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Newsletter #17

Updated: Apr 8

Friends of Oak Hill Newsletter #17

We’re sorry to see the Nordic ski season near an end at Oak Hill, but we’re proud of what we have accomplished over the past year.  In many ways, the past six weeks have demonstrated the value that the Oak Hill Outdoor Center will provide to the community for years to come:

 

·       The event season kicked off with the family fun and club races at the Silver Fox Trot on February 3.  160 kids and 65 adults raced for fun on a perfect day.

 

·       The following week, Dartmouth hosted its first Carnival on the new trails, laying the groundwork for the NCAA championships in March 2025. The races went off without a hitch under blue skies, and the trail system showed off its advantages for spectators and skiers alike.  Dartmouth skier and local from Lyme, NH, Jack Lange summed up the value of the venue for Dartmouth’s ski team:

 

“Oak hill transformed the way we were able to train this year. It provided the top tier training facility we needed to get time on snow and show up to races confident. Without Oak Hill and snowmaking we would’ve been driving an hour to two hours each day for training and even running or roller skiing this winter for training. Having Oak Hill as a reliable training venue made a major difference in how we could strive for both our skiing and school goals.” 

 

·       By early March, the weather throughout New Hampshire had turned warm and rainy.  The organizers of the New Hampshire state high school ski championships were scrambling to find a venue with snow.  After many last minute conversations and a huge team effort, including approval from the Hanover Improvement Society to open up the Storrs Pond parking lot for 20 school buses and many tents, the race went off without a hitch on March 6.  More than 200 high school skiers had an opportunity to ski their last race on our new course.  A week later, we hosted the NH High School Meet of Champions.  Without Oak Hill, the high school season would have washed out with the rain.

 

·       Most important, the value of the venue to the Upper Valley community has been reflected in comments from young and old:

 

"The new trails and snowmaking have been an absolute game-changer, providing a reliable skiing home for hundreds and hundreds of skiers (and back-up site for multiple races, including state championships), and bringing the Upper Valley skiing community together!" - Jay Davis, Ford Sayre Coach

 

“The season was great and ending it by skiing every trail in late March was a perfect ending to such an awesome first year. We are so psyched” -Elissa Bradley  

 

"It is incredible how instantaneously Oak Hill became indispensable.' - Chuck Wooster

 

"On March 11th, after a solo evening skiing during which the sun set in spectacular fashion, I was giddy about having yet another amazing recreational resource here in the Upper Valley. I sent photos of the trails in the setting sun and bragged on Oak Hill to a group of buddies, who don't even cross country ski. The trails are a jewel." -Scott Nichols

 

 We are always looking for ways to improve.  If you haven’t filled out the survey seeking feedback, please do so here. Oak Hill Feedback Survey

 

As we get ready for the 2024-2025 season, plans for trail lighting, parking lot paving, warming hut construction, equipment shed construction, and solar array installation are all well underway.  This work will be less disruptive than the tree cutting and trail construction last summer, but will still be substantial undertakings.  In addition, we will be working to trim and improve the old upper trails, repair parts of the new trails, and improve our management and operational systems for the coming year.  Look out for opportunities to volunteer and you can sign up here OHOC Volunteers to be on a volunteer contact list.

 

A few pictures below memorialize our first season.  We look forward to many more!



A couple of pictures of the fun at the Silver Fox Trot Events on February 4.



 

And, a couple from the NH high school championships on March 6.

 

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