Meghan McCarthy McPhaul

Writings from a full life
The latest from Meghan's Blog:

                         Powder Day Progression
     Monday’s mini snow storm serendipitously coincided with a day off from both school and my family’s various ski programs. We woke to a few inches of perfect fluff covering the trees and car and driveway, with snow still sifting steadily to the ground.

A few inches constitutes a powder day in my kids’ minds, so after breakfast we made our way along snow-greased roads to the mountain. I spent the next few hours chasing my kids around the familiar ski trails of my own childhood, and I couldn’t help pondering the progression of my skiing life – from New Hampshire to the mellow hills of college days in upstate New York, then the deep snow and steep skiing of Colorado, and finally home again to continue the cycle with the next generation. READ MORE

                     Under the Guns
     If I concentrate, I can almost block out the roar of the snow guns, which are spewing manmade snow beneath an uncharacteristically bluebird New Hampshire winter sky. Soft as silk, the snow sifts to the ground, building cover on the snow whales, which rise like cresting waves in a perfect line down the hill: swelling white whoop-de-dos that offer up continued freshies, last run’s tracks filled in again in the time it takes to ride up the chairlift.

The bottom layer of manmade is incredibly grippy underneath the top layer of fluff, the combination of firm base and fake pow like some other version of hero snow. I push off down the steep trail, chairlift to the left, tree line to the right, goggles down, zipper up against the subzero chill, the bliss of sleek turns bigger than the blaring of the guns.

Western skiers would scoff at this zest for manmade snow. I know; I lived and skied among them for five long, lovely winters. I moved west after college with a lifelong ski buddy. We’d grown up together as ski racers on the blue ice and manmade granular of a New Hampshire mountain, in an era when ski racers weren’t encouraged to ski anything other than hard pack. Early in our first Colorado winter, we hiked out to Crested Butte’s Third Bowl. The snow was waist-high, and we hadn’t a clue what to do with all that powder. We flailed. Then laughed. Then floated as we figured it out. READ MORE

Meghan McCarthy McPhaul is an award winning author and journalist. She lives in northern New Hampshire, where she works as a freelance writer, penning magazine and newspaper articles, as well as copy for newsletters, press releases, Web sites and Blogs.

Her Close to Home column appears twice a month in the Littleton Record newspaper, and her work has also appeared in Powder, Northern Woodlands, Forest Notes, Snow East, and several local and regional publications, as well as two anthologies of place-based writing.

She has been honored by the New England Press Association for excellence in spot news coverage and feature writing and by the International Skiing History Association for her book A History of Cannon Mountain: Trails, Tales and Skiing Legends. 

Meghan is currently working on a collection of essays.

Winner of the 2011 Skade Award from the International Skiing History Association!

What people are saying about

Trails, Tales and Skiing Legends:

"The author's talent in writing the oft-neglected biographies of Cannon's pioneer skiers and d
evelopers in such delightful detail is commended and certainly the reader's good fortune."

"A nifty little book..."

"McPhaul ... gracefully and compassionately ... adds much to our understanding of Cannon Mountain and the forces and people that tried to tame it."

"...a really superb, well-done book. A History of Cannon Mountain does a remarkable job of conveying the spirit, atmosphere, and joy of ... Cannon Mountain."

This is the first comprehensive history written about Cannon Mountain, one of the oldest ski areas in the United States and a cradle of American ski history.
To learn more about the book or purchase a copy,
please visit the
Cannon Mountain page.

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