Mount Eustis, a 200-foot vertical, rope-tow hill in Littleton, N.H., might be the latest defunct New England ski area to get back up and running with help from an all-volunteer group of community supporters.
The regional news website newhampshirelakesandmountains.com reported last week that a group of a dozen “can-doers’’ met with the town’s parks and recreation department for initial approval to move forward, with the stipulation that the operation on the town-owned land would have to be funded privately through donations and not taxpayer dollars.
According to the New England Lost Ski Areas Project website (nelsap.org), Mount Eustis had skiing from 1939 to about 1980, and even survived after part of the slope was sliced off by the construction of Interstate 93 decades ago. Currently, the town mows the main trail in summer and allows sledding in winter, but the old base lodge has been marred by vandalism. The main expenses would include getting the rope tow up and running, installing lights, and paying for insurance.
Wachusett Mountain is closed Thursday in an effort to preserve snow for the weekend. You can get a $17 lift ticket for wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day, or alternately, you can get the same “green’’ discount by arriving at the mountain in a hybrid vehicle or by carpooling with at least three other people . . . Granite Gorge has $17 lift tickets on Saturday in honor of St. Patrick’s Day . . . Waterville Valley and Ragged will discount all levels of tickets by $17 on Saturday. Ragged will also host a 4 p.m. demonstration by the North East Ski Joring Association (horses pulling skiers, racing against the clock through an obstacle course) . . . Crotched Mountain gives schoolteachers a break with free lift tickets on Sunday (present some valid form of 2011-12 educator identification) . . . Mount Sunapee has demo days set up on the Flyway trail Thursday through Sunday . . . Gunstock hosts demo days Saturday and Sunday . . . Whaleback has a two-day music festival Friday and Saturday, plus “Junk Show’’ activities (pond skimming, cardboard box racing, shovel racing) on Sunday . . . Wildcat and Attitash are at $40 Friday pricing through the end of the season . . . April 1 tickets at Waterville Valley will be slashed to $10 (foolishness optional) . . . Buy an Okemo midweek ticket online and you get a $15 lunch coupon valid the same day as your lift ticket at any culinary location on the mountain . . . Bromley is offering a $99 pass good for four days of skiing through the end of the season . . . Mad River Glen has “free-heel Fridays’’ aimed at telemark first-timers, with two-hour clinic, for $45 ($70 if packaged with a lift ticket) . . . Sugarbush has dropped the everyday rate for Mount Ellen-only tickets to $30, except for Friday, when tickets will be $17.
Cannon will stage its annual Crash Test Dummy Race on March 24. “Competitors’’ must be built on a 2-foot-square platform securely mounted to skis (no snowboards), and the dummy must be pulled to the start line at the top of the hill without riding a lift. The race will be dual, double-elimination format. Sugarbush has a similar competition the next day (snowboards are allowed, but a weight limit of 100 pounds is imposed). Sugarbush also requests “no propulsion and no pyrotechnics of any kind, please.’’ . . . Sugarloaf hosts a paintball biathlon March 31. Cross-country skiers race three laps on the 2 1/2-kilometer course and shoot each time through the stadium. Kids 12 and under will ski three laps on an easier 1-kilometer loop, also shooting each time through the stadium. Starting gun goes at 10 a.m. and entry costs $20. Sugarloaf also has started selling spring skiing three-day passes for $145 (dates do not have to be consecutive), valid any day through the end of the season, including weekends and during the April 12-15 Reggae Fest.