Skiing NH Feb 21-26, 2010

Big crowd showed up at Eagle Mountain House late Sunday only to see scattered snow patches where Jackson Cross Country Ski Touring rules.  That was the bad news.

The good news was that increased elevation played a key role with temperatures in the 30s all week.  Bretton Woods had very good conditions until Friday pm and Great Glen had fair to very good conditions depending on the day. The drive over the pass to Bretton Woods was a bit hairy at times, but, thankfully, we never had to seriously consider driving to the Balsams (about 65 miles away, but with excellent snow and colder temperatures).

Susan and I skiied Monday at Great Glen.  We tested waxless skis in the morning (until now we have been die hard waxable skiiers).  Wet snow in the pm had us on our wood skis with the klister base.  Skiing on klister in marginal conditions is really nice. Applying it and removing it, however, is yucchy.

Deciding to breakdown and buy waxless skis and shorter skis to deal with the marginal ski conditions, we did some shopping and picked out a new set of skis, bindings and boots at Ragged Mountain Ski Shop.

Next morning we headed up to Bretton Woods.  Here we donned our narrow, long, waxable skis for incredible skiing in great conditions.  Time for my rant here.  I know waxable skis require extra work . . . sometimes as much 10 whole minutes . . . but if you do it right you get all the benefits of waxless with the advantage of significantly more glide with less effort.  Basically its involves applying hot wax (or not) to the tips and back of the ski now and then and applying and sometimes removing temperature based wax to the kick zone.  None of this is difficult or messy.  Rant over.

Day three back to BW, but this time on our new short waxless skis with on and off snow falling.  They felt really good, and we enjoyed using them, but we really did notice the difference.

On Thursday we went back to Great Glen to ski in drizzle and we snow on wet snow.  Susan and I accept what the weather is and decide to have a good time regardless.  We skied a bit less and finished the week happy.

For us BW has long gentle terrain that allows for getting into a tempo on your skis and just going and going.  No real steep downhills or hard climbs.  Nice change of pace from places like Garnet Hill, Prospect Mountain, Mountain Top, etc.  Great Glen is much smaller, but has the ups and downs I have come to expect, so we like to mix it up.

Eagle Mtn House was lovely, the food was good and the company fantastic.

Thank goodness its time to go home so I can rest up from vacation.

Glenn Abelson

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