How tiny Whaleback competes against the big boys

ENFIELD, N.H. (WCAX) A tiny, community-owned mountain is working to compete against other local resorts that have been bought up by national companies. Our Adam Sullivan takes you to ski week at Whaleback Mountain.

It's school vacation week for many kids across the region and for those who love the outdoors, what better way to spend a week off than on the slopes?

It's the kind of day where falling adds to the fun-- lots of snow and plenty of room to roam. Two at a time, kids get on the double and head to the top. The line is never long at Whaleback.

"It is basically my winter because I get really bored during the winter, so I just come here to Whaleback," said Austin Irwin of Enfield.

"The snow is great and there are a lot of amazing trails," said Isabella Davis of Grantham.

This week-- a ski camp for kids. About 70 young athletes from around the Upper Valley signed up for the half-day and full-day programs.

"There are not a lot of local options for anything to do with your kids for vacation week," said Rebecca Reed of Whaleback.

Whaleback is a nonprofit owned by the Upper Valley Snow Sports Foundation. Volunteers, along with a handful of paid staff, help things run smoothly. It's a small local mountain competing with the big boys that finds its niche by keeping prices low and giving the future of the sport a place to play.

"We are building that community. We are building those skiers and riders who are going to go to Killington when they get better and better," Reed said. "Without small feeder mountains, those mountains don't have anyone coming up through their pipeline."

After a brief midday stop for lunch and a quick movie, the campers head back out onto the slopes. Some are learning for the first time, others are working on becoming experts. Kind of like a big family on a small mountain that provides room to grow.

"All the trails lead down to one lodge, so it is pretty much impossible to get lost," Irwin said.

"It's easier to go around and it is easier to ski around," Davis said.

And the fun doesn't have to stop once school vacation week is over, especially for adults. Every day they are open, a $20 ticket gets you on the slopes for the last two hours of the day.