LINCOLN, New Hampshire — This December, Loon Mountain, New Hampshire’s premier winter destination, will open South Peak, the newest ski terrain in New England. A generation in the making, South Peak opens with a new high-speed express quad, three trails, a base facility and a connector lift. The new terrain represents only 35% of the total planned terrain on Loon Mountain that will open in subsequent years.
“This certainly is a special time to be part of Loon,” said general manager, Rick Kelley. “After years of starts and stops, a lot of us are pinching ourselves that it’s really happening.”
Over the past 10 months, crews at Loon Mountain have blasted rock, cleared trails, dug water bars, installed 29,580 feet of snowmaking pipe and worked with Doppelmayr/CTEC, to install two chairlifts. “Many members of our own staff have been involved with the construction on this project, which makes it even more meaningful to see the fruits of their labor,” said Kelley.
To access the 2,450-ft. summit of South Peak this winter, guests can either take the Lincoln Express Quad from the base of South Peak or hop on the Tote Road Connector Quad which is located at the junction of Upper Bear Claw, Upper Speakeasy and Exodus on the main mountain. From the summit of South Peak, look west to Mt. Moosilauke, look north to Cannon Cliffs, Mt. Lafayette and Franconia Notch, look down to the town of Lincoln, where one feels like he or she may just ski right onto Main Street.
The three options down South Peak include two groomed runs with snowmaking??вЂќCrusier and Boom Run, or the gladed trail, Undercut. Head to skier’s right for Boom Run. The wide expanse of the summit narrows at the ledges as Boom Run turns into a classic New England ski trail with twists, turns and intermediate steeps before the run out back to the base. Head to skier’s left for Cruiser. First cut in 1996, many locals have been poaching fresh powder on this trail over the years. The terrain is wide open, and this trail will have the best afternoon light.
At the base of South Peak you’ll find parking for 150 cars, as well as the Pemigewasset Base Camp, a fabric structure similar to the Governor’s Pavilion. Pemigewasset Base Camp will have full food and beverage offerings, rest rooms, lift ticket sales, and registration for snowsports lessons. For those who choose not to take the Tote Road Connector Quad back over to the main mountain, a shuttle bus will bring guests to the Governor’s Lodge or Octagon Lodge.
“This is just the beginning of our expansion plans,” added Kelley. “Next year we will be adding three additional trails on South Peak. This terrain will rival what is found on North Peak and will be some of the most challenging at Loon and in New England.”
For a weekly account of the construction progress, go to http://www.loonmtn.com/info/summer/speakblog.asp.