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Time to plan for the holiday weeks -- where to?

abc

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Have Epic pass

So that pretty much means VT (Stowe/Okemo/Mt Snow) or NH (Wildcat/Loon/Attitash...?). Did I miss any worthy mountains?

Assuming, optimistically, our good luck in early season will more or less continue unabated, I'm starting to look into booking lodging (refundable ones for now). I need to take a gamble on my "base camp" locations...

I hate crowds. To be exact, I hate crowds on the run. I can deal with lines but can't stand pinball runs. So my first thought is I'm going to go further north to escape from the madness in southern VT/NH/NY. So, if Okemo and Snow is out, that left Stowe vs Wildcat+Loon+Attitash. (Or, am I too quick to write off Okemo and Snow?)

Who will have less crowd? Who will have better potential for good snow and terrain?

I've really not skied much in NH so far. So have no idea what to expect, much less what to expect during the holiday week. I will also hope to do some xc skiing. What that means is I won't or don't need to ski (downhill) everyday. I can even ski half a day and then go xc in the afternoon. The benefit of having the Epic pass...
 

bdfreetuna

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basically you're screwed but NH gives you flexibility especially if you're willing to ski some places not on Epic pass, like Black Mountain NH. Also better XC skiing up that way.

Mount Snow and Okemo will be total disasters during holidays
 

drjeff

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Let's put it this way, most any resort, regardless of what pass they are or aren't a part of, or even if they're a stand alone, had better be busy that week (and obviously "busy" is a relative term from resort to resort) because if it's not a busy week for them, that can have a significant impact on the financials of their entire season.

I've got a bunch of days likely standing in line at the home hill of Mount Snow intermixed with a couple of trips for my kids races to Okemo, Berkshire East and Bromley over the time between December 26th and the Sunday after New Years.

I'll manage the crowds at the home hill as best I can, and probably be spending a bunch of time managing the crowds in the bar from lunchtime on as well...

As much as the skier side of me doesn't like the Holiday Week crowds, the business side of me knows that if they crowds aren't there during a Holiday week/weekend, then that's not good for future resort improvements!
 

Smellytele

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Holiday weeks/ weekends can be painful. Christmas week I just hit small places or cannon as I have a pass and set my expectations low. Luckily my kids always had the week after presidents week off. No crowds


Sent from my iPhone using AlpineZone
 

bdfreetuna

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Holiday weeks/ weekends can be painful. Christmas week I just hit small places or cannon as I have a pass and set my expectations low. Luckily my kids always had the week after presidents week off. No crowds

I've got a few Cannon passes to use this season (it left a strong impression on me last year for my 1st time skiing there late season powder day) so good to know. Burke is pretty much the ultimate no-crowds mountain in VT but for the same drive I like Cannon better. Bromley is another solid bet if you want to do more skiing than bumping into people. But even both those places will be semi crowded on a good weekend/holiday. Depends what your expectations are I guess. I ski mid week mostly and show up early so anything less than 3rd row parking is a bad start to my day. If the parking situation sucks I'm usually the guy who invents a closer parking space. I pulled this off hilariously at Okemo last year... basically a full lot, but right in front of the first two cars mine fit perfectly not blocking anyone. It's funny how people sometimes act like sheep in these situations and just drive to the back of the lot for no actual reason.

Agree with hitting the small places. Busy times are good for checking out different cheaper/smaller places.
 
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PaulR

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Been skiing Christmas week at Bromley and Magic (when available) past 6 years. Very enjoyable actually.


I'm looking at Magic too.
I hate crowds, both lift lines and pin-balling
 

bdfreetuna

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I'm looking at Magic too.
I hate crowds, both lift lines and pin-balling

Magic can have lift lines and sometimes they are pretty long, but more likely on a powder day. The trails are never crowded since we're talking a double/triple/quad (whatever they have running now, won't matter for crowds).

Zero pin balling at Magic ever. Usually the lines look worse than they are, 5-10 minutes max on a busy day. You probably just skied a hard trail and need a breather anyway. If they get a quad up and running and/or have Green Chair running it shouldn't be that bad ever.

In that case I'd actually worry more about the parking situation, which is the 3rd weak link in Magic's armor (capacity wise).

Show up early on a busy day and parking will be fine, the rest will sort itself out.
 

abc

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Also better XC skiing up that way.
Tuna, what do you mean by that? Care to elaborate a bit?

I know there're quite a few big touring center up that way. But so is northern VT (Stowe, Trap, Craftsbury, Mountain Top that I know of).

I have taken a bit of a break from xc skiing for a good few years. (casualty of too much downhill skiing :oops:) Trying to get back into it a bit more.
 

bdfreetuna

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Tuna, what do you mean by that? Care to elaborate a bit?

I know there're quite a few big touring center up that way. But so is northern VT (Stowe, Trap, Craftsbury, Mountain Top that I know of).

I have taken a bit of a break from xc skiing for a good few years. (casualty of too much downhill skiing :oops:) Trying to get back into it a bit more.

sorry ABC I'm not really an expert in XC skiing... haven't done it several years and pay relatively little attention to it. I thought you were trying to compare Southern VT to North Conway area.

Stowe and North Conway area is probably a closer comparison but again I don't want to act like I know more than I do

I met some people who live in Wilmington, NY (Whiteface) last year who, even when there was plenty of snow up around Lake Placid, took a drive out to Mount Washington area just to XC ski vacation. Between the Great Glen trails and the backcountry I think it's the Eastern Mecca of XC but I just don't have the experience to give specifics
 

abc

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That's ok tuna.

I have a similar feeling when it comes to XC skiing at northern NH. There's good XC there for sure. But thing is, I haven't done much XC skiing in northern VT. So don't know how to compare.

Funny part being, I know northern VT more for downhill skiing but not much about NH. So I'm trying to decide between two places I don't know enough of.

Downhill:

Northern VT: Stowe, good terrain, crowd: ?
norther NH: ???

XC :

northern VT: ???
northern NH: Excellent!
 

sledride

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We skied Wildcat last year over the Xmas break and it was fine. No condos at the mountain and it has a reputation for being pretty tough so it doesn't get that busy. And that lift just flies. This year we are thinking Smuggs or BV. I hate the crowds too but it's really the only time we can all ski together as a family.
 
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