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Wildcat or Black for first timers

soposkier

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Headed with the girlfriend to Jackson, NH for the weekend. I ski while she does not so we decided we would both give snowboarding a try for the first time to be on the same level. The few times she has tried skiing her greatest fear is being around others, so an uncrowded isolated beginner area is key. I've skiied Wildcat and know they have a nice separate area for beginners and I don't seem to recall ever going thru it on runouts and such. Never been to black but looking at the map it looks like it might be one of those smaller mountains that actually isn't great for first timers (limited to J-bar maybe)??? Looks like they both offer a 'first timers' package which seems to be the way to go to get the lift ticket, rental and lesson. Who knows, maybe ill make the switch for good......
 

timm

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I never skied either as a beginner so can't comment too much on the beginner areas at either. But Black is much cheaper and less crowded. Besides the platter pull, there are a few very easy runs down off of the triple chair.

I think the beginner triple chair at Wildcat only gets you to two trails, so no better than the platter pull at Black probably. Bobcat and Tomcat chairs both go to green runs as well, but only one each if I am recalling correctly.

Based on price I would go to Black in this situation -- but they are only about 20 minutes apart so you could also do one day at each if you wanted to try them both out.
 

xwhaler

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Black has a platter pull as their beginner lift which may be difficult for your g/f to ride. Their triple goes 1/2 way up and services some really mellow green circle terrain that may be better. However it won't be as isolated though they have lots of routes down so you could probably not encounter too many others.
 

timm

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Also not that this is relevant in the slightest, but the summit double chair at Black passes OVER the platter pull which is pretty cool and something I don't think I have seen elsewhere.
 

soposkier

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I never skied either as a beginner so can't comment too much on the beginner areas at either. But Black is much cheaper and less crowded. Besides the platter pull, there are a few very easy runs down off of the triple chair.

I think the beginner triple chair at Wildcat only gets you to two trails, so no better than the platter pull at Black probably. Bobcat and Tomcat chairs both go to green runs as well, but only one each if I am recalling correctly.

Based on price I would go to Black in this situation -- but they are only about 20 minutes apart so you could also do one day at each if you wanted to try them both out.

Yea im thinking the platter pull might end up being an issue if we dont progress quickly to the triple.... I could see that causing some frustration.
 

mr magoo

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May I suggest Cranmore...

Headed with the girlfriend to Jackson, NH for the weekend. I ski while she does not so we decided we would both give snowboarding a try for the first time to be on the same level. The few times she has tried skiing her greatest fear is being around others, so an uncrowded isolated beginner area is key. I've skiied Wildcat and know they have a nice separate area for beginners and I don't seem to recall ever going thru it on runouts and such. Never been to black but looking at the map it looks like it might be one of those smaller mountains that actually isn't great for first timers (limited to J-bar maybe)??? Looks like they both offer a 'first timers' package which seems to be the way to go to get the lift ticket, rental and lesson. Who knows, maybe ill make the switch for good......

Cranmore on most days will be more pleasant in terms of more sun and less wind. My cracked through to master skiing at Cranmore after being distracted by the elements at Wildcat. You want her first time to be a winner. It won't really be a ski day for you.
 

soposkier

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Cranmore on most days will be more pleasant in terms of more sun and less wind. My cracked through to master skiing at Cranmore after being distracted by the elements at Wildcat. You want her first time to be a winner. It won't really be a ski day for you.

Cranmore did also come to mind might have to reconsider that, just a little further. Can't be a ski day for me when Im going to be a first time snowboarder as well.:grin:
 

bigbog

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Fwiw,
Might want to consider a lesson or two for her at SR sometime after....there are usually first-timer packages for lift/lessons/lodging(although midweek lodging along main road is often good). Different instructors can have differing ways of teaching and the River's instructors have their favorite trails...nooks & crannies...etc. I recognize the price..but midweek...the SR crowd is very light.
 
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timm

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Definitely shop around for the first timer deals because some places have crazy good deals. I know Sugarbush - not that it's in the area but as an example - had a deal which was like 3 lessons, rental gear and lift tickets for those lessons, and when you finish the third lesson you got a season pass for the rest of the year and it was like $250.
 

riverc0il

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For a beginner, I'd pick Black over Wildcat easily. I don't know how snowboarders do on the platter pull, though. That could be a deal breaker. But that platter pull area is gold and a beginner can easily ski off the triple or the double from the mid-station. Runs aren't too long, nice diversity, beautiful area. Definitely a lot more to offer than Wildcat's learning area. Wildcat has better views, though. But I wouldn't take a beginner up the main mountain at Wildcat on their first day whereas at Black she'll be able to ski some nice low angle terrain off the main lift.

Cranmore was also mentioned. Not generally a fan of recommending crowded areas for first time skiers. But if you are skiing late season like this weekend or anytime going forward, I bet Cranmore will be the best option as crowds will not be an issue at this point. Cranmore will easily have the best "never ever" facilities. Though Black has a ton more charm.

Good luck!
 

billski

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I've been through the school of hard knocks on this one. I'm voting Black, but I want to focus.


#1 It's all about HER.
#2 If she's skied a few times before she's probably done lifts.
#3 It's all about HER.

Advantages of Black
1. The green from the top of the chair is really really mellow. Just make sure she's ok with a "long" run as opposed to the beginner area.
2. In general, the people who ski Black are not yahoos. That should diminish the fear right there.
3. Why pay more for mountain you'll never use?
4. Lessons are only as good as the instructor, regardless of the ski area. Cheaper too.
5. You'll get a great parking spot and not far to walk.
6. With the money you save, you can live it high apres-ski ;)

Try it for a day. If you don't like it, go some place else. They are all pretty close by.


You? Meh. Suck it up. After your board lesson, either switch back to skis or take your chances on the lift.

BTW, If she ain't happy, you ain't happy.
 

soposkier

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Thanks for the advice everyone. Ended up choosing Cranmore, same price as black for the first timers program. ($79 for rental, lift ticket and lesson). Ive been thru the process trying to get her to enjoy skiing, so i could already imagine how trying to ride the platter pull at black on a snowboard might ruin the day from the start! Hopefully I'll get to black someday though, sounds like a great little mountain. Definitely a completely different perspective choosing where to go from a beginners perspective.
 

timm

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Probably the best choice given it's proximity to downtown and the platter pull issue. You should definitely get to Black though -- mostly pretty mellow but a handful of real cool runs and you always have a good chance of being alone if you go to the summit.
 
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