“Where else can you ski looking out at Mt. Washington?” one reader asks. Well, Bretton Woods says hello, but we get the point. Nearly every reader refers to the views at Wildcat. It ranks No. 1 in the East for Scenery, and rightly so, thanks to those amazing vistas across Pinkham Notch to the Eastern flank of Mt. Washington. On clear days, Tuckerman Ravine is so close you can see the line of people hiking it. Wildcat gets big charisma points too, ranking No. 3 for Character. “No frills. Just hard-core skiing. New Hampshire at its best.” Base area development is forbidden, so it’s all about the skiing and the great outdoors. The weather can be tough, but readers say that it weeds out “the entitled boutique resort types.” The price is right (No. 8 for Value), and the skiing is big-mountain legit: No. 10 for Challenge, No. 12 for Variety. “Killer views, great terrain,” says one fan. “A refreshing throwback to the time of pure skiing.”
APRES SPOT >> The Red Parka Pub, down at the crossroads in Glen, is a ski country classic, host of the annual eponymous slalom for washed-up former racers.
MUST DO >> For a memorable last run, spot a car and get a local to guide you: You can ski from the summit of Wildcat all the way into Jackson village.
OFF-THE-MAP TRAIL >> It’s not on the map, but the Thompson Brook drainage, skier’s right of Polecat, is a natural snow trap. (Note: It’s out of bounds and unpatrolled.)