Gone Snowboarding – All The Way To Colorado!

The WICed Fest will be experiencing some radio silence this week as a small group of us makes our much-anticipated pilgrimage to Aspen Snowmass.  We’ll do our best to do some real-time updating while we’re out there but internet access is an unknown and, well, we’ll be in Snowmass!  We’ll definitely be back next week with a recap and, hopefully, another resort review.

gone snowboarding

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2012 WICed Fest Snowboard Trip – The Warm-Up!

If you have been hanging around the WICed Fest recently, you’re probably pretty tuned into the fact that a small faction of us are heading out to Colorado this year. Heading out west has been something we’ve been talking about as a group since we first started riding together.

Unfortunately, on a select group of us are able to head out west. And we’ve been heading north with the same basic group of folks for the last decade and then some. We didn’t want to stop that. Plus, we had to do a warm-up trip for Colorado!

So, in an effort to maintain some continuity to the WICed Fest, we threw together a quick weekend trip up to Attitash in Bartlett, NH. The trip was nothing fancy – head up on Friday to a little cabin, ride on Saturday and head home Sunday. But, in true WICed Fest style, we made the most of this trip! Continue reading

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Resort Review | Attitash Mountain Resort (Bartlett, NH)

Check out the WICed Fest's latest destination - Attitash Resort!Attitash Mountain Resort

775 Route 302
Bartlett, NH 03812
Website: www.attitash.com
Twitter: @AttitashResort
Facebook: Attitash Resort
P: 800.233.SNOW (toll free)
P: 603.374.2600
P: 877.677.7669 (snow phone)

General Mountain Information

Location

Attitash Mountain Resort is a two peak resort (Attitash Peak and Bear Peak) located in the White Mountains National Forest area of New Hampshire. It is roughly 36 miles from Interstate 93 (Exit 40 in Littleton, NH to be exact). The drive from the New York area took roughly six and a half hours each way. Folks from Boston and southeastern Massachusetts reported that their drive was roughly three to five hours.

Trails and Snowmaking

Attitash Mountain Resort is located on 307 skiable acres. The summit of Attitash sits at an elevation of 2,350 feet with 1,750 feet of vertical drop. Likewise, Bear Peak sits at an elevation of 1,450 feet with 1,450 feet of vertical drop. The resort averages 155 inches of snow annually. In addition, the mountain accommodates snowmaking on 98% of its trail system.

Lift Systems

Attitash Mountain Resort claims 10 lifts – 3 quad lifts (2 of which are high speed), 3 triples, 3 doubles and 1 surface lift. Out of the 10 lifts, 6 of them service the Attitash Peak. The Summit Triple is the most used lift as it services the summit. The Top Notch Double also puts skiers and riders near the top, however not all the way there. The Flying Yankee is a quad lift that services mid-mountain while the East Double and West Double both serve double duty as the parking-lapping lifts and access to the beginner’s area. The Learning Center Triple and Snowbelt, as one might expect, service the Learning Area on Attitash Peak. The summit of Bear Peak is serviced by the Flying Bear Quad. Abenaki Quad provides service to the upper third of Bear Peak while the Kachina Triple services mid-mountain on Bear Peak where some glade runs can be found.

Terrain Parks

According to their website, Attitash Mountain Resort has two terrain parks. The Attitash Terrain Park (located on Thad’s Choice on Attitash Peak) is the main park and houses the bigger jumps and rails. The Bear Peak Terrain Park (located at the bottom of Avenger on Bear Peak) is said to be a beginner terrain park with smaller features. Our group did not explore this terrain park as the Attitash Terrain Park served up more than enough fun for our needs.

Overall Review

General Overview

A group of WICed Festers visited Attitash Mountain Resort for one day in late January of 2012. The majority of us purchased our lift tickets in advanced from Liftopia.com for a reduced rate. Those of us who bought ahead saved anywhere from 10 – 25% off the window rate of $70/person that some people paid. Despite the rain that we all battled on the way up to New Hampshire the night before, the mountain was in excellent condition. First runs of the day found excellent groomers top to bottom with no ice showing through. These were definitely not the conditions we were expecting given the weather we arrive in the night before. And, despite being a Saturday in the prime of ski season, the most we waited in line for the lifts was maybe five minutes. Most of the time we were able to get right on the lifts without waiting.  

As the day wore on, the conditions did harden up a little bit, however major ice problems only occurred on the very last run (which was taken around 3:45pm). The free snow was mounding up a little bit in the middle of the trails, but that was to be expected over the course of the day. Overall, I would say that the mountain held up very well, especially when you consider the lackluster winter that the New England region has experienced this year.

Sunset over AttitashA small group of us took a break at about 2:00pm to enjoy some adult beverages on the outdoor deck of Ptarmigan’s Pub. This pub is a great location as the outdoor deck looks out over the base areas of Flying Yankee and Summit Triple. It’s the main ‘dumping ground’ for Attitash Peak skiers and riders.  The deck provides a great perch for group members and parents to keep an eye on the folks that came with them while not having to stand in the snow and wait around. As we drank Pig’s Ear Brown Ale and talked about the day of riding, a few of us decided to hit up the lifts for last chair. Definitely a good idea because we were able to see the incredible sunset shown to the left. After the day was over, we headed back to our cabin. Since the lodging property we used was not owned by Attitash Mountain Resort, it will not be part of this review. However, I do recommend contacting the Dumb Luck Lodge and the people over at Blue Moose Vacations! The place was great for a group of 12 and would work equally well for family getaways.  

Trails and Lifts

The terrain at Attitash Mountain Resort was middle of the road. There was nothing super difficult about this mountain nor was it overly simplistic.  There was definitely some challenging terrain to be had, for instance there were a few steep trails that – especially at the end of the day – had all of us all concentrating very hard as we maneuvered down them. Overall, the terrain was somewhat challenging, but not difficult. Trails were marked appropriately and there was nothing that an educated skier or rider would be surprised about in terms of trail markings versus their difficulty. Unfortunately, the lack of snowfall in the New England this year meant that the glades were not open, so the group was not able to explore that area.

The lift system at Burke would be rated medium to high-medium. A lack of crowds definitely helped, but the mountain would be capable of moving many people, even on a crowded day. What was a little disappointing was that, despite it being the most travelled lift, the Summit Triple did not seem to be a relatively fast lift. The lift to the summit of Bear Peak (Flying Bear), on the other hand, did move relatively quick. The major downers in the lift system were the East Double and West Double. A large reason why we didn’t lap the park more was because these lifts were agonizingly slow. The park would probably get more use if these lifts were upgraded in the future. All in all, we were pleased with the lift system and moving around the mountain was not a problem.

Terrain Park

The terrain park on Attitash (we didn’t visit the one on Bear) was challenging for even experienced riders. There was a good mix of jumps, rails and terrain features. The flow of the features was also quite good. The one complaint some of the goofy riders had was that there was only a left-handed hip which favored the riders with a regular stance. Other than that one complaint, the terrain park was well thought out and provided enough challenge for all of the riding abilities in our group.

Recommendations

Pros

  1. Minimal lift lines
  2. Challenging terrain
  3. Quality grooming
  4. Welcoming people
  5. Family friendly

Cons

  1. Slow summit lift at Attitash
  2. Lack of natural snowfall
  3. Only one terrain park available
  4. Food costs were in-line with industry standards (way overboard)

Overall, Attitash Mountain Resort is a great mountain to visit. As with any mountain, there are pros and cons to your visit. Attitash was never high on our list of annual trip locations due to its size, but we thoroughly enjoyed a one day trip here and, given the accommodations we stayed at, would definitely consider a return trip for one or two days. It’s definitely feasible that Attitash Mountain Resort could be an absolute blast on a powder day. This mountain also has many of us who have families thinking about coming back with our spouses and children. The warm, inviting atmosphere we found at Attitash is a perfect place to introduce kids to skiing and snowboarding. As a side note, this area of New Hampshire (right near Crawford Notch) is absolutely beautiful and the day at Attitash was worth it just for the ride through the Notch.

Have any questions or feel like we missed something in our review?  Leave us a note in the comments section!

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Attitash Review – Sneak Peek

Just a quick sneak peek of the Attitash trip…we’ll have a full write-up out later this week.

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Gone Snowboarding…Suckas!

The WICed Fest will be experiencing some radio silence this week as our posse heads north to invade the usually calm confines of Attitash Mountain Resort in New Hampshire.  We’ll be back next week with a recap and, hopefully, another resort review.

gone snowboarding

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2012 Attitash Trip Details

We are a 100% go for the Attitash Trip.  You’ll find all the trip details laid out below:

Dates

We’ll be arriving on Friday (January 27th), riding Saturday (January 28th) and departing Sunday morning (January 29th). 

Remember that travel is up to you to coordinate.

People Attending

Right now, we have twelve people signed up for this trip!  They include:

  1. Rob Anderson
  2. Graham Berry
  3. Rob Berube
  4. Dan DeLaiarro
  5. Charlie Dion
  6. Amy Fuller
  7. Blake Hathaway
  8. Jeff Iwanacki
  9. Wes Ramm
  10. Andrea Simister
  11. Paul Simister
  12. Milton Valencia

It looks like all the beds are filled right now and we may have to have a few of the stragglers pull up floor space (sorry Graham and Blake).  Friends are still welcome, but they’ll be pulling floor space as well.  Just let me know by emailing me.

Lift Ticket Costs

Remember that this trip is a little different than other WICed Fest trips because you are responsible for buying your own lift ticket. I am not buying tickets up front for everyone. I would suggest buying your ticket on Liftopia.com. I just checked the prices and tickets for that Saturday are going for $53 today compared to the $70 it will cost you at the ticket window. That’s a $24% savings!!!

Lodging

Cost

Right now, with twelve people going, the lodging will be a total of $35/person and that includes both nights. That number will drop (or rise) if we get more people to come (or lose people). No need to send me any money now. I will be collecting money when we are up there.

Location

The cabin is located at 483 Ledge Glen Road in Bartlett, NH (see a map here). Here are directions from the owner:

95 North into NH. Take Rt 16 North Spalding Turnpike. Take Route 16 all the way into North Conway. Follow Rte 16 through downtown, past Hospital, Past Scenic Overlook, heading towards Bartlett. You will come to a set of lights that is where Rte 16 and Rte 302 split. Rte 16 makes a right toward Jackson/Gorham. Rte 302 goes straight towards Bartlett, and Attitash. At this set of lights go straight on Rte 302 0.9 miles and make a right on Jericho Rd. There is a sign, but it is the street after Gravel Rd, and the White Mountain Cider Co is on the left. Take that right onto Jericho road. Once on Jericho Road go 0.9 miles and take right onto Glen Ledge Road. There is not a street sign for Glen Ledge. 0.5 miles on Glen ledge road. House on the right 483. It is directly across from Big Ledge Road.

There is a Hide A Key on the Storage Shed. It is on the rail that the Storage shed door slides along. Have Fun.

Arrival Instructions

I will be leaving Long Island around noon on Friday so, by my best guess, I will be there sometime between 6pm and 7:30pm on Friday. If I’m not the first person there, the location of the key is above and the instructions on opening the house are as follows:

When you get in house thermostat is inside living room to the right. There are two thermostats, the top one works. Turn up heat please do not go much over 70 degrees There is a wood burning stove in living room which is more than capable of heating house., make sure smoke vents are open before starting a fire. Plenty of wood in the shed. Turn on water heater. Furnace room is by front door there is a light string to get light on. Water heater is on left. The Red Knob on bottom of heater should be on Pilot Setting, simply turn to On Position. When you leave, please return to Pilot Setting.

Kids Room
In the kids room there is electric baseboard heat. The room is plenty warm without using. If you choose to use please remember to shut off when no one is there. It works fast and uses a lot of power. Please check once and a while to make sure it is off.

Televisions
– Kitchen
TV in kitchen is on swivel, can go from facing kitchen table to facing counter. TV has cable and DVD player. There are three remotes one for TV, Cable, and DVD player. Turn on/off Cable and TV separately. To watch DVD change the input on the RCA TV remote until DVD signal appears, when done change input again until cable appears.

– Living Room
This TV has no cable box, it gets plenty of channels, and also has a DVD player, simply change source on TV watch DVD.

Special Note
The house was not designed for all the Electric Modern Conveniences, circuit breakers are in the closet of the kids room. The kitchen power goes out on occasion, if you use the microwave and Keurig at same times it might pop.

 – Den
TV has HD Cable and DVD player. There are three remotes one for TV, Cable , and DVD player. Turn on/off Cable and TV separately. To watch DVD change the input on the Mitsubishi TV remote to DVD, when done with Movie change input to HDMI to watch cable. HD Channels 700 – 800. (If the light on the bottom right hand corner of tv is on than the tv is on. This will burn out Bulb. Please make sure when you turn off tv and Cable that you turn each off separately. If the light is on the tv is on!)

Internet
Internet is wireless . If you have a problem connecting wireless there is a hard wire line on counter in kitchen JukeBox is powered by I Tunes feel free to use but be responsible.


With all that being said, I think we’re good to go for this trip! I’m looking forward to hanging out and riding with all of you. Let’s hope that the East Coast keeps getting good cold weather for the next few weeks and that the snow Gods bless us with some great conditions.

If you have any questions, email me or call (631.317.9212).

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Trip Announcement | Heading To Attitash!

Check out the WICed Fest's latest destination - Attitash Resort!Long story short, planning a trip in January has been a major fiasco…BUT, I’m happy to announce that we’ve secured a deal to head up to Attitash for the nights of January 27th and 28th for a day of riding on January 28th!

Here’s the details:

  • Arrival Date: Friday, January 27, 2012
  • Ski/Ride: Saturday, January 28, 2012
  • Depart: Sunday, January 29, 2012

I’ve locked up this cabin – an email ASAP if you’re in!  Basically, I’m going to fill the trip on a first come first serve basis and once the beds are full, the trip is full.  If you’re the next person after the beds are full, I’ll let you know.  If you don’t mind crashing on the floor (or with a buddy), we’ll add you too.

Hurry up and book your spot now!

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Resort Review | Burke Ski Area (East Burke, VT)

*** This article was originally posted ont the now defunct ActionXSportsNews.com which was run by a WICed Fest member. The article has been slightly modified to fit within the WICed Fest site. ***

Burke MountainBurke Mountain Ski Area

223 Sherburne Lodge Road
East Burke, VT 05832
Website: www.skiburke.com
Website: www.shredburke.com
Twitter: @skiburke
P: 802.626.7300
P: 888.BURKEVT (toll free)
P: 866.496.1699 (snow phone)

General Mountain Information

Location

Burke Mountain is located in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom (NEK) about fifteen minutes off of Interstate 91 (7 miles from exit 24 to be exact). The drive from the New York area took roughly six and a half hours due to the fact that the NEK had a snowstorm the night before and the roads were only partially plowed. The drive home took six hours exactly. Folks from Boston and southeastern Massachusetts reported that their drive was roughly four hours.

Trails and Snowmaking

Burke Mountain is located on 250 skiable acreas. The summit sits at an elevation of 3,267 feet with 2,011 feet of vertical drop. The resort average 217 inches of snow annually. In addition, the mountain accommodates snowmaking on 80% of its trail system.

Lift Systems

Burke Mountain claims four lifts, however only two are quad lifts that the majority of visitors will use. The other two consist of a J-bar surface lift on the learning hill and the other is the POMA lift on the ski racing trail. The Sherburne Express High-Speed Quad services the lower portion of the mountain and is perfect for lapping the terrain park (more on that later). The Willoughby Quad is a fixed grip quad chairlift that accesses the summit of the mountain.

**Editor’s Note: Since the writing of this article, Burke Mountain has added a high speed quad – the MidBurke Express – that services their summit.  This is a HUGE plus!

Terrain Parks

According to their website, Burke Ski Resort has three terrain parks: Open Slope which houses their big air contest and rail jam; Dashney Mile which is located on the lower mountain and contains intermediate level terrain with a variety of hits, jumps, rails, and terrain features; and Carter Country which is located on the J-bar hill and includes smaller beginner features.

Overall Review

General Overview

A group of WICed Festers visited Burke for three and a half days in early February of 2011. A small group of us arrived midday day on Sunday and were treated to $20 lift tickets from noon to close. A pleasant surprise indeed. The conditions were stellar, no doubt due to the fact that Burke had received over 24 inches of snow in the last 72 hours. For the remainder of the afternoon, we rode most of the mountain and found plenty of powder stashes. The lifts were essentially empty and the people we did run into were very pleasant.

After the day was over, we were able to check into our condo. Since the lodging property we used was not owned by Burke Ski Area, it will not be part of this review. However, I do recommend contacting Liz over at Burke Slopeside Lodging. She did a terrific job of helping us find a lodging and lift ticket package that met the requirements of our group.

The next three days were spent riding the entire mountain. Over the course of these three days, we found the mountain to be both challenging and well-groomed. The trails were always in immaculate shape, no doubt due to the fact that the conditions were perfect for the last week or so. Even late in the day, none of us worried about catching an edge on a boilerplate ice patch. That’s not to say that we haven’t experienced that at Burke previously – this is the East Coast after all. However, on this trip, the conditions were stellar and even after a long day we could still lay down hard toeside turns with the expectation that you would not have a blow out.

Trails and Lifts

The terrain was, for the most part, challenging. The trails marked blue would definitely be considered blacks at other resorts. They had some nice steepness to them and their were also some great cutbacks cut through the mountain that allowed for some beautiful, scenic trail riding. The blacks were generally left ungroomed and, while fun, tended to be mogul fields. Not exactly the kind of thing you looked for on a snowboard. The glades were also very fun and fairly abundant, however you had to get on them early as they get skied out fairly quickly during the morning. The main problem we found was that the mountain is fairly small. We were able to explore the entire mountain during the first full day of riding and that left very little in terms of exploration for the next few days.

The lift system at Burke would be rated medium to poor. While the Sherburne Express is a high-speed quad, it only services the lower portion of the mountain. This lift is great for lapping the Dashney Mile Park and for parents who are teaching their children to ski or snowboard. The average skier or snowboarder, however, will find this lift only useful if you are trying to get to the Willoughby Quad. The Willoughby Quad is a fixed grip quad chairlift that accesses the summit of Burke. It is a fairly slow ride to the top that takes about 15 minutes or so. This lift makes it undersirable to access the summit on a windy, cold day. Overall, this lift is the largest drawback to Burke. (Editor’s Note: See mention about the new MidBurke Express above.).

Terrain Park

While Burke claims to have three terrain parks on their website, our group only experienced one – The Dashney Mile. That being said, the terrain park was quite challenging for even experienced riders. There was a good mix of jumps, rails and terrain features. The flow of the features was also quite good with the only complaint being that some of the jumps were placed too close to some of the rails in such a way that you were not able to hit the rail and still maintain speed into the jump. Other than that one complaint, the terrain park was well thought out and provided enough challenge for all of the riding abilities in our group.

Recommendations

Pros

  1. Minimal lift lines
  2. Steep terrain
  3. Quality grooming
  4. Large amount of natural snowfall
  5. Friendly people

Cons

  1. Slow summit lift (see MidBurke Express)
  2. Smaller mountain (minimal trail variety)
  3. Only one terrain park available
  4. Lodging cannot be booked through resort
  5. No recreation center (pools/hot tub) available on-site

Overall, Burke is a great mountain to visit. As with any mountain, there are pros and cons to your visit. While we probably won’t visit again in the near future (the size is detrimental to an annual return trip), Burke is on the short list of ‘must visit’ resorts on the East Coast. The annual snowfall, challenging terrain, terrific grooming and lack of crowds are all great reasons to visit this quaint little mountain.

NOTE: One of the chief complaints of this review was the smaller size of Burke. It is important to point out that Burke is working towards expansion in the future.

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Snowboard Review: Blak Sheep Gnarly State Park Stik

*** This article was originally posted ont the now defunct ActionXSportsNews.com which was run by a WICed Fest member. The article has been slightly modified to fit within the WICed Fest site. ***

Black Sheep Gnarly State Park Stik

The WICed Fest crew was able to demo a Blak Sheep Gnarly State Park Stik (GSPS) during a 2011 trip to Burke Mountain in Vermont. According to Blak Sheep, these boards are “designed to meet the demands of todays jumps and rails…these boards are capable of anything the Ice Coast can throw at them. A perfect ‘Daily Driver’ for freestyle and general ripping.” What we found was a board that actually lived up to the hype. Now, in an effort of full disclosure, Doug Smith (one of the co-owners of Blak Sheep) is a friend of the WICed Fest and frequently attends our annual snowboard trips. That fact notwithstanding, here’s what we thought about this relatively new company’s latest offering.

Board Specifications

Length: 159 Wide
Camber Option: Micrognarockamber
Bindings: Burton Mission
Stance: varied by rider
Angles: varied by rider
Boots: Vans Encore Boa (size 10 & 10.5)
Test Riders’ Weights: 215lbs & 250lbs

Test Riders & Conditions

The GSPS 159W was ridden by two different riders over the course of three days. The first rider was a 215lb advanced rider who rides goofy. His riding style can be described as aggressive with large elements of park riding. The second rider was a 250lbs advanced rider who has a regular stance. His riding style can be described as more all-mountain with little to no park riding.

The board was ridden during a trip to Burke where conditions were excellent with fresh powder and groomed corduroy trails during the entire test period.

General Impressions

Doug had been hyping up his boards over the last year or so to us. For the most part, we brushed it off as a buddy being proud of his creation. Having seen the first prototypes that came out of Blak Sheep, we really didn’t believe these boards would live up to the hype. But, when Doug showed up with the GSPS 159W at Burke, we thought we might be wrong. Our initial skepticism was proven incorrect once we got the board out onto the snow.

This board did everything we wanted it to. It was fast, responsive and had great pop. Stability was never an issue – neither of us felt any vibration or chatter when charging the mountain. The real real feature on this board that stuck out was the pop on this board. It was great, especially considering the size of the board and the size of the riders. Any feature – jumps, rollers or even edge to edge – were noticeable and a great find. Another feature that we really enjoyed was the ability to really turn this board on blazing down the trail. The Micrognarockamber really locked the board into the mountain and made everyone feel confident that they wouldn’t blow an edge even at high speed. For those of you wondering, Blak Sheep describes Micrognarockamber as:

A pinch of curved (not notched) reverse-camber between your feet, with a very subtle amount of camber from the bindings out. This board rides flat, but when you want to press or butter, the tips come up no problem, when you need to ollie you can still ollie with the pinch of camber and the added pop of bamboo and our custom epoxy. The board still carves hard, and holds a line, because Micrognarockamber is very subtle, and will not upset your edge hold anywhere. The flex properties of a rockered board, the edge hold and ollie power of a cambered board, do we need to say anymore? Everyone else has been overthinking the process.

Bottom Line

This board gives the 6-foot plus, 200-lb plus rider a great option for a shorter, park-style board that performs terrificly everywhere on the mountain. It’s also nice to see a small American company produce a high quality product. And all this from a first year company? Looks like there’s good things in store down the road! Give Doug and Dave a call and get yourself hooked up!

Blak Sheep Contact Information

Website: BlakSheepSnowboards.com
MySpace: Blak Sheep MySpace
Facebook: Blak Sheep Facebook

Shoot us an email – [email protected] – for email and phone contact information for Blak Sheep!


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2009 WICed Fest Snowboard Trip Pictures

We decided to return to the Northeast Kingdom area of Vermont in 2009 when the WICed Fest visited Burke Mountain – the first of two trips to this hidden gem.  Despite the blast we had riding, we were able to snap a few pictures.  We hope you enjoy!

If you have any additional pictures from this trip, send them to us here and we’ll make sure they are added to the gallery.

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