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N. Hampshire, etc. Skiing March 2006?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Took day off from work to nurse my June/Mammoth shoulder fissure, hoping to be ready for 10 days solo skiing in Northeast, sometime during 3/6-24.

Although the Loaf is my favorite in the East, I may do without it and/or Sunday R., just to avoid the drive. Ditto for Jay.

I'm thinking of basing in Lincoln, NH and driving to the following: Cannon, Loon, Wildcat, Bretton Woods, Waterville, and Burke, VT (never heard about this last one, but a lot of folks claim it's tops for fall-line groomers??). Already know and like Cannon, Loon is a maybe for 1 day, but never been to the others.

Okay fellow Bears, which of these is not good for Steep, Long, GROOMERS? Which deserve more than 1 day?

I respectfully request you don't suggest Stowe, the Bush, K-mart (which I believe has the crappiest trail layout), Stratton, etc. Been there many times and am looking for new experiences.

Gracias, again!
post #2 of 21
Lincoln is very nice and not far from North Conway which I think of as kind of suburbia but it does offer lots of dining options and shopping. If you're looking for steeps and challenge I'd probably take Bretton Woods off your list. BW offers very nice views of Mt. Washington, excellent snowmaking and grooming, and we've always found it friendly. The but is that it's very mellow. The groomed blacks are solid blues and are pretty short. I've heard the glades are pretty good if the snow is good. I think BW is a great place for folks looking for mellow cruising terrain. I'd go to Loon on weekdays to avoid the weekend crowds. Cannon and Wildcat offer the most challenging terrain.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanky! I don't know why, but I still think BW will get 1 day, just 'cause it's the biggest and best lifts in NH.

Any others?
post #4 of 21
Gpaul,
I would vote for one day at BW (on a weekday), just because you can get in so damn many runs. The previous comments are pretty true though. I found it to be by far having the easiest terrain of the four mountains I skied up that way last March. I don't typically ski too many blacks but I sure did there.

Wildcat was one of the mountains I skied that trip and it has it all (terrain-wise) but one day would probably be enough.

You may also want to check out Attitash-Bear Peak as you'll be right near there too. I found those to have some excellent and challenging (at least for me) terrain.

Have a blast...I may be up that way too during that time frame for a 2-3 day trip.
post #5 of 21
Depending on how the season goes and what the weather is like while you're there, you may want to check out Tuckerman Ravine @ Mount Washington. Even if you aren't comfortable skiing it, it is still a pretty cool experience to check out, especially is the weather is nice and a lot of people are hanging out up there.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gpaul
Thanky! I don't know why, but I still think BW will get 1 day, just 'cause it's the biggest and best lifts in NH.

Any others?
I've really enjoyed BW. Snowmaking, grooming, and infrastructure are about as good as it gets and I've always found it to have a friendly vibe. Great views of Mt. Washington and the presidentials. Great place for folks looking for a mellow day of cruising. From your original post I thought you might be looking for more challenge.
post #7 of 21
Tuck's is generally an April/May kinda deal but who knows this year. Check out http://timefortuckerman.com/ for tons of info.

IMO Loon, WV, Attitash are one-day only deals (if that) as they are pretty lame challenge-wise. (Unless you consider doing laps on ice as challenge). There isn't a ton at Wildcat but it does have great views and is a classic New Englandy kind of place.

I'd take those 10 days and make the drive to ME or Jay (+ Sutton for fun).
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
DRB, you're pushing me to ME, damn that long drive! Between Loon/WV/Attitash, which has the more challenging (and interesting) groomers?

Tuck?? I thought you had to be double-diamond expert, super in-shape for that? If not, I'm game! M-dogg, you rascal!

Wiliiam Tell, we may meet! I'll post my final itinerary as we get closer to dates, but probably more during 3/6-17, don't want to run into that spring meltdown latter part of March....

Keep 'em coming Bears!
post #9 of 21
GPaul, I get a kick out of your proposed ski trips. I share a lot of your interests and enjoy your sense of discovery :-)
Somehow New Hampshire ski country seems less contrived than Vermont. It is definitely worth exploring and provides a nice, more rustic contrast to Vermont. It doesn’t lack touristy towns like North Conway, but Mt. Washington (6,288’) is almost two thousand feet higher than the highest point in Vermont and in some grand way sets a rugged tone for much of the state.
Since you’re thinking of basing yourself at Lincoln, trips to nearby Loon, Cannon and Waterville Valley are very appropriate. I have not skied Loon, but it is a significant mtn with gondola and 2k vert, and right next to Lincoln. I have heard it can be real busy on prime weekends, so the advice to save it for a weekday sounds smart. I like Cannon also, and much preferred it over Waterville. But Waterville seemed to have a strong snowmaking crew. I am a big fan of Wildcat. Terrain-wise it really hits the sweet spot for solid blue and single black level skiers. Neat, twisty, long trails, served by one of the longest, highest, and usually uncrowded high speed quads in New England. I have not been to Burke and BW and that is a tough call on a novel old-timey place (Burke) vs. the well managed on-the-rise BW. Perhaps decide based on general snow conditions at time of visit. BW would be better if the region is not in optimum winter form and relying on manmade snow. Or maybe proximity to your lodgings will dictate some choices. Wildcat has pricing that makes a second day quite inexpensive. Cannon usually has two-fer deals on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays. Not sure about special lift deals at others, but wouldn't be surprised if you checked their websites. NH is generally cheaper to ski than VT.

Here are a couple of musings of possible relevance, first is a somewhat superficial overview of the region, second speaks to my fondness for Wildcat.

http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_a...mode=headlines

http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_a...mode=headlines
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hola Jim! Thanks for links to your articles, which I've already read , just before opening this can of worms! My only dissent with your general report is your fondness of Killington; IMHO it has the worst lay-out (traverses cutting thru most of the good, long runs)! But maybe I'll give it a mid-week chance someday, but not this time, which is all about discovery.

Ok, for the long groomers, is Waterville really worth it for 1 day, given good conditions? Any comments on Attitash? BW, Cannon, Loon, Burke, and your favorite Wildcat (wed and thu) are shoo-ins, with the possible jaunt to Sunday R. and/or the Loaf (hate that drive though).

And thanks again for previous replies to Tahoe et al. In the end our favorite was Mammoth.
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by RISkier
Lincoln is very nice .
Lincoln is tacky as a town. It's too commercial.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RISkier
I'd probably take Bretton Woods off your list. BW offers very nice views of Mt. Washington, excellent snowmaking and grooming, and we've always found it friendly. The but is that it's very mellow. The groomed blacks are solid blues and are pretty short. I've heard the glades are pretty good if the snow is good. I think BW is a great place for folks looking for mellow cruising terrain. .
Geeze guy, why are you giving advice? The glades and tree skiing at BW has everything an expert could want. The only drawback would be that it isn't a good snow year.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RISkier
I'd go to Loon on weekdays to avoid the weekend crowds. Cannon and Wildcat offer the most challenging terrain.
I wouldn't go near Loon on the weekend due to the crouds. Perhaps Black, Cranmore, Ragged or Balsams offer less crouded conditions on weekends, but I don't recommend weekend skiing. The most challenging terrain in N.H. would be the backcountry as it is protected by all sorts of National Forest legislation from mechanical development.
post #12 of 21
Wildcat is my favorite place in NH. If you're staying in Lincoln though, Wildcat is a bit of a haul. I would recommend staying in North Conway and skiing the 'cat. You won't regret it.
post #13 of 21
Be careful if you plan on going to Cannon, the weather is quite fickle up there from my experience. It can fog in quite quickly and have a broad spectrum of conditions depending on what the freeze-thaw cycle has been like in the past few days. Every time I have gone, however, I have had a blast!

Bretton Woods is nice, and I agree with everybody else's opinion about it being nice for a crusin' day. Also good on a powder day if you are not looking for real steeps but instead want some room to boogie. Last year I was up there when they got a few feet. lol, it was several people's first powder time that were in my party. I have never laughed that hard in my life (while also trying not to take a digger myself)

If the weather turns sour or you end up just wanting a smaller place to go for whatever reason (like you're feeling under the weather), try Black Mountain or Cranmore. Black is a small mountain in Jackson, but good for an easy time or if fundage $$ is short. Cranmore is a family oriented place, with a little bit of everything, but nothing rediculous.

This is assuming, of course, there is any snow left up North by the time March rolls around. I will be up there in the first week of March myself, staying in North Conway.

BTW if you like burgers or ribs, you must go to the Muddy Moose. Yum.
post #14 of 21
Cannon is my home mountain. It's not a real big place, but it has a wonderful variety to its trails, so you can remain entertained for a few days there. As others have mentioned, the weather at Cannon can be unique. It's right at the northern entrance to Franconia Notch, so it can get windy and foggy. It has a reputation though that keeps it pretty uncrowded. Let me know if / when you'll be at Cannon and I'll try to give you a tour if you'd like.

Bretton Woods. Don't bother going there if you want anything that's long or steep. You don't so much look "up" the mountain if you're at the base as you look "out". Very mellow terrain, but they do have some sweet glade skiing. i.e., the pitch is such that it's hard to get going scary fast.

Attitash / Bear Peak. Two mountains, but they're connected (you can ski from one to the other). The place gets dissed a lot, but I like to spend a day there occassionally. They have some nice steeper stuff, IMO. The lifts on the Attitash side are s-l-o-w, and the nicest stuff is only accessible off the slow summit chair. Bear Peak has a high-speed chair, but I think the Attitash side is more fun.

Loon. Don't even think about going there on a weekend. I haven't been there in ages.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gpaul
Tuck?? I thought you had to be double-diamond expert, super in-shape for that? If not, I'm game! M-dogg, you rascal!
As others have said, prime-time for Tuckerman's doesn't start until mid-April. Check out http://timefortuckerman.com/; they can tell you far more about the experience. Essentially, it's about a 2.5 mile hike from the road to Lunch Rocks. Quite a few people (as in hundreds) hike in to lunch rocks for the view and the mad party scene and then hike back out. i.e., skiing never enters their minds. Carry lunch, sunscreen, lots of water, etc. It's about another 0.7 miles from lunch rocks to the top of the ravine. Those extra 0.7 miles increase the challenge substantially.
post #15 of 21
If you are there for 2 weeks, definitelly check out Attitash/Bear Peak. For some weird reason i really like that mountain.
post #16 of 21
If youre willing to make the drive from Cannon to Wildcat/Attitash, Sunday River is only 45 minutes away from Wildcat. Bretton Woods has some new glades but generally is a flat mtn. Wildcat is like Cannon, though I think Cannon has the upper hand there (just an opinion). I wouldnt bother with Loon or WV at all either. Id rather do 3 days at Cannon than 1 at WV, Loon and Cannon each. Check your weather though- the Kancamangus Hwy is tough to say the least in bad weather (if its open at all). Attitash is fun for a day too, some steep groomers on it and Bear also. Certainly consider the drive to Sunday River though. Its an easy 45 minutes too- seems even shorter.
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hola again! Good advice all!

Cranmore, is it really worth a day? The trail map looks inviting.

Don't mind driving Lincoln:Wildcat, and it looks like Lincoln will be my major depot 'cept for Fri/Sat, which will be Gorham if going to only to Sunday River, or Farmington if including the Loaf as well.

And snow will be good those days...!!!!
post #18 of 21
If you're looking for good mountains with a lot of character, some challenge and that are not over developed and over crowded Cannon, Wildcat and Burke fit the bill. BW is a nice place but RISkier is dead on it is very mellow. Loon and Waterville can be fun on a weekday with good snow but no match for Cannon or Wildcat on the terrain side.

Cranmore is a nice, small, local mountain. OK for some turns but I don't see it for more than a half day for an experienced skier.

All that aside in March it is all about the conditions and they may be great at one place and not another a few miles away (snow making budgets, strategies, and orientation -- north south facing).
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Tks Robbski! Maybe I've been lucky, but the last 2 times out in early March (2001? and last year) the snow was fantastic! Sunny 75% of days, and windy only 2 days out of 20.

Could be that I jinx my Xmas West trips and bless my March East days....

So y'all, it behooves you to be nice to me if you want to ski the NE in March:!

Have a great Sunday!
post #20 of 21
Go to Waterville and Loon for the groomers (and Bretton Woods if you don't mind not-so-steep). Waterville has steeper trails than either but they will not seem so because their trails are generally quite wide. Both generally have pretty good snowmaking. Cannon and Wildcat have it all over the others you mentioned in terms of steep, interesting terrain, sometimes narrow trails (Wildcat) and character. The views of Washington from Wildcat are superb. The tram ride at Cannon is also not to be missed. Cannon has some great expert slopes on the frontside. The downside is that Wildcat and Cannon can both be scratchy if snowfall has not been abundant. Attitash trails tend to be short, narrow, if you like that. I've never really cared much for the place personally.Cranmore is a place you might want to combine with some shopping on a rest day. Sunday River is not out of the question if you're up for a couple hour drive. It is about an hour or less beyond Wildcat.
Lincoln will be a great base from which to explore these ski areas.
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Tks osin!

Rest day? Jamais! Just take it easier and spend more time in the lodges, but I'm there to ski!

Nice reviews, now all we need is that white stuff to make a permanent appearance until march 5...

Bad news is that my shoulder fissure (idiot at June Mountain, etc.) is still an issue after 29 days, hoping it heals faster!

Gracias all!
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