Last day of Spring Break.
Leave North Conway towards the border, Montreal and arrive in Ottawa. This was going to be a long day with a lot of driving … and some skiing.
We didn’t get the early start, because I was a nice dad and let the girls watch TV.
we didn’t want to girls to go to bed to late (wishful thinking – The Incredibles movie on on TV until 11pm).
We finally left North Conway at about 9:30am driving the 80 miles to Balsams Wilderness. Why Balsams? Because I’ve driven past this area on a number of times on the way from Montreal to Sunday River and I’ve always been intrigued by this place. The place wouldn’t be worth a couple of hours by itself, but this was on the way back (detour and not the quickest way). Vertical is 1000′ with 18 trails nestled in Dixville Notch far from everything except the high end hotel.
Our journey brought us from North Conway through Gorham, Berlin and the one of the most car motion sickness road (without gaining altitude) to Errol that I have ever seen. We were wondering if between the bumps and rolls, the car wouldn’t fall into one of the holes in the road. Sick!!! Morgane was green and it wasn’t because of her Irish heritage or the eve of St.Patrick’s Day. :-& Once in Errol, we were back on the main highway and main drive between Quebec and Sunday River. Only 10-15 miles to go before Dixville Notch.
Arrived at the tiny chalet at 11:30ish. Small parking next to a beautiful Day lodge (outside and inside). Small and cozy. Many cars were from Quebec as the border is only 30 miles away. There is also a shuttle from the hotel to the ski hill.
Started skiing with Morgane at around noon. Skiing twisting groomed trails like Abenaki and Notch. Morgane was disappointed by the lack of difficulty of the narrow double black Notch, regardless, it was a fun trail. Snow conditions here were very different than what we encountered during this trip. We mostly had packed powder conditions, not the refrozen stuff. WOW!!! I guess the altitude and latitude of this place plus the small skier traffic are important factors on the great snow conditions we got. Snow level were also higher here than elsewhere on this trip. This was a Sunday, rarely saw anyone in front of us getting on the chairlift.
There are 3 chairlifts, a triple and an old double serves the main mountain while a small triple served two small beginner runs. There is also a handle tow. On this busy Sunday, the old double was closed. Based on what I saw, I can hardly imagine a day where they would have a need to run that double (maybe during the Holidays?).
I tagged up with Tara to ski the top-to-bottom Monadnock and Connecticut greens, but also did a few runs on the small lift afterward. Tara was able to lead all of us from top-to-bottom at her own speed, definitely a memorable moment of this trip. Tara was so proud of herself, plus her sister was so excited for her. We were all proud of them even if they drove us nuts many times during this trip.
Morgane got to ski all the open trails on the mountain. The only thing closed was the Wilderness Glades (counted as one run) even if they seem to be a few official glades on the mountain.
Ah yes, it was snowing again during this day.
Total cost: $38 (2-for-1 from Morgane’s 5th grade NH Passport), free tix for Morgane (passport) and free for Tara (5 or less).
Total cost of 5 days of skiing for the whole family of 4 on this trip: $265
A great trip and excellent value.
Best places by Morgane: Wildcat and Cannon.
Best snow according to parents: Black (Spring) and Balsams (Winter).
No pics again?
Here you go James…
Tara eating in this beautiful lodge before starting skiing.
Wife and Tara in the chair while Morgane is waiting lowerdown.
Morgane near the bottom with beautiful lodge in the background under the old double. Beginner lift on the other hill behind the lodge.
Tara taking a picture of me at the top.
Sisters skiing together.
Tara arriving at the bottom.
Beginner lift and Tara across the main mountain. I’m the one that had to convinced Tara to ski the beginner hill as I knew it would for a better picture of the main mountain.
Datalog for this last day of Spring Break. Skied with Tara around lunch.
Originally posted on Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:33 pm on firsttracksonline