Weekend at Sunapee Dec 30-31, 2017

I thought of all sorts of cute names for this thread driving home,"Max Pass weekend 1", "4aprice visits Nanook"," Articgeddon" (That's a Joe Bastardi expression) etc., but decided plain and simple is what describes it best. The wife and I spent the weekend skiing at Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire.  

Hey, the lady is 70 years old this year, a classic, the "Queen" of Southern New Hampshire and I wanted to wish her a happy birthday.  I first got to know her back in the 70's as Cannon's "little sister"


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These 1970's patches show the family ties quite clearly (they were probably bought the same season). The cris-crossing chair lifts is something I will always remember.  Now she is married to a very well run Okemo and wearing newer and much needed facilities.

We had 3 days to get a small vacation in.  While my hectic season (Christmas) just ended, my wife's (year end) is just about to start so we really wanted to get in some days.  We packed very carefully with all the cold weather gear we got, very cognizant of the coming cold.  After work on Friday, got delayed pre-paying our property taxes by a line, (a NJ thing, don't ask) and missed my window to travel up through Ct so  we had to go via the Thruway to Mass Pike to 91 instead of through up through Hartford, but still made decent time to White River Junction (watching the temperature plummet all the way) and even got in a swim before hitting the hay.

While Saturday would be my 3rd day of the season it would be my wife's 1st, so hurrying her was not my first priority.  Forecast was pretty good with light winds.  Drove down to the ski area through what has to be one of my favorite places the Lake Sunapee area which is really pretty under a good mantle of snow and arrived about 9:15.  Pulling up towards the lodges they were parking cars in the 2nd lot below Spruce Lodge.  I was going to be kind to the wife and drop her and the equipment at the drop off area, come back and park so I passed the barricade, Suddenly the New Hampshire car in front of me dived on to the shoulder and parked right there.  I looked at the wife, got the nod, and dived in right behind them, across the street from the service road entrance to Spruce Lodge not even 200 yards away, lucky me.  Dressed, booted up, stored the bag and hit the snow at 9:45.

The Skiing

Some of you may not be happy to hear this but Sunapee has gone to the RFID system.  Once again I followed the instructions of keeping it in a pocket away from other objects and had no difficulties at all.  

We started over in what I think is called the Little Sunapee area, boarding the Spruce Triple and hitting Elliott Slope.  Almost 10 hitting uncut beautiful cord on a Saturday.  Was too good to be true, so we hit it again before starting to head across the mountain.


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Elliot Slope

Worked our way across Pipeline and Eggbeater to the North Peak triple.  Jet Stream was ungroomed mounds so we avoided it, but everything else in this area of the mountain skied great.


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Spruce Triple and Pipeline


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The wife finishing off her 3rd run of the season

Hit Flying goose, and Lynx next.  The groomed parts were good, the bumps Flying Goose were pretty icy, at least the outside lane I tried was. then hit the Sunapee Express up to the Summit lodge were the wife took a break and I took a run I will describe in another section of this report.  She met me at the top of Sunbowl Express and we did Wingding, Skyway/Skyway Ledges and Westside/East Side and Lower Cataract all skiing quite well.

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Skyway

We then moved over to the Sunapee Express where we skied the top to bottom runs of Bonanza, Blast off and the Chases.  Not going to say they were bad, but they must have seen much more traffic then the others because they were much more skied and the taste of ice much stronger.  After those and a couple of more Sunbowl runs the wife had had enough and we went down and had a cocktail at Goosefeathers.  I left after 1 for some more runs.

The Woods

When the wife took her first rest at the summit lodge I took off for a run down Hawes S Hideout which I knew was open.  I need to introduce a new term into my reports and that would be the Sketch Factor.  Overall I would give the Sunapee woods a Sketch Factor of 6 (1 being good, 10 unskiable).   Hawes was in that 5 to 6 range for sure with some troughs void of much snow and other obstacles but it was skiable.

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Looking down Hawes


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and back up where some of that sketchyness is more apparent.

After leaving her in Goosefeather's I went up North Peak Triple and hit Cataract Glades which I thought was much better and give it a Sketch factor of about 4.


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Cataract Glades

Tried to hit Sunrise Glades but give that a Sketch Factor of about 9 and bailed back over to Hawes.  Hit Double Dare Ya on Sunday and give it a SF of 5.  All in all fun but could use more snow.

In between times in the wood there were some fun bumps to be had on Upper Wingding, Middle Wingding and Kartwheel.  Love the little signed areas reading natural conditions and the bumps were in pretty good shape.


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Sunday the 31st was much the same except colder.  Arriving even later then Saturday we were able to park in the main lot between the 2 lodges (nobody was there). 

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Sunday Morning



 Jet Stream had the mounds groomed out and was absolutely beautiful.  We skied around much of the same stuff as Saturday even hitting South Peak for a couple of runs (including a little glade which was actually not bad) for pictures.



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Looking across from South Peak


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An empty North Peak Triple Sunday afternoon

Favorite run of the weekend was the top 1/3 of Goose Bumps.  Bottom 2/3 had snow guns on it, but they were not running (too cold?) and it remained closed all weekend but the top was a whole lotta of fun.  Also skied a more inside line of Flying Goose bumps and it was better then the outside line but still in need of more snow.

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Top 1/3 of Goosebumps (South Peak in background)

The Little Things

As I've said before I really have enjoyed this Max Pass and "weekending" at different resorts.  I feel skiing it 2 days in a row you really get the feel and vibe of a place even if you are skiing the same trails on multiple days.  We found a couple of things that really made our visit to Mount Sunapee enjoyable.  One was on Saturday where they give a small mass service up stairs at the Summit Lodge which we attended.  I'm not the most religious person in the world but my wife enjoys it and it was a nice touch.


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Note the ski boots on the priest's feet

The other thing we enjoyed was Goosefeather's Pub.  It is a really nice ski area bar with good food and an attentive staff.  The Cuban Sandwich and fries were particularly good.  We found the atmosphere very enjoyable.


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All and all it was a fun weekend.  A couple of shout outs, one to my wife who uttered not one word of complaint through a brutally cold weekend and was a true trooper.  And one to the good Dr Jeff who's suggestion of Dematone was spot on, Thank you Dr J.  Happy 70th Mount Sunapee, you showed us a good time.

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ

Comments

  • Great detailed and photographed report! Thanks for sharing
    - Sam
  • Didn't read it all yet but looks to be one of your best trip reports Alex!
  • Great report! I was there Sunday for my first ever visit. Had a blast. My buddy and I never shared a chair with anyone. Looking forward to returning.
  • Thanks for the report.  Had a pass there for a few seasons. but it's been a long time.  I need to get back as it's one of the closest bigger mountains for me. I loved it in the 1980's to early 1990's when much of it was natural snow.
  • edited January 3
    Wow what a great report. One of the best. Although I'm surprised Cisco didn't ask for pictures of the lake.
    When I first read that 2nd paragraph I stupidly thought your wife was 70 years old. Lol and sorry.
    It's hard for me to recall a non sketchy run on Hawes but probably because when there is good snow we head elsewhere? I recall going to an early morning service once up on Barker Mt, so I wouldn't be surprised if they and others still have them, I just never get there early enough. Anyway, I'm glad you had a great & mostly uncrowded time. Some weekends it can fill up.
    So how is the RFID setup at those big queues? Where are the gates?
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • Nice report and pics. Keep them coming on your Max Pass tour this season.
  • Great report. Looks like you had a great trip. Thanks for sharing
  • Taste of ice
    Sketch fa

    Nice report and pics. Keep them coming on your Max Pass tour this season.

    Track it's been FOUR YEARS!
  • thanks for the report!

  • Never mind Ciscokid, I WANT to see shots of the lake and Okemo off in the distance! :D :D :D

    IBRAKE
  • edited January 4


    Never mind Ciscokid, I WANT to see shots of the lake and Okemo off in the distance! :D :D :D

    IBRAKE

    You want the lake, you got the lake, just need to put up with my ugly mug


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    Picture was not taken this past trip.

    Thanks for all the compliments.  It was a fun, interesting and enjoyable trip.  I hope to write some more reports from other resorts around the northeast and the west too if no one objects.  I have some interesting ideas for threads.

    As for Okemo, it wasn't really visible this past weekend (even with a fairly clear Sunday) but I have seen it from Sunapee and it was spectacular.  You can see a whole bunch of Vermont from K to Mt Snow.  Okemo was cold Monday but in great shape. 


    Alex

    Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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  • I love views
    And I remember Mrs Alex's brownies from 08
  • Ok hijack
    Which Lake is more beautiful, Lk Winn from Gunstock or Sunapee?
    Choose ONE
  • edited January 4
    I'd say Sunapee's is more interesting, with all the ski areas visible in the distance, but Gunstock's is more beautiful with a bigger, wider lake and more diverse terrain, the Ossipee range beyond the lake. Sorry, I don't have any photos.
  •   
    mapnut said:

    I'd say Sunapee's is more interesting, with all the ski areas visible in the distance, but Gunstock's is more beautiful with a bigger, wider lake and more diverse terrain, the Ossipee range beyond the lake. Sorry, I don't have any photos.

    I had some pics from Gunstock but can't seem to find them.  Only picture I found of Winni was this from Wiers Beach


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    I'll discuss lakes in the summer.  Have boated Winnipesaukee and George and would love to get on Sunapee sometime.  

    Alex

    Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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    605 x 403 - 28K
  • Take that back, I just Found Winni from Gunstock.


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    Alex

    Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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    652 x 402 - 24K
  • I turn down an offer for my brother to come to New Hampshire next week for a far superior Lake view
  • Big Squaw
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • Of course joking as all these lakes are gorgeous, never got to ski Tahoe.

    Hope to ski Marquette and Porcupine in a month with Lk Superior views

    As shown in my avatar pic I like lake views
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