|Imagine having a winter resort with six lifts, 1200' of vertical, a tubing park and a historical pedigree in your own back yard.|
For residents of North Conway who live east of the business district, this scenario requires no imagination. The open slopes and trails of Cranmore practically run right into the neighborhood. In fact, Cranmore is pretty much in the backyard of the town of North Conway. And the town's history has been linked with the mountain's for decades. It was here that Austrian Hannes Schneider first introduced the Arlberg method of ski teaching to the skiing public. It was here that ski trains first chugged into the sleepy whistle stop of North Conway, opening up the North Country to a whole new world of recreational possibilities. It was here that the famous Skimobile carried skiers to the summit in relative (if slow) comfort.
Schneider is long gone, the Skimobile more recently so (a high-speed quad replaced it), and North Conway is no longer a sleepy whistle stop. But Cranmore still looms behind town and the skiing and riding have expanded from the original core trails to include terrain for all abilities. Much of that terrain reflects Cranmore's roots, with names like Schneider, Skimeister, Arlberg, and Snowtrain conjuring up the mountain's past. And much of the terrain favors intermediates, so you needn't be an expert to enjoy a slice of history. Skiemeister and Arlberg are two especially fine blue runs from the summit and there are nearly a dozen more in the same vein.
Absolute beginners have Beginner Basin to play in and the long, wide South Slope on which to polish their skills. Served by the South Double, Beginner's Luck, Snowtrain, and Outta Luck round out the strictly green circle trails.
While Cranmore can't be considered a steep mountain, black diamond trails like Lower Kandahar, North Conway, Hurricane, and The Ledges provide enough pitch to keep you on your toes, especially if you're cranking big GS turns. The narrow Zip, Koessler, and Gibson Pitch ratchet the difficulty up a notch, as do a couple of nice glades.
Several terrain parks are dispersed around the mountain and the ½ pipe is just above the base lodge. The Darkside Terrain Park operates under the lights Friday, Saturday, and holiday nights until 9:00 pm, as does the tubing park.
With a long history of providing four-season recreation, finding a place to stay and eat in the area at nearly every price point will not be difficult. Lodging choices range from motels to the grand Eastern Slopes Inn; dining from family to romantic.
If you just love to shop, you've come to the right place.
Time was when North Conway offered little in the way of shopping other than groceries and climbing gear. That's all changed dramatically, and with outlets from Dansk to L.L. Bean and numerous specialty shops offering everything from limited edition prints to decadent chocolate concoctions, shopping is a genuine après-ski pursuit. If you'd rather spend your time outdoors, activities run the gamut from a quiet cross-country ski outing to snowmobile tours to ice climbing. Entertainment and good cheer can be found in a number of pubs and taverns, most of them in the main business district.
|Snow Conditions (updated)04/13/2013, 9:01am |
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