Backcountry Skiing

A frigid northwest wind greets me as I near the summit of North Doublehead Mountain in Jackson, N.H. The temperature is hovering in the mid-20s, but the fierce gusts make it feel much colder and will keep me from lingering too long at the top. No sweat, I think. I’m not here for a picnic. I’m…

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Approachable and accessible, cross-country skiing is a great activity for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels. Still, if you’ve never strapped on a pair of cross-country (also called “Nordic”) skis, figuring out where to start can be daunting. For first-timers who may need some extra guidance, begin here, with our list of destinations that cater to…

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People have climbed 6,288-foot Mount Washington—New England’s highest peak and the centerpiece of the White Mountain National Forest—by foot, ski, bike, wheelchair, unicycle, pogo stick, car, bus, train, and just about every other mode of transport imaginable. Here’s a look at some of the all-time fastest ascents—and how they compare to the estimated hiking time…

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Established in 2016, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is one of the least developed units in the national park system. Located adjacent to the eastern edge of Baxter State Park in Maine, the 87,500-acre monument offers few amenities, a single unpaved loop road in its southern portion, and the chance to explore some of…

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Winter snow lingers into spring in locations across the Northeast. The sun rises higher in the sky with each passing day. And if you’re outside reveling in it all, the underside of your face is about to get some serious UV exposure. Time to slather up with some quality sunscreen—and make sure you apply it to…

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Before I could say, “Yip yip,” Togo dashed down the trail, plunging through half a foot of fresh powder and pulling me along behind her. As we made our way into the woods, my grin increased in keeping with our pace. The switchback mountain-bike trail outside Northampton, Mass., descended slightly but consistently, with gravity giving…

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Snow has fallen up on the slopes and down in the valleys that make New England and upstate New York such a spectacular ski region. You can break trail for a few miles or a few days, depending on your ability level. If you’re looking for a starting point, David Goodman’s Best Backcountry Skiing in…

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Have you ever skied a “lost” ski area: a hill that once had maintained trails, some sort of lift, and a base lodge or warming hut—but doesn’t anymore? The hill is still there, and we’ll focus on that shortly, but for now, picture the ski area itself. It’ll put you in the right frame of…

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                      Winter recreation can intimidate, and for good reason: It’s cold and icy out there! But facing those elements also makes the experience all the more rewarding, whether you’re cutting turns through fresh powder or sleeping under the stars. Make the most of the snowy…

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When I joined the outdoor photographer Jerry Monkman and one of his neighbors for a two-day backcountry ski into Katahdin Woods and Waters (KWW) National Monument in February 2017, I didn’t know what to expect. President Obama had created the monument just months earlier, on August 24, 2016, and the National Park Service hadn’t yet…

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