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Old 12-17-2009, 05:16 PM   #1
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Default Best place to ski for beginners?

We will be staying in Meredith the week of New Year's. I am hoping I can get some advice on the best place to ski considering snow conditions and driving distance. It is not our first time skiing but we beginners (maybe intermediate). Can anyone give me some advice?

I would like to know Gunstock vs Waterville Valley. Is it worth the drive to Bretton woods?

Thank you in advance and have a great holiday season!
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Old 12-17-2009, 11:10 PM   #2
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Waterville Valley or Gunstock.....probably a lot depends on who you get for a ski instructor. Skiing at WV over the Christmas holiday week is probably the worst week of the whole season to be there due to the large crowd of skiers, and the small number of open trails. WV has about 52 trails total, and is is not really a good skiing experience until they get about 35 trails open. 603-236-4144 In the real world of numbers, 50 trails open translates into about ten different skiing routes from top to bottom.

Gunstock has some new beginner trails centered around their new Penny PItou Silver Medal, slow & low, quad lift.

WV is a little taller and a little longer mountain than Gunstock and probably would be better for a strong intermediate but for a beginner, could be Gunstock is better.

I've skied Gunstock only once in the last 40 years so I'm no expert....that's for sure....but something tells me that Gunstock probably has better beginner instructors....since it's more of a family and local schools type of an area.

Gunstock has a very nice old traditional base lodge which actually has a view of the ski slopes while WV has blocked off most all of the views from their base lodge.......go figure that out?
Down & out, livn that Walmart side of the lake!

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Old 12-18-2009, 10:24 AM   #3
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Default Bretton Woods

BW is a perfect place for intermediate skiing.Very little "expert" terrain with lots of gentle cruisers.Gunstock has green/blue terrain also as does Wallyworld but for overall easier terrain,BW is a great resort.
Don't let Cannon scare you too much as you drive by on your way to BW.There are easier trails on the unseen Peabody base area.
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:51 AM   #4
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Default North Conway

Mt Cranmore is a great beginner mountain and North Conway is a great town to visit. Lots of great restaurants for apres ski...
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:27 AM   #5
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FLL pretty much hit it on the head. Gunstock would be a good choice with it's beginner slopes and the new int. chair. BW is a real good choice as well, but quite the haul from Meredith. If you take lesons, go private, it's worth the difference.
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:05 PM   #6
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Don't forget King Pine Ski Area over in Madison. A great place for beginners.


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Old 12-18-2009, 01:12 PM   #7
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Default Gunstock!

For all the reasons FLL has stated, plus with the new investment in a slow and low quad life, I would say Gunstock is the best bet, by far.

Zeke recommended private lessons. Although they can be expensive, you get so much more value out of the private lessons. If you have two or three in your party and all are at about the same level, contact the ski school and reserve an instructor now for a few two-hour, private sessions your the small party. Making plans now instead of on the day will usually get you an instructor that is best for your needs. Planning ahead does help.

Also, at this time of the year when the cover is not that deep, get out early! Early means getting to the mountain at least an hour before it opens, having something to eat there, hooking up with your instructor ideally before the lifts are open and being on the mountain when the snow surface is at its best. Conditions and crowds from 11:00 AM onward do not support a good learning environment, especially during the holiday week.

Lastly, Gunstock has, by far, the best views. Seeing the lake from Gunstock, usually with some ice and some open water, is something you will remember forever.

Have an enjoyable week!

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Old 12-22-2009, 05:42 PM   #8
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Don't overlook Ragged in this discussion. Ragged is a little off the beaten path so it gets less traffic. Oh and Ragged has some the best resort food in the state. I think a wood cooked Lg. pizza was under $15 last year I think that's what Gunstock charges for a burger. Gunstock vs Ragged unless BW gets a bunch of snow.
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:55 PM   #9
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Default Gunstock Is A Very Good Choice...

Black Mountain in Jackson NH is very good as well.

Always Remember, The Best Safety Device In The Boat, or on a PWC Snowmobile etc., Is YOU!

Safe sledding tips and much more; http://www.snowmobile.org/snowmobiling-safety.html
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:11 PM   #10
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It's a great mountain with excellent beginner terrain. I'm a ski instructor there....come take a lesson with me.

Happy holidays!

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Old 12-22-2009, 10:42 PM   #11
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If you're on a budget, I'd say King Pine, hands down. Lots of short, easy trails & great instructors.

If money is no object and you don't mind the drive, Bretton Woods is hard to beat for beginner/intermediate.

Happy Trails!
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:24 PM   #12
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Thank you for the responses. Merry Christmas.
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