I just had one of the best ski days of my life. And it wasn’t at the gnarliest hill on the planet, nor one that’s particularly exotic or remote.
It was at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.
For those of you who don’t know, Bretton Woods is a mellow, modest-sized ski area tucked in the shadow of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeastern United States. The area is known for the magnificent Mount Washington Hotel, site of the historic Bretton Woods conference of 1944, which established rules for commercial and financial relations among the world’s major industrial states (To find out more, go here. But since this is a ski blog, let’s move on.).
Here’s the hotel:
Impressive, isn’t it?
The ski area, not so much. Though the sign to at the entrance to Bretton Woods proclaims “The largest ski area in NH,” it’s really fairly small. The vertical is only 1,500 feet and it’s a mere 464 acres. But the size of the place — or lack thereof — wasn’t the reason we chose to come.
We came on account of the trees.
For those of you who don’t know me, let me confess: I’m a bit of a wuss. You know that risk gene that causes people to huck cliffs and hurtle down 90° precipices? I don’t have it. I’m a decent enough skier, but let’s just put it this way. I know my limits. And skiing in densely packed trees is one of them.
For me, Bretton Woods was perfect. There are glades for all sorts of abilities. You want steep and dense? Check. Prefer something tamer ? Check on that, too.
At Bretton Woods, I became a tree fiend. Plus conditions were amazing. It was absolutely dumping snow. Our tracks filled in almost as soon as we made them.
We were giggling. Howling, Chortling with glee.
In short, we experienced pure, unadulterated, joy. One of the best ski days I’ve ever had.
As I said before, size isn’t everything. Don’t turn up your nose if a ski area isn’t the biggest one around. You may have your own Ode to Joy.