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Downhill From Here

Downhill From Here: Spend a holiday on the slopes

  • This was how it looked at Mount Sunapee on Christmas Eve, 2010. Let’s hope we get a Christmas present like this for 2012! (Tim Jones/EasternSlopes.com photo)

    This was how it looked at Mount Sunapee on Christmas Eve, 2010. Let’s hope we get a Christmas present like this for 2012! (Tim Jones/EasternSlopes.com photo)

  • This was how it looked at Mount Sunapee on Christmas Eve, 2010. Let’s hope we get a Christmas present like this for 2012! (Tim Jones/EasternSlopes.com photo)

    This was how it looked at Mount Sunapee on Christmas Eve, 2010. Let’s hope we get a Christmas present like this for 2012! (Tim Jones/EasternSlopes.com photo)

  • This was how it looked at Mount Sunapee on Christmas Eve, 2010. Let’s hope we get a Christmas present like this for 2012! (Tim Jones/EasternSlopes.com photo)
  • This was how it looked at Mount Sunapee on Christmas Eve, 2010. Let’s hope we get a Christmas present like this for 2012! (Tim Jones/EasternSlopes.com photo)

If you can tear yourself away from the holiday hustle, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are often among the best ski days of any season. Most people are “too busy” to hit the slopes, so you’ll rarely see a liftline or a crowded trail. One word of advice: Especially at this time of year, Mother Nature always has the final say. So call or check the area’s website for a final update before you get in the car.

Christmas Eve caution: Most ski areas are open for regular hours on Christmas Eve, but areas that normally stay open into the evening often shut down early on Christmas Eve. Check before you go. Also, this year with Christmas Eve on a

Monday, some areas may charge weekend/holiday ticket prices; others, trying to attract skiers and riders, will wait until the day after Christmas to boost their prices.

Who’s nice and open on Christmas Day, 2012? Note that operating hours will sometimes vary. So will prices – the price given is full day adult; kids and seniors are usually cheaper. While some of the larger areas will charge full holiday rates, others will charge less if they don’t have all their terrain open. The best way to save is to look for on-line deals and pre-buy your tickets.

New Hampshire

Attitash (374-2368, attitash.com) in Bartlett, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (price will depend on terrain open).

Bretton Woods (278-3320, brettonwoods.com), 9 a.m.-4 p.m. ($79).

Cranmore Mountain Resort (356-8526, cranmore.com) in North Conway, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. ($59, $45 with e-coupon which must be downloaded before midnight Christmas Eve).

Crotched Mountain (588-3668, crotchedmountain.com) in Bennington, 1-5 p.m. ($53).

Loon Mountain Resort (800-229-5666, loonmtn.com) in Lincoln, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., (ticket price will depend on the amount of terrain open).

Ragged Mountain (768-3600, raggedmountainresort.com) in Danbury, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., (ticket price will depend on the amount of terrain open).

Mount Sunapee (763-2356, mtsunapee.com) in Newbury, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. (ticket price will depend on the amount of terrain open).

Waterville Valley (800-468-2553, waterville.com), 8 a.m.-4 p.m., ($63).

Vermont

Bolton Valley (877-926-5866, boltonvalley.com), 9 a.m.-4 p.m. ($25 for all ages).

Bromley Mountain (800-865-4786, bromley.com) in Peru, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. ($67).

Burke Mountain (802-626-7300, skiburke.com) in East Burke, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. ($68).

Jay Peak (802-988-2611, jaypeakresort.com), lifts 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; Pumphouse Water Park 10 a.m.-10 p.m. ($69).

Killington (800-621-6867, killington.com), 8 a.m.-4 p.m. ($88).

Mad River Glen (802-496-3551, madriverglen.com) in Fayston, noon-3:30 p.m. Call ahead to make sure they have snow.

Magic Mountain (802-824-5645, magicmtn.com) in Londonderry, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. ($46.99 on-line pre-purchase).

Mount Snow (800-245-7669, mountsnow.com) in Dover, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. ($83).

Okemo Mountain Resort (800-786-5366, okemo.com) in Ludlow, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. ($84).

Pico (802-422-3333, picomountain.com) in Rutland, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. ($67).

Smugglers Notch (800-451-8752, smuggs.com) in Jeffersonville, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. ($66).

Stowe Mountain Resort (800-253-4754, stowe.com), 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. ($92).

Stratton Mountain Resort (800-787-2886, stratton.com), 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (holiday pricing does not start until 12/26), $76 adult ticket at the window, $69 online in advance, $46 with the X2 card. Discount packages, including kids ski and stay free, right through a Dec. 26 departure.

Sugarbush (800-537-8427, sugarbush.com) in Warren, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., ($89).

Maine

Saddleback (866-918-2225, saddlebackmaine.com) in Rangeley ($49), 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Serving Christmas dinner from 5-8 p.m.

Sugarloaf (207-237-2000, sugarloaf.com) in Carrabassett Valley, 7:45 a.m.-3:45 p.m., ($79).

Sunday River (207-824-3000, sundayriver.com) in Newry, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. ($85).

Massachusetts

Ski Butternut (413-528-2000, skibutternut.com) in Great Barrington, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. ($55).

Catamount (413-528-1262, catamountski.com) in South Egremont, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. ($61).

Jiminy Peak (800-882-8859, jiminypeak.com) in Hancock, 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m. ($74).

Wachusett Mountain (800-SKI-1234, wachusett.com) in Princeton, 4-10 p.m. ($48).

Here’s the deal

Magic Mountain, White-Out Holiday Pass and ski all holiday periods for only $249. Holiday periods: Dec. 26-Jan. 1, Jan. 19-21, and Feb. 16-24.

(Tim Jones can be reached at timjones@easternslopes.com.)

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