Bretton Woods has awakened from its long nap. It enters the new millennium with a majorexpansion underway that is taking it from a sleepy, small resort to one that will be among the biggest in New England. For now, it retains its reputation as a "blue-cruising paradise," praised by readers for its "excellent grooming, beautiful scenery and long, wide-open trails." Its expansion onto West Mountain last season, with a fixed-grip quad and 24 new trails and glades, added enough terrain to challenge advanced skiers. While the double-black glades are best left to experts, most strong intermediate skiers can handle Bretton Woods' single blacks. Bretton Woods is continuing its modernization and expansion this season. A much-needed high-speed quad, the resort's second, will replace the old Mt. Oscar double, providing swift access to West Mountain and opening up terrain that previously was seldom skied. This winter also will see the addition of another glade, off the Two Miles Home trail. It's the first step toward the development of East Mountain, which is slated for 2002-03, with 18-25 more trails and another high-speed quad. Bretton Woods' revival is taking place off-slope, too. Last season, the Mt. Washington Hotel, a stunning National Historic Landmark, opened for its first winter to rave reviews. The enormous turn-of-the-century hotel provides a central off-slope focus with its grand public spaces, lounges, restaurants, indoor pool, ice skating and other activities. The resort earns high marks among families. One reader considers it an "undiscovered jewel...especially for parents with young children." The flip side, as another points out, is that it's not a good choice for single skierslooking to escape all those families.
WHAT'S NEW A high-speed quad, the Zephyr, provides access to West Mountain; new gladed terrain on West Mountain and off the Two Miles Home trail.
A GOOD DEAL The Bold and the Beautiful, an interchangeable midweek season pass valid at Bretton Woods and nearby Cannon Mountain, for $199. Bretton Woods also offers two-for-one Wednesdays: two lift tickets for $42.
MEDALS GOLD Grooming, Family Programs, Scenery; SILVER Snow, Service, On-Mountain Food.
HIGH/LOW RANK Family Programs (8), Scenery (8), Grooming (11); Challenge (85), Terrain (80), Value (76).
DON'T MISS A visit to the Mt. Washington Hotel for a tour, a drink or just to take in the magnificent architecture and views.
READER REMARKS (+) "Friendly mountain with great views." "Blue cruisers are still its stock and trade." (-) "Not enough challenge; no steeps and deeps." "Nightlife is a little sleepy."