Most of Northern New England saw a significant amount of snow on Thursday and Friday, but it also brought a bit of rain and ice. Because of this, many ski resorts in New England had operational issues with their chairlifts. Shockingly, this included various Vail Resorts-owned mountains in New Hampshire. A detailed breakdown of what happened over the weekend is below.
Mount Sunapee: I live pretty close to Mount Sunapee, and we didn’t get snow until early Friday morning, as Sunapee reported only three inches from the storm. This led to heavy icing on their lifts, and not a whole lot of transparency of the situation from the resort. For most of Friday, Saturday, and part of Sunday, the only open lifts were over at South Peak, the Spruce Triple, and the North Peak Triple. All of the lifts(Sunapee and Sunbowl Express) and terrain on the upper mountain were closed for two days straight without much explanation from Sunapee, minus their Twitter alerts account.
The results on Saturday were disastrous. Neither the Sunapee Express nor Sunbowl Expres opened all day. The North Peak Triple lift line went from the lift to the Sunapee Express that’s hundreds of feet away and crosses multiple trail intersections. Standstill traffic was a part of the drive over on Route 103, which has become common over the past couple of weekends. The Sunapee Express opened on Sunday morning, but the Sunbowl Express didn’t open all day. In a hilarious tweet Sunday afternoon, Sunapee opened the Sunbowl up…but you needed to hike up afterward. Today, after saying they wouldn’t be able to open up the Sunbowl, they got the lift open at around 2 pm. Now to be fair to Mount Sunapee, I don’t think a lot of people realized they could’ve driven thirty minutes north to ski better conditions, in which many mountains got a foot or more of snow. But this doesn’t excuse mountain operations from not being able to get their summit lifts open over a two to three-day time span. In response, a similar Change.com petition to the Stevens Pass one has emerged online regarding Mount Sunapee. You can read it here.
Attitash: Attitash saw more snow than Sunapee (seven inches), but similar icing issues led to a multitude of problems regarding their lifts. This included the Flying Yankee, Flying Bear, Summit Triple, and a few other chairlifts. On the Bear Peak side, only the Abenaki lift was opened originally, which you can’t access from the Bear Peak base area. This resulted in people hiking up to the lift… only for Abenaki to shut down for maintenance for a while.
Guests took to social media to flame the tensions between pass holders and the corporation:
Today was an absolute joke. A laughing fest. After waiting in line over an hour, to decide to go to bear, which was closed, have to hike back to attitash just to walk to the car to leave. Absolute ridiculousness. I won't come back. @vail_epic_fail #Vailepicfail#trashitash
— MrGazGazzington (@MrGazGazzington) February 6, 2022
Crotched: Ice issues also were prominent at Crotehed, which saw more rain than snow from the storm. The Rocket lift, which services the mountain summit, was completely shut down for the weekend due to ice issues. It’s unclear when Crotched’s Rocket lift will reopen. Instead of pointing this out on their social media(outside of Twitter), they promoted a goggle giveaway instead. Large lift lines and disgruntled guests ensued.
Wildcat: Out of the group, Wildcat honestly had a pretty good weekend. Sure, the Wildcat Express had an ice hold on Saturday morning like the rest of Vails NH mountains, but it was worth the wait, as they got twenty-two inches from the storm. If you’re an Epic Pass holder that’s got a day off during this week, I would hit Wildcat up instead of the three struggling resorts mentioned above. Image Credits: Wildcat, Epic Lift Lines, KnowYourMeme