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Where To Go in The Northeast

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Me and my group of ski rats typically take the long haul from NYC up to the mountains bi weekly or so (midweek) and after last seasons trips to Sugarbush and Jay I think I may have found my favorite East Coast mountains.


Still after ripping it up at Jay n The Bush, I cant help but wonder is the grass greener elsewhere....  The elsewhere being places like Sunday River, Loon, Cannon, Saddlebrook, On a map Maine looks like a world away from NYC but I feel like the conditions would be stellar, same thing with NH


Me and my crew are fans of Tree Skiing and the Parks, but we also love some steeps and an occasional bump run, so do you guys have any suggestions


Oh yea and I also heard that Stowe is in the upper echelon of Northeast Mtns along with Jay and Sugarbush


Too bad Gore Mtn doesnt have liftopia discounts, I could imagine that place being a ghost town midweek (and it has the most metal name, LOL)


So what do you guys think, stay with Jay and SB or take a trip up to Maine or NH???

post #2 of 18


post #3 of 18

If you are talking midweek, the world is your oyster.  Everywhere will be empty.  Even Hunter would be a good choice if you can find a deal.  It has bumps and some steeps and great snowmaking.  Stowe is all around great especially if you catch a deal, which is rare.  You could go to Killington for bumps or when general snow conditions aren't so great and good snowmaking is important, plus has big time bump runs and not as far as northern VT, again deals are rare.  Maybe someone will chime in about that.  Magic is one you can probably get some good midweek deals.  Has bumps and trees when natural is good.  I used liftopia to ski Mad River Glen last March on a weekday for $24.  No crowds, great tree skiing and some bump runs too.  I used liftopia a couple years ago to ski Plattekill for cheap.  It also has good glades and bumps and should be a much shorter drive for you. Look to go there when natural snow conditions cooperate.  I like Cannon a lot. They often have good weekday deals on lift tickets and there is some great side country when the natural snow cover is good. Wildcat offers weekday deals and is really great too and a must if you have an extra day in northern NH.   Sugarloaf is bigtime skiing.  It and nearby Saddleback have huge glades. Sorry, I could go on for three more paragraphs.biggrin.gif

post #4 of 18

The Bush and Jay are two of the great eastern mountains.  But why not switch it up a bit and try Stowe, Cannon, Sunday River, Sugarloaf and Whiteface.  Maine is a bit far for a short trip, but the others are no farther than Jay.  For a shorter trip, try Killington.  A completely different place midweek compared to weekends and reliable due to extensive snowmaking.


post #5 of 18

If you havent been, I would suggest the following in the east:


NH: Loon, Cannon, Wildcat; Bretton woods has some nice glades.

VT: Killington, Stowe/Smuggs, MRG, Burke

ME: Sugarloaf, Saddleback

NY: Whiteface is worth it if there is snow (i.e. bluebird days after big dumps)


Quite few of these places have a frequent skier type of deal, where you pay the price of a lift ticket for a "pass", get a ticket and then significant discounts daily - this may be worth your while if you are skiing midweek. The ones I know of (and have) are Loon/Sunday River/Sugarloaf (http://loonmtn.com/info/winter/frequentskiercard.aspx) and killington(http://www.killington.com/winter/plan/tickets_and_cards/express_card). Im sure others have something similar (sugarbush and stowe come to mind).  Great way to avoid lines @ the ticket booths (the pass charges a linked credit card @ the lift)and receive discounts - $40 midweek at killington for example (vs $99).


Also dont forget about tucks in the spring for something different.


not sure how helpful this would be for you, but cape air has a flight from white plains to lebanon nh - (short flight and you can get deals for around $100 R/T)

post #6 of 18

Lot's of good skiing in the north east. The only way to find out which areas you like is to visit them since everyone has different opinions about them. If your looking for discounts join a ski club. Most of the northeast ski areas offer discounted bulk ticket vouchers to ski club members which can save you a considerable amount of money & can be used any time, weekends & holidays included. You have to purchase these ahead of time & it might be to late for this season already. The VT. Ski Area Assoc. also sells discounted passes that can be used at any VT resort but it's the same story, you have to purchase them early & I know they're already sold out since only a limited amount are sold. These tickets can't be used during the holiday times but are good most other weekends & mid-week. I got mine. Since you ski mid-week belonging to a ski club has other advantages. Many ski areas offer what they call ski club appreciation days where they sell discount tickets to ski club members. They are offered at various times throughout the season by the different areas & most of the dates are mid-week. Appreciation day tickets can run anywhere from a low of $30 up to $43. The VT. passes offered by VSA run about $40 and the ski club discount vouchers run from about $35 -$55 depending on which areas you purchase them from. Two places mentioned in an earlier post that don't offer to many discounts were Killington & Stowe. Not true. Killington has about 12 ski club appreciation days during the winter with tickets running from $30-$42 depending on which day. The bulk ski club tickets are $50 for Killington. Stowe has about 10 ski club appreciation days with ticket prices running $43 for a one day ticket, $64 for two days, $96 for three days & $120 for four days. The bulk ski club tickets for Stowe are also about $50 but I'm not sure of the exact price. Pico, Okemo, Stratton Sugarbush & Jay Peak also have ski club appreciation days as do several areas in NH, ME, NY & MA. If you join a club that has a lodge near a ski area you can also save a considerable amount on lodging. For instance my club has a house near Killington & it costs only $24 a night to stay there. A majority of VT. ski areas are within an hours drive of the house. Stowe, Smuggs & Jay are a bit further. I have a mid-week pass for Killington & by the end of the season I'll get the price down to under $20 a day & take advantage of the other offers when I want to ski around a bit. I do miss the days when ASC owned killington because the pass was good at about a 1/2 dozen ski areas in the north east includin Sugarbush, Sugarloaf & others. It's a lot better than paying full freight for a ticket. I ski during the week myself & this is how I'm able to afford to ski as often as I do at many different areas. I also live in NYC.

Edited by steamboat1 - 11/21/11 at 11:04am
post #7 of 18

Good post by Steamboat.  Forgot about those New England ski clubs.  In my part of the world (DC area) ski clubs are less active and mostly for group air travel to ski the West or Europe.

post #8 of 18
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

Good post by Steamboat.  Forgot about those New England ski clubs.  In my part of the world (DC area) ski clubs are less active and mostly for group air travel to ski the West or Europe.

Glad you liked the post. The ski clubs & councils in my area also run trips out west & to Europe.

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all of the excellent imput guys.  I wish I knew about that ski club stuff before the season started up, but oh well there is always next year, cause liftopia always delivers and helps cut down the choice on which mountain to go to in a good way (they all seem good!!!)


Maybe my view of Killington is skewed because last time I went there it was a holiday weekend and I felt like I was at a bigger version of Mountain Creek in NJ.  Too many sterotypical NY skiers as people on here like to say, and the conditions were abysmal, it was like skiing on the ice at Madison Sq Garden.  Then again its a large mountain with a decent amount of glades and its not horribly far, I dont know I just cant get that sour taste out of my mouth.


Is NH midweek skiing totally empty?? I dont think its much further than VT but Ive never been up there and neither has any of my ski buddies, Im just on the search for the perfect mountain on the east coast

post #10 of 18
Originally Posted by Kase-1 View Post

Is NH midweek skiing totally empty?? I dont think its much further than VT but Ive never been up there and neither has any of my ski buddies, Im just on the search for the perfect mountain on the east coast

Northern NH (Cannon, Wildcat, Attitash, Bretton Woods) has the most spectacular scenery on the east coast hands down. I've skied there mid-week & never had a problem with crowds. Heck I even skied Wildcat last year during Presidents week & it wasn't crowded. If you drive to Jay on I-91 your passing relatively close to these areas. Not at all longer than Jay, probably a little shorter drive.

post #11 of 18

NH is definitely a shorter drive than to Jay.

The slopes will be empty midweek anywhere except for Christmas vacation week and Feb vacation week.

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
I think u guys have me convinced on NH. Whre do u suggest for glades and a good park, I was thinking maybe stay 1 place and go to Attitash, Bretton, and Wildcat since they're all close to eachother
post #13 of 18

Glades at Cannon are, well, gnarly.  And there are lots of them all over the place, on the map and off it.  If glades are your thing, this is your place.  What kind of glades do you ski?


Glades at Bretton Woods (the groomers are nearly flat) range from barely-a-glade - to beginner, intermediate, advanced, and gnarly.  Others may report differently; trust them only if they have skied the glades there.  Many people know about the flat groomers so stay away, and just don't know about the glades.


Glades at Attitash are sometimes without enough snow to ski.  


Wildcat has Thompson's Brook, which is long and off-trail, and it has some glades here and there.  Those in the know can find them.  You may not be able to.  


Don't know about Loon.


Terrain park stuff:  Attitash used to have a big monster terrain park with competitions going on.  Not sure what they are doing this year.  The pipe is defunct.

No park to speak of at Wildcat.  Can't speak to terrain park stuff at BWoods or Cannon.  Others may weigh in.




post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

Glades at Cannon are, well, gnarly.  And there are lots of them all over the place, on the map and off it.  If glades are your thing, this is your place.  What kind of glades do you ski?







What do you mean, what glades do I ski???


Umm I ski glades at Killington, Sugarbush, Jay, and anywhere else I can find/make them LOL.  I guess Im just not sure what you're asking LOL

post #15 of 18

NH glades and parks:  I'm not a huge NH expert, but have been up there a few times over the years and in 2010 I skied Attitash, Wildcat, Black, Loon and Cannon all in one fun trip.  Old trip report including cheap lodging tips: http://www.dcski.com/ubbthreads33/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=58184

Loon has best/huge parks, believe Attitash had good park scene too.  I didn't find much in the way of glades at Loon, but as tourist I might have missed them.  Attitash had some easier glades, several on Bear Peak.  Wildcat has marked and unmarked glades, little or no park, but don't miss this place for free riding on long, scenic runs.  Cannon has a lot of glades, including all natural Mittersill trails which are really fun in decent natural conditions.  Cannon is probably the most challenging ski area in NH, but Northern VT has more black diamond terrain overall.  Never skied Bretton Woods, but as others said it's supposed to have some fun glades.  Black Mtn is a pretty interesting smaller hill (and real cheap) with a lot of steep little glade shots and close to Attitash and Wildcat.  Waterville is a good place too, but I haven't been there since 1995.

Wildcat and Cannon are about 60 miles apart via an often snowy Rt 302.  One other thing, you could make a pretty good case for lift tics, motels and maybe restaurants NH is cheaper overall than VT during ski season.  Here's a list of some publicly available ticket deals this season, note several two-fer lift deals in NH:  http://www.skienthusiast.com/deals.htm


As mentioned previously some of the most highly regarded expert glades in the entire East are at Mad River Glen, VT, worthy of a dedicated trip for a glades-freak, and they work with liftopia.  But MRG doesn't allow snowboards, doesn't do parks IIRC, and you want to go there when natural snow conditions are decent, and go midweek for small lift lines. 



post #16 of 18

There is some great skiing in NH, but be aware that you are giving back a 100 inches of snow a season to Northern, VT.


Cannon (and especially the Mittersill area) is the best place in NH.  BUT-it takes a good deal of snow to really bring it to life (and windy, icy conditions are endemic...true Cannon faithful ski it all with a grin, but visitors from NYC, maybe not so much).   Lot's of glades from standard New England style expert glades like echo glades, to ridiculously tight trees in global warming glades, to the truly epic Kinsman Glade and the tight trees over on Mittersill.  I had a few great days at Cannon last season--but last season was fairly epic.


Ski Wildcat-Best long cruisers in New England.  Seriously, it's a cruisers delight, long windy, uninterupted cruisers with a few steeper mogul runs in the middle.  As for Glades, forget it-there are a couple over skied glades at the bottom and little else.  It's a great girlfriend destination.  Beautiful views, easy, very enjoyable skiing, and the great vacation town of North Conway nearby.


Loon-If you like the style of skiing and the vibe of Southern Vermont resorts (Mt. Snow, NOskeemo, and Flatton) you'll really like Loon.  It's a little more genteel than those areas, a little steeper in spots with about the same amount of snow and snow making. 


NY- Gore is still worth a midweek trip.  I love that place, great varied terrain, lot's of funky glades and unusual trails.  and if you catch it on a snow day the competition for powder is pretty light.


Maine-You got me, I've never skied there-but the off-piste expansion at Sugarloaf has my interests piqued.


VT-Truth is, if you go anywhere else (NH, ME), you are driving longer for less snow.  


You've found Jay and the 'Bush.  Throw in stowe and smuggs and you're set.  


Also, mid-week, when conditions are right, KILLINGTON (yep, ole K_Mart) stands side by side with any of these places.  I don't want to be there on a weekend (or any VT ski area honestly) but midweek in a good winter Killington serves up more great terrain (trees, bumps, steeps, cruisers) than anybody.  It's trendy to put Killington down, but evaluated purely on terrain, it worth the visit and is an hour closer.


Oh, and if you want a really chill experience, hit Berkshire East, MA on your way to Northern, VT. It's worth a day visit on your way to bigger, snowier areas.


post #17 of 18

I'm going to throw in another mention of Burke (KDaffy listed it). It is the most eastern of VT's resorts. If you've been taking the I-91 route to Jay Peak you have been driving right by it (you can't see the slopes from the interstate). They have a fun park (no pipe) and lots of glades. If you are primarily skiing on weekends, Burke is a great place to avoid crowds. While they may have a bit less snow than the resorts on VT's main spine, the good snow lasts a lot longer due to lack of traffic.


If you stay in St Johnsbury, VT the two main hotels there have ski and stay packages for both Cannon and Burke.

post #18 of 18

If you want to drive all the way to Maine, Sugarloaf and Saddleback, as others have already mentioned, have some excellent tree skiing. 


Sugarloaf is in the process of a major expansion which will allow for more tree skiing there.  I am a bit biased after having grown up in Maine, but living in CT I would rather make the trek to Sugarloaf than any other NE mountain (Jay and Stowe are close, though).  Don't waste your time at Sunday River... most of their glades are practically clear cuts and you have to take 2-3 lifts to get anywhere worth skiing.


Saddleback is a good value... used to be a better value, though.

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