Meghan McCarthy McPhaul's Winter Notes: Night skiing in NH offers great dealsBy MEGHAN McCARTHY McPHAUL February 16. 2017 9:34PM
IF YOU’RE USED to skiing, as I am, during the day, there’s a distinctly different vibe to hitting the slopes after dark. As dusk falls and the lights come up, shadows are cast across quiet trails. There are rarely any lift lines, and the starry night-sky view offers a distinct chairlift perspective. Perhaps best of all, lift ticket prices drop when the sun sets.
For night owls, there are myriad options for skiing in New Hampshire after dark, and many ski areas offer additional night skiing hours during the coming school vacation weeks. With all the snow that’s fallen in the last week or so, the skiing is superb — day or night!
At Gunstock, the lifts spin into the evening every Tuesday through Thursday until 8 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays until 9 p.m., with open terrain for everyone from beginner to expert, plus the big Blundersmoke Park. There are different specials each night: Two-for-Tuesdays offer two tickets for $34; Wall to Wall Wednesdays include complimentary ski or snowboard rentals with the $34 lift ticket price; Thursday tickets are only $20; Fridays are family ski nights, with two adult tickets and two junior passes for one price of $99; and Saturday nights (with the exception of this week, when night tickets are the regular $34 rate with no extras) $44 passes include rentals and two runs on the tubing hill.
Bretton Woods serves up nighttime skiing with a side of dinner during Powder & Pasta nights each Friday and Saturday — plus every night next week. For $25, skiers and snowboarders can hit the slopes from 4 to 8 p.m. and pop into the lodge for a pasta dinner when they need to refuel. Twilight tickets, which allow skiers to get started at 2 p.m., are $45.
At King Pine, the slopes are open Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays until 9 p.m., with night skiing offered every evening next week until 9 p.m. Two lifts service 10 lit trails. A Twilight Ticket, good from 2:30 p.m. until closing, costs $43, and a night ticket, good from 4 to 9 p.m., is $29. Bring your friends or family and take advantage of the Moonlight 4-pack: four tickets good from 4 to 9 p.m. for the bargain price of $66.
At Granite Gorge, skiers and boarders will find extended hours Fridays and Saturdays until 8 p.m., and Wednesday and Thursday evenings until 6 p.m. Lift tickets after noon are $39. “Last 2 hour” tickets are available Thursdays through Saturdays for $25.
Pats Peak keeps the lifts spinning until 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays (plus Sunday next week) and 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Saturdays feature Pay-One-Price (POP) tickets, when $49 includes a lift ticket good from 3 p.m. on, lesson tips, rentals, plus snow tubing and slope-side entertainment. Otherwise, night time lift tickets are $42.
In honor of February vacation, POP tickets are available every day (except the Feb. 26) from this Saturday through March 4. “Step Up To POP” pricing is available beginning at noon. Check www.PatsPeak.com for details.
McIntyre offers skiing after dark Wednesdays through Saturdays until 9 p.m. Tickets are $30 and good from 4 p.m. until the lifts close. Saturday’s One Great Rate of $34 includes a lift ticket good from 3 p.m. to closing, rentals, lesson tips, and tubing.
Smaller hills often offer night skiing as well, so if you have a local favorite, check it out. And check in with Winter Notes next week for more on these local hills and their importance to the skiing community.
In the meantime, whether it’s snow-filled mornings, afternoons of carving fast turns, or stargazing between night time runs, get out there and enjoy the snow!
Winter Notes is published on Fridays during ski season. Contact Meghan McCarthy McPhaul at firstname.lastname@example.org.