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Tenney Mountain, NH - February 23, 2019


Paul

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I was long overdue for a road trip to somewhere, so a couple of weeks ago I had contacted an good ski buddy of mine to plan something out, and we had decided on visiting Tenney Mountain, NH. Today was the day. I had been mentioning to him on a few occasions that I had visited Tenney late last season, and that I was impressed with what had been done to re-open the mountain as it had been closed since 2010. A lot work had been done then just to get it up and running in a limited stage. Now it's 11 months later, and there is only one word to describe what we saw and skied today. WOW! That seemed to be the key word today. WOW! It was full on discovery mode. We left Sherbrooke at 6 am and arrived about two and a half hours later under a bright sunshine and some light clouds and a temperature of around -4 degrees.

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Photo credit: Christian Lacroix

Lifts opened at 9. The Double chair, the Hornet, and the triple chair, The Eclipse were spinning. We noticed throughout the day that maybe 4 or 5 runs weren't open, but there was still a ton of terrain to explore. What was on the menu in terms of conditions? Well...... groomed packed powder over a firm base. Coverage was excellent all over as was the grooming. The one thing about Tenney is that it was all on natural snow top to bottom! They do have a snowmaking system, but have not had to use it on the main mountain. There are no "superhighways" at Tenney. There are some beautiful narrow and winding trails throughout the mountain. A wide variety of trails, and very interesting terrain with nice soft rolls. The first laps were up the Hornet lift and down The Morning Glory, The Shooting Star, some sections of the Hornet trail under the double chair, and a nice narrow trail, the Half Moon. 

The top of the Morning Glory:

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The Hornet:

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The Half Moon:

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Afterwards we headed over to the Eclipse Triple section. Now this was the area that was not open last year, and was the sector that I was wanting to explore. It did not disappoint! From the top of the double lift we skied a combo of Dandelion, The Sunflower, The Trillium, and the bottom of the Eclipse trail. These trails were fantastic, and the view! The view was.....WOW! There's that word again!. Coverage was again superb, groomed packed powder on a firm base. The conditions were consistent everywhere you skied.

The Sunflower:

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We made a few rides up the triple chair and skied Jacob's Ladder, Tiger Lilly, Scamper, Hall's Meadow. From here we made our way back to the Hornet Double via the combo of the Trillium, Witch Hazel, and the bottom of the Shooting Star. 

Jacob's Ladder:

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The pitch looking up the Scamper: It is much steeper than it looks!

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After a few more runs off the Hornet Double, we decided to call it a day and go have a bite to eat with a well deserved beverage in the Backcountry Pub in the chalet. They serve the usual pub fare but oh man they serve up a wicked burger and fries! We both had the Backcountry Burger served on a large bun with American cheese, onions, lettuce, and pickles. This has to be one of the best burgers I have had in a long time! (Sorry no pics!) I am pretty sure all the items on their menu are really tasty. Service was excellent as well and everyone was super friendly. We left the mountain at a touch after 3:30 for the trip home, very pleased with our visit! Everyone we met today, parking attendant, ticket clerk, the lifties, the pub crew were all super friendly and made you feel welcomed. We were fortunate enough to catch up with owner Michael Bouchard on the hill earlier during the morning runs to have a pleasant chat with him. 

What a difference since my visit from March of last season. Back then Tenney had their soft opening under limited conditions and trails. Only the Hornet sector was opened. A ton of work has been done since, during the off season. Additional cutting of brush on the trail under the Hornet chair, and other sections. Brush cutting in the Eclipse sector of the mountain to clean up and to reclaim those trails from years of growth. Renovations in the chalet with the addition of the Backcountry Pub, Tenney is now a happening place! The parking lot was pretty full during the day but there were no lift lines nor any wait at either lift today. The lot was still full when we were heading out to come back home. If anyone is looking to go on a road trip to New Hampshire,  I highly recommend that you check out Tenney Mountain. I did last season, and returned with my buddy Chris for his first visit this season, all we were saying as we were skiing was WOW!

Here are some additional scenes from the day:

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Photo credit: Christian Lacroix

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As you can see on the trail map, there are very few trails are straight from top to bottom. Majority of the trails are winding throughout the mountain, and this creates a lot of variations and combinations of trails you can take while you ski from top to bottom from either lift. That's what I really liked about Tenney. The terrain is so interesting. You have a large variety of pitches, fall lines, rolls and knolls to keep it fun. Never a dull moment skiing here.

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    • By Paul
      With an opening in the schedule this weekend, and opportunity knocking at the door, I decided to answer the door and take off for the day to Tenney Mountain. This trip had been in the making for sometime now. Had I not gone, I would have to have waited until next season. Tenney Mountain had been closed since 2010 and has recently reopened, albeit it a limited phase for this year, made possible by the hard work of a group of individuals lovingly known as "Team Tenney" lead by Michael Bouchard. With the mountain being closed for roughly 8 years, a ton of work has been done just to get part of the mountain and the double chairlift known as the Hornet operating again. Trails had to be reclaimed from Mother Nature's growth and there are a lot more trails that still need work just to be skiable again. What was open today, and since early March, was the fruit of hard labour of the Team these past couple of years. Some trails were cut back just wide enough to reopen them with more work to be done to have them back to their original width. The conditions today were really good considering the mountain has opened on natural snow alone. At the higher elevations, there is surprisingly quite a bit of snow even in the woods remaining. Down at the lower elevations, spring is starting to show with some bare patches with a touch of ice, but still skiable. Groomed packed powder at the top on a nice forgiving base that softened just a touch later on in morning sun, with spring like conditions below, on a soft base. The Hornet double chair was the lift option today.

      Services in the chalet at the moment are limited for bathroom breaks, a place to sit down, or to have lunch. You would need to brown bag it for now. There was also a food truck service out front for those interested in something warm. I departed Sherbrooke at 6:15 and arrived at the mountain at around 8:45 or so, and was warmly greeted by the parking lot crew. The sun was out and the temperature was starting to warm up. A beautiful day discover this once lost gem. 
      The Hornet Chair and the trail of the same name, the Hornet:

      I took it easy and didn't ski aggressively today as being new to this mountain and had never skied here before, I wanted to be sure of everything and to be attentive to where I was going or wanted to go. Studying the trails and looking for exits over to other trails should I want to avoid anything that was a bit too much for my ability. There are no "super highways" here that one might find at other mountains. The trails here are a bit narrower but still plenty of room to turn. Some, like I mentioned, are just wide enough to pass because of the overgrowth from years past.


      One thing I noticed right away about this mountain was how friendly everyone was! The parking lot crew, the lifties, and even the other skiers themselves who where there would strike up a conversation with you asking how your day was going, how are the conditions, where are you from. You really felt welcomed here. 
      I ended the day at noon as I am not used to skiing nice soft natural snow trails and some spring conditions, that required a little more effort. I must say I really enjoyed discovering Tenney even in its limited stage. Sure there is still brush to be cut, trails still need some work and smoothing out, and some trails that need to be completely recut, but it is what it is. The beginning of reclaiming something that had been lost for sometime, and of course it is not 100% at the moment. It's the first phase in Tenney's rebirth and there is a lot more work to be done to bring the mountain back to her former glory and getting the second lift, a triple chair named the Eclipse, back up and spinning to open another sector of the mountain. All this hard work is not going to get completed overnight, but I know the Team is committed in getten 'er done! I can't wait until next season to check up on the progress. Even though I am not from their area, thank you Michael Bouchard and your team for reopening Tenney Mountain. 
      You can follow Tenney Mountain on their Facebook page and visit their website: www.skitenney.com 
      Here are a few more scenes from the day:

      The ticket booth known as the "Witches Hut" for the shape of the building:



      The view from Tenney is pretty nice as well:


       
       
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