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At Waterville Valley Resort, that is the question with lots of answers.
Since the 1960’s Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, has been well known for its ski area, which features trails and activities for all ages and abilities. From Kids’ Venture Kamps to the Silver Streaks over-50 ski club, from alpine to Nordic, boarders and hot-doggers, there’s something for every level of skier.
For young skiers, age 3 to 12, Kids Venture Kamps provide their own ski rental facility in the base lodge—no more jockeying for position with adults and older kids. A day of Venture Kamp includes lessons, rentals, lunch and even a snack for the youngest skiers. Resort staff makes sure participants have the right boots, helmets and skis or snowboards. Then it’s out to the slopes, with specially designed Venture Zones ranging from Kinderpark to the black diamond True Grit. Kids can sign up for Kids Venture Kamp for a day or an entire season.
For the more mature skier, there are individual and group lessons, as well as lessons for family groups. Seniors have their own group, the Silver Streaks, the longest running senior skiing program in the country. Silver Streak members meet several times a week for fun, friendship, and coffee in the lodge. The club provides special clinics for members only, a weekly après–ski party, banquets twice each season, and the opportunity to hang with some of the fittest seniors in the country.
No one gets left out of the fun at Waterville Valley. The resort sponsors the AbilityPLUS Adaptive program, which teams physically and mentally challenged children and adults with caring volunteers who help them enjoy the thrill of skiing, free from the encumbrance of wheelchairs or braces.
Waterville Valley Resort offers 250 skiable acres with snowmaking ability on every trail. The ski area peaks at 4,004 feet, has a vertical drop of 2,020 feet, with 52 trails and 12 lifts. But for those who like their skiing with a little less altitude, Waterville Valley’s Nordic Center features 75 km of wide groomed trails, again with terrain for every ability level, groomed daily for both skate and classic skiing styles. Skiers take off from the rental center in the Valley’s quaint Town Square, or just step out the door of their vacation rental—the trails are only steps away from most of the accommodations in the valley. Once on the trail, you’ll enjoy incredible views of the surrounding White Mountain National Forest. Stop for a warm up and a snack at the trailside-warming hut, or return to the Nordic Center and sit by the fire.
It all started in the mid-1960s, when two-time Olympic ski racer Tom Corcoran was scouring New England looking for a mountain he could develop into a Western-style, year-round ski resort. When he saw Waterville – which had a couple of rope tows and trails, an inn, and 500 acres for sale – Corcoran knew it was the place. For the next thirty or so years Waterville Valley grew slowly and steadily into “the” place to ski in the East.
Written Jul 25, 2008
If you plan to drive around the White Mountains, it is necessary to buy a parking pass. A weekly pass is convenient if you are staying there more than two days.
You can buy them at most AMC Souvenir shops or the Park Service Office.
Written Sep 11, 2003