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Outdoor Adventures

Outdoor Adventures: Finding those bargain lift tickets

Skiers and riders can scoop up lift ticket discounts by doing their homework.

Skiers and riders can scoop up lift ticket discounts by doing their homework.

Every year I’m cornered in a ski lodge or two by curious minds itching to know where to unearth the ultimate lift ticket deal.

So here are some. There are more out there. Scour the web to find them.

Think 12-12-12. That’s the day Bretton Woods has $12 lift tickets to ring in the new T-bar at Mount Stickney. It’s also Founders Day at Mount Snow in southern Vermont with $12 lift tickets (online, 1,000 limit).

On Dec. 16, Vermont’s Bolton Valley outside Burlington plans $15 lift tickets for skiers and riders arriving in full Santa apparel from head to toe. Pay $25 Dec. 17-25.

Two-for-one midweek, non-holiday rates are favorites among the budget conscious. They include Cranmore (Mon.-Thurs. online only), King Pine (Tues.-Thurs.), Shawnee Peak (Tues.), Bretton Woods (Wed.), Sunapee (Wed.), Cannon (Tues., Thurs.), and Bromley (Tues.).

Wildcat and Attitash offer $39 lift tickets on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 3), two-for-$63 tickets on Valentines Day, a $17 St. Patrick’s Day price March 17 and a $9 April Fool’s Day special. Both ski areas have $30 Sunday afternoon tickets and in March and April plan $40 Friday passes.

Drive a hybrid or biodiesel rig to North Conway’s Cranmore Jan. 12 and get a free lift ticket. Sign up for the area’s e-coupons for savings. Pay $9 Jan. 4 on Ticket Roll Back Day.

Black Mountain’s Family Passport for two adults and two juniors (ages 6-17) is a low-cost delight at $109 midweek and $139 holiday. Non-holiday Thursdays is the popular Breakfast Club where the 55-plus crowd pay $55 for breakfast and ticket at the Jackson ski area.

Locals love the $20 non-holiday Sunday afternoon and Friday night 2-fer $23 tickets at Bretton Woods. That’s only for residents of select counties in northern New England.

Ski at Keene’s Granite Gorge Saturday night for $38, including rentals.

Score $35 tickets at Sunapee Dec. 16 and March 31 when donating five non-perishable food items. Ski non-holiday Mondays for $45. NH residents pay $39 non-holiday Sunday afternoons.

In Henniker, Pats Peak’s Pay-One-Price Saturday nights starting Dec. 29 are $45 and include rentals, tubing and tips.

Cannon’s got some deals. NH residents pay $25 non-holiday Wednesdays. Ring in the New Year Jan. 1 with a two-fer $70 offer and then again Super Bowl Sunday.

Waterville’s deals include a $17 St. Patrick’s Day pass and a buck on April 1.

Ski for $20 on non-holiday Mondays and Tuesdays at Dartmouth Skiway. Enfield’s Whaleback has a number of deals including M&M Wednesdays with medical, municipal and military employees paying $10 and Mom’s Thursday afternoon out $10 1-4 p.m. special.

Central Vermont’s Bromley’s non-holiday Family Fridays mean adults pay $49 and $15 per kid up to three of them. Sunday afternoon tickets are $32, non-holiday.

Now on the National Register of Historic Places, Mad River Glen serves up $3.50 prices (from 1948) during Roll Back the Clock Day Jan. 29. Kiss your sweetie at the ticket booth on Valentines Day and ski for $14 each. Vermont elementary, middle and high school students ski free on Town Meeting Day March 5. Act like a fool in the ticket booth April 1 and ski half price.

Burke Mountain’s NEK Sunday (not Feb. 17) means $25 afternoon tickets plus $20 rentals and $20 lessons. Non-holiday Silver Streaker Days have 55-plus skiers paying $30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Okemo in Ludlow, Vt., takes care of Vermonters and Granite Staters with non-holiday Sunday Solution tickets ($39 morning, $29 afternoon). Wonderful Wednesdays mean non-holiday $39 tickets for residents on both sides of the Connecticut.

Non-holiday Fridays means $30 tickets for N.H. and Vt. residents – and $39 Sundays – at Magic in Londonderry, Vt.

Mount Snow’s Jan. 6 Youth Pay Their Age Day (age 6-18) packs them in. Pay $17 St. Patrick’s Day (advance purchase).

That should get you started.

(Marty Basch can be reached through

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