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Loon vs. Waterville valley for season tix next year- help me decide

thetrailboss

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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.
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.

I was also going to suggest that the original poster take a drive up to Cannon and spend a day to see if it works. There are great XC options nearby and, from all accounts here, Cannon is killing it this year. It is not THAT much further and it is a legit big mountain.

Agreed with the sentiment about WV. I've visited there in the offseason. It seems that the current owners are not really doing too much to improve it.
 

abc

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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.
That's not ignoring the OP's requirement. He did ask:
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'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?

I've never xc ski at Waterville, but done a lot at BW. It's super sweet! Their grooming is superb.

(Arrive after lifts open, park at XC, shuttle to lodge. Wife moves car at 1pm ish.)
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).

So I would suggest wife to drop the clan off at downhill base. Drive to nordic center, ski till lunch. Move car or shuttle to downhill base for lunch. Shuttle or ski back to nordic center.
 
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Edd

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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.
 

Smellytele

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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.
clientele is similar at both places with a few more Jerrys of the day added in at Loon.
 
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Newpylong

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Same clientele and crowds at both areas but I think skiing at Loon is much better and shorter drive. Obvious midweek visit.

Never liked WV.
 
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hey guys, I hate to see threads like this where you never see what happens and dont get closure. Once I make up my mind I'll report bsack lol.

So, I'm still not sure what's gonna happen. here's where we stand:

I've crossed loon off the list. Everyone I've talked says the same thing- great, but dont bother going on the weekends. 75% of the time we are skiing on the weekends...

My wife has decided she is not going to want to go XC skiing every weekend, so that has changed things a bit:

Option 1: stay at ragged and also get an indy pass for me and my kids. this lets us ski ragged and a bunch of other places. And there is a XC place close by for my wife. Most cost efficient and bang for the buck option that I can find IMO.

Option 2: new england superpass- we'd get WV for a close to home mountain (with XC) , and get to ski cannon, BW and cramore when we are up for "longer" trips- I know longer is relative. Those aren't really "long" trips. Up to now our second "home" mountain has been sugarbush, 3-4 times a year mid week, staying over and skiing a few days. Thats a Long trip.

option 3- a bunch of things Im kicking around....its gets murky after options 1 and 2.

Are there any other passes out there I should be aware of? I had no idea the indy pass existed lol.

Thanks all!
 
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