• 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!

Best pass for the Seascoast NH crowd

AdironRider

Active member
Joined
Nov 27, 2005
Messages
3,217
Points
38
OK, so I posted up a thread (sheesh almost two years ago now) about what town in ski country would you choose to live in and why. There was a reason of course, for our planned move back East to start a family.

Anywho, part of our new plan involves owning multi-family properties, which are pretty much a losing proposition in ski country, plus some other personal reasons we have for not ultimately living in a ski town full time, but lets just say some aspects of the real world are nice to have, notably it being better overall for our upcoming kids than living in paradise with no real ramifications for anything.

Anyways, were in the process of closing on a 4 unit in Exeter NH, which will be our primary residence as well for at least 5-10 years or so, and naturally will be looking at passes for the upcoming winter.

Wife wants Conway, I want Cannon. If you were to buy a pass, whether it be Peak at Attitash/Wildcat, or the Cannon NH resident pass, which would you choose and why.

I think Cannon has better terrain and would most likely be cheaper overall, and is easier to get to realistically although its further I believe milage wise. Conway area has more variety and most likely better family programs. Thoughts?

Im not really interested in Loon or Sunapee, but I suppose could be sold on Waterville.
 

bobbutts

New member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
1,560
Points
0
Location
New Hampshire
Loon also includes Sunday River and Sugarloaf, so that might make it more interesting. If you can get out weekdays it's not a bad place either.
Don't forget Gunstock and Ragged as options too.
Just drive-wise Conway and Gunstock are pretty easy from where you are, while the other places feature cutting over on 101. Cannon is also a big disappointment during bad snow years at least IMO, so that's a negative on passes there.
Edit to say Conway ymmv with the drive.. I'm not really sure about if you can bypass the traffic effectively to get to Attitash or Wildcat if you're heading up on Fri night/sat am
 

Puck it

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Messages
9,615
Points
48
Location
Franconia, NH
From Exter, I think the Peaks resort would be much closer and it gives you the choice of 2 areas and 3 mountains. Cannon is by far the better choice in my opinion. Waterville would not be on my radar though. Conway has more nightlife and shopping then Lincoln.

104 miles to Attiash 2 hrs 18 min.
113 miles to Wildcat 2 hrs. 32 min
116 miles to Cannon 1hr 48 min
104 miles to Waterville 1hr 46 min.



I hate RTE 16!!!!!!
 

bobbutts

New member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
1,560
Points
0
Location
New Hampshire
From Exter, I think the Peaks resort would be much closer and it gives you the choice of 2 areas and 3 mountains. Cannon is by far the better choice in my opinion. Waterville would not be on my radar though. Conway has more nightlife and shopping then Lincoln.

104 miles to Attiash 2 hrs 18 min.
113 miles to Wildcat 2 hrs. 32 min
116 miles to Cannon 1hr 48 min
104 miles to Waterville 1hr 46 min.



I hate RTE 16!!!!!!

yeah, you are correct, the distance from Exeter to Wildcat in my head didn't match up very well with reality per google maps
I think their estimate of 2.5 hr is very conservative though
 

xwhaler

Active member
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
2,938
Points
38
Location
Seacoast NH
Welcome to the Seacoast! We are right down the road from you in Epping. We love it here and I think you will as well.
Exeter is a very nice town.
If you were to only get 1 pass and wanted best bang for the buck value I would go with the Cannon resident pass. Driving up 16 every wknd to hit the N Conway area would be a PITA I think.

Have you cosidered a Boyne pass? Loon is easy access and you could probably do SR in just over 2.5 if you kept a heavy foot. Not sure after dealing with the traffic on 16 and getting through N Conway would you be able to do Wildcat in much faster time. Sunday afternoons during ski season coming home on 16 from North Conway can be rough.
Perhaps a hybrid solution?---the Gunstock no blackout pass I think is around $359 if you buy in the Spring----you could pair that with a Boyne silver pass and utilize Gunstock at night or when you were blacked out.

Me? I play the discount game. I like skiing a lot of different mtns from Maine to Vermont so like the flexibility of not being locked into 1 pass. Ride and Ski card, liftopia, mountain sports club, warren miller movies.

I wouldn't pick WV as a primary mtn to be honest---not enough terrain to keep one occupied all season and honestly no closer than Cannon or Loon after you consider the off the highway miles.
 

kickstand

Member
Joined
May 18, 2005
Messages
925
Points
16
Location
Wakefield, MA
104 miles to Attiash 2 hrs 18 min.
113 miles to Wildcat 2 hrs. 32 min

I hate RTE 16!!!!!!

Where are those numbers from? I made it to my house in Bartlett from Wakefield, MA this past Friday morning in 2 hrs 18 min. The Bartlett place is 10 minutes away from Attitash and my home in Wakefield is 40 min from Exeter. That just doesn't add up. If it took 1 hr 30 min to get to Attitash from Exeter, I'd be surprised.

FWIW, I've shared lifts at Attitash with many folks along the Seacoast with season passes. I haven't looked a a map yet, but I don't see how it's easier to get to a Ski 93 resort than a Conway resort.
 

xwhaler

Active member
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
2,938
Points
38
Location
Seacoast NH
If I ever get a season pass again I will also make sure its to a mtn with a reputation for early/late season ops.
As much as I love the VT mtns I do think from the NH seacoast the Boyne pass is prob the best option.
Really comes down to how far you want to drive each day. If your limit is no more than 2 hrs each way and are willing to deal with the marginal snowmaking perhaps just get the Cannon pass.
 

AdironRider

Active member
Joined
Nov 27, 2005
Messages
3,217
Points
38
Where are those numbers from? I made it to my house in Bartlett from Wakefield, MA this past Friday morning in 2 hrs 18 min. The Bartlett place is 10 minutes away from Attitash and my home in Wakefield is 40 min from Exeter. That just doesn't add up. If it took 1 hr 30 min to get to Attitash from Exeter, I'd be surprised.

FWIW, I've shared lifts at Attitash with many folks along the Seacoast with season passes. I haven't looked a a map yet, but I don't see how it's easier to get to a Ski 93 resort than a Conway resort.

I should note I was born and bred in Exeter, so Im familiar with the drive times.

That being said, making it from Exeter area to Bartlett in 1 hour 30 is pretty much the best you could possibly do. I think Ive done it once that fast. 1 issue on 16 backs up traffic for miles, and while once your in two lane territory it doesnt go to bad, I find that the Rochester, Dover, Portsmouth stretch to be brutal at least 50% of the time. Meanwhile 101 to 93 up to Cannon is easy peasy, everytime, guaranteed.

I thought about the Boyne pass, but most likely, wouldnt be making the 2.5 hours to Someday Bigger, or the 3.5 to Sugarloaf all that often. To be honest, I havent had to commute more than 20 minutes to a ski area in the better part of a decade, there will be a transition period to get ramped back up into that kind of driving for skiing again.

On the same page, Gunstock and Ragged (had passes their as well the NH college student deal tends to rotate around a bit) just dont have the terrain Im used to riding. Cannon has it, certain parts of Attitash do as well. Better access to the BC in the Conway area though.

Ive been a passholder to all of the mentioned mountains before, mainly looking for the dirt on how things have changed in the past 7 years Ive been out here.
 

boston_e

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
482
Points
18
Honestly I'd consider skipping the pass and being a free agent. If you are going to day trip it every time, even an hour and a half each way will get old fairly quick. Not sure of your work schedule etc, but if you are going mainly on weekends, are you really going to trip up both sat and sun? If you are talking about Saturdays only you might be looking at 12 days total by the time you scratch a couple of weekends for weather or other life obligations.

You might be better off picking out a bunch of discount tickets, ski and stay package deals etc. When I had a pass without a regular place to stay, I found that you almost got "penalized" on the lodging by not needing a lift ticket included. Plus if you do the ski and stays you will be more likely to get two days in on the weekend... and the "stay" part is nice for the "starting a family" part you mentioned :wink:
 

AdironRider

Active member
Joined
Nov 27, 2005
Messages
3,217
Points
38
Never going to play the day ticket game, my wife and I ski more than most and are planning on keeping it that way.

My shortest season in the past decade was due to injury, and I still got 16 days. Ive averaged over 120 days otherwise over the past 7 years, and was in the high 60's before that when I was back east. While I realize that my ski day total will go down, I still expect it to be 50+ and its just to many to justify not getting a pass.

Im also a gearhead, so I'll be daytripping pretty much for all of them, so I see the benefit there of possibly going the day ticket route, I just htink over a whole season it would be a money loser. That Cannon pass at 550 or so is pretty hard to beat for people like us.

THat being said, you raised some good points on the family possibly limiting my ski time when it comes to fruition, and I certainly realize that would be the case. In that regard, Cannon seems like more of a winner with the shortest drive time, and its not really hard driving per se.

We'll be keeping our ski and stay deals for true excursions, already lining up trips to Tahoe and Crested Butte for next year.
 

dl

New member
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Messages
150
Points
0
Location
MA
Website
www.orbtialskiing.com
I drive 16 every weekend - Friday night and Sunday afternoon. I'm probably jinxing things but it's been pretty smooth sailing all season. Now that the construction is done in Rochester, things move along quite a bit better. I have far more problems getting through 128 and 95 than I do with 16.
 

AdironRider

Active member
Joined
Nov 27, 2005
Messages
3,217
Points
38
I drive 16 every weekend - Friday night and Sunday afternoon. I'm probably jinxing things but it's been pretty smooth sailing all season. Now that the construction is done in Rochester, things move along quite a bit better. I have far more problems getting through 128 and 95 than I do with 16.

Yeah, I suppose I should clarify in that 16 is the pits in reference to NH traffic. Anything inside 128 is a whole nother league.
 

snoseek

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
5,242
Points
48
Location
NH
Website
www.bushslastday.com
I would never live on the seacoast and not have a Boyne pass. The drive sucks maybe but when you get into a bad period of weather they always come through. Cannon as it stands is great on the great days but there's sooo many days where Cannon just flat out sucks. Also alone it would bore me, but I like to have options and held a pass there for many years so I'm perpetually burnt out on Cannon.

16 does suck but If you know the traffic is gonna be a Sunday evening nightmare there are ways around it, not time saving maybe but much more peaceful. That Attitash Wildcat pass would tempt me.
 

deadheadskier

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
25,815
Points
63
Location
Southeast NH
I find that the Rochester, Dover, Portsmouth stretch to be brutal at least 50% of the time. Meanwhile 101 to 93 up to Cannon is easy peasy, everytime, guaranteed.

Highway project in Rochester is complete. Makes a big difference. Route 16 Bridge over Piscataqua will be complete for next season as well, further improving things.

One thing to keep in mind regarding Cannon vs. Peaks is both places offer substantial discounts midweek. So, if you choose say Cannon and they go through a rough patch, you can ride Attitash/Wildcat fairly inexpensively with their Vertical Value Card. If you chose a Peaks pass and Cannon is getting hit, you've got twofer deals available Tuesday - Thursday.

Welcome to the neighborhood.
 

Edd

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
5,512
Points
48
Location
Newmarket, NH
I would never live on the seacoast and not have a Boyne pass. The drive sucks maybe but when you get into a bad period of weather they always come through. Cannon as it stands is great on the great days but there's sooo many days where Cannon just flat out sucks. Also alone it would bore me, but I like to have options and held a pass there for many years so I'm perpetually burnt out on Cannon.

16 does suck but If you know the traffic is gonna be a Sunday evening nightmare there are ways around it, not time saving maybe but much more peaceful. That Attitash Wildcat pass would tempt me.

I had an ASC or Boyne pass for like 8 years which always kept SR and the Loaf on the menu. I dropped it last year. Today I skied SR and it occurred to me to buy the pass again next year.

I live on the Seacoast and have the Bold/Beautiful pass which is Cannon/BW and the Peaks pass for Wildcat/ Attitash. It's pretty good but The Boyne pass might be better.

SR/Loon is a lot of terrain and their combined snowmaking destroys the other 4 ski areas. Sugarloaf is on the pass but if its not a day trip I've never known the season pass to get you much of a deal on lodging unless things have changed.

It's a tough call.
 

AdironRider

Active member
Joined
Nov 27, 2005
Messages
3,217
Points
38
Highway project in Rochester is complete. Makes a big difference. Route 16 Bridge over Piscataqua will be complete for next season as well, further improving things.

One thing to keep in mind regarding Cannon vs. Peaks is both places offer substantial discounts midweek. So, if you choose say Cannon and they go through a rough patch, you can ride Attitash/Wildcat fairly inexpensively with their Vertical Value Card. If you chose a Peaks pass and Cannon is getting hit, you've got twofer deals available Tuesday - Thursday.

Welcome to the neighborhood.

I suppose Ive dated myself then. knew it would happen sometime. Thats awesome to hear the 16 stretch has gotten better. Also hadn't looked into the card option but that could be the winner there. Im hoping to be fortunate enough to be getting a decent amount in midweek if things go as planned, forget about those twofer deals Cannon rocks as well.

I think crowds play somewhat in here a bit, not to say Attitash/Wildcat are unbearable in that sense either, but Cannon is a nice place to get away to most of the time. How have the crowds been on the Peaks side of things since they took over?
 

AdironRider

Active member
Joined
Nov 27, 2005
Messages
3,217
Points
38
I would never live on the seacoast and not have a Boyne pass. The drive sucks maybe but when you get into a bad period of weather they always come through. Cannon as it stands is great on the great days but there's sooo many days where Cannon just flat out sucks. Also alone it would bore me, but I like to have options and held a pass there for many years so I'm perpetually burnt out on Cannon.

16 does suck but If you know the traffic is gonna be a Sunday evening nightmare there are ways around it, not time saving maybe but much more peaceful. That Attitash Wildcat pass would tempt me.

I hear you on the bad weather side of things. Something that Im fearful of myself really. Ive had a good run out here though conditions wise all in all though so somethings gotta give. I should also add to the conversation that my wife is from Maine, out in east gish near Steep Falls, and isn't really a fan of the River. So we all know how that goes.

Yeah I think you summed up the back routes away from 16 perfectly in calling them peaceful, not much of a time saver definitely. Sounds like its better these days though.
 

deadheadskier

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
25,815
Points
63
Location
Southeast NH
I've only really skied Wildcat's on Sundays since Peaks took over and as always, crowding isn't an issue there.

I did hear yesterday that Attitash apparently set an attendance record on Saturday.
 

JDMRoma

Active member
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
1,206
Points
38
Location
Hudson NH
Im into my 3rd Season pass for Bretton Woods, Love it there ! It fits into my 2 hour drive time from Hudson NH ! The thoughts of Canon are tempting with the prices but like mentioned before the days its good its good but too many horror stories on the bad days to take the risk.BW Opens earlier in the season and stays open later than Canon....snow conditions are always better and No wind issues....ever !
Not to mention the preferred parking( Ive never had to use it ) and zip lining ...and overall user friendly lodge and staff.
Just my $.02 and thats why I ski BW ! Now if Jay would be in that 2 hour zone......that would be Cool !
 
Top