• Welcome to AlpineZone, the largest online community of skiers and snowboarders in the Northeast!

    You may have to REGISTER before you can post. Registering is FREE, gets rid of the majority of advertisements, and lets you participate in giveaways and other AlpineZone events!

16-18 Feb 2021 - Wildcat/Sunday River/Attitash - Mixed Conditions

Mum skier

Active member
Jan 25, 2021
Resort or Ski Area
Wildcat Mountain
Feb 16, 2021
Snow Conditions
  1. Ice
Returned on Friday from a 3 day Presidents week NE ski trip to visit 3 new areas for us. Sorry no pictures.
Day 0, Monday 15th: To avoid an early morning drive the following day in the predicted snowstorm we brought our departure forward and drove from the Boston area to NH on Monday night.
Day 1, Tuesday 16th, Wildcat: Well the predicted snow storm did not happen and rather than 5" of powder there was 2" of ice to wake up to. And the summit lift was closed due to icing. We sat in the motel for a while moping, but as we were only 10 mins away decided to go anyway as surely they would get the lift up and running by lunchtime. And conditions were GREAT once the freezing rain stopped about lunchtime. On the groomed runs there was a few inches of what seemed like granulated sugar, which became a bit heavy and spring like by the afternoon. The bumps were soft and a lot of fun. The kids found some glades and other tracks where the descents involved more mountaineering skills than skiing skills! but were also great fun and warmed us up. The only disappointment was the summit lift never opened so we missed out on the top section of the mountain. We seemed to be the only people there, no lines whatsoever, easy to get into the lodge for food and drink and parked about 10 yards from the lodge.
Day 2, Weds 17th, Sunday River: Got there about 10.30 and long lines at the south ridge base area. Once away from there moderate lines on the other express lifts, but no lines at any slow lifts. Hard packed conditions which became more and more icy throughout the day. Kids found routes under a few lifts and in glades, but too hard for grown ups! However I am happy to report that although the kids (9 and 10) leave us for dust in glades or on bumps, we still have the advantage on a steep icy pitch. I enjoy the hard pack and steeper runs, but it became very wind blown by later in the day. Even at 1.30 pm we were not able to get inside for lunch and had to eat fast outside to stay warm. Jordan lift was on hold most of the day, but in the end we did not make it over to that side of the mountain. Skied until about 5.00pm.
Day 3, Thurs 18th, Attitash: Very busy at 11.00 when we arrived at the main base area. Lines eased off a little over the lunch hour but still about 5-10 mins each time, and headed over to Bear about 2.00 pm. No line at Abernaki lift but still a long line at Bear only easing off after 3.00pm. Hard packed conditions, similar to SR the day before, and became harder as the day progressed, so mostly stayed on the groomed areas. Easy enough to get in for some food after 2.00 pm. Got the last lift up at Bear at 4.00.01 pm!
Day 4, considered going to Sunapee on the way home, but we had had enough of ice skiing and standing in lift lines.

Logistics: Stayed at the Town and Country Inn in Gorham which serves as a good midway point for these three destinations. Basic room (no kitchen) for all 4 of us to share was pretty cheap and fine for 3 nights. Good food (though slow service) in the restaurant for dinner and breakfast. Kids were happy to have a swim each evening. Covid requirements were signing a form to say you had no symptoms. At SR I had to pick up our 4-pack tickets using an MA license as ID and was not asked about Covid testing or if I was aware of Maine's policy (much less asked to provide proof). However the lady thanked me when I told her I had done my testing. I had called a motel in Bethel and the reception there said they would want to see results had we decided to stay so decided not to risk booking accommodation there in case of delayed test results. SR were much stricter about capacity in the lodges for food as well compared to Wildcat or Attitash.

A good 3 day trip, normally we would have gone to a western destination for the kids vacation week, but at least we were able to ski somewhere. Hard to compare resorts directly, we probably had the best day at Wildcat due to no lift lines and good snow, but hope to get back to SR to use the rest of our 3 days later in the season hopefully with softer snow and less lines. A lot of mountain there still to be explored.