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Sunday, March 10, 2019

Loon Ski Resort- New Hampshire

Loon is one of those "ski mountains with a view".  The mountain resort is located outside Lincoln, New Hampshire in the beautiful Whites at the bottom of the "Kanc", looming over the East Branch Pemigewasset River.  Anything nestled in the Whites is bound to be beautiful and Loon Mountain does not disappoint.  You glide off the lift, turn around, and BAM the view in front of you nearly knocks you off your skis.  On a clear day, it is mountain peaks for miles, those rolling Whites laid out in front of you tempting you to climb each and every peak.  

Loon is known as New England's most accessible "Big Mountain Skiing".  Located just two hours north from Boston and three hours from Providence, Loon grabbed a Top 10 spot in the 2012 SKI Magazine reader poll and was voted the most accessible in the East.  If you like to play in the parks, Loon's terrain parks recently grabbed top honors from Freeskier Magazine, claiming #1 Parks in the East. 

While Loon earns high remarks for accessibility and charm, it wasn't my favorite "Ski The East" mountain.  I didn't find the mountain to be steep and thought the runs were on the shorter side.  I didn't find the mountain very challenging and after a day of short flowing runs, I was craving something steep.  I was also missing some good glades to sink my skis into.  In Loon's defense, they had 2 inches of fresh snow that week so this wasn't one of those powder days us New Englanders dream of.  

It was crowded and there were lift lines but manageable for a Sunday in the heat of ski season in New England.  While the skiing left me wanting more compared to other New England favorites like Okemo and Stowe what the mountain lacked in technical skiing, it made up for in overall charm.   

Loon is a beautiful, well maintained and a well thought out resort with so much charm.  I nearly melted into a pile of mush when the steam train came rolling into the station, a fun and easy way to get from one side of the mountain to the other.  Wood was stacked under an awning and tired skiers and excited children (and 31 year olds) jumped on the train for a quick ride back to the main area.  Sitting on a little steam train chugging along the mountains in New Hampshire gives any ski resort a few extra points in my books. 

The mountain also had beautiful lodges, well thought out outdoor spaces and sprawling vistas.  The Overlook was beautiful, offering a wooden deck where you can sit and take in the gorgeous sweeping view of the Whites below.  The restaurants were charming and well kept and there are plenty of places to choose from.  There was even a little chapel (Loon Mountain Ministry) perched at the top of the mountain.  Views, location, New England Charm, and a whole lot of character are what makes this mountain so special.  

Ski Stats 

370 Skiable Acres 
11 Lifts (1 gondola, 3 high-speed quads, 1 fixed-grip quad, 
1 triple chair, 3 double chairs, and 2 carpet lifts)
69 Trails and Glades 
3 Peaks

Base Elevation: 950 ft.
North Peak Summit Elevation 3,050 ft
Vertical Drop:  2,100 ft.
Number of Trails:  61
Tree-Skiing Areas:  8

Skiable Acres:  370
Trail Miles:  28 miles
Longest Trail: Bear Claw (Upper & Lower) 2.5 mi.
Expert Trails:  20%
Intermediate Trails:  60%
Beginner Trails:  20%

Lunch - Camp III: For lunch, we stopped at Camp III, the log cabin at the base of the North Peak Mountain Quad.   Camp III is known for its soups (including venison stew) and bison burgers.  They had a bunch of sandwiches and ski standards like chicken tenders and fries as well. 

Apres Ski  - Babe’s Blue Ox: After a day of skiing, we headed to the top of the Governor Adams Lodge to an apr├Ęs ski favorite - we had a few pints while enjoying live music on the second story of this quaint lodge.  

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