Top 10 Photos of Winter 2016/17

Hey everyone! This is Will Zimicki, reflecting on some of my favorite photos from throughout the 2016/17 Season. This year was beautiful, and I appreciate Mother Nature for supplying some incredible conditions in which to shoot. But behind every photo, there is always a story:  

Flying Through the Glades

Flying Through the Glades

This guy was FAST. From the five or six photos taken throughout the day, his mouth was wide open in just about all of them. Primarily, I think he kept it open to send out frequent whoops of joy; it was just easier that way. The glades were alive with the sounds of pure happiness.

Corduroy Morning

Corduroy Morning

Here’s my one semi-pretentious artistic photo on the list. A minimalist study of diagonals, with just the hint of a lift shadow entering the photo on the right to bring the viewer back to reality. Days like this make me wonder if it’s worth it to disturb the perfection of pristine corduroy. But instinct always gets the upper hand; corduroy needs to be carved.

Springtime Powder

Springtime Powder

Nick Benedix: the face of spring skiing. When Nick isn’t skinning up one of the White Mountains, it’s a safe bet he’s shredding Waterville on his teles. He likes to color-coordinate with the sky, which I applaud for photography purposes. 

Buckets of Warmth

Buckets of Warmth

This is the first “really warm” day out on Bucket’s deck with some great people. The crowds came out of hibernation for this one, and the sun’s rays are almost tangible. After a few months of cold and snow, who can blame us New Englanders for pretending to be tropical on a 50° day? 

Lyon at the REV Tour

Lyon at the REV Tour

Lyon Farrell, the 18 year old from Hawaii, feeling not so tropical on the first day of practice for the 2017 REV Tour. It was a beautiful thing, having the top freeskiers and snowboarders from around the world grace Waterville Parks. I hope the trend continues. 

Leah in Her Element

Leah in Her Element

Not to be outdone by mountain events, nordic skiing was amazing this year. Plenty of snow, perfect grooming, and some nice sunny days. This was taken at one of my favorite spots along the trail system: where the two bridges cross Mad River and the trail makes its way up Inner Mad River. Thanks to our Adventure Center Director Leah Elliot for some excellent modeling. 

That's Good Aprés

That's Good Aprés

Apres Ski nachos at T-Bars anyone? This is another one of those photos that bring back some good memories. Best part of taking food photos... ...someone has to eat it after.

Waterville Seasonal Parade

Waterville Seasonal Parade

This is a line of cuteness, also known as the end of the year “Seasonal Parade.” The tradition features every member of the Waterville Seasonal Program skiing and riding in single file under White Peaks Quad, making their official pilgrimage from one year to the next. I tried to get as low as I could to capture what it was like to be a kid within the parade. With my eye looking through the view-finder, I’m just glad I made it down without running into any of the kids.

Sun and Skiing with the Smiths

Sun and Skiing with the Smiths

My GM is cooler than your GM. No, but really, he is. This is our GM Tim Smith and his wife Katie, both fantastic skiers. They are fully immersed in the multiple facets of snow-riding (as a broad term), and it’s comforting to know the resort is being run by those who understand the joys of skiing. 

Early Season Snow

Early Season Snow

Not the most stunning of photos, but it’s more the time and place that makes the photo special. A few days before the lifts officially opened, I hiked up during an early season flurry. Excitement was building. Trees were glazed with a fresh coating of snow. The photo captures a feeling that every skier or rider experiences but can't fully explain. I'm already excited for the 2017/18 season to come around so we can do it all over again.   

Cheers, WZ

And remember, use #wvresort to tag your favorite pictures taken at Waterville Valley Resort!     

We love writers and bloggers!

This winter we had a good amount of writers and bloggers stopping by at the Resort. Oh, what a joy it is to show them around and introduce to everything Waterville Valley Resort has to offer! Here's an article written by the columnist Gary W. Moore aboout his x-country skiing experience this January:

"Thursday was warm and sunny and I had it off. The lack of snow in the Connecticut River Valley made my XC trails icy, with rocks protruding, and not very inviting. Thus, I looked to the east on the other side of Mt. Moosilauke where I knew there was good snow and, after checking with the Waterville Valley Nordic Center, headed there. As I got east of I-93 it became apparent that I had made a good choice. Snow banks along Route 49 portended what I soon found at the resort. 

I went to the Adventure Center where tickets are purchased for the trail network and where equipment can be rented and lessons arranged. There I met Leah Elliot, Nordic Center Director, and Waterville Valley Resort Communications Manager, Tatiana Baier, both of whom answered my questions about the Nordic Cent er, its trails and about the resort.

The Nordic Center has 70 km of wide, groomed trails. Most trails are double tracked with skate lanes in the middle. A few narrower trails may only be single tracked with a skate lane. I asked about skate skiing and was told by Leah that, though skating is popular, their "bread and butter is classic."

The sun was shining and I could see groomed trails leaving from the Town Square making me anxious to hit the trails. I had to pass La Tasse Cafe a few doors down from the Adventure Center on my way to my truck to get my skis. Being weak, I had to stop in for one of their delicious cranberry nut muffins and a cup of coffee. My appetite sated, I donned my skis and set out to explore the western part of the trail network.

I prefer woods skiing to that done in the open so the Swans Way and Pipeline trails were ideal. Wending through the woods and along the river, the trails are wide and smooth. I never saw another skier until I was heading back just before noon and enjoyed the solitude likely not to happen on a weekend.

Back at Town Square by 1 p.m. it was time for lunch so I walked across the square to Mulligans where I had good pub grub and a brew after which it was again time to explore some trails. It was a short drive the the north end and a parking area where I had access to more wooded trails.

I should point out that the south end of the trail network includes trails on the golf course and around the village which are much more open than those of the north end. Taken together there are trails for any ability from beginner to expert with many in the White Mountain National Forest which surrou nds the resort.

I went to Waterville for the cross country skiing but Tatiana pointed out that many visit to snowshoe or ride fat bikes, both of which are very popular and encouraged by the Adventure Center which rents bikes and snowshoes. There are many things to do when not skiing with apres ski entertainment at local restaurants and pubs and fire works every Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Town Square.

To learn more go to: where you can see the schedule of activities and find out the snow conditions.

Now I just need some time to return and explore more trails".

If you are a blogger or a writer, we will always be happy to see you at Waterville Valley Resort, provide you with a chance to experience all winter and summer activities, visit our delicious restaurants, or just chat about everything!  Check our Digital Media Center for more info


The New Green Peak Trail Names

This is very exciting. First of all we would like to thank more than 600 people who submitted their Green Peak trail name ideas and the stories behind them. The Marketing Team and Waterville Valley Resort Management staff went through all the suggestions and read every single email and letter. During the final phase we kept or tweaked some of the great suggestions based on the character of the trail and the story behind it.  And now...(drumroll please)...

The New Green Peak Trail Names:

Trail 51: Chandler's Way

Named in honor of Kathy Chandler.

Kathy is in the Waterville Valley Hall of Fame 2016, U.S. Disabled Snow Sports Hall of Fame 2012 (formerly the Disabled Ski Hall of Fame), founder of the first adaptive skiing program at Waterville Valley, founder of Ability Plus, Adaptive Coordinator for PSIA-e (Adaptive Division), PSIA certified examiner for both alpine and adaptive divisions. 

Named by Waterville Valley Adaptive Snowsports Program

Trail 52: Bourbon Street

Named in honor of Keith Sutherland.

Katherine McClellan: "Keith worked at Waterville Valley for many years.  Keith worked his way up to Head of Snow Surfaces and Mountain Manager.  He dedicated many hours to Waterville Valley, and he was part of the planning of Green Peak before retiring.  He was always at the mountain in the morning, checking in to make sure everything was running".

The story goes, he was given 44 bottles of Bourbon when he retired (one for every year he was at Waterville). Keith was one smooth operator.

Named by Waterville Valley Resort Senior Staff and long-time First Chair Joe Robertie

Trail 53: Mean Jean's Ravine

Named in honor of Jean Brosseau

Robert Armet: "Jean has been a loyal, conscious, and dedicated employee for 28+ years".
Emma Lundberg: "Jean comes back every season, time and time again, and is a consistent character that many people both hope and expect to see each ski season".
Kim Kelly:  "Jean has sat on her stool at the cafeteria with all of her jewels for many years, always ready to help regulars and new visitors alike". 

But employees watch out!  She won’t let you get away with anything out of line!  The name "Mean Jean" is very fitting to such a rugged trail. 

Named by over 60 people who nominated Jean Brosseau

Trail 54: Wayne Wong Way

Named in honor of Wayne Wong.

Pamela Turner: "Inspiring to young and old alike, Wayne Wong set the bar for freestyle skiing in the East and, in particular, at Waterville Valley. Elegant and strong, he demonstrated a type of skiing that embraced the poetry of ballet and encompassed the strength of an athlete.  He was a joy to watch, a pleasure to be around, and a mentor to many future and aspiring freestyle skiers.  He brought both class and character to Waterville and is a part of the history of Mount Tecumseh".
Gail Marshalka: "His name was often connected to Waterville in the 70's and I remember seeing him perform his freestyle magic on your slopes". 
Ian Young: "The first ever international freestyle skiing competition was held in Waterville Valley in 1971. The term freestyle was yet to be invented, so the event was named the National Championships of Exhibition Skiing. Wayne Wong was sponsored to enter by his friends. Over the next few years he became the poster boy for this new sport".

At the age of 21, Wong travelled from Vancouver on $200 in sponsorship money to the first World Cup Freestyle event held on Waterville Valley's True Grit. Trail 54 drops off of Trail 51 so everyone should be careful not to go the wrong way - go Wayne Wong's Way!

Named by Ian Young and Gail Marshalka

Trail 55: Clean Shaven

Named in honor of Butch Cushing.  

Antonia Stewart: "Butch has put his heart and soul into making lift operation and Waterville Valley the best it can be.  Butch has been at Waterville Valley for over 33 years.  He has seen trails cut and built, and has provided years upon years of customer service and loyalty.  He previously worked in Ski Patrol where his caring nature shone. From saving lives in ski patrol to making and selling renowned baked potatoes, he always puts the guest first and brings smiles to everyone he meets". 

Butch loved to patrol the slopes as much as he was beloved by guests and staff. Now he is training the next generation of lift attendants to be conscientious, caring, and dedicated to the experience of every skier and rider, even greeting Passholders by name.  He believes that every guest and Waterville Valley Resort as a whole deserves an extremely high level of respect and attention. 

Lift operations value and expectation of excellence goes as far as military grade shaving standards for all lift attendants.  Trail 55 has a very clean fall line all the way down and it is going to be a perfectly grated slope.  In honor of Butch, this trail will be of the highest standards, and definitely Clean Shaven!

Named by Waterville Valley Resort Senior Staff

Trail 56: Pfosi's Pfolly

Named in honor of Paul Pfosi

The original director of the Waterville Valley Snowsports School in 1968, he also ran a lodge in the Valley called Pfosi's Lodge. 

Robert Mann: "A former member of the Swiss National Team, Paul established the early European culture at Waterville Valley Resort".
Don Warnock: "I remember Paul Pfosi greeting us on our arrival at the Lodge, and he and his staff couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating during the entire week. We loved our stay at Pfosi's Lodge and Waterville Valley, and got hooked on skiing, and we've been going back ever since, As time went on, both our sons learned to ski at Waterville Valley, and our oldest son eventually became an instructor and taught at Waterville Valley for more than 8 years. We eventually bought property just outside the valley and continue to ski Waterville every year. I really believe Paul Pfosi's genuine interest in making sure we were having a good time contributed to a great first ski experience for my wife and I and kept us coming back for forty years"

Trail 56 is a trail you can accidentally end up on if you don't pay attention, a Pfolly you may want to make on purpose!

Named by Don Warnock

Trail 57: Governors Run

Named in honor of Governors John H. Sununu and Chris Sununu

The family tradition started here when John H. Sununu was the Governor of New Hampshire (1983 - 1989) and would bring the family to ski every winter.  The trail name ""Governors Run"" was chosen in honor of both the current (2017) New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu who spearheaded the new Green Peak Expansion when he served Waterville Valley as CEO, and his father, former New Hampshire Governor John H. Sununu.

Named by Robert Perreault  

Trail 58: Piano Man

Named in honor of Lenny Emery

Richard and Ellie Scherr: "To Lenny, there was never a bad day of skiing at Waterville Valley.  From the opening day in November to Closing in April, he'd never miss "first chair"- often recording 120+ days of skiing.  If it rained, when asked how it was to Lenny "it was a great day".  When there was bullet proof ice, to Lenny "it was a great day of firm skiing".  Lenny passed away much too soon a few years ago.  He is buried up the hill here in Waterville Valley.  Lenny always had a wonderful sense of humor.  The inscription on his gravestone reads "I'd rather be here than Loon".                                                                                                                  
Margaret Turner: "Lenny was part of the team that built the ski area and ran the Bird's Nest for several years, living in the loft space above. He left us his skier's prayer, which is featured at the entrance to the Schwendi Hut:
When the mountain starts to sparkle
In the dawn's early sun
And you're getting off the chair
For your first powder run
Look out upon my Valley just before you go
And if your voice is truth
And your heart is pure I'll be your snow".
Pk. Conti: "He was a fixture at the Mountain"

Named by Pk. Conti

Trail 59: Calvert's Crossing

Named in honor of Richard "Dick" Calvert

Born on June 11, 1923, and one of the oldest ski racers in New England.  He is also the last of his WWII 10th Mountain Division to continue ski racing.  He has been a member of the Waterville Valley Silver Streaks for over 30 years and continues to bring his lovely wife, Millie, to the mountain weekly to participate in the Silver Streaks.  Dick is a wonderful human being with a joyous heart that brings energy and inspiration to everyone around him.  He reminds us all what to aspire to, at any age.

Named by Waterville Valley Resort Silver Streaks

Trail 60: Ruffled Feathers

Name in honor of William "Bill" Feather

Carol Stewart: "In memory of Bill Feathers, our long time ski patrol leader".
Jennifer Boisvert: "Bill was a professional in every aspect of his position. He spent countless hours both on and off the mountain making it a safe place for guests to enjoy.  His top priority was safety.  He would arrive early in the mornings and make sure all trails and personnel were ready to go for the paying customer".

Bill started vacationing in Waterville Valley in 1986 from New Jersey, and in 1994 sold his business to move to the Valley. Bill was in Ski Patrol for 22 years: Assistant Director 2001-2005; Director 2005-2016; PSPA - for 22 years, and Instructor Trainer for 9 years.  His legacy will live on as his trail sign guides future generations. William H. Feather passed away unexpectedly on December 30th, 2016. 

Named by Jennifer Boisvert and Mrs. Pud Feather

BONUS:  Preston's Path (After Nick & Suzi Preston)

Named in honor of Nick and Suzi Preston.

Dennis Evgenov: “This name is dedicated to the Preston family. Nick was a long time freestyle coach at BBTS at Waterville. He has dedicated his life to the mountain and the Sport. Skiing is his passion, and where ever he might be, Waterville is always him home mountain. He also has seen great success as a coach. He has coached many Olympic hopefuls, and a two time Olympic medalist Hannah Kearney. Here at Waterville they both helped pioneer the sport of freestyle skiing, and it is only logical to name a trail after this dynasty of skiers since Waterville does boast to be the "Birthplace of Freestyle skiing".

The trail under the Northside lift has opened this season for the first time as an official trail.  We have recently enjoyed opening it every chance we can and it has become a natural mogul run.  It's only fitting that the Preston's have a mogul run named after them!  Nick and Suzi Preston together have done so much for not only the sport and youth in Freestyle, but for Waterville Valley Resort in general.

Named by Dennis Evgenov

Thank you for your support and so many interesting stories! We hope to see you soon and invite you to check out the new Green Peak Trails.