Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Veterans Appreciation Day at Bretton Woods

Another weekend and another free day of skiing for military veterans. Today was the annual Veterans Appreciation Day at Bretton Woods and they were offering free lift tickets to military active duty and retirees. This is a great show of support for America's veterans and this is one veteran that appreciates it. I would be joined today by my son Brandon who was looking forward to shredding the new powder with his snowboard.

 The summit of West Mountain


 On West Mountain

There's been some good snowfall this week with several inches of fresh powder since yesterday. The weather forecast was calling for sunshine and a sub-zero windchill for the entire day. This didn't concern me too much as we could always take a break in the lodge and thaw out. There is also other places on the mountain to get a break from the wind and cold if necessary.

 Zealand Road far below

Got a late start thinking maybe the sun would warm things up a didn't. Temps were frigid and the wind was gusting. Roads had a coating of packed snow and were quite slick on the drive to Bretton Woods. One interesting observation when passing the Appalachia Trailhead parking area on Route 2 was the lack of cars. There was only one vehicle at 10:00 in the morning which is very unusual for this very popular hiking trailhead, an indication of the dangerously frigid winds that were pummelling the high summits keeping the hikers away.

Arriving at Bretton Woods I made a quick sweep through the parking lot in front of the lodge, no luck. I found a parking spot in the outer lot and we layered up for the cold while the vehicle was still warm. Today we would be using toe and hand warmers. I put the toe warmers underneath my foot between two socks and they worked very well and kept my toes warm all day. The hand warmers also kept my normally cold fingers warm.

Sun dropping behind Mount Rosebrook 

 -1°F on the summit of Mount Rosebrook

 Moon rising over Mount Washington

We got our lift tickets and were off to the lift line. The line was quite long and we decided to head over to West Mountain and hoping the line would be a little shorter. I noticed my skis were sticking and was thinking maybe I would need to get them waxed and sharpened. Our first run was down Avalon and over to the West Mountain Express High-Speed Quad. The snow conditions were powder and packed powder, a rare treat and a lot of fun. The line wasn't too bad and we made several runs before moving over to Mount Rosebrook.

 Sun touching the high summits at sunset

While we ate lunch I had my skis waxed and sharpened. I also moved the car a little closer to the lodge and was able to position it so the sun beat down through the windshield providing a little solar warming, but very little on this frigid day. I felt refreshed and ready for a couple more hours of skiing after eating and resting. The waxed skis were working great in the packed powder runs and proved to be exactly what was needed.

 Mount Washington as seen on the drive home

Arriving home after sunset

Several more runs and we were ready to call it a day, and a great day it was! Blue sky, sunshine, fresh powder and sub-zero temps...a perfect bluebird day of skiing and riding!

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

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