Early last weekend we had a miss on the storm that was supposed to be the first for 2009. That meant the destination decision for a Saturday trip had to be evaluated with a few things in mind.
Thought Process: Since the snowfall earlier in the week, temperatures have been extremely cold and winds have been up. That means the best skiing and riding would be predominately around the trails that have snowmaking. Ice will be present, but there should also still be a lot of good snow to turn on out there. Just need to keep the eyes downhill and watch yourself at speed.
Anyone know the answer to this riddle?
These are not the ideal conditions for the S.G. to go after a weekend overnight trip. If a snow event or even a whisper of something were in the forecast this might have been a different story. However, without that hope it is better too save a few bucks and log a day trip.
I was with a friend who had never skied in NH before. It was his first day of the season. Sunapee and Loon made the most sense. I broke down a list of pros and cons for each as we made our way up 93N from the Hub. You really can procrastinate for almost an hour until the toll before 89N.
The Deciding Factor: Loon Mountain was the S.G.’s first ski area in NH. It actually had nothing to do with the pros/cons exercise.
It was February vacation. I went on a ski trip with one of my friends and his family. That was years ago. Back then as a young teenager, I was unsuccessfully trying to ski bumps like the guys from Warren Miller movies and in general, probably going to fast for my own good. All this while sporting green wool army pants, a yellow North Face Steeptech jacket, and straight K2 skis with Geze bindings – that was cool, I guess…
S.G. Tangent – This got me to wondering what ever happened to Geze bindings and I found this discussion board topic LINK which is good stuff for history buffs.
Long story short, Loon worked well for my first NH visit and I have been going back and recommending it for years. It is a great mountain and pretty much offers everything and anything a skier can ask. In the last several years they have been spending millions of dollars on new infastructer and expanding terrain.
a look from the North Peak Express Quad, with the mid Camp III Lodge in the distance
Drive: The trip went as expected. Approximately 130 miles - door to door - from downtown Boston in a little over 2 hours.
The Skiing was good. Based on what there was to work with I thought Loon did a great job to put out a good snow surface. It was icy in the middle of trails. The day itself, although sunny, was still cold. This is all in hindsight though...
Loon Power Move: Hit the Slopeside Deli for a sandwich and bring it into the Paul Bunyan Room (Octagon Lodge above the gondola) during lunch. Totally legit to do this…
They take away here is that Loon is a straight shot 2 hour day trip from Boston. It is a set up that is friendly and the mountain is fun. Check it out this season.
Old School = Ski 93
Get some pow,
pics ~ S.G.
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.