All the ballyhoo wasn’t for a new high-speed detachable quad whisking skiers to a lofty summit. Instead, Wednesday’s brief ceremony at Bretton Woods in New Hampshire’s White Mountains was for a new old-school stalwart of skiing — the T-bar.
The 2,000-foot lift accesses glades on Mount Stickney and empties near a new solar-powered 600-square-foot cabin with amenities such as indoor wood stove and outdoor fireplace, food service, and a view of neighboring Mount Rosebrook.
The Telegraph lift comes during a time of a backcountry or sidecountry renaissance at ski areas.
“We’re so retro, we’re cool here,” said director of ski operations Chris Ellms.
Skiers can play in the trees on runs that increase in difficulty from west to east. A gentle, groomed glade is planned for green-circle skiers. Nordic skiers will have a 3-kilometer loop incorporating the lift and existing trails.
Plans call for about 5 kilometers of Nordic trails next season at about 3,000 feet in elevation.
Free-heelers and winter hikers have a new mountain lodge in Maine’s Carrabassett Valley. The nonprofit Maine Huts and Trails is opening the fourth of 12 planned backcountry lodges Dec. 21 for its evolving 180-mile trail network.
The Stratton Brook Hut, with Bigelow Mountain Range and Sugarloaf vistas plus access to Alpine hiking on the Appalachian Trail, has 10 rooms, hot showers, meals, and sleeps 44. It’s accessible by a moderate, 2.9-mile trail from a Route 27 trailhead about 100 feet north of the Sugarloaf Access Road.
Visitors can travel among the huts during a five-day, four-night sojourn. Freedman said 80 miles of trails have been built. A fifth hut could be constructed within two years.
Free for all
New Englanders Tucker Perkins, Simon Dumont, Devin Logan, and Marshfield’s Jess Breda are among the 33 athletes named to the 2013 US Freeskiing Team in advance of the squad’s first competition, the Dec. 13-16 Dew Tour in Breckenridge, Colo.
I love NY?
Would a $10 lift ticket get you to ski New York? Empire State ski areas, including Catamount, Thunder Ridge, and Whiteface, are taking part in a Ski Areas of New York promotion that offers $10 lift tickets for Jan. 10, 2013. Some 10,000 tickets are being sold at that price through www.iskiny.com with a limit of two per e-mail address through Jan. 9 . . . At Bolton Valley, dress like Santa from head to toe Dec. 16 and ski free. The resort offers $25 lift tickets and $5 Nordic passes Dec. 17-25 . . . This Sunday’s “Maine Ski Day” means Mainers pay $29 to ski Sunday River and Sugarloaf.