Thamks for the suggestions folks, I made my choice based on trailmaps and ended up on my own. Sunapee was a lot of fun.
Since I'm going to be in the Boston Mass. area for business next week, took along the ski clothes and boots to get some runs in. I've never skied east of Devner so this was going to be an adventure in NE ice.
Woke up super early on Sunday and hit the road for Mount Sunapee up in New Hampshire. Three hours of mostly two lane roads thru picturesque little towns later, I was showing my Snoq's season pass and telling our tale of no-snow-woe to the gal at Guest services hoping to get a few bucks off the $56 lift ticket. She stunned me with "poor guy, how does an employees ticket for $25 sound?" Score one for the pity effect!
Rented a set of Rossi Bandit X's in a 185 length and out to the lifts I went.
Temps went from the mid-20's to almost 30. Pretty light winds (especialy for HN per the locals - 20 MPH is common). Blue sky with a few scattered clouds.
Natural snow base was about 2 feet deep, on-piste with a manmade base was 56". New snow last night 4-5 inches of reasonably light powpow (Seattle equivelent = very light crude) over a foot from 2 days ago. The locals were raving that this was about the best it's been all season so far, and Id have to agree that this was my best day so far this season.
Most of the runs are fairly wide (20-30 meters) and pretty empty until 11ish. After warming up on a few groomers to get the feel of the sticks, I hooked up with a father/daghter piar who were getting set to hit the Ridge Glades for freshies. The top 30 yards of the entry was a little bony and tufts of grass & rock were starting to come out, but it opened up after that and we were getting boot deep first tracks and crosses while dodging thru 10" diameter birch trees that were spaced 5-15 feet apart. A nice intro to eastern glade skiing which is looser and way better vis than the typical PNW cedar choked stuff I'm used to. The glades were only good for one more and then got pretty badly tracked out so I spent the rest of the day burning down the mainlines. They tarted to get scrubbed down to the underlying manmade "scaaaaaaape" in spots after 11. I only stopped for water and some Balance bars to eat up at the Summit Lodge, so I called it a day around 2 when the legs started to wear out.
Compared to what I was expecting, there was plenty of room to manuever around folks. A couple of folks commented that the crowd was on the light side though.
Comparing to elsewhere I've been, I'd say Sunapee was like a mini-Steamboat without the long-ass flats at the bottom.
The Sunbowl fixed grip Quad was pretty light crowdwise. Typically under 2 minutes to load, and often just a couple or three chairs to wait. The big lift Sunapee Express looked crowded but the single's line made for under 5 minute waits. Only rode a couple of the other lifts once, and I stayed away from the beginner lifts across the parking lot.
Runs taken (Left to right on the trailmap)
Porky's-Upper Williamson-Crossover or Upper Wingding-to-middle & lower Wingding along with Liftline which was nice soft moguls. Hawes Hideout (pretty narrow slot thru some trees)-Sunrise Glade-Skyway-Sundance-Lower Cataract (The glades below Cataract were way to bony even with rentals). Guster-Eggbeater. Lynx. Upper Ridge-Ridge Glades-Outer Ridge-or-Upper Ridge-Lower Ridge-or-Portage.