Loon/Bretton Woods 11/15/19

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  1. #1

    Camera Loon/Bretton Woods 11/15/19

    Headed up to Loon for opening day yesterday and also hit Bretton Woods in the afternoon to pick up my season pass.

    Nice sunny day at Loon with a fairly big crowd for the opening. They only ran the gondola, so that was a bottleneck and I only got in five runs. On the plus side this kept the trails very uncrowded.

    Coverage on the open trails was deep. They'd flattened all the whales, so there were a lot of small ice chunks on the trails until skier traffic started to break it up. But generally conditions were good for an opening day. I decided to use my fat Ripsticks for skis even though I knew there would be no soft snow. That was a good choice since they are great for flying over crud and uneven surfaces.

    Their new RFID gates had some issues. One of them seemed to have a defective sensor on one side so it wouldn't open for a lot of people. But the gates worked without a hitch for my IKON pass and I was thankful I didn't need to get a ticket because there was a huge line of people picking up their season passes.

    Basically it looked like the same old Loon and I didn't notice any upgrades to anything since last season.



    Felt great to be back out on skis. I did a lot of biking over the summer, but I'm far from being in ski shape yet.

    A few pics from Loon:

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  2. #2
    After lunch I went to Bretton, and it was like a ghost town compared to Loon. I guess everyone took their runs in the morning and went home, since when I got there at about 1pm there seemed to be about 30 skiers on the whole mountain.

    The new gondola is up and running and the cabins are huge compared to the phone booth sized cabins at Loon. The cabins are mostly windows and much of the liftline is above the tree tops, so you get great views of the surrounding mountains and valley. Of course the lift is a lot more exposed to the wind up high, but the cabins are heavy and showing off the nice views is worth it. So it's quite a beautiful lift.

    Only gripe is the line speed is fairly slow, so it feels like about the speed of a fixed grip. Little old ladies will have no problem boarding the cabins. One group that will really benefit from this lift are the disabled mono-skiers, of which there are quite a few at Bretton. I think they should be able to board the big cabins without stopping the lift.

    The new mountain top lodge is still under construction. Looks like most of the exterior is done, but they still need to put on the exterior cladding. They had quite a few construction guys on site working and they were putting the finishing touches on the lift shacks for the gondola. I think they planned the development well and it's going to be a winner for Bretton.

    They really only had two trails open, but they had nicer snow than Loon. On one trail they hadn't flattened the whales, so it was a trail of large rollers and that was fun. The higher unload of the gondola compared to the Bethlehem was more beneficial than I expected since the snow up there was nicer. The Outer Bounds trail had the best snow and I was flying down it before making a hard right turn onto Crawford's Blaze, which was the whale run. Then on the way back up in the Gondola I had time to read a few chapters of War and Peace and make a few phone calls.

    It was overcast and colder up at Bretton than at Loon, and they have quite a bit of natural snow on the ground. I hit some ungroomed areas and it was deep enough to not scrape down to the grass. But I didn't do a lot of that since it was my first day out and I didn't want to stress out my legs too much.

    A few pics:

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    It looked like the trails that were open had new HKD snow guns on them. They cranked out a lot of snow with the cold temps.

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  3. #3
    A couple more gratuitous gondola shots:

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    High enough for ya? Houston we have cleared the Bethlehem, going for throttle up.

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    Tis the season to be jolly

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  4. #4
    Edd's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
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    Newmarket, NH
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    Do you know if they’re planning to open the new summit lodge this season?


    Sent from my iPad using AlpineZone

  5. #5
    They're saying it won't open until next fall. I think they will just finish up the roof and exterior and then wait until next summer to dress out the interior.

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