A FRIDAY AT SUNAPEE
by Paul Maraschiello

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I flew to New England for a long weekend of skiing. After shopping the airline's prices, I found that it was cheaper to fly into Manchester, NH on Friday morning than any other New England destination at any time. With Mount Sunapee only an hour from the Manchester airport, skiing there on Friday was a no-brainer. I had skied there before and I liked it a lot. The resort has lots of excellent intermediate trails and expert runs that are just challenging enough for a guy like me.

Sunapee is easy to find. It is about a half hour off the interstate and I had no trouble getting there. They had been purchased a couple of years ago by Okemo and I was interested in seeing what additional changes had been made since my last visit.



I parked in parking lot 4 and took the shuttle bus to the base lodge. I picked up my lift ticket and headed to the chair. I road the chair right in front of the old base lodge and flew down the mountain and hopped on the chair again. The view of the lake from the top was breathtaking. They had plenty of snow cover and all the trains were in great shape. I took another run and headed over to the new lodge. It is a beautiful building. After sampling their hot chocolate, I was on the chair heading up the mountain. I cruised the trails off the high-speed quad and did some GS skiing down some nice long trails. After a few runs, I decided to go into the new lodge for a little lunch. It was brightly lit by a big skylight in this fancy base lodge. The hamburger was tasty and the lodge was filled with a lot of happy skiers. When I headed back to the slopes, I checked the temperature. It was BRISK!



STATS
They have 65 trails and slopes covering 230 skiable acres (19 miles of terrain) 17 novice trails, 32 intermediate trails, 16 expert trails with a 1,510 foot vertical drop, the highest in southern New Hampshire. Their longest trail is The Ridge Trail and it is 2 miles long. For snowboarders there is a Halfpipe and Snowboard Park and an Alpine Terrain Park for everyone. There are 11 lifts including 3 quads (1 high-speed), 2 triple chairs, one double and five surface lifts. They have snow-making on 97% of the trails.

Lift Rates are reasonable:

Adult (ages 19-64): $66 (midweek), $70 (weekend/holiday), 2-day $128
Young Adult/Senior (ages 13-18, 65-69): $50 (midweek), $58 (weekend/holiday), 2-day $94
Junior/Super Senior (ages 6-12, 70+): $40 (midweek), $44 (weekend/holiday), 2-day $78



They had some nice trails that I really enjoyed. Since Okemo had taken over the management from the N.H. Parks Service, there had been many improvements since my last visit. I could see all the improvements that had been completed and I when I looked at the stats, I saw that they have added 15 new trails and expanded the skiable terrain. There efforts have resulted in this ski area becoming 1st class ski area. I bet the citizens of Manchester and Concord are really delighted to have such a nice ski area so near.



If you live near by or planning a trip to New England, put Mount Sunapee on your list. It is a great place for families and skiers from beginner to expert. For a really pleasant ski trip to a VERY accessible ski area, try Sunapee, you won't be disappointed.

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