mwv insider Blog

Can't Miss Winter Events in Mt. Washington Valley!

Winter

Photo c/o Cait Fitzgerald of the Mt. Washington Backcountry Ski Festival.

Plan a winter of fun, with three major events coming up in Mt. Washington Valley! Mark your calendar for the Mt. Washington Backcountry Ski Festival, Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest, and the Chocolate Festival.

Each event celebrates the spirit of this winter outdoor mecca, and brings fun and friendships to the winter season. From ice climbing to backcountry skiing to chocolate, there’s something for everyone, and each event is perfect for gathering a group of friends, and planning a fun weekend. Best of all, each event has a major outdoor focus, meaning it accommodates the fact that we’re living within the confines of a pandemic by providing plenty of fresh air, and space!

We suggest booking your tickets in advance, as they will sell out, AND securing your lodging. Spontaneous trips are harder and harder to plan these days, so ensuring you have a place to stay well in advance of coming up for a weekend is the way to go. For a list of options, click here.

Mount Washington Ice Fest is a great event for novice and seasoned climbers alike!


Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest: Going on its 29th year, the festival is dedicated to the love of climbing. Ever since it started in 1993, it’s been bringing together climbers of all abilities to share in the reverence of the rock - or the ice in this case. Avid rock and ice climbers, and those just starting out in the sport come together to collaborate, learn from one another, share skill sets, and forge friendships.

This year’s event takes place February 4th through the 6th, and features clinics that range from Ice Climbing 101 to a One Day Ice Rescue Clinic to a Climbing on Thin Ice Clinic, and progress to more nuanced courses such as a Two Day Learn to Lead Clinic, an Alpine Style Climb, to a two day Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue clinic; among many other course options.  

Ledge Brewing Company will act as this event’s headquarters, where festival-goers will find food options, including the food truck BITES, which is included in the ticket cost, each night. On Friday evening, the festival’s signature event features an evening presentation at 7:00pm at Theater in the Wood, where Todd Swain and Nikki Smith will be performing.

Photo c/o Cait Fitzgerald of the Mt. Washington Backcountry Ski Festival.


Mt. Washington Backcountry Ski Festival: The Mt. Washington Backcountry Ski Festival is getting ready for an epic event centered around community, a shared love of the White Mountains, and winter adventure. Taking place February 24th through February 27th, the event features guided tours, avalanche education, demos, friendly competition, live music, social gatherings and more. Tickets for this event are now on sale, through the event’s website, at www.skimtwashington.com

Ticket holders can take part in four days of events, each tailored with a different lens to highlight the backcountry industry, and punctuated with three nightly apres-ski event. Utilizing Ledge Brewing Company, in Intervale, as its basecamp throughout the event, skiers and winter enthusiasts will kick-off each day with Frontside Coffee Roasters at the brewery, before embarking on their chosen demos and guided group options.

Each evening, after returning from daily guided group experiences, festival-goers can enjoy live entertainment, locally crafted beer, and fun. On Thursday evening, the kick-off to the event, the festival is hosting a local pop-up shop with Ragged Mountain Equipment featuring gear from event sponsor North Face, and locally brewed beer from Ledge Brewing Company. An athlete presentation will follow to stoke your spirits for not only a great event ahead, but for an awesome winter season to come.

Snowshoe the entire MWV Ski Touring and Snowshoe Foundation's trail network, as you make your way from treat to treat!


Chocolate Festival: Presented by the Mt. Washington Ski Touring and Snowshoe Foundation, this event has been going on for close to thirty years. It’s easy to see why this event has been gaining popularity year after year, when it involves cross-country skiing or snowshoeing from inn to inn around Mt. Washington Valley for sweet, chocolatey treats!

MWV Ski Touring’s trail network features 45km of trails, which takes you all throughout North Conway, and Intervale. Make stops along the way as you traverse the entire trail network, where you’ll find tasty treats at participating inns and businesses.

Examples from year’s past include bacon chocolate bark, presented by Veno’s Specialty Foods & Meats who set-up shop at the Whitaker Meeting House. (For Veno’s full butcher and specialty food shop, visit their location at 715 White Mountain Highway, in Conway.)

The chef at the Samuel O'Reilly House, just a short walk from the trails in North Conway, served hot chocolate in their homemade chocolate cups. And The Bavarian Chocolate Haus offered their lemon lunas. (You can find more chocolate goodies, and watch the hand-dipping process at Bavarian’s store front at 2483 White Mountain Highway, in North Conway.) Chocolate dipped strawberries, chocolate fountains and fondue, brownie sundaes, and chocolate cookies of all kinds are also examples of treats you'll enjoy at the trailside stops between.

MWV Ski Touring and Snowshoe Foundation describes its trail network as family-friendly and exciting for the novice skier. It offers easy, rolling terrain, and great winter views. It’s split up by Northern, Central, and Village trail networks. The Northern network takes you along Route 16A in Intervale or along the Saco River towards the Village of North Conway. The Central section includes easy trails accessed from Inns near the Scenic Vista, in Intervale, about 1.5 miles outside of North Conway. The Village section of the network includes the trails through Whitaker Woods in the Village of North Conway. Start your day in North Conway and ski to Intervale for lunch and make a stop for a beverage on your return.

For ticketing information, click here.


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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