How would you rate the White Mountain ski areas?

My pending trip to New Hampshire with my son(s) and Ciscokid and any SJers looking to join us has me thinking. How would you rate the different resorts in the North Conway and Jackson areas? Use whatever criteria you want to rate and or rank them.

IBRAKE
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Comments

  • It's a nice cluster of areas, with the added benefit of having N. Conway available for nightlife, and of course, the new New England Ski Museum! Make sure you go and visit that, you'll be amazed.

    For the most character, go to Black - it has such a throwback vibe, the chairlift to the summit is a classic, the trails are interesting and varied, and it skis larger than its 1000' vertical would suggest. The pub at the base lodge is also fun to hang out at.
  • edited October 21
    Black is by far the best in that area. Cranmore for some more great history.
    - Sam
  • Wildcat for a powder day. Bretton Woods for low angle glades, although it's a bit further out from N. Conway. As said, Black for old school. I'd skip Attitash, unless icy groomers is your thing.
  • > @NELSAP said:
    > It's a nice cluster of areas, with the added benefit of having N. Conway available for nightlife, and of course, the new New England Ski Museum! Make sure you go and visit that, you'll be amazed.
    >
    > For the most character, go to Black - it has such a throwback vibe, the chairlift to the summit is a classic, the trails are interesting and varied, and it skis larger than its 1000' vertical would suggest. The pub at the base lodge is also fun to hang out at.

    Great suggestion about the Ski Museum!
  • edited October 21
    Remember eating at Horsefeathers in N Conway
    Will be up for that
    Wasn't there a Kate Bennette who worked at Canmore a Snowjournalist's years back?
  • edited October 22
    I never like rating ski areas as they all can be excellent with great snow. You can't go wrong with any of the above snow being equal. There's also KIng Pine & Sunday River is like what?, 45 mins away.
    Horsefeathers is still there along with many new & old great eateries.
    The New England Ski Museum in N Conway is awesome. But it closes at 4 pm
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • Ok IF snow is marginal what area has the best firepower?( I'm gonna guess Loon)
  • I would guess Sunday River? If we have to forego any NH areas there’s always skiing in ME!
  • ciscokid said:

    Ok IF snow is marginal what area has the best firepower?( I'm gonna guess Loon)

    Black, NH has surprisingly good snowmaking. Cranmore has the best snowmaking in the area.
    - Sam
  • edited October 22
    Since the snowmaking upgrades of a few years ago and the addition of winch catting Wildcat has been getting better in terms of season length & quality of skiing, also is on Peak Pass if you have one. Altitude keeps it colder so it holds up better when warm spells hit. Just think twice (or dress really warmly) on real cold windy days in January and February, it can be an ice box. Also really good place to enjoy Tuckerman's from (the beer and the ski challenge across the valley).
  • Looking at the NH meet-up thread (sounds like fun, but can't make it), I would think meeting friends at any mtn is better than going to a particular ski area by yourself; that is, friends trump terrain:-)

    But for what it's worth, back in 1995 I stayed with two friends for a ski-week in a condo near Meredith on Lake Winniepesaukee. From there we day-tripped to the following ski areas because they were pretty easy to reach: Gunstock, Waterville Valley, Cannon Mtn twice (on 2fer days), and then we drove quite a bit longer to go to Wildcat. The one day at Wildcat was the highlight. I've been back to Wildcat a couple times since then, and also later skied Loon, Attitash, and Black Mtn of NH. They are all good, and I agree that for lovers of throwback/NELSAP type places Black of NH would be neat, but for me Wildcat is the one not to miss. It's perhaps my favorite ski area in the Eastern US because of the scenery, fun terrain, and remote/pristine atmosphere.

    NH trip report from 2010: http://dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=1267&mode=search
  • Cranmore is a good time. Loon is a treacherous drive away over the Kanc so I would not recommend that drive in winter plus crowds on weekends are INSANE. Black is pretty unique in today’s day and age and may not be open in the future so go support those guys!
  • Black on Saturday, Wildcat on Sunday

  • Black on Saturday, Wildcat on Sunday

    I head to North Conway at least once a year for a weekend and this is my typical schedule. The only time I change it up is if I only have a few hours on Sunday to ski in the morning. Then I substitute Wildcat for Cranmore.
  • edited October 22
    This is our tentative, thurs Whaleback,Friday the4th Canmore am , Black pm. Sat5th Attitash am, Cat pm

    Sunday Crotched SJ

    Monday after ibrake says good riddance to me I head to WV, Tues Cannon , Wed BW, Thur Tenney

    Dinner at Woodstock Vt( Richardson)after Whale, dinner Fri in Bethel or Fryeburg to say ibrake was in Maine

    And I'm sure he'll want to run down to Ossipee to see the Mueller gondy and it's cables over the McDonald's parking lot

    As far as finding time to go to the new branch ski museum...
  • Ciscokid: don’t forget to pop into Loon, Ragged, Sunapee, and Gunstock! 😂
  • edited October 22
    > @IBRAKEFORTBARS said:
    > Ciscokid: don’t forget to pop into Loon, Ragged, Sunapee, and Gunstock! 😂

    Loon probably is least worthwhile of all the areas in the White Mountains. If I had to skip one, that'd be it.
    - Sam
  • Ate at Horsefeathers a week ago. They opened a new restaurant and bar around the corner with a very impressive whisky list. I don't know why Attitash is getting the hate. The original terrain is plenty interesting. Bear is a little meh, just wide boulevards with little character.
  • ciscokid said:

    This is our tentative, thurs Whaleback,Friday the4th Canmore am , Black pm. Sat5th Attitash am, Cat pm



    Sunday Crotched SJ



    Monday after ibrake says good riddance to me I head to WV, Tues Cannon , Wed BW, Thur Tenney



    Are you actually planning to ski at all of those?


  • > @IBRAKEFORTBARS said:
    > Ciscokid: don’t forget to pop into Loon, Ragged, Sunapee, and Gunstock! 😂

    > @rickbolger said:
    > This is our tentative, thurs Whaleback,Friday the4th Canmore am , Black pm. Sat5th Attitash am, Cat pm
    >
    >
    >
    > Sunday Crotched SJ
    >
    >
    >
    > Monday after ibrake says good riddance to me I head to WV, Tues Cannon , Wed BW, Thur Tenney
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Are you actually planning to ski at all of those?

    As long as the bod allows I feel I can keep up w ibrake as long as we ride at least on a triple

    My brother snowboards so I can ski faster than him

    One great reward of skiing being a heavyweight is your faster
  • What the hell, your poor car! Jesus that is entirely too much driving around. I would slim down the whole am/pm thing at least.
  • Yes it may be a little bit to much but you got a remember I drive a truck all day long 12 hours of driving is nothing to me I would put on 4000 miles in Alaska if it wasn't for my wife. And it will be on a rental car so no big deal

    As far as our break is concerned all yes to do is worry about getting his carcass in the vehicle

    I'm more worried about my body holding up at age 60 in January then I am driving

    And if you don't mind leaving Jesus out of it that would be great he happens to be my savior

    But thanks for the concern
  • > @IBRAKEFORTBARS said:

    > Ciscokid: don’t forget to pop into Loon, Ragged, Sunapee, and Gunstock! 😂



    Loon probably is least worthwhile of all the areas in the White Mountains. If I had to skip one, that'd be it.

    It's got the best snowmaking and lift system by far and there is some good terrain. I think it's the lines/crowds that give it the bad rep, just avoid weekends and it's good imo.
  • bobbutts said:

    > @IBRAKEFORTBARS said:

    > Ciscokid: don’t forget to pop into Loon, Ragged, Sunapee, and Gunstock! 😂



    Loon probably is least worthwhile of all the areas in the White Mountains. If I had to skip one, that'd be it.

    It's got the best snowmaking and lift system by far and there is some good terrain. I think it's the lines/crowds that give it the bad rep, just avoid weekends and it's good imo.
    Agree. And with the possible exception of Wildcat, Loon's South Peak would get you the most vert per minute in NH.
  • Ok on a Monday say 1/6 is Loon worth $30 more than Waterville?
  • I think so.
  • ciscokid said:

    Ok on a Monday say 1/6 is Loon worth $30 more than Waterville?

    I'd say Waterville is definitely more worth it, especially if it is that much cheaper.
    - Sam
  • bobbutts said:

    > @IBRAKEFORTBARS said:

    > Ciscokid: don’t forget to pop into Loon, Ragged, Sunapee, and Gunstock! 😂



    Loon probably is least worthwhile of all the areas in the White Mountains. If I had to skip one, that'd be it.

    It's got the best snowmaking and lift system by far and there is some good terrain. I think it's the lines/crowds that give it the bad rep, just avoid weekends and it's good imo.
    Agree. And with the possible exception of Wildcat, Loon's South Peak would get you the most vert per minute in NH.
    I'm not sure what you mean by that. I thought we agreed earlier that Crotched and Wildcat got you the most vertical in a day in NH.
    - Sam
  • ciscokid said:

    Ok on a Monday say 1/6 is Loon worth $30 more than Waterville?

    1/6/2019 is a Sunday. Loon sometimes has cheap Sunday afternoon tickets (although that may not kick-in until the spring). That would make Loon possibly win even on price. But assuming you meant Monday (1/7) and assuming that the $30 price difference is accurate, I would say that it depends on what terrain they each have open, and where you are located.
    Pros For WV:
    - It's $30 less.

    Pros for Loon:
    - Easier off the highway. Even coming from the south they are ~same drive times since WV is so far off the highway. If you are coming from the north or east Loon is much closer.
    - Better terrain.
    - Better lifts.
    - In particular, South Peak gets you 1,500 vert on a high speed quad with typically non-existent lines.
    - Better parking. Esp at South Peak, you are steps away from the lift.
    - Better views.
    - Better surrounding things to do at the end of the day (food, beer, etc).
    - Much closer to Cannon (<15min) which you mentioned was your next stop.
  • ciscokid said:

    Ok on a Monday say 1/6 is Loon worth $30 more than Waterville?

    1/6/2019 is a Sunday. Loon sometimes has cheap Sunday afternoon tickets (although that may not kick-in until the spring). That would make Loon possibly win even on price. But assuming you meant Monday (1/7) and assuming that the $30 price difference is accurate, I would say that it depends on what terrain they each have open, and where you are located.
    Pros For WV:
    - It's $30 less.

    Pros for Loon:
    - Easier off the highway. Even coming from the south they are ~same drive times since WV is so far off the highway. If you are coming from the north or east Loon is much closer.
    - Better terrain.
    - Better lifts.
    - In particular, South Peak gets you 1,500 vert on a high speed quad with typically non-existent lines.
    - Better parking. Esp at South Peak, you are steps away from the lift.
    - Better views.
    - Better surrounding things to do at the end of the day (food, beer, etc).
    - Much closer to Cannon (<15min) which you mentioned was your next stop.</p>
    Most of that stuff you listed is very subjective to personal opinion.

    - I would personally rather ski the terrain at Waterville
    - The Gondola at Loon is known for long lines
    - White Peaks gives you 1,900' of vertical with a high-speed lift
    - I have never had an issue with parking at Waterville
    - There are amazing views from Waterville of the surrounding wilderness and 4,000 footers
    - Sam
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