General Mountain Information
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.
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.
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.
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.
A 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.
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.
- Minimal lift lines
- Challenging terrain
- Quality grooming
- Welcoming people
- Family friendly
- Slow summit lift at Attitash
- Lack of natural snowfall
- Only one terrain park available
- 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!