BARTLETT, New Hampshire ??вЂќ Nineteen lifelong friends from the New Orleans area arrived at Attitash in Bartlett, New Hampshire on Friday for their 9th annual ski trip. When they arrived in the Mount Washington Valley the group headed directly to Wal-mart to purchase clothing and gear as many of them had no luggage upon arrival. A tornado that hit the New Orleans airport before their departure caused power outages and mechanical breakdowns that resulted in many lost belongings.
“We came here to get away from the devastation for a few days,” said Chris Overton of Lafayette, LA, referring to the effects of Hurricane Katrina. “Many of us have no luggage, no sox, no ski gear, yet we still know we are fortunate to be here and we wouldn’t miss this trip – we love Attitash.”
The annual outing started in 1997 when six of the nineteen friends ventured to Silver Lake in Madison, NH to spend time at an uncle’s cabin. Every year new friends join and tryout skiing, snowmobiling, cooking and get in on some of the area nightlife. This year the trip had new meaning as they temporarily escape their communities, many of which have had their populations dramatically increase in just a few months caused by thousands of displaced residents. Relentless lines, soaring property and gas prices, traffic jams and an overall disbelief in their everyday world are temporarily left behind.
“Our recent experience makes me appreciate how lucky I am,” said Lewis Basile of Ponchatoula, LA. “Many of the areas that were devastated by the floods still look like a third world country, people are still without electricity, there are families that are sharing two bedroom homes with twenty-five people, unless you actually see it there is no describing the magnitude of ruin.”
“Some of these guys lost total inventories from their businesses and did not have flood insurance so they take that loss,” said Jeff Brown of Lafayette, LA. “I only lost my luggage, so today I am skiing without sox but it is all about being here with these guys skiing, making great dinners and enjoying the trip.”
Dawn Taber-Cayer of Attitash brought the group to the attention of the communications department at the resort after hearing the story. “It was nice to see them enjoying themselves after all they have been through and what they face ahead. It’s hard for many of us to imagine what it must be like”.
Attitash is in the White Mountains of New Hampshire on Rt. 302 in Bartlett. During the winter Attitash offers 2 mountains with 70 trails and 22 miles of skiing and riding on 280 acres. In the summer guests can enjoy North America’s longest Alpine Slides, waterslides, a scenic sky ride, lift-serviced mountain biking, climbing wall, Trampoline Thing, horseback rides, driving range and skate park.