Pats Peak Brings Skiing/Riding To Thousands of Kids; Credit Bertie Holland
Odds are good that no matter what mountain you are skiing or riding, you’ll probably come across someone who got their start at Pats Peak. Centrally located near New Hampshire’s metropolitan areas, Pats Peak is where a large population of the state’s kids learn to ski and ride.
More than 8,000 kids from over 100 local schools, recreation centers, and home school programs participate in Pats Peak’s Weekday Learn to Ski and Ride Program each year, offering lessons for all abilities and rental packages.
Although the mountain’s 115 acres and 770-foot vertical drop may not be the largest in the state, they take pride in their role as New Hampshire’s “premiere teaching mountain.”
“Our niche is the learn-to market,” Pats Peak General Manager Kris Blomback told SnoCountry.com. “We look at every aspect of the ski day, from the entrance to rentals to lessons to riding the lifts, as a way to make the experience a positive one for guests who have never skied before. Our owner always says, ‘skiing is an experience, not a commodity.’ You can't put a return on investment on experience. We want every service at the resort to make it easier for people who are totally new to the sport.”
The success of the learn-to program can also be contributed to Snowsports School Director Bertie Holland, who has been teaching at Pats for more than 30 years. The weekday program has grown from 2,000 to more than 8,000 students under her direction. It is estimated that over 5,000 people have worked under Bertie during her tenure at Pats Peak.
The weekday school group lessons afford kids an opportunity to get a taste of the slopes that they might not otherwise have. “In many cases this is the only time they ski,” Holland told us. “It’s reasonably priced and they get to come ski with their friends. The camaraderie makes it fun.”
Pats Peak’s newest trail expansion, Cascade Basin, opened in 2013 to expand the novice and intermediate trails that the mountain caters to. Beyond their three separate beginner areas, Cascade Basin offers additional terrain for skiers and riders to gain confidence on.
Photos: Top -- Ski School Director Bertie Holland's family is just some of the more than 8,000 kids from over 100 local schools are introduced to skiing at Pats Peak. (Pats Peak); Left -- Bertie Holland has made learning to ski in New Hampshire an institution for more than 30 years. (Pats Peak)