First time to Loon Mountain: Jan 8, 2005

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  1. #1
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    First time to Loon Mountain: Jan 8, 2005

    Date(s) Skied: January 8, 2005

    Resort or Ski Area: Loon Mountain Resort, Lincoln, NH

    Conditions: Variable--P/PPDR and FRGR surfaces. Ice in high traffic areas. 2" of new snow while we were there.

    Trip Report: FREE SKIING was a great way to start the new year. As I said last week in the forum, we were lucky enough to win two tickets from WBZ newsradio for the trip to Loon. We got up at 4:45am (earliest for a trip to the slopes) and got ready for our day. As Charlie and others put it, the bus ride was great because we could relax and not have to worry about driving. The Bloom Charter Driver did a good job and got us to the mountain at 8:30 am!! We were greeted by the friendly mountain ambassadors who handed us maps and tickets before we disembarked for the Governor Adams lodge and the Kanc Quad. After booting up, we loaded the Kanc Quad and talked with some locals about the conditions. "For once the skiing is better over here than it is on the other side," they said, so we decided to take a couple runs on Rampasture and Rumrunner before heeding fellow AZer's advice and heading to North Peak.

    We arrived at the North Peak area to find the Express Quad Corral area PACKED , which was contrary to what we all thought here in AZ, so we took the East Basin Double to the summit where we took Bear Claw Extension to Flying Fox and back to the North Peak area. The conditions were scratchy and icy already and the crowds were excessive. By the time we arrived back at the double, the line there was crazy, so we braved the fifteen minute wait for the North Peak Express Quad and ventured over to Upper and Lower Walking Boss. The views were impressive with Mt. Washington poking over the Whites. There are three things that we all dislike--crowds, steep trails, and ice, and though I can handle each of them, having all three thrown at us on Upper Walking Boss was a bit challenging. The Lower Section was better though since the traffic could spread out. From here, we boarded the double and took Angel and Basin Street back to the Camp III area and then Brookway to the base. Angel Street had just reopened and was icy but Basin Street was in good shape. Our last run before lunch was the Bear Claw-Speakeasy-Rumrunner route to the base, which was nice and relaxing.

    After an early lunch, we met up with my boss and his wife for some nice runs on Lower Picked Rock before we took the Gondola to the summit and Picked Rock all the way back to the base. Ms. Trailboss was quite tired and opted to head to the lodge while I managed to cover a lot of terrain that I wished to ski. By this point in the early afternoon, most of the mountain had cleared and it was snowing quite hard. The North Peak Express had slowed to a trickle of skiers and riders, making it possible for me to enjoy Lower Angel Street, Upper and Lower Flume, and other trails at the summit. Upper Flume was manageable and was reminiscent of Burke's Bear Den Ledges or Sugarbush's Ripcord. It was a nice run! Having covered so much of the mountain in such a short time using that one lift explained why it was so popular.

    I returned to the base where I found Ms. Trailboss ready to head to the main area for the WBZ Apres Party. We grabbed a burger at the slopeside restaurant and headed back to the bus and Boston. In all, a decent day given the crowds and lack of snow this year.



    SUMMARY:

    The Goods:
    Fast lifts, nice people, good terrain (including some narrower stuff on the top which had retained its natural rolls and bumps), good facilities and views. Accessible. Got better once the crowds cleared. FREE day!

    The Not-So-Goods: Saturday Crowds (to be expected) , lack of real expert terrain, excessive lines at ALL lifts , lack of routes off of North Peak Express made traffic volume heavy and trails scratchy. Odd trail configuration at bottom made it tricky to get between areas (due to some trails being opened and others closed).

    I can understand why this is a great place...give me a weekday there and I'm sure it would be a lot better (as is the case with ALL ski areas)

    My thanks to you all for your advice and help!
    Live, Ski, or Die!


  2. #2
    Greg's Avatar
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    Re: First time to Loon Mountain: Jan 8, 2005

    Well...look at it this way - you had the opportunity to experience Loon in all it's Saturday-glory!

    Quote Originally Posted by thetrailboss
    We arrived at the North Peak area to find the Express Quad Corral area PACKED , which was contrary to what we all thought here in AZ
    What time to you get over there?

    Quote Originally Posted by thetrailboss
    Odd trail configuration at bottom made it tricky to get between areas (due to some trails being opened and others closed).
    I never thought much about this, but you're right. The train is the only way to easily get between the separate base areas...

    Try it again on a weekday and when the rest of the mountain opens. The bump runs should give you some expert challenge as will Triple Trouble.

    How was the quad by the way, i.e. how long was the ride?
    I ski double black diamonds.

  3. #3
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    Re: First time to Loon Mountain: Jan 8, 2005

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg
    Quote Originally Posted by thetrailboss
    We arrived at the North Peak area to find the Express Quad Corral area PACKED , which was contrary to what we all thought here in AZ
    What time to you get over there?
    We got to North Peak at 10am. It was packed until after 2pm or so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg
    How was the quad by the way, i.e. how long was the ride?
    It was a swift 5 minute ride. Literally, up in five minutes and off to the trails on the summit area.
    Live, Ski, or Die!


  4. #4
    Well it sounds like you had a good time. The North Peak area can be cursed between 10:00 to 2:00 on Saturdays as well as Sunday's 10:00 to 1:00 during busy weekends.

    Because of a lack of natural snow, the expert trails aren't open yet...however the East Basin Area including Angel Street from the top is a good trail...my favorite is Triple Trouble, where I've watched good skiers not ski it well, they survive it. It seems trail camber and the lemon squeeze in the middle seems to throw them off...

    I enjoy the glades there, however they really are best left for mid-March through April after a good year of natural snow. There is some very good off-piste glade skiing east of Walking Boss...I heard some guys drop into the Loon Pond area, but I’ve not played in there…

    Although I ski there most Sundays, I’ve become numb to the crowd issue there. I ski where I want, take a break when I feel crowded, eat early, ski noon and when I’m satisfied, retire for the day…

  5. #5
    Greg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Schuessler
    my favorite is Triple Trouble, where I've watched good skiers not ski it well, they survive it. It seems trail camber and the lemon squeeze in the middle seems to throw them off...
    Hey! I like that trail too! Can't wait to rock out there in March with you, Charlie! Gotta love the squeeze in the middle!
    I ski double black diamonds.

  6. #6
    Vortex's Avatar
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    Sat runs at Loon were good until about 11.30 ish. I thought the East Basin double did get busier than usual.
    Sounds like you did it right (ThetrailBoss)
    I skiied the afternoon as well, alot of people were in the bar and did not want to ski while it snowed. Your Evaluation I felt was accurate, kind of what a weekend is like there. Charlie is correct you just get so use to the crowds it does not bother you as much. Glad you made it.
    Skiing is my addiction.

  7. #7
    blankout
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    Good report!

    Weekends at Loon can be tough! To add to the congestion, the lines at the North Peak Quad are extra long these days because the lift was recently upgraded. Now everyone and their brother feels the need to ride the new lift to see what it is all about.

    Combine that with the fact that the uphill capacity of the new Quad is the same as the old Triple (which means the new lift does nothing to allieviate the lines that historically tend to congregate there) and you have a recipe for even longer lines than usual!

  8. #8
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blankout
    Good report!

    Combine that with the fact that the uphill capacity of the new Quad is the same as the old Triple (which means the new lift does nothing to allieviate the lines that historically tend to congregate there) and you have a recipe for even longer lines than usual!
    Really? I noticed that the chairs were really spaced out on the line.
    Live, Ski, or Die!


  9. #9
    Greg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thetrailboss
    Quote Originally Posted by blankout
    Good report!

    Combine that with the fact that the uphill capacity of the new Quad is the same as the old Triple (which means the new lift does nothing to allieviate the lines that historically tend to congregate there) and you have a recipe for even longer lines than usual!
    Really? I noticed that the chairs were really spaced out on the line.
    We've talked about this here. The new HSQ has a design capacity of 1,550 pph, while the the North Peak triple had an actual capacity of 1,100 pph.
    I ski double black diamonds.

  10. #10
    blankout
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    That's not what Kathy Bennet (Loon's Marketing Director) had to say a few months back.

    When discussing the North Peak Quad's uphill capacity she said it will "be about the same because of the difference between fixed grip and detachable"

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