2018/2019 Ski Day 2: Loon

Another fine day at Loon. I drove up through a steady rain, gambling that (a) the rain would let up by mid-morning, and (b) it would keep the crowds away. I won both bets! By the time I was on the snow the rain was just a drizzle, and after three runs (9:30 or so) it was just about done.

In addition to the Gondola, the Seven Brothers and North Peak Quad lifts were turning. Yes: North Peak (and Camp III) are now open.

Atop North Peak — and down to about 100-200 feet below — the precipitation was in the form of snow.

Atop North Peak
The view down Sunset

Got my first tracks of the season on Angel Street.

Looking up Angel Street
The East Basin double — idle

The venison stew was unfortunately not on the menu at Camp III — they’re waiting for the meat…

North Peak quad, from Camp III

Maybe next time.

2018/2019 Ski Day 1: Loon

Back on the snow!

Like last year, I spent Day 1 at Loon Mountain — an easy two hour drive without traffic or weather. There was no real traffic northbound at 6:45 AM, but there was some weather: rain at home turned to light snow 20 minutes into the drive. With the speed on I-93 at times as slow as 35 mph at times, I managed to get onto the mountain shortly before 10:00.

The one lift running.

It’s early season — pre-Thanksgiving! — so any open terrain is a gift. Loon was running the Gondola to the summit, with a choice of 4 ways down to mid-mountain, and two ways from there to the bottom. Not a lot, but enough for Day 1.

Feet up on solo ride.

Crowds were not a factor. I didn’t have a single full gondola ride all day, and managed two solo rides where I could put my feet up. The gondola cars are newly replaced this year, clean inside and plexiglass windows scratch-free.

Freshest gondola car ever.

Temperatures have been excellent for snow-making, and Loon has been blasting the guns over on North Peak. I gave the base of the North Peak Quad a wistful look…

… and dreamt of the venison stew at Camp III.

It’ll happen. It’s early.