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Skiing is New Hampshire 's Official State Sport – and it's easy to see why. For more than a century, the lure of winter fun on the bright snowy slopes of New Hampshire 's mountains has made winter a special and exciting season for New Hampshire residents and visitors alike. The rich history of New Hampshire skiing, combined with its significant contribution to the economic growth of the state and its role in family and individual lives, has made skiing an integral part of New Hampshire's landscape. All oif the state's main ski areas are easy to reach from anyewhere in the world, thanks to their close proximity to Boston Logan International Airport, and easy two hours drive south of the ski areas. The roots of skiing run deep in New Hampshire 's communities and in New Hampshire 's history. The United State 's first ski school opened at Peckett's in Sugar Hill, with its magnificent view of the Franconia Range . The first slalom race in the U.S. twisted down a New Hampshire slope, as did the first National Downhill Championship race. Ski trains, with classic steam locomotives, chugged north from Boston and New York to New Hampshire villages like North Conway and Warner. In the 1930's, New Hampshire folks used their Yankee ingenuity to figure out better and faster ways to lift skiers up the mountains via Whitney's shovel-handle tow at Black Mountain , Gunstock's longest-in-the-world rope tow, Cannon Mountain 's tramway, and Cranmore's skimobile. Home to the New England Ski Museum, New Hampshire can truly be considered the birthplace of New England skiing. There are some 25 ski areas in New Hampshire today of which ten of the largest participate in Ski New Hampshire 's International Division. The Ski New Hampshire's Multi-Mountain Ski Passport gives international visitors the chance to ski on all and any of those ten areas, all within a short drive of one another, creating one of the U.S.'s most convenient ski passes. The participating ten ski resorts are: Attitash, Black Mountain , Bretton Woods, Cannon Mountain , Cranmore, Gunstock, Loon Mountain , Mount Sunapee, Tenney Mountain and Wildcat. The price of the pass is on average 30% less than the retail rate found at the resort ticket windows. The pass can be used exclusively at one resort, or used at any combination of resorts. There are no blackout dates. Nearly all of Ski New Hampshire's alpine winter resorts now have snowmaking coverage on more than 95% of their pistes, so it is not at all unusual to see snow on the ground even before all the autumn leaves have fallen. Using today's snowmaking technology, machine-made snow bases of two to four feet can be made within hours. Combining the forces of these powerful snowguns with advanced grooming techniques and machinery, resorts typically can provide top-to-bottom snow coverage from early November to early May.

Mountain

New Hampshire offers the full range of skiing opportunities with "something for everyone" meaning more than just a bland marketing phrase here! The state's ski areas are generally located in one of three main geographic regions. The White Mountains National Forest area in the north west (Bretton Woods, Loon and Waterville Valley); Mount Washington Valley in the North East (Wildcat, Black Mountain, Attitash and Cranmore) and the Lakes area in the south (Gunstock) The White Mountains has probably the most dramatic scenery, whilst Mount Washington Valley boast's New Hampshire's highest peak - Mt Washington itself (6288 feet), named afdter the famous US President. The vast 800,000 acre White Mountain National Forest is here. New Hampshire 's largest ski area is Bretton Woods provides teens with 88 trails. The most exciting terrain is probably the Rosebrook Canyon Glades which offer 10 expert-only trails that run through 30 acres of trees full of curves, ravines, and breathtaking drop-offs. The Rosebrook Summit Express accesses some of the mountain's newest trails and great views from the summit of Mount Rosebrook . Four trails and two lifts are lighted for night skiing during weekends and holiday weeks. Mount Sunapee has wide ranging terrain including the South Peak beginner area with five lifts servicing 13 trails, is a separate mini-mountain area, which is excellent for learning, allowing beginners to progress in a comfortable and relaxed environment. Cannon Mountain is another of the larger ski centres with a reputation for some of the toughest skiing, but for first timers it's Brookside Learning Area has quad chair, triple chair and seven trails, all novice and low intermediate terrain, which is a nice step up from the nearby Brookside Trail. Set amongst some of the region's most spectacular scenery, Cannon's slopes are reflected in the waters of Profile and Echo Lakes. It also has the biggest lift served vertical in the state. With 65 trails, including glades and terrain for beginners to experts, Mount Sunapee has plenty to offer the whole family. New Hampshire 's current and past Olympic legends include Bode Miller of Franconia , New Hampshire continues his success after the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City where he was able to claim silver medals in both the Giant Slalom and Combined. Resorts that offer Telemark skis for rent and/or provide telemark lesssons include Bretton Woods, Cannon Mountain, Gunstock, Loon Mountain and Mount Sunapee.

Families

All of New Hampshire's ski areas are well equipped to cate for family needs. Located right at the base area, the Attitash Adventure Center has everything under one roof for families and kids. All learn-to-ski and learn-to-ride programs, children's programs, seasonal programs, day care facilities, rental equipment, and adaptive programs for disabled skiers originate at the Adventure Center. The Family Fun Zone is a specially designated area designed for families. Special props create a mini terrain park designed to teach and improve ski and snowboard technique. This is a perfect learning area with gentle terrain located away from the busier main slopes of the resort. For young children The Tiny Turns program (age 3-5) includes a lift ticket, one-hour introduction to skiing, and day care. The Buddy Bear Kids program (age 4-6) and the Adventure Kids and Low Riders program (age 7-12) also include lessons and lift tickets. Bretton Woods is an award-winning ski area that has long catered to families. Family Travel Forum named it one of the “Top Ten Getaways for Tiny Travelers” and SKI magazine's reader's survey gave superior ratings to its family programs, grooming, and scenery. The Family Learning Center offers a variety of free child-friendly lifts to help make learning to ski or snowboard easier, and the Wonder Carpet, Handle Tow and new Crawford Quad Chair are all designed for easy use by kids. Crèche facilities are available for children age 2 months - 5 years. The Babes in the Woods Ski & Snowplay program (age 3-5) includes two hours of semi-private instruction, rental equipment, lunch and indoor nursery care. The Hobbit Ski and Snowboard School ( age 4-12, skiing and 8-12, snowboard ) offers all day fun and instructional programs in skiing or snowboarding and includes two lessons, equipment rental, lift ticket and lunch. Children are matched with others of the same age and ability. For other family fun, the Lodge at Bretton Woods and The Mount Washington Hotel, offer indoor pools, as well as game rooms with billiards, pinball and electronic games. The Bretton Woods Sports Center is complimentary to resort guests and offers indoor swimming, Jacuzzi, sauna, racquetball courts and the latest workout equipment. A 24-hour complimentary shuttle runs throughout the resort so getting to the fun is easy both day and night. Cannon's learning center has everything families need with regards to day care facilities and learn-to-ski programs. Great beginner slopes are located right outside the door, and intermediate skiers can enjoy the view from the top with access to top-to-bottom intermediate trails. Cranmore's billing as “ New England 's Snowplay Resort for Growing Families” says it all. Cranmore offers a variety of family-friendly programs either by day or for an entire season. The Snowsports School has daily programs for young children, including a variety of Value Deals that package lift tickets with rentals, equipment, and lunch. The Children's Center at Gunstock includes The Cubs Program for 3-year-olds introduces skiing skills through the use of games and activities. It includes a lift ticket, lesson, lunch, and day care. The Belknap Bears for age 4-12 is a full or half day program focusing on fun and includes breaks, lunch, crafts and games. The Belknap Rangers for age 8-14 is an all-day program. The Adventure Center at Loon stages apres ski family activities are held in the Adventure Center and include arts and crafts, magic shows, bon fires, and storytelling. This is also the place for renting cross country, snowshoe and ice skating equipment, or trying out the new snow tubing hill for tykes. There's even an indoor climbing wall with ropes and harnesses. The Loon Snowsports School offers a wide variety of daily kids programs. There's P.K. Boo Bear for kids age 3-4, Kinder Bear for kids age 5-6, and Adventure Camp for kids age 7-12. Day care is available for kids 6 weeks to 8 years. Mount Sunapee's Children's Learning Center is located near the South Peak beginner area. The South Peak , with 5 lifts servicing 13 trails, is a separate mini-mountain area, which is excellent for learning, allowing beginners to progress in a comfortable and relaxed environment. With specially designed programs such as Snowstars (ages 4-7) and Mountain Explorers (ages 8-12), children learn the fundamentals they will need to enjoy a lifetime of skiing or riding. A half-day South Peak Explorers package is geared to the beginner skier and rider. Included in the package is a South Peak beginner area ticket, one lesson and complete rental equipment package. Childcare is available for children 12 months to 5 years old. A combination package, which includes childcare and a private 1-hour ski lesson, is available for 3 & 4 year olds. Tenney Mountain is a family-friendly, full-service, ski and snowboard area. Tenney has kids' programs for children as young as six months old and culminating when the youngsters overtake the grown-ups! Tenney Tots is the childcare center conveniently located in the main base lodge. It is convenient for a mother or father to enroll the children while getting the rest of the family out on the slopes and very easy to stop by to visit children during the day. As soon as a child is ready to try ski-play, lessons and equipment can be arranged. Cutting Edge Kids is the on-slope instruction program for children ages six to 13. Half and full-day programs, including the lift ticket, instruction and (if needed) rental equipment are included. A supervised lunch is offered as part of the full-day program. Wildcat offers full and half-day programs for kids of all ages. The Kitten Club Nursery is for ages 2 months to 5 years. Reservations are required for ages 2-18 months. For 3-5 year olds, there is also a Snowplay program, where kids in the Nursery can experience a great introduction to skiing. For ages 5-12, Wildcat offers the Lion's Den, skiing for ages 5-12 and snowboarding for ages 8-12. Children are grouped according to age and ability and the lessons are 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. Lunch, rentals, and lessons are included in all the full day kid's programs.

Boarding

Snowboarders and skiers can enjoy New Hampshire 's largest Super Pipe on Mount Sunapee as well as a Terrain Park that offers quality features for beginners, intermediates and experts. Bretton Woods offers plenty of chutes, bumps, bowls, and glades as well as a terrain park and halfpipe. There's plenty of halfpipe and terrain park action at Loon, as well as sliding fun on a variety of rental snowtoys such as snowscoots, snowfoxes, snowbikes or skiboards. At Attitash there's daily fun and excitement to be found at the snowboarding halfpipe and terrain park where there are plenty of bumps, dips and jumps. Almost every weekend there are just-for-fun events open to all ability levels. Gunstock features a terrain park and halfpipe. Wildcat's Terrain Park is located on the Cheetah Slope, which has 100% snowmaking. Typically the park includes 8-9 hits, and spines and rollers. Often larger jumps and snow features are built for special events. At Cannon Mountain a terrain park with bumps, banks and jumps, along with a professionally designed halfpipe, Keeps the older kids challenged.

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