North Conway, NH – Come March spring may appear officially on the map, but many argue it’s the best month of ski season. Days are warmer, snow is softer and the calendar is packed every week with annual races and events in March and April. From the myriad of annual races and pond skims to the annual Chilly Chili Cookoff in April, Mt Washington Valley is the ideal destination for spring vacations.
March 1 – 3: Annual Hannes Schneider Meister Cup Race at Cranmore: The Hannes Schneider Meister Cup Race combines the best of skiing today with the warm nostalgia of yesterday. It honors the founding father of ski instruction, Austrian Hannes Schneider, who brought his world-renowned skills to North Conway and Mt. Cranmore in 1939. Schneider introduced skiing fun and excitement to millions around the globe. Participation in this event helps fund the collection and conservation of our skiing heritage exhibited at the New England Ski Museum for the purpose of research, education, and entertainment. If you can ski around a few gates on intermediate terrain, you are invited to participate in the race…and win! The names of the winning team and individuals will be inscribed on the handsome Hannes Schneider Meister Cup trophy on permanent display in the New England Ski Museum. Race format: Dual GS Race Format on Lower Intermediate Terrain, race classes: from 13 & Under to 90 plus. Compete information: https://www.cranmore.com/The-Mountain/Mountain-Events/Hannes-Schneider-Meister-Cup-Race.
March 2: 45th Annual Mt Washington Cup Race at Bretton Woods XC Center: This year marks the Sapphire Anniversary of our annual 10k Freestyle (skate ski) Race, which is part of the ZAK Cup Series. Located on the grounds of the historic Omni Mount Washington Resort and the White Mountain National Forest, the Bretton Woods Nordic Center is one of the largest cross country areas in the East. The 100-km trail network crosses open fields, meanders through woods of spruce and fir, passes beaver ponds and mountain streams, and traverses open hardwood stands. Info: call 603.278.3322 or to register online, please visit www.skireg.com/45th-annual-mt-washington-cup-skate-race.
March 2: Crazy Catwalk Challenge at Wildcat: Prizes will be given out for the fastest time through the Crazy Cat Walk Challenge course. The course will be setup by 11:00 and go until 1:00. Prizes will be given out at 1:15 next to the course! Info: Click here.
March 3: Ski, Shoe & Fatbike to the Clouds: This challenging event takes place at Great Glen Trails and the snow covered Mt. Washington Auto Road. Long referred to as “North America’s Toughest 10K”, the Ski, Shoe & Fatbike to the Clouds course has an average grade of 12% over the last 6K as you climb the final 2,200 vertical feet. After covering 4k on the Nordic system, racers will have the historical Mt. Washington Auto Road to themselves as remarkable views of the Presidential Range and beyond are revealed. On race day, there will be a mass start of cross country skiers at 10 am, followed by the snowshoe start at 10:05 am and Fatbikers at 10:10 am. Ski, Shoe & Fatbike to the Clouds is considered a true freestyle event, there will not be separate classes for classic and skate skiing. This is NOT an event for inexperienced fatbikers, skiers or snowshoers! Info: Click here.
March 9, 2019: Annual Winter Charity Day at Great Glen Trails: Make a donation to the charity of your choice, and then enjoy a day at Great Glen Trails from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm for skiing and snowshoeing on the scenic trail system. Take some runs on our tubing hill, enjoy a catered lunch, and as a bonus, take a ride on the Mt. Washington SnowCoach. Or, simply join us in our cozy lodge for board games, good food and a fun-filled day with friends, both new and old. • Make a minimum donation of $25 per person ($15 ages 5-12) to the charity of your choice and enjoy free skiing, tubing, snowshoeing and a buffet lunch (11:30 am - 1:00 pm). Kids under 5 participate free with each donating adult. Donate a minimum of $50 per person and add in a SnowCoach ticket (for the first 32 people who make the donation). Register by printing out this pdf, then write a check made out to the charity of your choice (not to Great Glen Trails) and mail them to Great Glen Trails or drop them off here. We'll take care of getting the donation to your charity. Info: click here.
March 9-10, 2019: Annual Military Salute Weekend at Attitash & Wildcat: FREE lift tickets are offered to active and veteran service men and women, and discounted lift tickets ($45 All Ages) are available for active duty family members with a valid form of ID on Saturday at Attitash and Wildcat Mountains. Parade of military flags and Battle of the Branches ski race are among some of the activities. For a full schedule of on-snow activities including a parade of the branches and race of the branches, click here: https://www.attitash.com/event/militarysalute/.
March 11: Carl Johnson Memorial Ski-a-Thon at Great Glen Trails: Carl Johnson, a close friend to Great Glen Trails and a lover of all things skiing, passed away in 2006 of ALS. This event is held in his honor to raise money, and in his spirit, it’s all about fun! Get your family and friends to pledge money based on how many laps of the 5-kilometer course you will ski. Entry fee: $20, includes trail pass with all proceeds donated a beneficiary TBD. Prizes awarded for the most laps completed and highest amount pledged. As always, the event will feature a prize for the loudest & wackiest tights! Info: http://greatglentrails.com/events/carl-johnson-memorial-ski-a-thon/.
March 17: Cynthia’s Challenge 24 Hour Ski-a-Thon at King Pine: Gather pledges and donations for this year’s benefactor, Faith Holt, an 11-year-old girl living with skeletal dysplasia, seizure disorder and Crane-Heise Syndrome. This year’s goal is to purchase Faith’s family a wheelchair accessible van. Then come ski your heart out at King Pine. Info: https://www.kingpine.com/cynthiaschallenge.
March 15: Red Parka Challenge Cup at Attitash: The Red Parka Pub Challenge Cup is the longest-running, pro-style dual giant slalom ski race in the United States. Considered the premier New England Amateur ski race, the RPP Challenge Cup attracts some of the best racers in the region. All proceeds from the race benefit the Eastern Slopes Ski Club, a local organization that funds youth skiing in the Mt. Washington Valley. The Red Parka Pub Challenge Cup stems from the Red Parka Pub, located in Downtown Glen, New Hampshire. The restaurant opened its doors in 1973 and along with the pub came the birth of the first Red Parka Pub Challenge Cup. Registration: More information on the race at redparkapubchallengecup.com.
March 17: St Patrick’s Day at Mt Washington Valley ski resorts: From green ski wear contests to green beer and special ticket deals, skiers and riders will find plenty of festivities at Mt Washington Valley’s ski resorts and XC Centers. Info: www.SkiMWV.com.
March 23: Spring Splash Bash at Cranmore: How far can you make it across the splash pool? Will you sink, skim or splash? Plus, live music, prizes, giveaways and more! Info: www.Cranmore.com .
March 30: 32nd Annual Beach Party at Bretton Woods Ski Area: Join in for Bretton Wood’s 32nd Annual Beach Party at Bretton Woods. Spring skiing, live music, BBQ, & après ski fun! Don’t forget about the annual Slush Pool event. Break out the beach attire and hit the slopes for just $35! (Special tickets available at ticket windows and online). Info: www.BrettonWoods.com.
March 31: Pond Skimming and Beach Party at King Pine: End the ski season with a splash! Skiers and riders attempt to cross the man-made shark-pond at the base of King Pine on the final day of the season. Hawaiian shirts recommended! Course inspection at 12:00pm; race begins at 1:00 p.m. Registration form and waiver needed. Info: https://www.kingpine.com/events/pond-skimming.
March 30: Annual Pond Skimming at Attitash: The last event of the season and a rite of passage for skiers and riders who attempt to make it across the pond without falling. If you’re not up to the challenge, no worries. This is a fun event for spectators. For complete schedule, click here.
April 5: Art Celebrates Place: The Upper Saco Valley Land Trust presents the 10th annual Arts Celebrates Place event from 5-7:30 pm at the Leura Eastman PAC at Fryeburg Academy. Showcasing the work of local artists and the landscapes of the Mount Washington Valley and western Maine. Enjoy it’s an evening of local foods, drinks, original artwork, and live performance, all in support of land conservation. Free Admission. Info: www.fryeburgacademy.org/pac.
April 6: 16th Annual Mt Washington Valley Chili Cook off: Calling all foodie adventure lovers to join us to kick off our spring season here in the Mt. Washington Valley for the 16th Annual Chili Cookoff. There will be plenty of Chili and Cornbread to keep you fueled for a day of fun and festivities. Plus, there’s music, some sweet treats and discount offerings along the North Conway Village Red Hot Stops route. For you early risers, start the day with the White Mountain Milers for the Feelin' Good 5K to work up your appetite. Info:
April 13: Friends of Tuckerman Inferno Race: Run, Kayak, Bike, Hike and Ski! Test yourself on roads, on the river, on the bike, on the hiking trail and on your skis in Tuckerman Ravine during the Tuckerman Inferno! Individuals and teams compete in five different sports as they head from Mount Washington Valley up to Tuckerman Ravine in Pinkham Notch. Individual champions are crowned Tuckerman and Tuckerwoman and there are terrific prizes for all categories of competitors. It’s a really fun event to watch too. Info: http://www.friendsoftuckermanravine.org/inferno .
April 13: Wildcat Pond Skim: Get ready to get wet and have some fun in the spring time. This event is just as good for the spectators as it is for the competitors doing their best to make it across the pond. Costumes are suggested not required. 8:30-11:00am Registration Located at Guest Services. Absolutely No Registering Outside at the Event. Free to Enter Event. Must be 48" or Taller to Participate. From noon to 1:00pm Pond is open to registered Skimmers; skim as many times as you would like for one hour. Info: https://www.skiwildcat.com/event/wildcat-pondskim/.
April 13: Easter on the Green at Settlers Green: Arts and crafts event – decorate an Easter egg then go on an Easter Treasure Hunt at participating stores. Info: www.SettlersGreen.com.
April 15: Patriot’s Day at Bretton Woods: Come for the final day of the 18-19 season and celebrate a year of skiing and riding with $17.76 lift tickets AND receive a return voucher to kick off the next season. Voucher valid opening day through Dec. 13, 2019. (Special tickets available at ticket windows and online). Info: www.BrettonWoods.com.
April 19-21: Easter in the Mountains at Bretton Woods Ski Area: An eggs-tra special time for families. Jelly beans, colored eggs, and Easter bonnets are only a few of the bountiful activities. Young and old alike will find spring-like delight in the Easter egg hunts and Easter Brunch at the Omni Mount Washington Hotel.
April 20-21: Easter Bunny Express on the Conway Scenic RR: The first of the 2019 events for the Conway Scenic Railroad, all aboard the Valley Train to Conway, where there will be a children’s Easter egg hunt. Info: www.ConwayScenic.com.
Start planning your spring skiing getaway to Mt Washington Valley soon. Visit www.MtWashingtonValley.org for your complete guide to vacation planning. To talk to a vacation planner, call 800-367-3364. And for information on planning a New Hampshire vacation, please visit www.VisitNH.gov.