The presidential debates have good drama but are nothing compared to "getting into it" with fellow skiers about their Top 10 favorite expert runs in New England. What's your "Top 10" favorite ski runs list look like? Sorry but this doesn't include ski runs in the States of NY, NJ, PA or beyond. A good thought for a future East Top 10 list at another time. Before you begin I'm outlining a few basic criteria to apply when determining and expressing your picks. This may help reduce a list of the usual suspects of steep groomers.
First, they've got to be either REAL single black or double black diamond. By REAL I mean the hardest most challenging adrenaline pumping runs. The ones you need to take a deep breath on while your tips hang off the edge of the first drop as you consider your ski line. I include single black because some areas are old school and don't distinguish beyond a single black diamond. Second, you considered this run while skiing it during great natural snow conditions which means it had enough snow on it to make it a blast. Third, it's got to be long enough to give you the sense of a fine accomplishment with echos of "hoots" and "hollers" heard by your twitching ears from fellow skiers for your awesome skiing on that Top 10 run. Fourth, it can and probably should include trees for variety, challenge, pitch and difficulty. Finally, it shouldn't be a normally groomed trail which helps eliminates a lot of usual suspect runs and forces you to think harder about those truly epic trails you've skied that make up a spectacular list. Your Top 10 doesn't need to be in order from 1 to 10, it is just needs to be your Top 10.
Here's my "Top 10 Expert Runs in New England" in no particular order:
- Paradise to Upper and Lower Canyon, Mad River Glen
- Upper FIS to Catwalk to Black Hole (super steep), Smugglers Notch (also really dig Doc Dempsey's Glade)
- Downdraft (but first climb to right of K-1 Gondola) Double Dipper to Big Dipper, Killington (staying left in the woods, get's steeper and steeper)
- Devil's Fiddle to Devil's Den - Killington (could replace with Outer Limits only if you stick to the lift line)
- Rumble to Liftline - Sugarbush
- DJ's Tramline - Cannon Mountain (rarely open, but did get it once and it's arguably the narliest in the east)
- Face Chutes to Everglade to Kokomo - Jay Peak (ok, Kokomo is intermediate but by then I need a rest)
- High Rigger to Pure Heat to Rip Saw - Sugarloaf (could keep going into Rough Cut Glades but might get stuck at the very bottom)
- Upper, Middle and Lower Goat (or Bypass then Middle and Lowe Goat but some bush waking required) - Stowe
- Upper and Lower Starr - Stowe
I know I missed a bunch of great runs from many areas but these Top 10 are my real adrenaline pushers. I'll add one more for good measure which is the Head Wall at Tuckerman's Ravine. But that's not fair because it opens another back country discussion. Plus it isn't served by a ski lift so I can rest my legs after skiing these quad crunchers!