• Joe Pace

Granite State of Mind, #20: Alpine Slide, Attitash Mountain, Bartlett


Water Country without the water. Or the scabies.

I somehow managed to grow up in New Hampshire without really skiing or ice skating. I've done both, but neither well nor often. I know. It's like being from Seattle and not liking coffee, or understanding football. But it's something my home state knows about me, and we made our peace over it long ago. I make this observation in the interest of candid disclosure, and by way of explaining why there won't be much in the way of ski areas appearing on this list. Who knows, maybe when we get back I'll find an affection for the ice and snow sports. Stranger things have happened.

I will make mention, though, of Attitash Mountain, in particular one of the stranger tourist attractions amongst a White Mountains region with no shortage of anachronistic or unique entertainments. The Alpine Slide at Attitash is a mile long pair of downhill concrete luges that weave down the mountain's shoulders. You sit in a plastic sled with a hand-brake and away you go, armed with brief operating instructions and the ominous warning that your safety on the slide is not guaranteed, and that people do fall off. Good luck, enjoy the hairpin curves and stunning views, and bring the kids - over four feet tall and you can ride solo! No railings or helmets on this sucker - live free or die, baby.

I haven't been for years, probably since I was a teenager. It's one of the things I look forward to revisiting when we get back and sharing with my own kids. Hey, they'll both be over 48 inches tall by then.

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