mwv insider Blog

How to Ski Safe in Mt. Washington Valley

Winter

With 7 ski resorts offering more than 250 trails and 6 XC Centers offering 450km of XC terrain plus extensive back country skiing in the White Mountains, Mt Washington Valley anticipates high demand for skiers, riders and first-timers this winter in the Valley.

There’s no skiing destination within a one-day drive of millions of Americans that offers so much varied terrain. Plus, North Conway – at its center – has been voted amongst the top ten ski towns time and time again in USA by readers of USA Today

The Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the state of New Hampshire, and many businesses throughout the valley, including guide outfitters, and Granite Backcountry Alliance want to be sure all winter outdoor adventurers stay safe this winter. It's important to be prepared with information on online booking and ticket reservation systems at each ski resort, safety measures being taken by local businesses, Covid-19 testing sites and more. A little advanced planning can go a long way this season.

All of the ski resorts and XC Center are adhering to CDC, state of New Hampshire and USSA skiing guidelines. This generally means mask wearing is encouraged, maintaining social distancing when possible, and planning your trip by reserving tickets in advance where applicable. Each ski resort and XC Center’s guidelines are linked below.

Covid Safety Protocols at Mt Washington Valley Ski Resorts & XC Centers:

Bretton Woods

Attitash Mountain

Wildcat Mountain

Cranmore Mountain Resort

King Pine Ski Area

Black Mountain

Shawnee Peak

Jackson Ski Touring Foundation

Purity Spring Resort Cross-Country Preserve

Great Glen Trails

Bear Notch Ski Touring Center

MWV Ski Touring & Snowshoe Foundation

Bretton Woods Nordic Center

Covid-19 Testing: For visitors needing to obtain a Covid-19 before returning home from their vacation, Memorial Hospital is providing a testing site. It's located at back entrance of the Emergency Department at Memorial Hospital - 3073 White Mountain Highway, North Conway, NH, and appointments are required. Call 603-356-0673 to schedule an appointment. The testing center is open Monday through Friday from 7am to 3pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8am to noon by appointment only.


RESOURCES TO  HELP SKIERS STAY SAFE AND KNOW BEFORE THEY GO

There are a number of guides and safety programs that have been developed to educate visitors on the rules of travel and new safety guidelines for winter adventure in the Valley. Be sure to read these and plan accordingly.

MWV Pledge: Take the MWV Pledge. This ten-principle responsibility code is a hybrid of the Icelandic Pledge, implemented and perpetuated by the eco-savvy tourism bureau in Iceland; the seven Leave No Trace Principles, a well-known list on how to behave when recreating in the outdoors; and the Granite State Promise, a credo on safe, and responsible travel to New Hampshire.

The MWV Pledge encompasses safety precautions and responsibility tenets that cover how to preserve the land and trails; how to treat one another in shared spaces; how to protect state’s wildlife and the indigenous flora and fauna, as well as how to preserve the state’s waterways. Visitors and locals alike are encouraged to visit www.mwvpledge.com, and sign their name to the pledge, and promise to preserve and protect the White Mountains, and its natural resources so we can protect it for years to come.


#SkiKind – In collaboration with the Winter Wildlands Alliance, Granite Backcountry Alliance has developed a Backcountry Responsibility Code, marked by the hashtag #SkiKind. This mantra, along with other reminders like #SkiNoTrace and #SkiAware will help to keep the backcountry accessible and safe for all. Together the organizations have developed a digital toolkit that can be used by all winter adventure lovers to remind people to be #SkiSmart and #SkiRespectful among other key focuses this year. As we learned throughout the summer, the backcountry beckons those who’ve been inside, and this will be true this year too. To avoid overcrowding and to protect the backcountry, avid outdoor recreationalists are asking everyone to post reminders to be kind, aware, safe and self-reliant this winter, and this toolkit offers digital graphics for posting.

Advice for Backcountry Beginners - Backcountry skiing is growing exponentially in popularity not only in the White Mountains but in mountain wilderness throughout the world.  This is a sport that isn’t entered into without some important preparation and gear. Knowing this, avid backcountry skiers have  worked together to compile advice for first-timers. They’ve created a 32-page guidebook entitled Tips for Beginning Backcountry Skiers to measure whether this adventure is right for the first-timer. The purpose of this digital guide is to help those who are new to backcountry ski touring, or considering taking it up, to sort through many of the decisions that they will have to make to embark safely on the adventure. In the guide, tips on safety, gear, technique, trip planning and group management are all covered.  The guide is available as a free, downloadable, 32-page PDF file only. Simply click here to complete an order form and you’ll be able to access and download the book.

For a complete planning guide to visiting Mt Washington Valley, go to www.visitmwv.com. Here you’ll find a complete directory to places to stay, play, dine, shop and more.  To learn more about New Hampshire vacations, go to www.VisitNH.gov.

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