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New Hampshire

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I will have 4 days to ski in NH in January. What is your top 4 picks?

post #2 of 24

Cannon Loon Waterville and McIntyre

post #3 of 24

McIntyre is where I first skied and my first 'ski industry' job... 138' of sustained vert. Sick.

post #4 of 24

I'd maybe swap Wildcat for McIntyre however. Actually I'd put Wildcat as #2 after Cannon on a list of 'what to see in the Whites'.

post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Wildcat and Cannon are on the list. Bretton Woods is my next pick, then it is Loon or Attatish.

post #6 of 24

OK, if not McIntyre, then Pat's Peak - the other place I raced all through high school. Actually, I only raced at McIntyre a couple times. Whatta joke.

post #7 of 24

Quote:

Originally Posted by nsskinut View Post

Thanks, Wildcat and Cannon are on the list. Bretton Woods is my next pick, then it is Loon or Attatish.

 

I think some will disagree, but I really liked Attitash the one time I went.  But it was pretty empty that day and I found it pretty easy to get around (the long trail connecting the two mtns is kind of annoying, but not that big of a deal).  I've always avoided Loon b/c I've heard the terrain isn't comparable to Cannon and Wildcat and I didn't want to spend a lot more $$$ to find out.   

 

I've been to Cannon a bunch and (to me) it is the best of the NH bunch...by far. I had fun at Wildcat both time I went, but know this (and it applies to Cannon too): dress warm.  Wildcat and Cannon can be a whole new level of cold.  The last time I was at Wildcat it was 6 at the base and -22 at the top...and then it got windy.

 

EDIT:  Oh...I now notice you're from N.S....never mind the warning about the coldsmile.gif

 

-Smarty 

post #8 of 24

It depends on the weather and mid-week vs weekend.

 

Cannon, Wildcat, Attitash, mid week Loon / weekend Bretton Woods (fun glades)

post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by nsskinut View Post

Thanks, Wildcat and Cannon are on the list. Bretton Woods is my next pick, then it is Loon or Attatish.


You've got the right idea.  Waterville and Black also deserve consideration.  Here's an old trip report that might be of interest:

http://www.dcski.com/ubbthreads33/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=58184#Post58184

 

post #10 of 24

Loon has some halfway decent terrain, but it is expensive, and crowded on weekends/holidays.

 

I guess to answer the original question, it would be good to know when you're planning on going.  Cannon and Wildcat are "must-sees" whether it's a holiday weekend or not.  After that, depending on crowds and snow conditions take your pick from Loon, Waterville, Bretton Woods, or Sunapee.  Some lesser known mountains that you can have a ball at if the snow is good is Ragged and Black.

post #11 of 24

Cannon, Waterville Valley, Wildcat and then you have to choose between Loon, Bretton Woods or Attitash.  I like Bretton Woods of the latter three although it is quite flattish. Great view though and very pleasantly low key. Attitash is relatively small with some good skiing, Loon  is large and crowded on the weekends.

post #12 of 24

Bretton Woods is an intermediate paradise as far as the groomers go, with one caveat.  There are glades for all levels.  Expansive base lodge; another restaurant at the top; grand hotel as well.  Bretton Woods gets good snow due to its elevation and micro-climate, out-doing many NH ski areas.  Cannon gets this snow too.

 

Cannon has an entire mountain, Mittersill, attached to it with very narrow windy runs and only natural snow, nothing groomed, expert only terrain.  Cannon proper is full of groomers which offer varied terrain.  There are lots of glades of varying difficulty all over the mountain.  Cannon also usually has substantial bump terrain.  It has good snow, a micro-climate all its own.  Last year's snowfall there was epic.  This is a skier's mountain; base lodge is small with a nice bar.   

 

Wildcat - gets more snow than most NH ski areas as do Cannon and Bretton Woods due to its location, but sometimes it's delivered with strong upslope winds and ends up in the trees.  Trails offer jaw-droppingly great views across the street to Mt. Washington.  You can see the ants climbing Tuckerman Ravine on a clear day.  Good bumps under the lifts.  Another skier's mountain.  Old lodge, cheap food, small nice bar upstairs.  No condos, no grand hotel.  

 

Attitash has varied terrain.  There are two mountains connected; Bear Peak has wider, more "modern" slopes; Attitash has narrow traditional New England-style trails.  The steepest runs in New Hampshire are at Attitash, but they are awfully short.  The mountain over-grooms, leaving not much in the way of bumps.  Off-piste is limited; two official glades on the Bear Peak side, open when there's been great snow which is iffy some seasons.  

 

Black is very very small.  

 

 

 

 

post #13 of 24

If any of your days are weekend hit cannon on that day. The lift lines will be much shorter. Cannon and wild cat are great choices like every one has said. If you can hit Loon midweek it should be good, stay away on the weekend. Bretton Woods will be... tame after skiing at cannon or wildcat. Never been on a good day but the Attitash seems like it could have potential.

post #14 of 24

nsskinut, have you chosen a particular spot to stay while mountain-hopping?  People may be able to make suggestions for that as well.

Do you have family/kids in tow?  If so, are you looking for non-skiing things to do also?

What kind of terrain do you like to ski?  

All these factors will impact which mountains you will enjoy the most.

post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 

We have booked the North Conway Grand, a steal at $99 a night. We are staying there so my wife and daughter can spend many, many hours at Settlers Green outlets. Most of the sking will be myself and my 11 year old boy. We like steep and groomed. Here in Nova Scotia our local hills offer less than 850' of vertical so Cannon is a dream.Thanks .

post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by nsskinut View Post

We have booked the North Conway Grand, a steal at $99 a night. We are staying there so my wife and daughter can spend many, many hours at Settlers Green outlets. Most of the sking will be myself and my 11 year old boy. We like steep and groomed. Here in Nova Scotia our local hills offer less than 850' of vertical so Cannon is a dream.Thanks .



Cannon and Wildcat.  If you have 4 days, I'd hit each place twice.

post #17 of 24

It will be a great trip. (I know, I've made that trip 3 or 4 times).  However, I wish you hadn't mentioned the North Conway Grand. I always stay there and don't want to see them get so busy that I have trouble getting in or have them raise their rates. The Moat, on the road up to Wildcat, is a good brewpub, and has an atmosphere that will be fine for your kids and pretty good food. Every time I go there, I tend to ski Wildcat over and over just because I like it so much. Also, from N. Conway you are only about an hour to Sunday River which is also fun. Attitash and Bretton Woods are very close. If you do Bretton Woods, stop at the Mt, Washington Hotel for a drink, dinner or a walk around. They don't build them like that any more and the food is actually good. If you go to Cannon, make sure it is a relatively clear day before making the long (and very pretty) drive, I have been there several time when they have had the top of the mountain closed because of fog/visibility.

post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by vsirin View Post

It will be a great trip. (I know, I've made that trip 3 or 4 times).  However, I wish you hadn't mentioned the North Conway Grand. I always stay there and don't want to see them get so busy that I have trouble getting in or have them raise their rates. The Moat, on the road up to Wildcat, is a good brewpub, and has an atmosphere that will be fine for your kids and pretty good food. Every time I go there, I tend to ski Wildcat over and over just because I like it so much. Also, from N. Conway you are only about an hour to Sunday River which is also fun. Attitash and Bretton Woods are very close. If you do Bretton Woods, stop at the Mt, Washington Hotel for a drink, dinner or a walk around. They don't build them like that any more and the food is actually good. If you go to Cannon, make sure it is a relatively clear day before making the long (and very pretty) drive, I have been there several time when they have had the top of the mountain closed because of fog/visibility.


Yes, Cannon can be foggy.  But sometimes it clears.  You just don't know.  It's a one hour drive from your hotel, barring weather issues.

Bretton Woods is 45 minutes from your hotel.  It's very flat.  But it does have beginner, intermediate, advanced, and gnarly woods runs, if that's what you and your son are into.  Forget the groomers; nothing steep at all.  

Agree with vsirin:  definitely stop at the Mt. Washington Hotel on your way back from a day at Cannon or Bretton Woods.  Go downstairs and enjoy the view out the back.  Walk all around the place, out on the verandas.  BIG old grand hotel, now updated by Omni Hotels.  Take the official tour of the lobby as well.  Also, for dinner the Red Parka restaurant and bar near the intersection of 302 and 16, where you head north to Wildcat from North Conway, has a great ski-town atmosphere.  Enter through the bar; note the wall and ceiling paraphernalia on your way into the restaurant.    

 

Agree with vsirin again:  a one-hour drive up 16 to Gorham, NH, then east on Rte 2 over to Newry, ME, will get you to Sunday River, by far the largest of the ski areas we've discussed.  Watch out for moose in the early morning dark as you drive over the pass near Wildcat.  Sunday River is big with 7 peaks, lots of varied terrain, and some seriously steep groomers.  It also has some scattered glades, and dedicated bump runs.  On your way back from Sunday River, stop at the Appalacian Mountain Club Lodge just past Wildcat on the other side of 16.  Check out the gift shop and the big 3-D terrain map of the Mt Washington Presidential range, showing the trail system riddling it.  Then come back in the summer and hike!  This is stunning hike territory.  The AMC offers guided hikes.  Check out their website.  You and your son will love that.

 

You've picked a great area to ski.  Have fun. 

 

 

 

post #19 of 24

quick note Wildcat and Attitash are owned by the same company so if are will to do about 20 minute drive you can ski them both on one ticket.   Wildcat is skiers Mt.  don't go for any extra stuff just ski.  Over 2000 vert. ft in 6 minutes on the quad.   Most vert in New Hampshire.   Most trial are narrow for today standard.  For Big GS turn head to the Bobcat trail  launch off evil-k and let them rip.  On powder day head for thomas brook acess off the polecat.

 

 

post #20 of 24

Oh yeah, forgot about that the lift ticket for Wildcat works for Attitash that day too, and vice versa.

You say you like steeps.  Attitash has a number of jaw-dropping steep groomers.  I don't know what makes your jaw drop, but Ptarmigan, Tim's Trauma, and Idiot's Option are trails I've seen many creep up on, look down, and back away.  They are short, more or less. 

Sunday River has White Heat, a long sustained jaw-dropper of a steep groomer.  Because it's so long, you must be truly ready for it.  

 

post #21 of 24

All good suggestions. Agree with Attitash, Wildcat and of course Cannon. If it dumps and your son is skiing with you head to Bretton Woods and you will ski powder start to finish. Cannon and the others get slashed up by 10 am unless you know where to look, BW does not have the advanced skiers that the others do and holds snow better because its not as steep. It also offers intermediate glades that are great for building confidence and awareness. BW is in the valley and it can snow there for 4 days and you will never catch it listening to the weather report, so check their web site. Same for Cannon.

Personally I would pass on Sunday River unless you want to spend all 4 days there. You will spend one full day on lifts trying to figure out where you should be skiing, only to realize you never found it. Great mountain to ski with a local or a regular for a day.

 

Cannon can be epic in January or....... far less depending on if its weather is inverting. So watch the weather and follow the snow. 

Dress warm and have fun!

post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for the awesome advice. Bretton Woods for my wife and daughter, who think shopping is better than skiing, Wildcat and Cannon for the boy and me, Epicski's members rock!

post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 

We will be arriving Sunday (Jan 7th) and will ski Cranmore that day then Wildcat, Cannon and Bretton Woods. So my NH friends , how is the skiing?

post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by nsskinut View Post

We will be arriving Sunday (Jan 7th) and will ski Cranmore that day then Wildcat, Cannon and Bretton Woods. So my NH friends , how is the skiing?



uh, well... hmmmmm.....

 

I skied Fri, Sat and Sun (today) at Cannon.  I had a great time; there was enough terrain to keep me busy.  Friends skied at Attitash - not much terrain there.  There's a little snow here and there at all the mountains, but how much depends on how much snow they have been able to blow, and how much of it melted with the warm weather.  

 

Cannon today was firmmmmmm at the top and creamy spring conditions at the bottom. Numerous trails are open along with a number of lifts.  One substantial bump run (Rocket) made life interesting for all today, and the soft stuff gently formed pillowlets for everyone to play in.  Cannon's open terrain certainly trumped Attitash - it's has been colder so has been able to hold the snow.  I think BWoods has several trails open too.  Wildcat, well, don't know.  

 

The weather this season has been - let's say - disappointing.

 

It's supposed to get frigid by Tuesday Jan 3 and stay that way for part of the week so the mountains will be able to make snow for a while.  Keep your fingers crossed.  They will do all they can to make your vacation enjoyable.  Mother Nature is fickle, however.  Pray for snow.  

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