mwv insider Blog

Guided Winter Adventure in Mt. Washington Valley!


Are you dreaming about a winter getaway in Mt. Washington Valley? If thoughts of making turns in fresh snow, pulling out your poly-pro and crampons to explore a new trail, learning a new skill through ice climbing, or taking your backcountry skiing to new heights flood your mind while you prep for your next Zoom meeting, then you’ll want to hop on the phone or open a new tab and book your winter getaway in the White Mountains stat!

It’s also important to take note of ticketing policies at each of the Mt. Washington Valley’s ski areas. Some of the valley’s resorts have implemented a daily quota on tickets sold. Purchasing tickets or ski packages in advance through the ski area’s themselves, and local lodging properties might be a good idea when it comes to planning your winter vacation in the White Mountains.

Click the link for a directory of member guides and outdoor outfitters in the White Mountains, and scroll through our listing of the Mt. Washington Valley’s seven alpine, and six nordic ski areas! For more tips and local insight on planning your next visit to North Conway, NH and beyond, sign up for our monthly newsletter, Vacation Inspirations!

Some ideas to get you started…

Learn the ins and outs of backcountry skiing, and gain insight into local's favorite trails when you book a guided backcountry skiing adventure!
Photo c/o Corey David Photography

Take a backcountry skiing course!

Forget the lifts and base lodges, give yourself to the mercy of elevation, and find yourself trekking up a mountain, and taking on untouched terrain on skis. By hiring a guide for your backcountry skiing adventure you’ll learn tips and techniques that will make you a better hiker and skier; enjoy an easy process of renting the highest quality gear; ensure a safe ascent and descent; and your guide will share untapped gems in the form of trails and location that only a local knows.

Local outfitters such as International Mountain Climbing School, AMC Highland Center and Joe Dodge Lodge, and Northeast Mountaineering, Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing School, among many others offer a varying array of backcountry skiing adventures.

When you take on backcountry skiing in the White Mountains with a guide, you’ll learn the importance and proper use of beacons, probes, and shovels. Backcountry skiing in New Hampshire’s mountains definitely comes with a level of responsibility and know-how that you’ll want to learn from an experienced guide.

You can also tailor your experience to take on lower elevations, or build your skill set up to plan a backcountry ski touring adventure that takes you up Mount Washington, and skiing down its ravines.

Book a guided winter hike in the White Mountains!
Photo c/o Corey David Photography

Go for a winter hike!

We’re never one to play favorites at the chamber, but if we had to choose, we’d say that winter hiking is the best kind of hiking! While it might seem like the weather and temperature present added challenge - which they certainly can - the terrain can become much more approachable after a fresh snow.

Follow the experts and book a guided winter hike in the White Mountains. The folks at Redline Guiding live for hiking, and make it a main focus of their offerings, which means they know a lot about their craft. You’ll find half and whole day hiking excursions that can be tailored to your needs. Gear isn’t the only thing that is custom fit at Redline Guiding! Based on what you’re looking for, the guide will work to customize a trail, and skills based learning experience that is custom fit.

You can also take a mountaineering course that can be more technical and challenging, as it takes on summiting and traversing some of New Hampshire’s 4,000 footers - including Mount Washington, known for having the world’s worst weather.

Other area guides, including Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing School, International Mountain Climbing School, Northeast Mountaineering, AMC Highland Center and Joe Dodge Lodge offer winter mountaineering courses and excursions that provide for an experience unlike any other on terrain that offers a rugged challenge and pays off in dividends in scenic views.

Take on ice climbing!

Ice climbing in North Conway, NH, and throughout the White Mountains is unparalleled. Sure, the East Coast can’t compete with the height of the mountains in its western counter-parts, but ice climbing, (and backcountry skiing and winter mountaineering) in the White Mountains built the foundation that all winter climbing rests on. The terrain found in this part of the East Coast is unmatched with much of its rugged qualities, and its ice climbing is some of the best, and most challenging found in the states. Just ask the guides at Eastern Mountain Sports, Northeast Mountaineering, and International Mountain Climbing School!

The guides at these outdoor outfitters are all out there getting after it, and can share their passion and expertise with you.

And who could be more passionate about ice climbing than the guides at International Mountain Climbing School?! This climbing school hosts the MWV Ice Fest in February, and has for the last 23 years. This event celebrates the culture of ice climbing with demos and guided climbs, speakers, live entertainment and more; putting you in the center of climbing culture for the weekend.

Northeast Mountaineering (NEM) for example offers ice climbing courses that cover a half-day all the way up to courses that take place of the course of three days. For those seeking in-depth instruction, NEM’s “Ice in Depth” three day course covers ice climbing techniques, belaying, and communication; anchor construction, types of gear, how to follow a leader, rappelling; and includes a guided multi-pitch climb that is catered to your comfort and skill level.

Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing School (EMSCS) offers ice climbing right in North Conway that caters to first-timers, as well as those who have climbed before, but want to refine their skill sets. EMSCS’s private lessons  cover fundamentals of ice climbing and focus on giving you the knowledge to become a skilled and confident ice climber. You’ll learn about the relevant equipment, knots and terminology; belaying, body position, footwork and working around the climbing site; with the bulk of the day is spent putting these new skills to use on the ice.

Follow a local guide through the Great North Woods and pair it with a train ride up Mount Washington with Northern Extreme's Cog Railway Tour
Photo c/o Northern Extremes and Wiseguy Photography

Take a snowmobiling tour!

Follow a charismatic snowmobile guide who is passionate about guiding through the woods of the White Mountains. Many are registered guides, and all are long-time locals and snowmobile enthusiasts that will guide you through the Great North Woods, and in the case of Northern Extremes, end up at the base of the Mount Washington Cog Railway!

Northern Extremes offers the Cog Railway Tour, a half-day guided snowmobiling tour that leaves from its base in Bretton Woods and takes you to Mount Washington Cog Railway, where you’ll ride this famed train up to 4,000+ feet up New England’s highest peak, Mount Washington. You’ll make a stop at Waumbek Station to enjoy refreshments and the warmth of a fire while you take in views of the Presidential Mountain Range. From there you’ll make your way back down the mountain, to your snowmobile where you’ll finish your ride over Cherry Mountain through the Great North Woods.

(Northeast Snowmobiling also offers snowmobile rentals in the White Mountains. Guided snowmobile tours aren’t an option through Northeast Snowmobiling, so you’re on your own on this one. But they do offer rentals out of two locations - Fryeburg, Maine, and Gorham, New Hampshire -  with an expert GPS tracking systems on all their snwomobiles, making it almost impossible to get lost.)

For complete trip planning resources and information, explore this site,, or call 800-367-3364 (800-DO-SEE-NH) to talk to a Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce rep.  To learn more about New Hampshire vacations, go to

Header photo c/o WIseguy Photography

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