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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › What is your opinion - best mouintain for groomers/cruisers in New York, Vermont or Maine??
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What is your opinion - best mouintain for groomers/cruisers in New York, Vermont or Maine??

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

My son and I like to ski groomed terrain. We like long blue squares.......Any ideas?

post #2 of 23

I've only been to Whiteface, Gore Mountain and Sugarloaf. I'd discount Whiteface..it has some serious terrain..but blue cruisers it probably only has a few runs.  It's not that "big" a resort..not much depth.  Sugarloaf is a big resort with lots of groomers.  It's a long way from anywhere though..which is a good thing for me..which is why I went there.  And if you want to kick it up a bit, it has challenge as well.

 

Gore Mountain is a unique mountain..kinda many different little areas.  Terrible for snowboarders.  But not bad for skis. Kinda like Alta in that way.  I think Vermont has a few groomer king mountains.  I'll leave it for the Vermont people to pick them..but I read every year that one or two of them have best groomed mountain awards.

 

have fun!

post #3 of 23

Stratton, Okemo, Mt. Snow, take your pick.

post #4 of 23
K-ton. It has a ton of everything And is big enough to dissipate crowds.
post #5 of 23

I'd also add Stowe to that list. Yes Stowe is known for their steeps but has expansive blue cruising terrain also. Pretty much everything skiers right off the Forerunner quad is blue cruising terrain. Gondolier & Perry Merril off the gondola are arguably the nicest & longest blue cruisers in the east. Then you have the whole Spruce Peak area which is predominantly all blue crusing terrain. They might not be known for it but Stowe does an excellent job grooming the mountain daily while leaving some of the more advanced terrain natural for those that like that sought of thing. If any mountain has something for everyone in the east it's Stowe & they have plenty everything.

post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smartyiak View Post

K-ton. It has a ton of everything And is big enough to dissipate crowds.

I'm a K passholder & wouldn't recommend K for people who are looking for long blue cruisers.

post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by PearlRiverDad View Post
 

My son and I like to ski groomed terrain. We like long blue squares.......Any ideas?


Driving from where?  For how long?  Weekends only or some midweek days?

 

Why did you leave out New Hampshire?  I had a good time exploring Loon in early Dec.  Have also heard Bretton Woods is good.  Sunday River is big and has lots of options.  Loon and Sunday River are Boyne resorts and have very good snowmaking and grooming.

 

Gore would probably be better than Whiteface.  Unless you like long, relatively steep groomers.  Whiteface has that assuming lifts to the top are open.  Wind hold can be an issue.

 

If you went to Stowe for several days, might be worth driving over to Smuggler's Notch for a day trip to check it out.

post #8 of 23
Mt. Snow is mostly all blues. When I started out I loved it there.
post #9 of 23

Lots of cruising terrain is available at most New England mountains.  The questions are, how long are you willing to drive and how steep are you willing to go.

 

As was previously mentioned, Mt. Snow / Stratton / Okemo (all in Southern Vermont) have gobs of fairly mild cruising terrain.  They are known for being crazy busy on the weekends as they are close to various major cities.  The three are also fairly close to each other; you could station yourself at one and easily visit the others over the course of a few days.  The knock on all three is that the terrain is not distinctive, meaning their various trails ski a lot alike.  That said, they are popular for a reason -- they do a great job of serving up blue cruisers which is what most of the skiing population is after.

 

Stowe, also mentioned earlier, does have gobs of blue cruisers as well.  I've always thought that Stowe has some of the steeper blue cruisers anywhere, but they do a great job grooming and they have a snowmaking system that's second to none.  Stowe is much farther north and gets much more snow than the southern Vermont areas, two qualities that lead to a more consistent, nicer snow surface.  Stowe can also get crowded on weekends, but their Spruce Peak side is almost never crowded to the point of having lift-lines.

 

I don't think of Killington, Sugarbush and Jay Peak as having much in the way of quality cruising terrain although they certainly possess groomers.  The question is how much quality groomers they have.

 

For Maine, the two obvious choices are Sunday River and Sugarloaf.  Both are remote with Sugarloaf being even more so.  I don't have much familiarity with Sunday River.  Sugarloaf has lots of groomers and it is a very, very big mountain.  It can easily take a couple days to hit all the groomers there.

 

I haven't spent enough time in New York to comment.

post #10 of 23

If you're willing to drive to Maine, Sugarloaf and Sunday River have lots of cruising.  I prefer Sugarloaf, IMO the terrain you are looking for is a bit bigger with less time on lifts, but either would likely work for what you are looking for.  If you need something to do besides ski, for example shop, or hit in town restaurants Sunday River might be a better choice.  Sugarloaf is all about the skiing, there are a couple good places to hit in town but not as many.  Sugarloaf is also close to a classic ski experience.  Saddleback.  I spent one day there last year and I wlll be there for a day or two in March before heading to a group trip at Sugarloaf.  Highly recommend it.  I believe they have deals with condos like SR and SL if you are so inclined.  YMMV.

post #11 of 23

I agree with much of what has been said.  My nominations would be Mount Snow, Okemo, Stratton, Stowe, Sunday River.  
Bretton Woods has a reputation for what you want, but I've never been there.

 

I would not go to Killington.

post #12 of 23

I have skied every major mtn in the Northeast, always with an eye towards fun intermediate terrain.  The OP didn't mention NH, but IMHO Wildcat, NH is a standout that should be on the short list for all who like long blue groomers, especially if you want some of the best scenery in the East thrown in for good measure.  Crowds are also very moderate compared to many of the other fine mountains discussed in this thread and there is economical lodging, albeit about 30 minutes away.  Wildcat is not a huge ski area, but it is a tall one and the choicest groomers at Wildcat are served by one sweet HSQ chair with ~2000' vertical, allowing for many fine laps per day.  

Other ski area choices would be dictated by factors beyond aesthetics, such as Southern VT for less travel time from points south, or Northern VT for possibly better snow and a little more gnar and vertical.  Stowe is hard to beat for all around excellence and Mt Ellen (Sugarbush North) would be a nice alternative in the longer groomer category.  Whiteface, Sugarloaf, and Le Massif (amazing St. Lawrence River scenery) are great, adventurous outliers for seekers of long groomers, but a long way from here to there for most folks with many other good options in between.   

 

Wildcat:

 LL 

 

Le Massif:

1226897559_pic4.jpg

 

Stowe:

900x900px-LL-9b7269d5_DSCN6284.jpeg

post #13 of 23

Although it may not have the expanse of terrain some other VT areas have, IMO Bromley is a good choice, as it is predominantly cruisers....probably why many people here on the forum don;t have it in the forefront of their minds.  Being south-facing, it's a bit warmer in the winter, but when it gets towards spring the base area can be a sloppy mess.  I like the low key vibe it has as well.

post #14 of 23

With recent snowmaking additions, Wildcat will probably be even better for those looking for long groomers.  The new pole snow guns on the long cruiser from the top are also very quiet if they happen to be on during the day.  Made for a lot of fun in early Dec as long as you didn't mind clearing off your goggles every so often.

post #15 of 23
Stowe has many cruiser options. I remember lapping the runs off the gondola for almost entire day last year, and we had maybe 10 different ways down when combining different trails.
post #16 of 23

Thread digression: anyone else note how far back the bindings are mounted on the guy's skis in the Stowe pic?  They look like circus skis.

post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJskier164 View Post
 

Although it may not have the expanse of terrain some other VT areas have, IMO Bromley is a good choice, as it is predominantly cruisers....probably why many people here on the forum don;t have it in the forefront of their minds.  Being south-facing, it's a bit warmer in the winter, but when it gets towards spring the base area can be a sloppy mess.  I like the low key vibe it has as well.

Bromley's a good choice for a day. Southern VT. is blue cruiser heaven, even Magic.

post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post
 

Thread digression: anyone else note how far back the bindings are mounted on the guy's skis in the Stowe pic?  They look like circus skis.

That is Crank from March 2013 N. VT EpicSki Gathering, Stowe Day.  Maybe he will see this and comment?  Wonder if there could be a little distortion in my image? 

Here is another the day before at MRG, Crank again. You might be right about forward mount.  BTW, Antelope to Bunny from top of single chair to base at MRG is a fun long cruise.

900x900px-LL-bc545b26_DSCN5548.jpeg 

post #19 of 23

If I had to pick one location, just for groomed cruisers alone it would be Okemo hands down.

 

I have skied most of the popular places in VT/NH/ME and Okemo does a better job grooming their slopes than any place I have visited to date. Always a high quality constant product, even when the weather is not helping out. Practically the entire mountain is cruisers, and their Black Diamond trail segments (World Cup, Chief, Boomerang, lower South Face) are really still cruisers and not true advanced trails.

 

Stowe and Mt Sunapee (especially with the new HSQ) would come in close behind.

 

You will find crowds anywhere on weekends, that is just the truth, unless you seek out a more remote or smaller location.

 

Personal preference, but I hate gondolas and so Stratton and Stowe get dinged IMHO. If I am trying to lap cruisers all day, I have no desire to click out, wobble through a line, and stumble into a gondola cabin. Stratton adds stairs into the difficulty to boot. On a windy day, or in nasty weather the protection is nice, but efficiency suffers.

post #20 of 23

I had not read this thread, honestly because everyplace has groomers.  And long. blue groomers , while fine, are not my field of expertise.  Neither apparently is binding mount location.  I had the shop mount them and they seem to ski OK to my untrained, mostly self taught self.  They are Fritchi AT bindings with an extra piece on the back of the heel and that may make them look like they are mounted farther back?

 

Regarding blue groomers, Okemo hands down.  For Maine, Sunday River is a series of peaks arranges along a long ridge.  I don't think that any of the runs has more than 1600' of vertical drop.  

post #21 of 23

I do remember stowe having a few good cruiser runs, and whiteface does have a few crusiers but the mountain is not for beginners. 

post #22 of 23

Okemo and Stratton are excellent for blue cruisers.  Stratton on a non-holiday or weekday is one of my favorite mountains, primarily because they have black groomers that are blue everywhere else and are completely empty during those times.  I love Stowe, but their Mt Mansfield grooming is not on par with the others.  Spruce Peak is, but it's really tame and a bit boring.  

post #23 of 23

PearlRiverDad,

 

Apologizes for responding to a somewhat dated thread:

 

Have you considered Belleayre?  I do not know how many trails you consider enough.  Roaring Brook and Deer Run are two long trails about 2 to 2.25 miles in length.  There are many other intermediate trails of decent length.

 

Pearl River to Belleayre is about 2 hours away by car.

 

Here is my trip report from April 2015 to Belleayre.

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