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wxeyeNH

NNE Cold Season Thread 2020-2021

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1 hour ago, PhineasC said:

I will ski most any conditions or terrain except the sheet ice. Hate that stuff. The wind had scoured out the entire front face of Cannon. 

Yeah, skiing ice, especially steep ice, isn’t just “unfun” or irritating (although you can find people who would argue this), it’s also quite dangerous.  See Ginx’s comment for an example, and I’ve actually had to save friends from similar “slide for life” encounters in the past.  Sure, skis have metal edges, but even experienced mountaineers are smart enough to know not to go on steeply pitched ice without crampons and an axe.  Yes, many expert skiers see skiing ice as a “badge of honor” sort of thing, and that’s to each their own of course, but I ski for fun/recreation/exercise etc., so if it’s not fun, I’m not going to force myself to do it.  The analogy I always use for skiing hard snow/ice is like going swimming on a cold, windy day, with water temperatures in the 50s F.  Sure, you can do it, but what’s the point?

For typical, high-traffic, lift-served terrain around here, I find there’s generally an inverse correlation between steepness and snow quality – so much more pressure is applied on steep turns that it just beats down and or scrapes away the snow that much quicker.  Obviously, when conditions are really good, or you’re in low traffic or backcountry terrain, you can get both steep terrain and high quality snow if you want, but for typical lift-served terrain, it’s often a compromise between the two.  Everyone has their own personal preference when it comes to these opposing forces, but given my preference, I’ll typically sacrifice some pitch for better quality snow.

After thinking about your experience at Cannon today, it got me thinking about the nearby NH ski areas around you (see map below), and if I had to rank them in terms of typical snow quality based on both personal experience and what I read, I think I’d go as follows, going from lowest to highest:

1) Cannon

2) Wildcat

3) Bretton Woods

4) Balsams

So, yeah, I think that on average, Cannon is probably going to have the roughest snow quality of the areas near you.  It’s unfortunate, but I think Balsams isn’t even running their one main lift anymore as the resort is in limbo regarding plans for a bigger resort, but from everything I’ve read (high snowfall, low skier traffic, etc.) I think they would offer some really nice snow surfaces.  There’s also Black Mountain as possibly the next closest in proximity to you on that map?  I’ve seen the mountain, but haven’t skied there, and I don’t see enough reports to get a sense for their snow quality.  They are a bit lower in elevation, so that may affect their snowfall/snow quality to some degree, but folks who know that area can probably fill us in.

NHSkiAreasMap.jpg

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4 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

Well, I got stuck in my own driveway. NNE mountain rite of passage?

Uh, oh – you are NH and not VT though, so possibly no Subaru?

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Event totals: 4.2” Snow/0.09” L.E.

 

Details from the 8:00 P.M. Waterbury observations:

New Snow: 0.8 inches

New Liquid: 0.02 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 40.0

Snow Density: 2.5% H2O

Temperature: 22.3 F

Sky: Light Snow (1 to 5 mm flakes)

Snow at the stake: 18.0 inches

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2 hours ago, Angus said:

The issue at Cannon is the notch just channels the warm southerly winds during a rain storm just eroding the pack. Cannon turns to rain before Wildcat all the time. With that said, Cannon and Wildcat have best terrain in NH by far. I once read some history of Cannon and the location of the ski area went against the recommendation of ...Sel Hannah maybe?

Friend posted some video skiing glades today at BW, looked great. I love how the glades at BW can open with so little snow depth

It is funny bc I am already contemplating a Indy and Cannon pass next year due my dissatisfaction with Wildcat. Cannon is also a shorter drive for me.

What are Wildcat’s weaknesses compared to better mountains?

I’m relatively new to New England skiing so it helps to know what to look for.

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Agree with Scooter on the wind at Cannon. It is awful there...every single time I’ve been in that peak it’s brutal. The terrain is amazing but the wind definitely has a detrimental effect on coverage.  

I think that’s part of their snowfall issues too. Like look at MWN. There’s a zero percent chance they average “only” 260” of snow if we could theoretically catch all the snow that falls there. But we can’t and it blows off into the ravines. Cannon isn’t the best snow spot anyway, but likely a higher percentage of their snowfall just gets nuked off the mountain face by wind than other mountains...and that mountain face is so exposed too where the trails are. Not many sheltered spots for it to collect. 

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4 hours ago, jculligan said:

Tagged my first big mountain objective today. Skinned from Pinkham Notch to the floor of Tuckerman Ravine, then booted up Left Gully...which is an east-facing couloir on the west side of the ravine. Things are rapidly filling in, and I was able to ski in/ski out without having to carry the skis once. Considering the lean start to the year, Left Gully skied exceptionally well with only a few scoured sections higher up as is typically the case. Interestingly enough...I have never waited so long to ski the Sherburne Trail before, but this is the earliest I have ever skied the ravine.

 

tuck_1.jpg

tuck_2.jpg

tuck_3.jpg

tuck_4.jpg

Looks great, I’m headed up in the morning. Looks like a sleeper day on tap. 

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9 minutes ago, Fozz said:

I will say that my trips to Stowe last year had much better conditions than Wildcat, but I am biased because those trips happened to be the two best weekends of the season, both with double digit totals of fresh powder.

I can not talk about this version of Wildcat but rather the older version.  We skied Wildcats 2 for 1 Wed specials for a decade it seemed. A mid size hill, best views in New England, a mini Sunday River for trail layout and fun. I understand this year it has been neglected, sad to hear. When it dumps it was heaven

Screenshot_20210121-215108_Photos.jpg

20170217_100511.jpg

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8 minutes ago, ORH_wxman said:

Agree with Scooter on the wind at Cannon. It is awful there...every single time I’ve been in that peak it’s brutal. The terrain is amazing but the wind definitely has a detrimental effect on coverage.  

I think that’s part of their snowfall issues too. Like look at MWN. There’s a zero percent chance they average “only” 260” of snow if we could theoretically catch all the snow that falls there. But we can’t and it blows off into the ravines. Cannon isn’t the best snow spot anyway, but likely a higher percentage of their snowfall just gets nuked off the mountain face by wind than other mountains...and that mountain face is so exposed too where the trails are. Not many sheltered spots for it to collect. 

Would have been epic Feb 69 with 100 inches 

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2 minutes ago, Ginx snewx said:

I can not talk about this version of Wildcat but rather the older version.  We skied Wildcats 2 for 1 Wed specials for a decade it seemed. A mid size hill, best views in New England, a mini Sunday River for trail layout and fun. I understand this year it has been neglected, sad to hear. When it dumps it was heaven

Screenshot_20210121-215108_Photos.jpg

20170217_100511.jpg

Wildcat and Bretton Woods have the best views of any New England mountains ive skied. 

 

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1 hour ago, J.Spin said:

Uh, oh – you are NH and not VT though, so possibly no Subaru?

Tires?

everything skiing great with constant resurfacing.  Quite windy this morning.  Thankfully there are trees to block the wind.

B5D26BAC-D2FD-44EF-BA75-8E615A9E1365.jpeg

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4 minutes ago, Ginx snewx said:

I can not talk about this version of Wildcat but rather the older version.  We skied Wildcats 2 for 1 Wed specials for a decade it seemed. A mid size hill, best views in New England, a mini Sunday River for trail layout and fun. I understand this year it has been neglected, sad to hear. When it dumps it was heaven

Wildcat was pretty good this past weekend. Not ideal but much better than a few weeks ago. Lots of very good runs, especially higher up. I've never been to Sunday River, though I hear a lot of good things about it including from you. Does SR really only average 150"?

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1 minute ago, PhineasC said:

Tonight is why I bought a house up here.

Skiing all afternoon at Cannon, evening beers with friends in Gorham, sliding around in my driveway, heavy snow at 13 degrees...

This is truly a unique experience for a born and bred MD person. Bread and butter!!

The bread and butter you were eating earlier this month said “Made in MD: expiration 2/10/10”. 

You got some NNE bread and butter finally. 

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Just now, Hitman said:

Tires?

everything skiing great with constant resurfacing.  Quite windy this morning.  Thankfully there are trees to block the wind.

B5D26BAC-D2FD-44EF-BA75-8E615A9E1365.jpeg

I cut too little when backing towards my garage and ended up in a plow drift. I have a Ram 1500 4x4 here so not a Honda Civic.

There is some crazy kind of NASA super ice that forms here when snow is compacted down and frozen. It's pure white and slick as hell. Most slippery substance I have ever seen.

I fall down on my quarter mile of driveway once a week. I am still learning the climate here.

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3 minutes ago, ORH_wxman said:

Wildcat and Bretton Woods have the best views of any New England mountains ive skied. 

 

I taught my youngest skiing at Bretton, after 5 runs he was on his own after 5 more he begged me to rent a snowboard. The rest is history, damn shredders.  Should have known, him being a skateboarder and surfer.

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2 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

I cut too little when backing towards my garage and ended up in a plow drift. I have a Ram 1500 4x4 here so not a Honda Civic.

There is some crazy kind of NASA super ice that forms here when snow is compacted down and frozen. It's pure white and slick as hell. Most slippery substance I have ever seen.

I fall down on my quarter mile of driveway once a week. I am still learning the climate here.

Lol know that ice well

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Just now, Fozz said:

Wildcat was pretty good this past weekend. Not ideal but much better than a few weeks ago. Lots of very good runs, especially higher up. I've never been to Sunday River, though I hear a lot of good things about it including from you. Does SR really only average 150"?

Yeah SR doesn’t average a ton but it holds the snow amazingly due to its shape and the fact that it’s already deep into CAD territory. It’s kind of like a giant horseshoe that faces northeast. 

The low elevation snow depths there are usually unmatched anywhere else at similar latitude in New England. I routinely have seen 40-50” depths at like 600-800 feet there in late winter.  

 

2927874E-B191-475C-96FB-231902263EE6.jpeg

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6 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

I cut too little when backing towards my garage and ended up in a plow drift. I have a Ram 1500 4x4 here so not a Honda Civic.

There is some crazy kind of NASA super ice that forms here when snow is compacted down and frozen. It's pure white and slick as hell. Most slippery substance I have ever seen.

I fall down on my quarter mile of driveway once a week. I am still learning the climate here.

Ha ha.  You might want to invest in a helmet for walking on your driveway.

It’s all about the tires though even with 4 wheel drive truck.

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2 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

You helped me pick this place man. :) 

I’m glad it’s finally starting to pay off in the snow department. The upslope you report there is even a little better than I had envisioned. Seems like you are almost on par with Alex for upslope...just a smidge less maybe. 

You cleaned up on that last synoptic storm too with the east flow. 

 

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10 minutes ago, Ginx snewx said:

I taught my youngest skiing at Bretton, after 5 runs he was on his own after 5 more he begged me to rent a snowboard. The rest is history, damn shredders.  Should have known, him being a skateboarder and surfer.

My oldest daughter is begging to switch to a snowboard but I have blocked that so far. We are a skiing family.

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10 minutes ago, ORH_wxman said:

Yeah SR doesn’t average a ton but it holds the snow amazingly due to its shape and the fact that it’s already deep into CAD territory. It’s kind of like a giant horseshoe that faces northeast. 

The low elevation snow depths there are usually unmatched anywhere else at similar latitude in New England. I routinely have seen 40-50” depths at like 600-800 feet there in late winter.  

Sounds like that definitely compensates for their lack of snowfall. I've gotta make a trip there one day. The pics I've seen are breathtaking and it seems to be a very widespread favorite. Since I don't have the IKON pass, SR might even be worth the lift ticket prices after a good snowstorm.

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1 minute ago, ORH_wxman said:

I’m glad it’s finally starting to pay off in the snow department. The upslope you report there is even a little better than I had envisioned. Seems like you are almost on par with Alex for upslope...just a smidge less maybe. 

You cleaned up on that last synoptic storm too with the east flow. 

 

Yeah, seems like when there is a defined low nearby pumping on NE or E winds Randolph can destroy the competition. I even compete with the ski hills in that setup. Pretty sure I get more snow than Cannon, to be honest.

I have been impressed with the upslope here this week. It's has been relentless. Snowing hard as hell right now.

The locals from Gorham here tried to tell me. LOL They spoke of this house as some kind magical snow kingdom with plow piles higher than houses. I can only imagine what a 250" winter would look like.

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13 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

Yeah, I need to get snow tires on this thing.

Good set of tires and some weight in the bed, You'll learn.

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