Presidential Skiing: A Guide to New Hampshire’s Gnarliest Ski Lines

Alex Camerino | BackcountryBackcountry | Industry NewsIndustry News
Mount Washington, tallest of the Presidentials
Looking northwest towards Mount Washington, NH from Dodge’s Drop. Photo: Kurt Niiler

Presidential Skiing: A Guide to Backcountry Skiing in New Hampshire’s Presidential Range is the first of its kind and is sure to be a game changer for backcountry skiing in New Hampshire. It is hot off the press for 20/21 and contains some of the gnarliest lines on the East Coast. This includes 17 areas along the Range including iconic locations like Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines on the east side of Mount Washington. It boasts a whopping 92 individual routes routes with descriptions of each line including vertical decent, max pitch, and aspect.

“It was awesome that I was able to turn my own curiosities [of the Presidential Range] into a book.” ~Kurt Niiler, Author of Presidential Skiing

A Place to Cut Your Teeth

Many people have heard of Mount Washington, home of both the “world’s worst weather” and Tuckerman Ravine, the “birthplace of extreme skiing in North America.” However, there are many other parts of the famous range that boast skiing just as good and extreme lines. A few years ago Kurt Niiler noticed an obvious gap in the information that was readily available on skiing the Presidential Range. That was when he set out to explore the lesser known areas of the Presis as the range is locally known.

Route Map
The book includes pictures and accurate descriptions of every line. Photo: Presidential Skiing

This book is well designed, full of easy to read maps, and has stunning pictures. It is truly a book that every backcountry skier in the White Mountains should have. Whether it is their first day out or they are a seasoned veteran, everyone will find something that catches their eye.

“In order for someone to ski all these lines…it will be harder than they think, take multiple years, lots of skill, and some luck.”~Kurt Niiler

Backcountry skiing is rapidly gaining popularity and with that people are hungry to check lines off their list. Out of the 92 lines in this book, Kurt has skied about 80 of them, leaving the rest because he says you should “leave a carrot to chase.” In fact, Kurt has not heard of anyone who has completed all the lines. Some years many of the lines are never even skiable due to the wrong conditions.

If you are coming to the area check out the classics listed in the book. You are sure to have a great time!

A Tool in Your Kit

Like all guidebooks, this one is a tool and should not be used by itself. The Presidential Range is one of the most dangerous mountain ranges in North America due to its harsh winter conditions. Resources such as the Mount Washington Avalanche Center and the Mount Washington Observatory should always be consulted before attempting any line in this book.

About the Author

Presidential Skiing author
Author Kurt Niiler Photo: Presidential Skiing

Kurt Niiler is a skier and climber from Freedom, New Hampshire. He grew up alpine ski racing in the Mount Washington Valley. He later skied for Bates College’s NCAA team before transitioning to backcountry skiing and mountaineering. Skiing has taken Kurt all over North America, Europe and New Zealand. However, he is constantly drawn back to the White Mountains for its high concentration of quality skiing. His favorite areas to ski in the Presidential Range are Boott Spur and the Great Gulf. Kurt currently resides in Bethel, Maine, where he coaches alpine ski racing full time.

Right Gully, Tuckerman Ravine, central Presidential range
Alex Leich skis Right Gully in Tuckerman Ravine. The glacial cirque is widely regarded as the birthplace of extreme skiing in North America. Photo: Jamie Walter

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One thought on “Presidential Skiing: A Guide to New Hampshire’s Gnarliest Ski Lines

  1. Congratulations on the book,awesome accomplishment for backcountry skiing in incredible terrain of N.H.

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