Waterville Valley — Mountain layout
Unless you have young children, you might find Waterville a bit limiting for a week’s vacation, but it can be a lot of fun for an extended weekend. There is a little bit of something for everyone, but the emphasis is on “little bit” if you are an accomplished skier. That said, the black diamonds are really black diamonds, and the blue squares are true intermediate runs, making them challenging for beginners. This makes Waterville Valley feel like a bigger mountain than it really is. Here’s a larger, more detailed trail map.
Expert and Advanced: One of the toughest runs, True Grit, develops big moguls and drops down the Sunnyside face. With several tough rollers and steep pitches, the World Cup Slalom Hill is a good place for experts to test their carving skills. There’s also a tree skiing area off Lower Bobby’s Run; it starts about halfway down the trail on the left. An interesting note–Bobby’s Run (both Upper and Lower) was named after the late Senator Robert Kennedy who frequented the resort after it opened in 1966.
Intermediate: Waterville’s trails are not New England’s typical steep and narrow pistes. Most are wide swaths through the trees, and there’s elbow room and a chance to check out the slope before committing to the fall line again. Two former tough mogul runs, Ciao and Gema, now are groomed daily. Such trails as White Caps, Sel’s Choice, Old Tecumseh and Tippecanoe are intermediate and advanced playthings. Upper Bobby’s Run is a great intermediate trail, but if you don’t want to find yourself on a black diamond or double-diamond mogul trail (Lower Bobby’s), make sure you take a strong left to Terry’s Trail or Old Tecumseh.
If you’d like to get a taste of skiing in the trees, Old T Trees is 4.5 acres of mixed hardwoods and evergreens for intermediates between the Old Tecumseh trail, Terry’s trail, Tyler and Siegel Street.
Something more resorts should do: Waterville has a designated “easier mogul field.” For those wanting to move to the next level, this is great practice.
Beginner: Beginner terrain at Waterville is limited, and beginners who have skied blue runs at other resorts might find Waterville’s intermediate terrain challenging. But the Valley Run is a beginner/lower intermediate heaven with enough width to allow skiing for a couple of days down different sections. This run is now served by Quadzilla, a high-speed quad that takes skiers to the top of the run in 4.5 minutes.
First-timer: Novices have a small area with a separate lift. Children have their own learn-to-ski area that’s protected from other skiers and riders.