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New England 2022-2023 Northeast Ski Resorts/Conditions/Meetups

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Crank

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Hmm... a day each at Wildcat and Cannon would also hit my yearly goal of at least two new resorts.
Both good hills. Caveat: They may not have the best snowmaking/grooming around so if there isn't good natural snow, a possibility if not a likelihood...ok, maybe more of a likelihood than a possibility.

I know WIldcat was talked about quite a bit last season, not in a good way, regarding Vail's stewardship and how the locals felt about that.

I know I have experienced some of the worst and some of the best conditions at Cannon. Though I have not skied there in a few decades so WTFDIK?
 

James

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One other thought... any preference between places as far as Saturday crowd avoidance?
Oh, now we’re getting picky.
Wildcat- you can freeze to death alone, with a nice view. It could be worse, you could be on Mt Washington.

Canon- new adventures on a frozen bowling ball. Or maybe pow? No fear of taking the tram that could’ve been in WW2, Where Eagles Dare. Summer only.
You could technically visit two areas if you ski Mittersill.

Loon now has the most advanced chairlift in North America. (Last year at least) You and seven strangers for only five minutes.
Moving carpet loading. Wonder how that’s going.
 
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dbostedo

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Loon now has the most advanced chairlift in North America.
Looks like a copy of the Big Sky Ramcharger. Nice - though I didn't think the heated seats had much effect. It wasn't bitterly cold though either.
 

ScottB

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From Nashua, you will be on Rt 93, which means Loon, Cannon, Waterville are 2 hrs or less away, not 3. You can also cut off 93 onto 89 North and get to Sunapee in 2 hrs. Keep going on 89 N and you get to Kton, or Okemo (Okemo is longer due to back roads). You could also go West instead of North and try Mt Snow or Stratton or Magic or Bromley.

To get to Wildcat you have to get to the other side of Mt Washington, which adds an hour, but is scenic. Opens up Attitash and Bretton Woods as well.

You have a Friday and a Saturday. Cannon limits ticket sales so is not mobbed on weekends. It should be on your bucket list and I would recommend it for your trip. Make sure you go over to the Mittersill side for a few runs, which is a separate small area where they have their race program with some great trails. I would recommend you go to Loon on Friday, which is Ikon, as it won't be that crowded, and you can beat the crowds as MDF has outlined. Lincoln NH is where Loon is and has decent reasonable lodging. Loon has pretty good variety and I always enjoy my day there. I use my 5 Ikon days every year there as its the closest 2K mtn to me in MA. There are several other slightly smaller area's off 93, such as Gunstock (which was in the news cycle), but Cannon and Loon would be the best skiing off 93. Bretton woods is about 30 min north of Cannon, so another option. Say hello to @LiquidFeet while you are there.

Wildcat is great for the views, but it is old, in bad shape, lousy snowmaking. When its got good natural snow, its iconic, but otherwise it needs some cash infused. Its a throwback mtn. The nearby town, North Conway is great though, so good lodging and eats.
 

ScottB

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Loon now has the most advanced chairlift in North America. You and seven strangers.
Moving carpet loading. Wonder how that’s going.

I have ridden the new chair a couple of days last season. Its nice, really no complaints. It seems like overkill though, although I was not there on crowded days and probably never had more than 4 people in the 8 person chair. My biggest WTF?? about it is it only goes 1/2 way up the mtn, same height as the old 4 person chain. I guess it saved money, but my God they should have extended it to the top of the mtn.

When I first drove to the mtn and saw the chair, I thought they built a new lodge, its like skiing into a barn, fully enclosed and artificial lighting. The roof is very high, like 3 stories. On a crowded day, I would be concerned about how many skiers are being dumped into a small number of runs on that side of the mtn. I don't have the best track record getting on and off lifts, but the bubble and foot rests are all automatic and I think they knocked my poles off on one occasion. I didn't ever notice the heated seats, maybe they weren't on when I was there?
 

James

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I guess it saved money, but my God they should have extended it to the top of the mtn.
If it’s anything like VT, making a chair longer means new permits. Likely a three year process. Considering the chair will be there for 30yrs, and the old chair was there for ? at least 30 prob, I don’t get the rush. Vail did the same thing.
 

LiquidFeet

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I'd be happy to meet up with you at Cannon either of those days. My ski club is in Lincoln, so Cannon is near me. I used to teach at Cannon. Good times. Bretton Woods, where I've most recently taught, is a nice 45 minute drive with views. So if you want to ski at Bretton Woods, I'd be happy to meet you there.

I don't have a pass so probably won't fork over the Epic day price to ski at Wildcat.

Views: All three have great views of nearby snow-covered mountains.
Bumps: BWoods has bump runs of progressive difficulty. A never-ever bump skier can learn there. An aggressive skier who has no interest in groomers can find some twisty bumped up goat paths and somewhat tight, steepish glades that will keep them happy. Cannon and Mittersill have mostly tough bump runs, many with double fall lines. Wildcat has graduated difficulty bump runs, and on a good day you can ski almost all the way from the summit to the base under the summit chair on mild bumps.
Trees: BWoods has glades of progressive difficulty. Some are really short; others not. Many low pitch glades. It also has a T-bar accessing "back country" glades on blue and black pitches. Cannon and Mittersill have high intensity glades, steep and tight. There's not much in the medium challenge category, and almost nothing easy. There's plenty of off-map glade skiing. For this reason Cannon is known as a "skier's mountain." The tree runs at Wildcat tend to be at the challenging end of the spectrum.
Groomers: BWoods has tons of easy peasy green and blue groomers, some of them genuinely wide. If you are into relaxed cruising, or want to work on your carving skills, or do drills, this is the place to do those things. Its snow does not tend to ice up. The mountain has enough money to maintain excellent groomers; I've only skied on ball bearings once in all my years skiing there. That cannot be said of Cannon or Wildcat. There are a few steep gulp-inducing (for most people) drops at BWoods, but they are short, short, short. Cannon has mostly narrow groomers, and a few old school winding ones from the top. People like to zoom around those curves at speed. If you want gulp-inducing (for most people) steep groomers, you can have them at Cannon. They will tend to be icy. But New Englanders know how to handle that. Wildcat has mostly narrow groomers. Narrow groomers are fun when you aren't surrounded by other skiers clumped together and traveling at different speeds. It also has a 2 mile long groomer along its northern perimeter that is fun to ski at full speed when no one's around. But Wildcat does get high intensity up-slope winds sometimes, earning it the reputation of being windy. It isn't windy every day though. And on a clear day you can look over at Tuckerman Ravine and almost see the line of boot-packers working their way up the headwall.
Snow: Because of the surrounding mountains, BWoods is protected from wind. So when it snows the wind doesn't blow the freshies into the trees. After a storm it's a great place to ski, as long as you know how to manage our NEngland dense snow on low pitch terrain. And BWoods blows a ton of snow. Cannon has a traffic congestion problem at the top of the main lift. There are limited ways to get from one area to another, so traffic polishes the snow surface on those runs to a nice shine - before lunch on any weekday. Even without a thaw, Cannon earns its reputation of being icy. But but but, Cannon blows humongous whales at the start of the season and leaves them up for a long time. Those formations make for a great adventure playground. Cannon always opens the trails when there are whales on them. I've never seen whales on an open trail at BWoods, nor at Wildcat. Natural snow at Wildcat is plentiful, but it does get blown into the woods by those heavy duty winds coming across the valley from Mt. Washington. So WIldcat is great when it's great. But Vail has pretty much abandoned the maintenance of its snow-blowing apparatus over the last few years. I hope they have decided that they must update failing pipes etc in order to avoiding the need to sell the place. But I haven't heard anything in the news lately about updates.
Terrain parks: BWoods has a low key terrain park. Cannon wins with its competition size jumps. Is there a terrain park at Wildcat? Can't remember one.
Lodges and parking: BWoods has a nicely appointed base lodge, with nearby parking that doesn't involve negotiating a hill with all your gear. It also has a brand new luxury lodge at the top of the gondola. It is used for weddings, but they graciously open it for skiers in the winter. Bathrooms are new in that lodge. This is unexpected for a New England ski area lodge, so I am mentioning it. Cannon's Peabody base lodge has a big active bar, a tiny cafeteria, and old seating that's serviceable but nothing to write home about. It feels very user-friendly in there with no pretensions at all. The parking lot that accesses this Peabody base lodge does involve a bit of an uphill slog, and on a crowded day you might need to park across the street or down the road and take a shuttle. Cannon's other base lodge at the tram, just off I-93, is really small and old. I don't ever start my day there. Cannon also has a summit lodge with a nice cafeteria and bar. It's a great place to take a mid-morning break, or to warm up when it's subzero outside. Wildcat's base lodge is old and needs updating. But it's spacious and the bar scene on weekends has good music. The water in the bathrooms smells like sulfur and looks yellow. Parking does not involve walking uphill.

@dbostedo, I hope this helps you decide where to go. These three are my favorite mountains in New England.
 
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dbostedo

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I'd be happy to meet up with you at Cannon either of those days. My ski club is in Lincoln, so Cannon is near me. I used to teach at Cannon. Good times. Bretton Woods, where I've most recently taught, is a nice 45 minute drive with views. So if you want to ski at Bretton Woods, I'd be happy to meet you there.

I don't have a pass so probably won't fork over the Epic day price to ski at Wildcat.

Views: All three have great views of nearby snow-covered mountains.
Bumps: BWoods has bump runs of progressive difficulty. A never-ever bump skier can learn there. Cannon and Mittersill have mostly tough bump runs, many with double fall lines. Wildcat has graduated difficulty bump runs, and on a good day you can ski almost all the way from the summit to the base under the summit chair on mild bumps.
Trees: BWoods has glades of progressive difficulty. Some are really short; others not. Many low pitch glades. Cannon and Mittersill have high intensity glades. There's not much in the medium challenge category, and almost nothing easy. For this reason Cannon is known as a "skier's mountain." The tree runs at Wildcat tend to be at the challenging end of the spectrum.
Groomers: BWoods has tons of easy peasy green and blue groomers, some of them genuinely wide. If you are into relaxed cruising, or want to work on your carving skills, or do drills, this is the place to do those things. There are a few steep gulp-inducing (for most people) drops, but they are short, short, short. Cannon has mostly narrow groomers, and a few old school winding ones from the top. People like to zoom around those curves at speed. If you want gulp-inducing (for most people) steep groomers, you can have them at Cannon. Wildcat has mostly narrow groomers. This is fun when you aren't surrounded by other skiers clumped together. It also has a 2 mile long groomer on its north perimeter that is fun to ski at full speed when no one's around. But Wildcat does get high intensity up-slope winds sometimes, earning it the reputation of being windy. It isn't windy every day though. And on a clear day you can look over at Tuckerman Ravine and almost see the line of boot-packers working their way up the headwall.
Snow: Because of the surrounding mountains, BWoods is protected from wind. So when it snows the wind doesn't blow the freshies into the trees. After a storm it's a great place to ski, as long as you know how to manage our NEngland dense snow on low pitch terrain. And BWoods blows a ton of snow. Cannon has a traffic congestion problem at the top of the main lift. There are limited ways to get from one area to another, so traffic polishes the snow surface on those runs to a nice shine - before lunch on any weekday. Even without a thaw, Cannon earns its reputation of being icy. But but but, Cannon blows humongous whales at the start of the season and leaves them up for a long time. Those formations make for a great adventure playground. Cannon always opens the trails when there are whales on them. I've never seen whales on an open trail at BWoods, nor at Wildcat. Natural snow at Wildcat is plentiful, but it does get blown into the woods by those heavy duty winds coming across the valley from Mt. Washington. So WIldcat is great when it's great. But Vail has pretty much abandoned the maintenance of its snow-blowing apparatus over the last few years. I hope they have decided that they must update failing pipes etc in order to avoiding the need to sell the place. But I haven't heard anything in the news lately about updates.
Terrain parks: BWoods has a low key terrain park. Cannon wins with its competition size jumps. Is there a terrain park at Wildcat? Can't remember one.
Lodges and parking: BWoods has a nicely appointed base lodge, with nearby parking that doesn't involve negotiating a hill with all your gear. It also has a brand new luxury lodge at the top of the gondola. It is used for weddings, but they graciously open it for skiers in the winter. Bathrooms are new in that lodge. This is unexpected for a New England ski area lodge, so I am mentioning it. Cannon's Peabody base lodge has a big active bar, a tiny cafeteria, and old seating that's serviceable but nothing to write home about. It feels very user-friendly in there with no pretensions at all. The parking lot that accesses this Peabody base lodge does involve a bit of an uphill slog, and on a crowded day you might need to park across the street or down the road and take a shuttle. Cannon's other base lodge at the tram, just off I-93, is really small and old. I don't ever start my day there. Cannon also has a summit lodge with a nice cafeteria and bar. It's a great place to take a mid-morning break, or to warm up when it's subzero outside. Wildcat's base lodge is old and needs updating. But it's spacious and the bar scene on weekends has good music. The water in the bathrooms smells like sulfur and looks yellow. Parking does not involve walking uphill.

@dbostedo, I hope this helps you decide where to go. These three are my favorite mountains in New England.
Lots of great info... thanks! :)
 

James

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Insane snow storm near Buffalo!
Three to six feet on flat land. Sad.
This is why I think we should build a 2k ft vert landfill there.

 
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dbostedo

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This is why I think we should build a 2k ft vert landfill there.
Put it right downtown and offer free one hour lessons and develop a bunch of new skiers! You could replace the zoo with it. Who needs a zoo? Or maybe where the botanical gardens are. You could grow some pine trees on it.
 
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dbostedo

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Not too far from Holiday Valley in E-ville.
Current projections for Holiday Valley are only showing like 5-7". Those big lake effect dumps can be very localized. The huge one a few years ago was pretty isolated to a specific narrow corridor.


"Over 5 feet of snow fell over areas just east of Buffalo, with mere inches a few miles away to the north."

1668792569700.png
 

LiquidFeet

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Insane snow storm near Buffalo!
Three to six feet on flat land. Sad.
This is why I think we should build a 2k ft vert landfill there.

Like this?
May be an image of outdoors and text that says 'SKIOLOGY CONSIDERING GOFUNDME CAMPAIGN TO BUILD MOUNTAIN NEXT TO GREAT LAKES'

 

JCF

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Loon now has the most advanced chairlift in North America. (Last year at least) You and seven strangers for only five minutes.
Moving carpet loading. Wonder how that’s going.

I thought the lift was great.
No lines even when it started to get crowded in the afternoon except on the gondola which is always crowded (even weekdays)
Fridays - (I don't go there on weekends) the lift is the most comfortable place to be.
 

James

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Brutal drive tonight on Rte 7 in VT. You know it’s bad when 20mph on a 55mph road seems crazy at times. No lines, all white, no tracks! Snow not derp enough and wind kept blowing. Passed by a semi, then it disappeared into the white! No tracks to follow either. Just weird. Fortunately, it only lasted less than 10 miles.
 

TheArchitect

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Anyone else getting cranky about the weather? I’m thinking about going up this Saturday but the rain on Wednesday may change that thinking.
 

SKI-3PO

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Anyone else getting cranky about the weather? I’m thinking about going up this Saturday but the rain on Wednesday may change that thinking.
Yes, but in fairness I’m always cranky about the weather at this time of year.

And I’m more worried about the Saturday weather.
 

ScottB

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Sunday River is having a demo day on Saturday which I am thinking about attending. Would like more open terrain so will see what happens this week before making the call.
 

Wilhelmson

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After a short hiatus I am happy to have an actual ski report.
Sunday River had some nice conditions on Friday with some soft snow and a bit of fresh natural snow on top. 4 lifts were running with more terrain open than has been usual for November the past few years.
By Saturday the soft snow had frozen up but the sides of the trails were soft with small bumps here and there.
I don’t know how the ski areas fared with the weather last night but they have some cool nights ahead. It was definitely worth the trip this past weekend idk about next week.
 
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