by Andrea Hospodar
Feb 2 – 9, 2019
Due to the popularity of this trip we once again ran two concurrent trips to North Conway, the “A” group led by Andrea Hospodar, and Nancy Kauhl leading the “B” group with two condos and 10 participants each. Most travelled to North Conway from the Laurentians trip, with good driving weather gracing our travels. As is tradition, we met at Flatbread Co. for wood fire baked pizza and salads, and as usual, they did not fail to meet our expectations. We then settled into our condos to prepare for our first day ski. Participants in my group were: Stines, Nancy Borremans, Nan Reisinger, Pam & Dennis Dunn, Jim & Ginny Magee and Glenn Barnes.
Both groups met Sunday morning at Bear Notch Ski center to find near perfect conditions. They had about 2 feet of snow on the ground, a fresh powder surface, and pleasant temperatures in the mid twenties with sunshine. A great way to start the week. We split into suitable groups and headed out for our favorite trails to enjoy the excellent conditions. As always we enjoyed the homemade soups and bread they offer for lunch. Most did another shorter ski after lunch.
We did meals a bit differently this year by pairing two condos per night and rotating with Nancy Kauhl’s group. This way we only had to prepare for 10 people, and we got to enjoy the company of different people each night. Seemed to work well, and I think all were pleased with this arrangement. We all enjoyed wonderful meals prepared by our volunteer cooks, and nobody went hungry!
Monday we woke to warming temperatures and some freezing rain overnight. We hit highs of upper 40’s for the day! Snow was crusty to start, but ended up wet and mushy by day’s end. We went to Great Glen for the two for one day to find that their groomer had called off sick for the day. The backup groomer was out working on the trails and they recommended we wait a bit before setting out to ski. Six of our group headed back to North Conway to do other things, while the rest of us waited for the groomer to make a few passes. She did a great job and it made for a wonderful ski, again with sunny skies. After lunch it was wet and mushy, but we still had an enjoyable day.
Tuesday we had another touch of freezing rain overnight and a forecast high of upper 50’s! Some of our group went back to Bear Notch while others headed to Whittaker Woods to snowshoe or ski. The skiers went into the shops in town for a bit to wait for the snow to soften up. It turned out to be quite nice skiing at about 10:00am and we found that the snowshoers had nicely groomed the backcountry trails for us! It was a shorter but another enjoyable ski. Tuesday night both groups convened at Deacon St. restaurant for their two for $25 night and were treated to delicious meals at a bargain price!
Wednesday was supposed to be two-for-one day at Bretton Woods, but overnight temps in the 20’s turned yesterday’s wet snow into hard pack. About 2/3 of the group headed to Jackson Ski Touring center while the rest of us returned to Bear Notch. Conditions at both places were reported to be good thanks to the grooming, and all had an enjoyable day of skiing.
Thursday was an off day for many of the group due to another forecast of warm temps. A call to Bretton Woods indicated that they were grooming and sounded optimistic for reasonable conditions by late AM. So a group of us headed up there to find that they were not! Turns out the groomer opted not to groom, and a scouting by Bill Stine indicated that conditions were quite icy. We turned around to head back to Bear Notch for a third day to find that they had about an inch of fresh snow there and that coupled with their excellent grooming efforts made for another very nice ski day.
The Magees had left Thursday to return home to attend the funeral of a close friend, and with the forecast for rain on Friday, the rest of condo 16C – the Dunns and Glenn Barnes – decided to leave a day early. The rest of my house opted for a rest day Friday, but diehards Sandy Stine and Hospodar were determined to get in a last day of skiing. We waited till after lunch for the rain to stop and headed to Great Glen again. Not only did we save on their two for one deal, we also got ½ day rates! And although soft, again we had a blast skiing there. We also were quite amused to encounter hordes of moose tracks traipsing all over the trails and cutting in and out of the woods. They must have had a heyday in the rain with no skiers on the trails. Alas, we did not spot any of the owners of those tracks!
All good things must come to an end and we headed out Saturday morning. The lucky ones were headed on to Bethel Maine, but some of us returned home. Fortunately we again had good weather for the drive! Another successful trip, and looking forward to next year already!
Video compilation of photos and video clips from the trip: