Mount Washington Alpine Resort has received over 300cm of snowfall since the beginning of December, and the snow continues to fall and accumulate making this the snowiest Christmas season in the past several years.
The resort is taking advantage of the snowfall by scheduling the opening of The Outback for this coming Saturday, Dec. 26. The Outback is 400 acres of terrain designated as black diamond and double black diamond meaning it is only suitable for advanced and expert skiers and snowboarders. Because of the steepness of the terrain and the number of obstacles such as rocks, trees and cliff bands, it requires more snow than the rest of the mountain to open.
George Trousdell, Director of Mountain Operations, noted, “The snowpack is at a point now that we can start running the Boomerang chairlift and grooming the run-outs to make the area ready for our guests.
“It’s nice to have this amount of snow because Mount Washington has a lot of good skiers and riders among our clientele, and we haven’t been able to open that area for the past couple of years.” Trousdell explained that the terrain in The Outback is in a north-facing bowl stretching from the ridge at Little Mount Washington to McKay Lake. Because of the north-facing aspect and the high walls of the ridge, the bowl does not get direct sunlight so the snow stays colder and more powder-like.
Trousdell added, “The more advanced skiers like the steep and deep, but the only downside to the deep snow is the extra threat of avalanches. We will take the next few days to perform avalanche control work in The Outback before opening it all up on the 26th. ”
With more snow in the forecast through the holidays, the rest of Mount Washington Alpine Resort is also ready for a festivity-filled Christmas period.
“It’s a Winter Wonderland up here,” Sheila Rivers, a spokesperson for the resort, declared. “There is no better place to bring the family to get into the holiday spirit. We have a number of family-friendly events and activities planned, like the annual Pepsi Torchlight Parade and Fireworks on Dec. 26 starting at 7 p.m. We also have a tubing party and great entertainment for all ages on New Year’s Eve.”
Younger children will enjoy laughter and fun with clowns Poco and Betty on Dec. 31. The clown-duet performance consists of music and magic through a lively interactive show. Older kids can check out the 9 p.m. countdown at the Tube Park where New Year’s Eve novelties will be provided.
For the adult audience, Baby Jane will bring Top 40 dance music to Ted’s Bar + Grill leading up to the traditional New Year’s Eve countdown at midnight.
“This snow is great news for the Island’s skiers and snowboarders,” explained Peter Gibson, the General Manager of Mount Washington Alpine Resort. “This holiday season, we will have all of our alpine terrain open as well as all 55 kms of our Nordic trails, plus the tubing park. We haven’t had that in a couple years, so we are creating a week-long celebration in keeping with the holiday spirit for skiers and riders to enjoy with family and friends.”