Loon Mountain Ski Getaways

ski getaways

One key to Loon's popularity may be its access road - Interstate 93. Well, there are three flat miles of NH Route 112 to traverse before one actually arrives at the slopes, but you get the picture. Loon is easy to get to, especially from the Boston Metro area. That accessibility and Loon's ability to keep pace with the times make the mountain a genuine destination resort. Factor in a huge lodging base and a lively apr�s-ski scene and it's no wonder the place seems a little crowded on a busy weekend. Loon limits lift ticket sales, though, and with a lift system that pretty effectively separates people by ability level there are good turns to be had even on a nice Saturday.

Beginners have a route down from the top of every lift except the North Peak Triple, but may also take advantage of two distinct areas. The Little Sister Double (and a handle tow) serves the Little Sister slope above the Octagon Base Lodge on the east side of the mountain and the Kissin' Cousin Double (and a nearby handle tow) serves similar terrain above the Governor Adams Base Lodge.

The core intermediate terrain can be found off the fast Kancamagus Quad above the Governor Adams lodge or the Seven Brothers Triple over by the Octagon Lodge. Trails like Rampasture, Coolidge Street, Lower Picked Rock and Picaroon will provide hours of pleasure. There's also fine blue square terrain higher up. Ride the four passenger gondola to access Upper Picked Rock and Upper Flying Fox, or try the Upper/Lower Speakeasy combination, one of the mountain's longest runs and more of a challenge than the blue rating suggests, especially in the lower sections.

Whatever your ability level, a trip to the Summit Lodge showcases another of Loon's assets, namely the view. Look north and northwest directly into the heart of the Pemigewasset Wilderness Area, deeply cleft, heavily wooded, and punctuated by rugged peaks. Beyond this area rises the Presidential massif and Mount Washington, clearly visible on a sunny day.

Better skiers and riders, after admiring the view, will want to head down Big Dipper in order to access Triple Trouble, Angel Street, and Skidder, the last gladed. The East Basin Double will get you back up again, or continue down a bit to the North Peak Triple. The steeps of Upper Walking Boss and Flume will get your heart pounding because there's plenty of room to carve big GS turns all the way down.

Back at the Octagon Lodge side of Loon ride the Seven Brothers Triple to get to the terrain park and half pipe. A dedicated snowboard center sits at the bottom of this long and varied park.<