EIGHT COOL EVENTS
> If the idea of a pirate-themed scavenger hunt on skis excites you, then check out Pirate Day, February 4, at Mohawk Mountain in Cornwall, Connecticut. (860-672-6100; mohawkmtn.com)
> Want to try snow skiing and water skiing on the same day? On April 8, you can — while getting a second chance to wear your Halloween duds — at the Slush Cup at Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow, Vermont. Competitors in costume skim over an 80-foot-long slush pond. Whee! (802-228-1600, okemo.com)
> Test your endurance with a 12- or 24-hour Skimo (ski-mountaineering) race at Bolton Valley in Richmond, Vermont, starting February 11 at noon. (877-926-5866; boltonvalley.com)
> Ride and glide at New Hampshire’s Pats Peak, which offers snowbiking. Slide down the mountain on a “bike” where the wheels are replaced with skis. (888-728-7732; patspeak.com)
> Midnight Madness night skiing kicks off New Year’s Eve (then Fridays and Saturdays after that) at 9 p.m. with a bonfire and concert at Crotched Mountain in New Hampshire. It’s officially New England’s latest night skiing, and one of the few resorts with 100 percent trail lighting. (603-588-3668, crotchedmtn.com)
> The Jack Jump World Championships, where participants fly downhill through gates on homemade seats mounted on skis, takes place at Vermont‘s Mount Snow on March 5.
> Mount Snow also hosts Cloud Nine Nuptials on Valentine’s Day, with a justice of the peace uniting the happy if possibly chilly couples, followed by a Summit Lodge reception. (800-245-7669; mountsnow.com)
> The Winter Carnival and Cardboard Box Race takes place February 18 at Mount Southington in Connecticut. (860-628-0954; mountsouthington.com)
HIGHEST VERTICAL DROPS IN NEW ENGLAND
> 3,050 feet — Killington, Vermont (802-422-6201; killington.com)
> 2,820 feet — Sugarloaf, Maine (800-843-5623; sugarloaf.com)
> 2,600 feet — Sugarbush, Vermont (802-583-6300; sugarbush.com)
> The $90 million Alpine Village complex in Vermont’s Stowe Mountain Resort opens this season with a new clubhouse, boutique shops, skating rink, and adventure center. (802-253-3000; stowe.com)
> Mount Abram in Greenwood, Maine, is adding six trails and increasing its snow-making capacity by 35 percent. (207-875-5000; mtabram.com)
> Smugglers’ Notch in Jeffersonville, Vermont, is more than doubling the size of its indoor FunZone, adding a climbing wall, slot-car racing, and an obstacle course. (802-332-6841; smuggs.com)
> Suicide Six in South Pomfret, Vermont, is replacing its 1970s chairlift with a $1.5 million quad that can carry 50 percent more passengers every hour. (802-457-6661; suicidesix.com)
> Ragged Mountain in Danbury, New Hampshire, has expanded its snow-making pond, giving it six times the blowing capacity, so more trails can open sooner.
> At Killington on November 26 and 27, catch Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso, and Mikaela Shiffrin’s slalom and giant slalom skills at one of the year’s first world cup races. Spectator access is free.
> Look for 10 new trails on 45 acres, accessed by chairlift, this season at Waterville Valley Resort, in New Hampshire. (603-236-8311; waterville.com)
> The MBTA’s Commuter Rail has added a new stop: Wachusett Station, just 10 minutes from one of Boston’s closest ski areas, will open for weekend service starting around Thanksgiving, with a free shuttle to the mountain. (wachusett.com or mbta.com for details)
BY THE NUMBERS
> 9.6 million — Average number of skier/snowboarder visits to New England a year (more than 4 million of those are to Vermont)
> 82 — Number of public downhill ski areas in New England as of 2015 (there are about 20 private ones); New Hampshire has the most, with 26, Rhode Island the least, with just one
> 2 — Number of planets in our solar system with mountains called Wachusett (Mars is the other one)
> 100 — The percentage of Berkshire East Mountain Resort’s energy needs that it produces on-site. The Charlemont, Massachusetts, ski area has its own wind turbine and solar farm.
> 10,000,000 — Average number of gallons of water turned into machine-made snow annually on Wachusett Mountain
> Killington typically opens in October and closes in May, making it the longest ski season in New England. Why? It has the highest elevation and turns on its snow guns earliest.
> Bousquet, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, opened in 1935, making it the oldest commercial ski area in southern New England. (413-442-8216; bousquets.com)
> In 1935, the family-owned and -operated Black Mountain in Jackson, New Hampshire, installed the first cable ski lift in New England on what is now its bunny slope. (603-383-4490; blackmt.com)
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