“The core functions of the custom open-air structure are to store the eight-place chairs as well as serve as a loading area for guests. In winter, the entrance will be snow-covered and groomed nightly, providing guests a covered loading experience, keeping them out of the elements. Come summer, mountain bikers will load Kanc 8 in the same manner, minus the snow.”
Loon Mountain Resort in Lincoln, New Hampshire released their second episode of the Kancamagus 8 construction video series Wednesday, which features some amazing renderings of the new lift and footage of a helicopter placing the new lift towers into their new homes. The best part of the video is the unveiling of what Loon’s Kanc8 base station will look like. Construction on the project was delayed a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so the spare time gave Loon an extra year to prepare and hit the ground running early on in the Spring. With the progress made already and the chairs on site, it looks like it will be no issue for the detachable chairlift to be ready for the 21-22 winter season. This lift is the first phase of the reimagining of the Governor Adams Lodge base area.
How will this lift impact Loon Mountain? The intention is clearly to mitigate some of the immense weekend crowds faced over at the gondola. A concern that I have is whether this lift, along with the replacement of the Seven Brothers triple with the former Kanc Quad in the 2022-23 season, will put too many people on the trails. For a mountain with a vast amount of acreage(three hundred seventy acres), it actually has a relatively small trail count compared to the other behemoths in the East(sixty-one trails and eight tree skiing areas). The trails over in West Basin, which will be the home of the Kanc8, are narrower compared to the rest of the terrain at Loon. To mitigate this, a North Peak trail expansion could be in the cards in the next five years, and a beginner area over at South Peak has been planned for a long time but has yet to be implemented(and isn’t in Loon’s Flight Path 2030 plan).
Make no mistake, when this bubble lift opens, it will become the best lift in New England. But on the matter of Loon’s crowding issues, it might make the situation worse, especially on the actual trails rather than in the lift lines. On the other hand, 75% of the skiers from Loon are from the Boston area, so they’re used to traffic. To follow daily updates of Loon Kanc8 construction, go follow @kanc8thegreat on Instagram.