Irish tunes, brews, pizza and more.
The side-by-side steeps of Idiot's Option and Tim's Trauma have been the standard here for decades. Also try Ptarmigan or Tightrope, which is much wider than when your parents skied it, but still a challenge.