The snow at Sunday River the day before was wet, sticky and slow. I was worried that the riding season was effectively over, and wasn’t very stoked about it.
Early in the season I had snowboarded at Attitash in New Hampshire and had a blast! The people are friendly, the mountain is fun and the views are magnificent. I had been offered another free lift ticket to Attitash and Wildcat and didn’t want to pass up the opportunity, so I drove out early Sunday morning expecting slow, wet, springlike conditions.
My worries evaporated immediately after stepping on the cold, dry, crunchy snow. It’s the sound and feel that says it’s going to be a good day. I was stoked.
I had been reviewing the trail map online for weeks in anticipation of the visit and knew I wanted to check out Bear Peak, a mountain I hadn’t explored on my previous visit. I rode from the Attitash summit to the Bear Peak summit quad. The long blues on either side of the mountain were long, fast and had very few people. I was in heaven.
After many consecutive weekends on the slopes Kirsten wanted me home and had made me promise to return early. I was in a mad rush to get in as many runs as possible, and wanted to check out Wildcat before driving home. After only a couple runs at Bear Peak and several more at Attitash–including my favorite run: Saco to Ammonoosuc and Lower Cathedral–I headed to my car and made the short drive to Wildcat.
Wildcat is tall and steep. The snow had heated a bit by the time I arrived and was a nice, soft, “mashed potato” consistency. I rode the long trails from the summit to the base as fast as I could, except for a few runs when I attacked powdery bumpy blacks. Those trips down the mountain were, perhaps, the best runs of the entire season, on any mountain. They could properly be described as epic. I could have ridden them until ski patrol forced me off the mountain.
Mount Washington is literally across the street from Wildcat and the views are extraordinary and breathtaking, as you can see in the photos.
Attitash is closed for the season and I will probably not make it to Wildcat again before the snow melts. I will definitely be back multiple times next year. Both are fantastic mountains, and worth the drive from coastal Maine.