Whaleback has been our family’s go-to ski mountain since my oldest son was in kindergarten. Located right off Exit 16 on I 89, Whaleback is convenient, just 20 minutes away from our front door.
But aside from convenience, did you know that Whaleback is one of the few locally-owned ski centers still around in the Upper Valley? Since 1955, this mountain has been the place for after-school skiing lessons, Thursday night race leagues, events like its Annual Chile Cookoff, or just a place to swing by for a quick ski or a pint on your way home from work (because it’s open and lighted until 7 or 8pm on weeknights).
Whaleback has been owned by the nonprofit, the Upper Valley Snow Sports Foundation (UVSSF), since 2013, formed with the mission to preserve this local treasure for the Upper Valley for years to come. It’s run largely by local volunteers who want to maintain its community feel and cozy atmosphere.
Whaleback gives local school kids the opportunity to take affordable after-school lessons and learn to ski or snowboard at its learning center and with local, knowledgeable instructors. Both of my sons, now 10 and 7, learned to ski at Whaleback. The mountain offers 7- or 10-week after-school ski lesson packages that are affordable and convenient. The instructors are patient and kind, and make sure the kids have fun and feel proud of themselves. I liked that as a nervous, non-ski-expert mom, I could watch from the sidelines and cheer them on. My oldest son also participated in the Saturday Core Team race league, which offered him a fun, low-pressure way to try out ski racing. It offered me a way to socialize with friends on Saturdays during the winter and soak up some much needed Vitamin D.
In addition to providing a convenient and affordable way to learn to ski, Whaleback’s smaller size means many parents drop their teenagers off, secure in the knowledge that they’re going to be safe and not get lost. My own sons quickly felt totally comfortable at their local ski slope.
If you haven’t already, check out all that’s going on at Whaleback. It’s a mountain for the community and a place for everyone in the family to learn to ski, release energy, feel good about yourselves, and master a mountain.