My first two ski weekendS this year involved considerable stretches of two-lane. Long, winding, mind-numbing two lane. Granted, those trips didn’t require a seven-hour (or more) haul that many of my friends in the West take on. But a drive of three- or four-plus hours can still suck the life out of a ski weekend.
So, imagine my delight when my daughter Brynne and I buckled up in the family Subaru on Boston’s North Shore on an overcast Friday, just past noontime, and flew up Interstate 93 to New Hampshire’s White Mountains, arriving at Loon Mountain in Lincoln in under three hours. That included a coffee/bathroom break at the rest area just past the Hooksett toll booths.
This has long been Loon’s calling card — quick and easy access. Judging by the crowds on an early January weekend, plenty of skiers and riders, whether they were day-visitors or came up the night before, agree. If we arrive by 7:30 on a Saturday, we might even get a great spot in the Loon parking lot, which is normally overflowing by 9. We also can be first in line in the rental shop if my girls want to try something different, like snowboards.
An early start also allows visitors to avail themselves of Loon’s “Snow Guarantee.” Essentially, the guarantee allows skiers and riders, if they’re not satisfied with the snow conditions, to return their full-priced lift ticket at any Information Desk by 11 a.m. in exchange for a voucher for another day (during the same season). Not too shabby.