Skiing has always been part of my life. Growing up on a mountain farm in rural Vermont, we were taught to ski as soon as we could walk. We made ski jumps, we cut trails down through the woods, and just went at it. It helped that we had a Morgan horse that would pull us to the top of the mountain on the logging trail. Once there, we would hitch up the harness and slap him on the butt and he would walk back to the bottom by himself! The trick was to give him a treat when he got there!

This week should be a snowmakers dream all over New England. The new snow that came on Saturday plus the flurries earlier this week will be supplemented by the man-made stuff as the areas try to build their bases. The good news is that it is going to be cold this week, so the mountains can really pour the snow onto the trails. The bad news is that it could be VERY cold at the middle/end of this week with the temps dropping down to the -20 degree area at night.  Check the temps and dress accordingly, keeping an eye out for the wind. Also, go online and check out the different deals that are available at your favorite areas. You may be surprised at how cheap you can ski if you keep your eyes open.

The folks at Cannon tell me that they are ready to create “mass quantities of man-made snow for any trails where snowmaking is in progress.  We plan to hit every major trail on the Front 5 through the course of the week, plus all of the connecters, cat-walks, cut-backs and what-have-yous.  This is our week folks...let real winter begin!” 

Expert skiers always seem to gravitate to the front five of Cannon when there is new snow. The slope of those trails is very steep and provide some of the best advanced skiing in the state.

Up at Bretton Woods they report that the coming cold weather will really help in the snowmaking. According to their snow reporter, “Mother Nature’s temper tantrum is over and things are looking good! Our groomers will be out doing their magic to give you the best possible skiing/riding terrain.”

The temp drop will allow them to start cranking up the snow guns and resume snowmaking. The Climbing Wall opens at noon and close at 4pm. They will start spinning seven lifts at 9 a.m. sharp. You can also sign up for their Canopy Tour with nine zip lines, two suspension bridges and three rappels. Keep in mind that they offer the ZIP & SKI for only $99. You should check their web site to find out what terrain is open.

At Sunappe there are several deals you might want to take advantage of this winter. Every day midweek, non-holiday if you purchase your ticket at least four days in advance on the Mount Sunapee on-line store, your lift ticket is 50% off. There are no limited quantities for sale like other on-line ticket sites. You give them four days notice; they will give you 50% off.

In addition, ticket prices for Monday are $69 for adults, $55 for young adults and seniors and $47 for juniors and super seniors. Full-time college students can ski midweek, non-holiday for only $49 with a photo ID showing enrollment through spring 2015. 

Tuesday is Tune Up Tuesday. You can purchase a two-hour clinic at the Learning Center plus lunch in Goosefeathers Pub for only $39 on-line or at the mountain. Wednesday is 2-for-1 Day. Two can ski or ride all day for only $69. No advance purchase necessary. 

For the cross country folks, one of the best place in New Hampshire to learn to ski is Jackson Cross Country. It is the largest family-friendly and affordable cross-country and snowshoe resort in the eastern U.S. The 150-plus-kilometer trail system, offering something for everyone, starts in the heart of picturesque Jackson Village and meanders through rolling fields, along streams and stone walls, past warming huts and spectacular views, and straight to the doors of a dozen inns, restaurants, and pubs. 

Their Super Saver package includes everything you need to get started: trail Pass, ski rentals and group lesson (a $53 value) for $45 adults, $35 for Juniors (10 - 17), $42 for Seniors (65+), and  $28 for a child. 1:30 p.m. Super Save Package (late day ticket and rental with a full group lesson) - $35.

They also have a super skater special for those that would like to learn to skate ski. It includes everything you need; trail pass($21 value), skate equipment rental($16 value), and a one hour private lesson ($40 value) all for only $65. Rentals, retail shop, and refreshments are available at the lodge. They received 8 inches of fresh snow Saturday into Sunday. Again, the low temps this week will help them get the big machines out and carve out fresh tracks and set up skate platforms.

If you want to learn to ski or get your children into skiing there are Learn-to-Ski programs all over New England that are offered at a very low price. For example, January is Learn-to-Ski month in New Hampshire. Almost every mountain has bought into the state-wide campaign to bring newcomers to the sport.

For only $29 you can get a lift, lesson and rentals beginner package for downhill skiing and riding. If you are interested in cross country skiing a beginner package including a trail pass, lesson and rentals is only $19.  Taking a lesson your first time on skis or a snowboard can make all the difference in the world in terms of having a great experience, and this Learn to Ski & Snowboard month special is great and affordable way to try a new sport.

See you on the slopes!

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