Ski Bum: Top 5 Mountains in the Northeast

The other day brought plenty of snow to Maine, and despite a winter which has been considerably white, I still haven’t gotten to the mountains yet. A lot of my friends who ski face a similar dilemma of liking it but never getting out as much as they’d like to. Although mountains of homework may be keeping me away from the slopes where I’d rather be spending my time, I can at least think about some of my favorite mountains. So today I present you with my top 5 mountains.

5.) Waterville Valley Resort, Waterville Valley, NH– Tried and true, Waterville is probably the mountain where I’ve spent the most time in the past few years. The mountain has a fair number of trails, and you can make a lot of different runs out of it. If you’re feeling brave, head to the Sunnyside Lift, a rickety old lift, and take a run down True Grit. The mountain hypes it up a lot as it’s their only double black diamond trail. It looks pretty steep as you take the chairlift up, but once my sister and I went down it without realizing that we were on it and it really wasn’t bad at all. But if you fall, be prepared to slide a long way. Not like that happened to me or anything, though…

As a side note, Waterville isn’t far from Loon, which is also good, but I’ve found it to be more crowded, and the gondola can have a particularly long wait. Cannon is further up the road and has been on my to-do list for a long time.

4.) Attitash Mountain Resort, Bartlett, NH– Located in the North Conway area, Attitash is another favorite. I haven’t been in a few years, so I don’t remember too much in particular about this mountain, but it’s been great for some long days of skiing. It’s bigger than the next one on my list too, so you can spend a long time here as well.

A view from Wildcat
A view from Wildcat

3.) Wildcat Mountain, Pinkham Notch, NH–Not far from Attitash and Cranmore, Wildcat is my favorite from the times I’ve been to North Conway. It isn’t huge, and if you go on the wrong day it can be icy and brutally cold and windy, but the skiing here is a lot of fun. I went with my cousins once, and  we found this weird tube that you can ski through. We got stuck behind a snowboarder who was having a hard time getting through as he forgot to take his boot out of his binding and had to be pulled along by his friend’s ski pole, though. That weird instance aside, Wildcat is great!

*As a side note, the White Mountain Hotel and Resort is great and has an outdoor pool and hot tub which are open in the winter, and these, along with their buffalo chicken dip, are a great way to close off a day of skiing. Also, the Nordic Village Resort has condo style amenities.

2.) Sunday River, Newry, ME–Finally a mountain on my list not in New Hampshire, Sunday River is one of the best. I made my first trip there only last winter, and the skiing here is incredible. The mountain has something around seven peaks, so you’d be hard-pressed to get bored here. The day I went was incredible with sun and powdery snow, so I may have been biased towards liking this mountain so much, but it wasn’t crowded either and we hardly ever had to wait.

DSCN3378 1.) Mont-Tremblant, Mont-Tremblant, QC, Canada–In a league of its own, Mont-Tremblant has the best skiing I’ve ever seen, hands down. Named one of the 1000 places to see before you die by Patricia Schultz, this mountain is said to be the closest you can get to skiing in the west while still being in the northeast. The conditions were perfect, it was big enough so all the skiers and snowboarders spread out, and it was really just the best skiing I’ve ever had. It’s not terribly far from Montreal, but Mont-Tremblant is a sort of Disney for adults with a village at the base of the mountain and plenty of hotels to stay at nearby. A gondola even brings guests from the parking lot and village area up to the base of the mountain.

The village at the base
The village at the base

I’m no skiing expert, and there are still plenty of places I have yet to go (Saddleback, Cannon, Killington, and places out west of course, all on my list), but these mountains sure can pack a punch.

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