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It has been over ten years since I've been to Loon, so I can't comment now other than to say that it is very, very popular.Grew up with a condo in Waterville and had a Threedom Pass(WV/Loon/Cranmore) back in the 2000's and now have a New England Pass this year mainly for Loon. Loon has grown over the years or improved where as WV has removed some things that made it more fun or unique(Quadzilla should still be called such, as a kid it was so cool with the silly hat and everything) while also going cheap with Green Peak's lift. WV, as much as I love it, has fallen back to more on the level of Ragged, Gunstock while Loon is on par with the big boys and is spending more and more cash every year to push on. Boyne are great owners with deep pockets compared to the Sununu family and the new Kanc 8 pack should help spread weekend crowds away from the gondi. Another pro for Loon would be South Peak. That pod is a pretty nice area that very rarely gets crowded beyond the most peak times on peak days. Back before South Peak it felt like Loon and WV were similar sized, but now Loon just feels much larger. Cannon is also a short drive away from Loon and pretty cheap if you want to add a day on to an overnight trip in Lincoln and mix it up. WV is 13 miles from the rest of the world which on some level does add a certain vibe to the entire town and mountain.
That's not ignoring the OP's requirement. He did ask:As quite a few others ignored op contents, I will too.
If you track the actual time to get the gear out of the parked car, consider BW.
XC outstanding there. Shuttles connect. (Arrive after lifts open, park at XC, shuttle to lodge. Wife moves car at 1pm ish.)
Loon sucks on Saturday. I venture you would be on lift at BW in same time it takes for Loon.
I'll second taking a longer look at BW. The few times I skied there, the lines weren't bad at all even on holiday weekends. So, even though you may be arriving at BW a bit later, you may just get as much skiing in as you would in the Loon/WV?If anyone can think of other options I've missed that have XC and are 1.5 hrs or less from southern NH, please let me know. And FWIW I don't have IKON money and will never ski out west unfortunately. And BW is just a hair too far, we'd have to get up to early for the kids- lazy bums....
I'm not too shabby a xc skier. But I can't ski as many hours as I do downhill. (there's no chair lift ride to rest up).(Arrive after lifts open, park at XC, shuttle to lodge. Wife moves car at 1pm ish.)
clientele is similar at both places with a few more Jerrys of the day added in at Loon.Loon and BW really are very different experiences. I pretty much dislike Loon but know nothing of the XC options. I did XC at BW a few weeks ago and their trail network is impressive.
I‘ve been to WV once ever and went on a Saturday for some reason. Didn’t love it.
Last year I was with my wife and a couple of friends on BW’s gondola. A couple of strangers were riding with us and a conversation about gondolas at ski areas began.
My friend: People love gondolas, right? That’s why some people like Loon!
Me: That gondola is a reason I hate Loon.
One of the strangers: Loon is our home mountain. We own a place there.
That was awkward.
It is now official, the Kanc Quad will be re-used to replace Seven Brothers Triple at Loon with install to be done next summer. Boyne and Loon also will be storing the Seven Brothers Triple as they feel it is still a solid lift and may be re-used within the resort network down the road as well.
The original Booth Creek plans had 7 Brothers upgraded to a HSQ and the Triple used to replace East Basin. That was like 15 years ago at least now, maybe 20. But yeah, I'm leaning more towards the South Peak Learner's pod or if that doesn't happen, maybe use the Triple just to lift serve the Escape Route trail and parking.Maybe use the triple to replace the antique East Basin lift? Or for the South Peak beginner area as Newpylong suggested. I don't see any other place/use for it. Would've made sense to ship it off to Sunday River and there's your Merrill Hill lift.
That's gonna be an 8 pack and a hsq serving 8ish trails, plus people from the gondola. Yikes. I finally went back to Loon midweek this winter and enjoyed it despite semi-poor snow conditions. But those trails are not designed for that many people. Most of the things I skied were quite narrow by today's standards, compared to other mega resorts that need crazy uphill and downhill capacity.
They talk about it in the 2030 FlightPath, I believe beyond Walking Boss skier's right. Whether it wipes out WB Woods or not unsure. But they also have North Peak Quad being upgraded (along with South Peak Quad too).Where are they planning on putting a new trail on North Peak?
They talk about it in the 2030 FlightPath, I believe beyond Walking Boss skier's right. Whether it wipes out WB Woods or not unsure. But they also have North Peak Quad being upgraded (along with South Peak Quad too).