Growing up in NH and raising my family here is pretty meaningful. Our tiny state is beautiful from mountains to shore. We have a wealth of outdoor recreational activities available year-round, and winter by far has always been my favorite season. I first learned to ski at Highlands Mountain (now closed) when I was 12, through a school-based recreation program. I quickly developed a love for the sport and have visited a good majority of ski areas in NH & VT over the years. NH is my home; it has a vibe and energy that is uniquely different from our New England neighbors. We say hello, make eye contact, and grow food in our backyards. Many small towns have more cows than people, cities embrace diversity, and scenic roads are often traveled. The state motto Live Free or Die is emblazoned everywhere from license plates to clothing, and said motto is always argument #1 for both personal & political viewpoints. We have all 4 seasons: snow, mud, sticky, & foliage. Skiing is large part of NH’s historic culture and the mountains call to those from near and far. We have a wealth of old-school ski areas dating back to pre-WW2, and boast the oldest ski shop in America. No matter what city or town you start from in NH, most all ski areas are accessible in 2.5 hours or less. This last sentence is the sales pitch all realtors should use. As a heartfelt NH girl, I have flirted with the idea to ski every NH ski area for a long while. This is year I will make it happen.

The Background:
My ski season was unexpectedly cut short during Christmas break of 2018 when I tore my MCL while getting off the Tuckerbrook chair at Cannon. For those of you who are not familiar with Cannon this is the chair that serves the bunny hills….. my daughter Erica and her friends wanted to take one last run and practice their balance on one ski. They balanced just fine; me I came off the chair in a full straddle split that was not pretty. Due to this injury, for the first time in almost 12 years I elected to NOT prepurchase a season pass. The healing process took close to 7 months of aggressive physical therapy and I took up hiking over the summer to further build up my leg muscles for skiing. While hiking the White Mountains is a passion for most, to me it is something fun to do to pass time in the offseason. Please understand, I enjoy the mountains immensely, I just enjoy them more on skis. My husband Tim hikes often, and is working on completing the AMC 4000-footer Club list. I joined him on a hike to Mt. Garfield over Labor Day weekend and was awestruck by the spectacular 360-degree views. While there on the summit looking out at the vast landscape of the White Mountains, I began to picture them covered in snow. I realized as an avid skier, I have historically flocked to the same mountains year to year. Like a quest to hike all 4,000 footers, each ski mountain has unique characteristics, challenges, culture, and opportunity. It was then that I decided this should be the year for me to ski all of NH so that I could gain a meaningful appreciation of how each individual area embraces the sport and fosters a love for snow.


12/30/18 snapped this cute pic from the summit of Cannon about an hour before tearing my MCL


View of the Bondcliffs & Pemigewasset Wilderness looking east from Mt. Garfield

The List:
After coming back from altitude to sea level, my mind refocused and I needed to logically assess if my idea was practical or fantasy. I typically ski about 25 days per season, and post injury was not sure what to expect. I quickly identified 20 commercial ski areas through a visit to and a basic internet search. I started thinking about what was motivating me to do this, and quickly realized this is about more than big resort skiing, it’s about the opportunity to be on the snow regardless of size, number of trails, or vertical descent. I thought of The Kanc, a small rope tow in Lincoln run by volunteers and the Lin-Wood Recreation Department, and realized there must be other small community-based hills throughout the state. I created a post on FB and on asking for help to find these small ski areas. I received an overwhelming response from fellow skiers and my list quickly swelled from 20 to 29! In addition, another 5 were mentioned but I will need special permission to access. Using a basic Word Doc table, I worked on compiling locations, hours of operation, opening dates, ticket cost, and driving distance. Everything came together so naturally! This adventure is most definitely practical, cost efficient, and manageable with a creative use of weekends, night skiing, and vacation days. I fully committed and began to share with others.
  • 1. Abenaki, Wolfboro
  • 2. Arrowhead, Claremont
  • 3. Attitash, Bartlett
  • 4. Black Mountain, Jackson
  • 5. Bretton Woods, Bretton Woods
  • 6. Campton Mountain, Campton
  • 7. Cannon, Franconia
  • 8. Cranmore, Conway
  • 9. Crotched, Bennington
  • 10. Dartmouth Skiway, Lyme Center
  • 11. Granite Gorge, Roxbury Keene
  • 12. Gunstock, Gilford
  • 13. Kanc Rec, Lincoln
  • 14. King Pine, Madison
  • 15. Loon, Lincoln
  • 16. McIntyre, Manchester
  • 17. Mount Sunapee, Newbury
  • 18. Mt. Prospect, Lancaster
  • 19. Mt. Eustis, Littleton
  • 20. Pats Peak, Henniker
  • 21. Proctors Academy, Andover
  • 22. Ragged Mountain, Danbury
  • 23. Red Hill Ski Club, Moultonborough
  • 24. Storrs Hill, Lebanon
  • 25. Tenney Mountain, Plymouth
  • 26. Veterans Memorial, Franklin
  • 27. Waterville Valley, Waterville Valley
  • 28. Whaleback, Enfield
  • 29. Wildcat, Pinkham Notch
  • 1. Clancy, Cannan
    • Private secondary school, will need permission to access property & rope tow
  • 2. Gateway Hills, Nashua
    • Unverified if will be opening this season, was told via email they will open if they get “a 2 ft dump”
  • 3. Rowell Hill, Sutton
    • Rumored private residence with a chair lift…. if you know them I would greatly appreciate an introduction
  • 4. Snows Mountain, Waterville Valley
    • Unverified if will be open this year, historically opens one day only for season pass holders
  • 5. Wight, Dublin
    • Private primary school, will need permission to access property & rope tow
Screen Shot 2019-12-05 at 1.08.21 PM.png

Pchewn this is for you:) A screenshot of the spreadsheet/chart

The Rules:
All challenges need rules for accountability purposes. Mine are simple:
  • 1) If there is lift access via chair, rope, bar, gondi, etc. it makes the list.
  • 2) Backcountry is not included, there are hundreds of trails….and it is not my skill set
  • 3) If skis are put on, and I take a run it counts. While I would like to attempt every open trail, I know too well how weather can quickly change, lifts get put on hold, and sometimes daily plans are interrupted. To drive to a location and elect not to ski due to poor conditions or unexpected event is not an option. With 29 locations on the list every ski day must count.

Blank Facebook Post.png

The Tickets:
Creativity to gain lift tickets beyond my season pass is nothing new, these are my yearly go-to ticket deals.
  • Boston Ski Expo $10 ticket, $30 parking: Won free tickets to Ragged Mountain & Waterville Valley
  • Ski & Ride Card: Donation to CHad of $59, received free ticket to Bretton Woods
  • CHaD Fundraiser $60 donation, Warren Miller Timeless: Swag bag with free tickets to Pats Peak, McIntyre, & Waterville Valley
  • Friends of Tuckerman’s Ravine: $40 donation, choice of free ticket, I chose Loon
  • I’m a lucky girl, my husband gave me black diamonds for our wedding anniversary: tickets for Mount Sunapee, Gunstock, and King Pine
  • Special days and day rates for each mountain listed in my word doc.
  • Pre-season & internet pre-purchase rates vary, will be listed if purchase


ticket swag


Fun at the expo as Bruce the Moose

The Logo:
My daughter Taylor recently graduated from The NH Institute of Art with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Illustration. She is a creative genius, and has designed personalized t-shirts and art for me for many years. When we were chatting about my ski adventure, she offered to create a logo. We tossed around ideas and came up with Talls & Smalls to represent both the big commercial mountains and the smaller community hills. I think it perfectly captures that my mission is just about enjoying each area for it own unique character and beauty, and recognizes that this will not be an apples to apples comparison. We have ordered stickers and I’m looking forward to sharing with friends new and old along the way.


Talls & Smalls logo, now my new avatar

The Map:
As a visual learner I needed to see the list in full, vs just reading a list. I am fortunate to have a spacious office and a nice large bulletin board that is in full view from my desk. While searching for a ski map I visited the Mountain Wanderer in Lincoln. Steve Smith is THE map man (seriously he designs maps for the white mountains & AMC). I was sad to discover that there is not a published map of the state in a poster format. There are multiple maps specific to the white mountains, and hiking but nothing that would serve my purchase for the ski areas across the state. Steve’s words to me “You should make your own map”. I started with a basic tourist road map obtained for free from the White Mountains Chamber of Commerce, and plotted my list. How awesome it is to look up while I am working and have this be my view for the next few months! I also created a check off list to add dates to as I go, and left space to tack up lift passes and other mementos.





The Name:
On Pugski I am known as Frontfive. A name I chose while skiing Cannon. Because I am looking forward to meeting new people throughout this adventure, I feel it’s best to use my real name. So, hello readers, I am Carla Frontfive writing to you from the gorgeous ski state of NH.


Never too old to write your name in the snow! This was taken a few years back while snowshoeing on the Lincoln Woods Trail

The Journey:
Once my plan was in motion, I “liked” all NH mountains on FB, and began to post more information at Phil, Tricia, and Steve from Kulkea kindly reached out to me and asked if I would like to blog about my adventures. My first instinct was heck no, but then in response to the many messages I received from other pug members asking me to document this adventure I began to warm to the idea. Full disclosure: I am a Registered Nurse by profession not a blogger. I work full time as a nursing professor at a private university and my priority to blog comes after all commitments for family and work are met. My writing style lacks prose and flow, my photography skills are limited to my iPhone, and I’m terrified that I will bore all readers to death. As a nursing professor I tell my students they have to challenge themselves and take risks to achieve growth. Life is stagnant if you never move outside of your comfort zone, therefore here I am attempting to capture my ski adventure into words. Thank you for your support, encouragement, and excitement in my travels. I will totally give it my all to tell a notable story.

Snowy Wishes,
Carla Frontfive