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Moderated by: Chris, nelsap, Betsy, the_hop

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Skiing w/in 60-90 mins of Lowell, MA

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jimk
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Posted: Feb 04, 2005 - 8:19 PM GMT

Apologize in advance for not searching your forum before posting question. I'm considering a trip to ski NH during my kids Easter school break, specific ski days - Thurs 3/31, Fri 4/1 and Sat 4/2. I'll be based around Lowell part of the time, but plan to drive up to N. Conway for two days of skiing around there, maybe Wildcat. But I may also ski one day closer to (and out of) Lowell on Sat 4/2. My group will be pretty mellow blue square to single black diamond skill level. For an area closer to Lowell I'm considering Sunapee or Wachusett. Never been to either. Is Sunapee worth the extra miles from Lowell? Will either likely be open at that time? Is there a big delta in snow conditions and weekend crowds between the two that late in season? Is there a better mtn within 60-90 mins of Lowell that I should consider for a Saturday in early Apr? I could hit the place closer to Lowell on Thurs and go up to northern NH on Fri and Sat if huge weekend crowds will still be an issue closer to Boston in Apr. Thanks.

JoshuaB
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Posted: Feb 04, 2005 - 8:29 PM GMT

Definitely consider Crotched. They have a lot of snow and no crowds.
Davev
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Posted: Feb 04, 2005 - 8:31 PM GMT

Lower elevations tend to be mushier come April. But ya never know..
hammer
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Posted: Feb 04, 2005 - 8:33 PM GMT

I've been to Sunapee and Wachusett once each, and I'd pick Sunapee over Wachusett. I think you'll find more variety at Sunapee. Crowds at Wachusett are worse IMO but that may not be as much of a factor late in the season.

As far as a closer place to Lowell is concerned, you could also consider Crotched. It's a smaller place with less vertical and fewer trails, but they've got a great snow making system, and the conditions were very good last March when I was there.

Not sure if any of these places will be open the first week in April, though.

rjmski
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Posted: Feb 04, 2005 - 8:48 PM GMT

Most resorts would love to have to the problem of big crowds that late
in the season. Sunday April 2nd will be shutdown day for many resorts
given reasonable weather between now and then.
Ragged, Loon, Waterville and Cannon are all reasonable drives from
Lowell, ie: less than two hours.
eeyore
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Posted: Feb 04, 2005 - 10:01 PM GMT

Sunapee is always good in March. Trail counts still high, coverage still deep and full trail. Wed. is the only day they get the crowds (2 for 1 day) during your planned trip. I think last year there were four weeks in 5 that it snowed in March and April mid-week. How I ever scheduled days off in advance on those days is beyond me.

The other area I like late in the season is over in VT, Mt. Snow, a bit longer than what you wanted, but love the spring snow and sun! I like the longer trails!
joshua segal
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Posted: Feb 05, 2005 - 3:25 PM GMT

Unless you have a heavy foot, your options for less than 90 minutes from Lowell include:

MA
Nashoba Valley
Bradford
Blue Hills
Wachusetts*

NH
Crotched*
McIntyre
Pats Peak*

The ones marked with asterisks actually have over 700 feet of vertical.

By late March, crowds are gone.



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Joshua Segal
JR
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Posted: Feb 05, 2005 - 3:47 PM GMT

All are good choices. I would also include Bershire East and Mount Snow on the list. 495 to Rt 2. Snowfall in March and and the weather in the days right before you go will be the biggest factor. Crotched can re-cover in 24 hours if they have the right conditions and they think it will be worthwhile. They have a heck of a base.
joshua segal
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Posted: Feb 05, 2005 - 5:42 PM GMT

I don't fault JR for his suggestions, but I do fault him on his geography. Doing normal speed limits, neither Berskshire East nor Mt. Snow is within 90 minutes of Lowell.

If you are willing to go to 2 to 3 hours, then the list I proposed expands to about 30 areas, including many of the ones suggested by other posters on this thread.

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Joshua Segal
the_hop
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Posted: Feb 05, 2005 - 7:19 PM GMT
Edited: Feb 05, 2005 - 7:27 PM GMT

Sunapee is more likely to be open late than anywhere else of comparable driving time from Lowell (11 miles from my house). Driving time, Sunapee is about the same as Crotched, Pats Peak, or WaWa. I make it from the Westford rd exit on Rt 3 to Sunapee in a little over an hour (just under 70 miles).

But keep in mind, in April snow can go fast. A couple of years back, I had 4 feet of snow in my back yard on April 1 and bare grass by April 7. You may find that Cannon, Wildcat or Bretton to be your best choice. Of those, Bretton does the best grooming snow making combination that assures late season skiing. There is alway the Cog RR and Mt. Washington too.

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jimk
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Posted: Feb 06, 2005 - 1:18 AM GMT

Appreciate the insight. If weather is real bad in late March I won't come up at all. If good only north - I'll probably hit Cat and BWs. If decent in south I'll prolly hit Sunapee for a day. Thanks again.
joshua segal
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Posted: Feb 06, 2005 - 3:23 AM GMT

"the_hop's" assertion about April snow is not quite correct.

Because spring skiers tend to be patrollers, instructors and season pass holders, a lot of areas shut down because of lack of cash flow, rather than lack of snow.

Of the areas I listed in my earlier posting, based on past history, the only one likely to be open is Wachusett. Crotched could be and might be, but the new ownership hasn't yet established a track record.

If you want to broaden your radius up to 2.5 hours from Lowell, areas likely to still be open in early April include
Mt. Snow
Sunapee
Ragged
Waterville
Loon
Tenney
Cannon

By late April and early May, you need to extend the radius another hour where the options become
Killington
Bretton Woods
Wildcat
(3.5 hours may get you to Sunday River, but I doubt it.)

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Joshua Segal
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Posted: Feb 06, 2005 - 3:47 AM GMT

Quote:
Sunapee is more likely to be open late than anywhere else of comparable driving time from Lowell (11 miles from my house). Driving time, Sunapee is about the same as Crotched, Pats Peak, or WaWa. I make it from the Westford rd exit on Rt 3 to Sunapee in a little over an hour (just under 70 miles).

Wow...I go from a similar location and the one time I went to Sunapee it took closer to 1.5 hours. Time to Crotched is just over an hour and time to Pats is just under an hour.

Do you drive through Newbury, NH? If you do, make sure you follow the speed limits religiously unless you want to contribute to the local revenue base.

the_hop
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Posted: Feb 06, 2005 - 9:51 PM GMT
Edited: Feb 06, 2005 - 9:56 PM GMT

Quote:
[quote]Sunapee is more likely to be open late than anywhere else of comparable driving time from Lowell (11 miles from my house). Driving time, Sunapee is about the same as Crotched, Pats Peak, or WaWa. I make it from the Westford rd exit on Rt 3 to Sunapee in a little over an hour (just under 70 miles).

Wow...I go from a similar location and the one time I went to Sunapee it took closer to 1.5 hours. Time to Crotched is just over an hour and time to Pats is just under an hour.

Do you drive through Newbury, NH? If you do, make sure you follow the speed limits religiously unless you want to contribute to the local revenue base.
[/quote]



I go to Sunapee several times a season. The first 60 miles is all 4 lane at 70 mph. I drive through Newbury AT THE SPEED LIMIT and the only time it has taken more than the time I mentioned is on a Jeep Day, when traffice was backed up BEFORE Newbury. We turned around and went to Pat's peak and had a wonderful day. I used to drive from Concord MA and from there it never took more than 90 minutes.


And Jonathon, just where am I not correct? Snow can go fast in April. I did not say that is why areas up north closed, but it sure has a lot to do with ones close to Lowell. But, I didn't say that. I just said, it can go fast.

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joshua segal
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Posted: Feb 06, 2005 - 10:57 PM GMT

The Hop said:
Quote:
And Jonathon, just where am I not correct? Snow can go fast in April. I did not say that is why areas up north closed, but it sure has a lot to do with ones close to Lowell. But, I didn't say that. I just said, it can go fast.

Joshua (not Jonathon).

Most of the areas that remain open late are dealing with substantial, near glacial consistency snowpack. So unless there is a protracted stretch of 70 degree weather, it just doesn't melt that fast.

Deep snow pack is self-insulating.

I do recall about 4-years ago, K-Mart started May with over 20 feet of snow on Superstar and they lost about 15 feet in a one-week hot spell. So it can happen, but not often.

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Joshua Segal
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Posted: Feb 07, 2005 - 1:34 PM GMT

Quote:
The Hop said:
[QUOTE] And Jonathon, just where am I not correct? Snow can go fast in April. I did not say that is why areas up north closed, but it sure has a lot to do with ones close to Lowell. But, I didn't say that. I just said, it can go fast.

Joshua (not Jonathon).

Most of the areas that remain open late are dealing with substantial, near glacial consistency snowpack. So unless there is a protracted stretch of 70 degree weather, it just doesn't melt that fast.

Deep snow pack is self-insulating.

I do recall about 4-years ago, K-Mart started May with over 20 feet of snow on Superstar and they lost about 15 feet in a one-week hot spell. So it can happen, but not often.[/quote]


You just made my case. Thankyou. Oh, and don't forget rain, or worse, snow melting fog.


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