>>I really don't have any experience on any of these mountains or the >>mountains of the threedom pass.
Loon - Good for cruising and parks (if you like them). Mobbed on weekends. No steeps, they groom the personality right out of the snow. About 20 of their trails seem exactly the same to me.
Waterville - Wide open runs.. Compact area overall though. Also busy weekends.
Cranmore- Never been, but it is small and low elevation.
>>I haven't been to
mt. (no) snow - lacking in vertical, but quite wide, good variety of blue runs. black runs are conveniently grouped on the 'north face'. Far enough south to usually have less snow than the rest of vt
>>either in ages and never really heard of
crotched mt. - small, but very well groomed and good snowmaking and lights. More of an after work diversion, not a destination resort
Sunapee and Okemo both have nice long cruisers off of hs-quads. Both are lacking in steep. Sunapee, although much smaller than Okemo, seems to make the most of their hill with glades and wrinkles and cuts here and there. I find both of these to be top of the charts on the fun cruising scale and near complete failures on the challenge scale. The other thing about these places is that they are among the best during a snow drought, so if you are the kind that likes to get out early season, or at set times regardless of snow, good pass to buy. If you wait for natural snow, ski glades alot, etc.. look elsewhere. Stratton I have very little experience with, but it seems to fit that same mold as well.
Since their midweek pass price was so affordable and sunapee is very close to me I went with that pass. I'll make trips to more rugged mtns when snow conditions allow.