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Loon Expansion?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
in writing another post, i had referrenced a couple o' loons trails and pulled up an online trail map. i had heard about the proposed expansion, but when i saw the trail map it seemed to good to be true! i've never been a huge fan of loon due to huge crowds and limited expert terrain, but with this expansion, it looks like they are pretty much doubling their diamond terrain, and essentially building another ski area seperate from the main resort (may keep crowds lower than the main resort?).

just curious when this project is due to be complete, how much has been done so far, any web sites with news or updates, and other peoples thoughts?
post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 
online trail map is here
post #3 of 5
The expansion trails were cut back in summer of 1997, but the lift didn't go in then b/c the snowmaking permission wasn't yet available (or something like that). During the 1997/98 season snowcat tours were offered, natural snow permitting (which it seldom is there, with something like 120-inch average annual snowfall).

Then even more environmental setbacks occurred, with the whole area declared some sort of fragile reseeding zone. So if you strap on your skins and try to go backcountry skiing there, warning signs state that you are subject to arrest and fines, etc.

This year all pass holder received a plea from Loon to send a postcard in to the US Forest Service showing approval for the expansion plan. (This would entail the upgrade of the North Peak fixed- grip triple to a detachable quad, plus other improvements.) Stay tuned...
post #4 of 5
Just thought that I'd give the lastest update on this.

I met with one of the Mtn Managers from Loon a couple days ago and asked him for a briefing on this subject.

The Mtn did cut this in '97, but there were never snowcat tours offered to the terrain. The trails that were cut were on public land and before the development was in legal question, the terrain was acessable for skiing with a short hike, the only broken rule was leaving the ski area boundry.

Once the matter was in court this terrain was closed to public access by the forest service, and the above mentioned fines as well as a six month jail term were imposed on anyone caught on the closed terrain.

The latest on this development is that most of the major opponents to the development have backed down from their legal opposition and the remaining questions have been up for public comment. The comments now are being addressed by Loon in their proposal to the court. This proposal must be signed off on by the forest ranger that has jurisdiction over this area before it will be considered by the court. This is slowing the process a little because there has been a change of rangers within the past year. this means that the ranger that loon had worked with in the initial development no longer has a say and Loon must now make things appeal to the new ranger.

Loons plan is to have this new proposal ready for submission within a month or so. Once this is done the court will make a ruling and the expantion will either be stoped again at that point, or will then be a go.

I was told that if the plans were approved that Loon was ready to make a big move on this and would like to have some of the terrain ready for either the winter of '02 or'03.

My last comment is that if this is done it will be fun! I have spent numerous days on the new terain and the trails are good. There are some steeps (as the east goes), a great set of glades, and an OK cruiser.

Hope for the best and look for an update around New Years.
post #5 of 5

This may be of interest to you guys... the link details some of the past history of the proposed expansion.

The original expansion project began back when I was a kid skiing with my parents every weekend up there. 15 years later it still hasn't been approved. As of this weekend I'll be a property owner in Lincoln, so here's hoping it comes through sooner than later! I love Loon, but it definitely could use the expanded terrain.
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