Pictured here is the front entrance of Pat’s Peak in Henniker, New Hampshire.

Pictured here is the front entrance of Pat’s Peak in Henniker, New Hampshire.

Pat’s Peak was one of New Hampshire’s lucky southern mountains that picked up two doses of six-inch snows last week. Together with 100-percent snowmaking on all of its 30 trails, this mini mountain is in fine shape snow-wise, due in part to a hard working crew of dedicated groomers.

The mountain overlooks the quaint college town of Henniker, NH, circa 1768. It’s a mere hamlet of a town and its prominent feature is its ski mountain.

Pat’s Peak is a friendly family mountain with a charming Alpine Village atmosphere. Gently contoured over 200-plus acres and close to 700-feet of vertical, the mountain favors the casual recreational skier, the novice, the breezy intermediate, and the skier or snowboarder exploring a new dimension of their snow skills.

A skier heads down a hill at Pat’s Peak in Henniker, New Hampshire.

A skier heads down a hill at Pat’s Peak in Henniker, New Hampshire.

The learn to ski program here is popular and very well organized. Individual lessons are available, as well as an introductory ski and play group for ages 3 to 5 called the Cub’s Club. Kids ages 6-to-14 have their very own club called the the Bear’s Club. It is a full day program available on weekends, holidays and vacation week. The program is for young skiers and/or boarders and runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., including lunch.

I highly recommend this mountain for those long time skiers who are trying out a snowboard for the first or second time. You can board numerous green trails that have a gentle pitch with no flats – perfect for those early forays on a snowboard.

If you are a skier or a boarder who has mastered your cruising skills and would like to try your first adventures in wooded glades, the glades at Pat’s Peak are very well designed and manicured, with wide spaces between trees. All six of the mountain glades are short in length with numerous in and outs and are a very comfortable way to begin tree skiing. The Mountain also well serves the skiers and boarders who are venturing into the terrain parks to test their muster on the jumps and park features for the first time. There are three mini parks on the Mountain’s front side and one on the Cascade Basin. The parks are welcoming, the elements are widely spaced and feature nice sets of rollers, spine jumps and low kickers.

There are 13 beginner trails, six intermediate trails, four advanced trails and four expert runs in addition to the parks and glades. The trails are serviced by 11 lifts. There is plenty of time to gossip on the lifts as they are not known for their speed.

My favorite trail is called the Tornado, it’s a mini roller coaster of a ride, a concourse of curving swells and valleys that runs from the peak to the base.

All the trails end at the grand timbered base lodge. The lodge stretches out along the entire base of the mountain. It’s one long traverse that affords panoramic views of almost the entire mountain. It’s spacious and comfortable with no shortage of alpine charm. You have to make an effort to get lost at Pat’s Peak, but if you temporarily lose your friends or family members its easy to regroup at the base lodge.

The upstairs section of the Lodge features the Sled Pub with live music on Friday and Saturday nights. The pub opens for lunch at 11 a.m. and stays open until the midnight hour. Singer/songwriters are featured on Fridays and Live bands on Saturdays. The Popcorn machine is always running full tilt and the pub menu features all the usual suspects: sandwiches, salads and apps along with a full line of beverages.

A day lift ticket for Adults is $66, Juniors 6-17 is $56. Night skiing is a big part of the Peak experience. From peak to base, 24 trails are all part of the Night skiing adventure and covers most of the mountain. Night skiing begins at 3 p.m. and closes at 9. A night ticket is $41.

Although Henniker is a tiny New Hampshire college town, it has what every ski town yearns for, its own brewery. The Henniker Brewery welcomes visitors to enjoy a full sampling of their current concoctions. After an invigorating day on the slopes, I highly recommend their “Miles And Miles” brew, it’s new and their latest foray of malt and hops. It’s refreshing, flavorful and available at Daniel’s Pub. Daniel’s is Henniker’s choice for casual dining in a riverside atmosphere. A scenic view of Pat’s Peak is seen right from the pub’s windows. Dinner specials are featured each night of the week, but the lobster mac and cheese is the local favorite.

For complete information on Pat’s Peak visit the web at patspeak.com or call 603-428-3245.

Greg Morell is an avid skier, snowboarder, and cross country enthusiast. The Snow Business column is a winter weekly on skiing, snowboarding and winter recreation that seeks to encourage active participation in snowsports. You can reach him at [email protected]

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