By David Schissler
(March 2015) It was a long time coming this season but I finally made it to Mount Sunapee, NH to ride their new high speed quad (HSQ) in the Sunbowl. And what a ride it is. I would ride the Sunbowl fixed-grip quad whenever I needed a breather. I’ve always enjoyed the terrain there, particularly Wingding and Skyway, cruising trails with good pitch and rolling terrain, but the quad was so slow it took about nine minutes to reach the top. The new lift has cut the ride time to less than half of that. I used to be one of those guys who count runs, vertical, etc. on a given day. You probably know some riders like that yourself. Well, on a weekday Sunapee now allows for more runs in a day than most riders have the legs for, making it a great value.
While at Mt. Sunapee I stopped in to speak with Ross Malaguti, Marketing Manager. We spoke about how the Sunbowl quad is the beginning of what may very well be a shift in the landscape of central New England skiing. This summer the mountain will continue its improvement plan. The fixed grip quad that was replaced by the new HSQ in Sunbowl will be moved to the front of the mountain and replace the venerable North Peak triple. This lift serves the steepest terrain on the mountain with Goosebumps and Lynx. The phase after this will include a new lift out of the Sunbowl to the top of the North Peak and several new trails to go with it. Go three to five years out and we may see the development of the long planned West Side which will include another HSQ, 6 to 8 trails, a parking lot and base lodge. If and when all of this is complete Sunapee, which is already the third busiest ski area in New Hampshire, will have the facilities to challenge larger mountains further north in NH and west in VT for your lift ticket dollars.
BTW: I’ve been skiing longer than I can remember and never lost a lift ticket, until now. About mid afternoon I slid into the Sunapee Express lift line and was stopped by an attendant who noticed I had no ticket. I looked down and was surprised to see there was nothing where my ticket should be. I have a small spring-loaded carabineer on my jacket and apparently I moved just right to open the spring a bit and the ticket was gone. Here’s the lesson. Save the little tab on your lift ticket. It’s intended for replacing lost tickets. I must say I walked up to the Customer Service desk, showed my stub and was cheerfully handed a new ticket. No questions asked. Put that stub in a safe place. It could save your day as it did mine. For more info visit www.mountsunapee.com