By Sasha Yakovleff
Loon Mountain, tucked mere minutes off I-93 in Lincoln, New Hampshire, boasts one of the best parks in the East. This is no joke—look it up in any major ski or snowboard magazine and you will see the results. Indeed, Loon's park crew is a regular guest builder for Snowboarder Magazine's famous Superpark event.
Loon is one of a few resorts—including Cannon and Waterville Valley—located a stone's throw from the biggest highway accessing New Hampshire from the South. While this does bring on the crowds during busy times, it also forces these resorts to constantly one-up each other, and this is certainly manifested in Loon's flagship park, the Loon Mountain Park or LMP.
LMP is best experienced when ridden top-to-bottom to fully grasp the scope of the different park zones. This is easiest to do by riding the gondola to the summit. When you get off at the top, hop on a cruiser like Flying Fox or Upper Picked Rock. Pay attention to small features on the side of the trails like rock wallrides, snowmaking pipe jibs, and natural quarterpipes tucked off near the woods.
Once you hit Grand Junction slow it down and avoid the tourists before ducking into LMP on your left. Now the fun begins. LMP always starts with a creative rail garden, usually composed of a down rail/hubba/flat-down rail combo leading into a Jersey barrier or pole jam, followed by another drop deck. Next comes something like a cannon box or elevated rail to either jump or jib over and pick up speed for the jump line. A roughly 20-foot step down sets you up for a perfect medium-sized step-up to get the blood flowing. Next there is generally a huge hip or vert wall to send as big or little as you want. To skier's left of this jump line are more jibs including the long Oakley down rail, a down-flat-down, and usually an A-frame wallride.
Now you're into the bigger stuff. Look for progressive jump lines on the left ranging from 20-40 foot step-downs before another drop deck. On the right you will find creative wallrides and maybe some elevated bonk features. Pull up onto the next drop deck and get stoked for the big jumps. Something like a 30-40-50-foot Step-up to Step-down line awaits. The crew always cuts the side of these beauties with the pipe dragon so you can also send them as hips. Below these jumps you will find more jib features including the stair set on your right and the Log-cabin-style wallride straight ahead. The stair set has options like a down rail, down-flat-down, and hubba ledges on either side. The wallride is a huge wall with perfect tranny and coping on top so you can ride it like a skate ramp or transfer across it as high as you want.
Think that was a solid run? Now get ready for the perfectly sculpted Superpipe just below. The pipe has immaculate 18-foot walls and a fast pitch for blasting. Plus it sits in the sun for epic warm day conditions.
Now hop back on the gondola and repeat—LMP is so vast and varied that you never have to take the same line twice all day.