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  • Thursday, February 08, 2024 8:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The skies couldn’t have been bluer, the snow couldn’t have been better and even the temperatures were just right. On a scale of 1 to 10, it was just about a 10!

    Twenty-one members trekked up to Bartlett, NH to stay from February 6-8 at the Laurencian Ski Club. The club is comfortable and roomy and ski club (and TOHG) members Maureen S, Joan W and Paul M went out of their way to welcome us. They were always there to pitch in to help and we couldn’t have done it without them!!

    After everyone arrived, we gathered for the traditional happy hour. This year, unlike in 2023, we didn’t lose electricity for hours due to downed power lines!! We feasted on the many delicious dishes everyone brought at a potluck supper. We could have fed an army!

    Next day about half the group set out for Great Glen in Gorham for some truly outstanding XC skiing. Others skied at Bear Notch and others snowshoed. One group of showshoers were challenged with some very tough uphills, but in Top of the Hill style, they powered through and returned tired, but triumphant.

    Hungry as bears after all the exertion we filled up on pizza, salad and lots of tasty leftovers. On the way home many took advantage of the still gorgeous weather and conditions and got in some more exercise.

    If the members of the ski club will have us, we’ll be back!!!

    Judy T

  • Friday, February 02, 2024 5:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Waterville Valley ski trip was a huge success. We had cross country skiers, snowshoers, walkers, and downhill skiers. 

    At varying times we had fifty-four members of TOHG at the Silver Fox Inn. We filled 28 rooms out of a total of only 32, the goal next year is to fill the entire hotel with TOHG members.

    A fun time was had by all, the weather did not quite co-operate with us, especially with the down hill skiers due to the fact that most days were somewhat overcast making for “flat light conditions”, but most of us skied many runs and well into the day.

    Since the hotel does not have a liquor license we were able to have our favorite beverages in the gathering space as well as the restaurant.

    We started the week of with a Pizza night on Sunday night for the skiers that arrived on Sunday since due to the International Ski Competition the hotel, could not accommodate all of us on Sunday.

    Each day the hotel served us breakfast as well as dinner, with many items such as coffee, juice, muffins, bacon, sausages, eggs, and a number of additional hot items, for breakfast .

    Dinner had a variety of entrees as well as vegetables not to mention delicious desserts, so no one went hungry and many of us will need to watch our weight in the next week or so.

    Prior to dinner each night, we got together in the gathering space for snacks and our favorite beverages, at our après ski get-together

    Most nights following dinner folks either gathered in the “living room” on the second floor, or for games on the third floor, that were always interesting, fun. and with lots of laughs.

    Bob G

    There were lots of options for activities at Waterville during five days in the North Country—x-country skiing, snowshoeing, and even hiking! Some downhill skiers found our idea of fun so compelling that they decided to join us for a day.

    The snowshoe group enthusiastically embraced a suggestion from Alan Ulrich to use the National Forest trails which require no trail pass. We traversed the Livermore Trail and several others in the northern part of the Nordic Center area.

    Things you missed if you didn’t join us? Snow- shoeing across streams was no sweat for Anker L! The Mad River rushing along in headlong celebration of winter with snow- crowned rocks and snow-dusted trees. Not only that, you missed lunch at The Valley Pub!

    The game of Balderdash in the evenings was a hoot! Do you know what a breastsummer is? No, not a group of busty German girls and not the time in Indian summer when young boys go into heat (two valiant guesses from our intrepid gamers). Look it up. It’s bound to enhance your life!

    Marina K

  • Thursday, January 25, 2024 2:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Eighteen spirited skiers (and hikers) enjoyed a three-day stay at Loon Mountain. We were treated to abundant sunshine on the slopes Monday morning and well-groomed trails through Tuesday. Wednesday’s early risers enjoyed several inches of fresh powder which made for some exhilarating skiing. Our skiers all found partners with similar levels of skiing expertise and appetite for challenge. Like many TOHG trips, we experienced few if any lift lines and ample room on the trails. We welcomed some new TOHG skiers as well as longtime friends, not officially on the trip, who joined us to ski for a day or two.  

    The Pollard Brook Inn provided us with spacious suites, as well as a spacious lodge and a couple of soothing hot tubs (one indoors, one outdoors). We enjoyed Happy Hours each night and went out to the legendary Gordi’s Fish and Steak House for a group dinner on the final evening. Many folks expressed a desire to return to Loon and Pollard Brook, perhaps for a slightly longer stay. 

    Thomas J

  • Thursday, January 25, 2024 1:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Larry LF and Mary H, Meredith took the picture

    Once again as the non-skier on a ski trip I found lots to do. On Tuesday I purchased a round trip ticket on the gondola ski lift and went to the top for some beautiful views of the surrounding area and a great distant shot of snow covered Mt Washington in the distance.  There is a wonderful little cafe at the top with great hot chocolate.  

    In the afternoon I scouted out a few different areas to hike on Wednesday.  The Lincoln Woods trail was the choice as it is an old logging railroad bed running next to the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River.  Last fall’s torrential rains created severe damage and bank undercuts on the opposite side from the trail leaving that side of the river difficult to walk. The weather was great for two mile walk on the trail which had received about 2” of new snow overnight.  I was joined by Marie H and Larry LF.

    Looking forward to the Bartlett and Sunday River trips.

    Meredith P

  • Friday, January 19, 2024 4:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This trip tested the resilience of the TOHG and we performed miraculously- off course.  It seems everything that could go wrong did go wrong and we dealt with it.  Upon arrival, the Mountaineer Inn said it did not have our reservation for Monday night.  But our trip leader pulled out the receipt which showed our arrival date as Monday.  So they had a few rooms ready, and they still needed to clean some other rooms, but they handed out key cards and we came in.  Also last year the facility had a restaurant with a bar menu and a liquor license, so arrivals expected to be able to buy food per our published trip description.  The facility did not tell our trip leader that they stopped operating the restaurant.  But with the news that we could bring our own beverages, members took the initiative to go out and buy some wine which was then shared at our opening happy hour.   

    Then, where this trip was advertised as located close to cross country skiing, we learned that the Timber Creek Cross Country area was closed.  So those that were not planning on downhill skiing huddled up and identified other nearby areas with either skiing or snow shoeing and found a few nice areas. This included the Prospect Ski area, a former downhill area that had been converted to snowshoe and cross country ski use.  Further, the second day we learned that there was another ski group from the Hudson River area arriving that evening.  The parking lot was already filled with our cars.  Instead of going out to dinner, we decided to keep our cars parked in their spots, so as not to lose our parking spots.  We ordered delivery Pizza and salads for dinner that night.  We did learn that the Hudson Group was told to drop off their bags at the hotel and then park their cars at the ski area and take the shuttle bus back to the hotel.  We were glad we foresaw that potential problem and avoided it.   But some cars parked across the entry to the front door, making entry and exit of the facility difficult-which caused one guest from the Hudson group to leave early in a huff.  Definitely too much drama.

    There were even more troubles at the mountain.  Mount Snow would not honor a rain check that had been issued to one of our members and wanted him to pay $400 for tickets purchased at the window.  So instead that person left early.  An inattentive lift operator nearly lead to a catastrophe.  One of our members fell and literally got run over by the lift.  Members nearby screamed at the operator to turn the lift off. With quick thinking by the person who fell, she managed to roll flat and as she was petite, the lift cleared going over her.  So fortunately, it did not result in any serious injury.  But it was a dangerous situation.  Then, there was only one easy slope open.  It turned out the snow making equipment had not operated properly and had deposited a massive amount of ice on the power line and took out the power to the mid-mountain lift that fed the easy slopes.  There was no quick repair.  The lift to the easy area was out of commission for our whole trip.  So one skier just joined the snow shoe group after the first couple of days.

    But in spite of the adversity, we had a wonderful ski vacation together.  There was a great sense of camaraderie.  We held our happy hour each night in the function room in the basement dedicated to our group, and people made plans where to eat dinner each night.  Continental breakfast was available each morning in the former dining room.  At breakfast people shared their plans for the day.  Those going to Mount Snow rode the Moover, the cow painted shuttle, to the mountain.  Members grabbed a space in the ski lodge for our group, and people met up at that location for lunch and breaks from skiing.  Also there was an outdoor hot tub to enjoy.  Members got to meet members of the Hudson Valley Ski group and share stories of ski trips.  We coordinated with that group to double-park some cars among friends to improve the parking situation.  So we were able to go out to dinner together for the rest of the trip.  After dinner some people met up in the library.  And there was a game room in the loft where some people worked on puzzles.   At each gathering, there was more news and discussion about all the happenings of the day as well as all the good stories and camaraderie we typically share.

    From Trip Leader Maryann D: "An enormous Thank You to all the TOHG members who joined me at The Mountaineer, for their patience, understanding, helpfulness, cooperation and good humor. They made the trip the best it could be!"

    Anne W.

  • Friday, January 12, 2024 4:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We experienced it all at Killington!

    Fourteen Gang members returned to the Mountain Inn and braved two significant snowstorms, fog, ice, and torrential rain.

    Just another January in New England! The snow gods teased us a little on Sunday by delivering upwards of 12” of snow right along our travel route. So many of us didn’t arrive until Monday but we met on the slopes and were pleasantly surprised with very nice conditions.

    Our first night at the Inn, we enjoyed a welcome party with many tasty hors d’oeuvres while we caught up with Gang friends and welcomed two new members,Ole and Mina. Après ski happy hours, as usual, were well attended with tall stories about the day’s ski adventures and snacks provided by the Gang members. Marina’s Christmas cookies were a highlight…thanks to Helgard for sharing!

    Everyone got out and skied the many groomed trails that became more numerous as the week went on. We all had to take a day off when Wednesday brought warmer weather and very heavy rain, but luckily we had lots of snow afterwards. We braved the rain and snow for a group dinner at Preston’s at the Killington Grand Hotel on Wednesday evening. I think it will be a new favorite!

    Well groomed trails on Monday and Tuesday, improving conditions on Thursday, and then a sunny Friday—all reminded us why we love skiing “The Beast.” The snow gods were truly smiling!

    Elizabeth  B

  • Thursday, December 14, 2023 9:46 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A hearty group of seven traveled to Bretton Woods on Sunday, December 10 to test the snow and slope conditions, but we ended up as a sizable group of 17 go-getter skiers, snowmobilers, and hikers—a versatile and happy group, to say the least! A stay at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Highland Center is always a pleasure, and we were glad to see 2-3 inches of snow cover. Altitude makes a big difference—North Conway, less than half an hour away, had no natural snow at all.

    Monday morning was not to our liking—drizzly and not conducive to downhill skiing—but our adventurous couple, Kenn and Kimm Sovie, skied that afternoon anyway and had a good time. Oh, the changeable New England weather! On Tuesday ski conditions were acceptable, the gondola was running, and lunch at the Rosebrook Lodge was delicious. Super hikers, Kimm and Kenn hiked up Mount Avalon (read about that experience on a dedicated post)

    For lack of adequate snow cover, the snowmobilers opted for a trip up Mount Washington’s western side via Cog Railway instead. Did you know that the Cog Railway runs partway up the mountain throughout the winter?

    The 2023/2024 ski season is finally here, and we look forward to more fun on the slopes, Bring in on!

    Carleen M

  • Tuesday, December 12, 2023 9:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We waited for the skies to clear and headed out from the Highland Center at Crawford Notch to summit Mt Avalon. There a couple of challenging water crossings at the beginning and the scramble at the top was as described, but we made it. It was a bluebird day and we were rewarded with amazing views of the Presidential Range. A fun time was had by all - actually just Kenn and Kimm! Congratulations on a successful climb!

  • Monday, December 11, 2023 7:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Liz C, Meredith P, Mary W, Marianne E, Mary I. Photo by Robert R.

    It stopped raining, so six TOHG members met at the Boston Common Visitors Center and went for a slow 4 mile stroll through Boston Common, stopping at the Frog Pond to watch the Zamboni lay down water to freeze for skaters the next day; through Boston Garden where we visited Mrs. Mallard and the ducklings and then wandered down Commonwealth Ave. and back again. The holiday light displays were very festive and well done. Then five of us walked to Ned Devine‘s Pub in Faneuil Hall for dinner. Lots of great conversation on the walk and at dinner.

    Meredith P

  • Saturday, December 09, 2023 3:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    One hundred and eight members gathered for our beloved dress-up, Jingle Bell Brunch at the breathtaking Pleasant Valley Country Club. The ambiance was joyful as we indulged in delicious cocktails and brunch while sharing moments with longtime friends and new members.

    In a special highlight on behalf of the Board, Paul McHugh bestowed honorary memberships upon Joe Messina, Dawn Metcalf, Judy Temple, and Carole Blackwell, recognizing their outstanding volunteerism and unwavering dedication to TOHG throughout the years.

    The event was also graced by the presence of Joan Stafford, one of our esteemed founding members, and twelve new members, all of whom added a special touch to the occasion.

    While the meticulous efforts of TOHG leaders and volunteers lay the foundation for our events, the active participation of members is what makes events truly successful. Thank you very much to all who attended to make this holiday brunch memorable!

    Marco A

    New Members with our President Paul

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