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Icy Thrills at Waterville Valley

December 30, 2009

The bitter cold is a ferocious animal biting at your face, toes and fingers until they scream in agony.

That’s what you feel if you’re crazy enough to go out and ski in sub-zero temperatures. That’s exactly what this reporter did yesterday at Waterville Valley located in the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire.

The temperature yesterday was 19 degrees below zero, when you count the wind chill. And that’s not factoring in the occasional gusts that whipped up tornadoes of snow.

It was so cold the mountain shut down all but one main lift, leaving most of the 52 trails closed. But, oddly enough, it was an amazing experience.

Waterville handed out “mountain money” vouchers allowing paying customers to return again until April to catch all the lifts open. So, it was a day of basically free skiing.

And for some torturous reason, it’s impossible to forget. Any real New England skier knows you’ll face ice, wind, cold and snow in all combinations.

Yesterday was a battle against frostbite and a brand of cold that stays with you long after a fire warms your soul. It wasn’t a day to find the ultimate run in New Hampshire – this reporter’s goal.

It was a day to realize that after years of wind-whipped exposure, your face has hardened against the coldest day this region can throw at you.

The ultimate run can wait for another day. Instead, it was ultimate exposure conquered!

As the quote from the book “Northern Exposure” tells, “It’s cold out folks. Bone crushing cold. The kind of cold which will wrench the spirit out of a young man, or forge it into steel.”

By Joe Dwinell, Boston Herald Reporter

About Jan Stearns

I've been living in and loving New Hampshire's White Mountains for most of my life. I moved to Waterville Valley in 1981 and quickly realized why it was dubbed a Yankee Shangri-la. Once you’ve experienced Waterville Valley, you’ll want to call it yours. The great team of Realtors at Waterville Valley Realty can help you find a Waterville Valley home that fits your lifestyle and budget.

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