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Sugarbush Game Plan?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Looks like the family and I will be doing 2 days at Stowe then going to Sugarbush for one day of skiing this Sunday. Assuming that the Slide Brook Express Quad won't be running (is this true? it was posted in another active thread), what is the game plan to ski Lincoln all day?  (I'm assuming that we'll stay on Lincoln all day and probably not take the shuttle over to Ellen.) I'm looking for advice like,

 

"Take XX lift up and ski the top of the mountain first as all of the snow gets skied off in the first 2 hours." or "Stay away from XX trail. There's really thin cover and it's super icy as we've gotten jack for snow this year." I'm assuming that tree skiing is a no go due to conditions?

 

Thanks much

post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 
Bump. Can anyone help me out here? Thanks much.
post #3 of 13
What do you like to ski? Haven't skied since Sunday, but I can share what I know. Given the winter we are having, your options are going to be somewhat limited. That said, sugarbush has really been making the most out of what they have to work with and they are supposed to get more snow tonight.

It is true, the slidebrook lift hasn't been running. Not enough snow to access the lift should they have to do a rescue, as I understand it. If you time it right, the bus doesn't really take any longer.

The groomers were a little firm on Sunday, but have have been fine otherwise. Like anywhere, the earlier you get there the better.

The natural snow trails (moonshine, twist, lower birdland, paradise, etc) were skiing well, albeit cover was thin (my skis took a real beating, but it was worth it), till it rained then froze last week.

Castlerock hasn't been open very much, and the lift has been operating even less. Ive had a couple of very good days when they had it open for hike in, but there isn't much of a base.

There really is no base in the woods, so even if they do get a little snow I wouldn't consider the woods skiable.

Let me know what you like and I can try to give you some recommendations.
post #4 of 13

Well, for your days at Stowe, the Fourrunner quad opens at 7:30 on the weekends.  Get there early.  The steepest terrain is all off of that lift (Hayride, Nosedive and Liftline).  There are some fun blue cruisers off of that lift as well.  The quad usually sees a major influx of people right around 10:00, but there really haven't been that many people around.

 

Everything else opens at 8:30.  The Gondola has a couple intersecting blue cruisers (Gondolier and Perry Merril and Switchback) that can lead to a couple entertaining runs.  The gondola can get busy and crowded.

 

If it does get crowded, ride the Over Easy gondola across the street to the Spruce side and do a few laps over there.  In a "normal" year there's some fun over-looked terrain over on Spruce, but this isn't a normal year.  There's still a few fun cruisers over there.  Spruce side also gets the sun in the afternoon.

 

There is no chance of skiing trees.  After the thaw / rain / refreeze of the past couple days, I doubt there's any chance at skiing any natural snow terrain either.  Sharpen your edges!

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

KevinF, you hit it right on the nose. We were at Stowe today and it was pretty good for the morning because they got about 5 inches last night. Unfortunately, the wind was blowing pretty good, so the good call was to ski anything on skier's left. After lunch was a different story. Anything that had snow on it had been pretty much scoured clean. 

I don't have high hopes for tomorrow as there is no snow forecast for tonight and the snow cats are only able to groom about the top 2 inches of snow (it was 50 degrees and raining yesterday, then in the teens all day. Anything under the snow was a SOLID sheet of ice). 

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Tsqurd,

Thanks for the info. Looks like we'll be heading to Sugarbush tomorrow. I guess that I was looking for advice on a way to avoid lift lines on a Sunday - if that's even possible. I dropped the family off at Stowe this morning at 9 am and it already looked like a zoo. 

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 


Well, we skied Sugarbush yesterday, Sunday the 28th and what a mixed bag that was. They claimed that they were 100 percent open. That is the biggest "Chamber of Commerce" snow report that I've ever seen. There were so many runs with minimal snow cover on them that it was ridiculous. And when I say minimal, I mean the trail was covered in rocks, dirt/grass, long stretches of bullet hard ice, etc. From a liability standpoint, why any ski resort wouldn't just say that the runs were closed, I have no idea. I told one of the mountain hosts that they had a lot of nerve to list all of the runs as open and he said kind of sheepishly, "It's been a really bad year, sir." Yeah, I get that. But when you have the Castlerock lift not even open, where do you get off saying that the runs off of the lift are open? Oh yeah, by saying that you can hike to them. Baloney.

 

Anyway, it turned out that anything that had enough snow on it to be groomed was really nice. It's just that so much good terrain wasn't even open. You pretty much had to stay on cruisers all day. Maybe we should have gone to Mad River - at least their snow conditions report is truthful.

 

I guess the good news was that lift lines were pretty nonexistent due to the snow conditions.

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksampson3 View Post
 

Tsqurd,

Thanks for the info. Looks like we'll be heading to Sugarbush tomorrow. I guess that I was looking for advice on a way to avoid lift lines on a Sunday - if that's even possible. I dropped the family off at Stowe this morning at 9 am and it already looked like a zoo. 

 

Hi - I would be interested to hear how your family liked Stowe. We were planning a 3-4 day trip but our friend just came back and said they had a miserable time.Said it was not worth the almost six hour drive from nyc and that while the trails were fairly empty that everywhere else on the mountain felt very crowded and that there were kids everywhere. Also mentioned the wind - seems like the wind can be an issue. 

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Our family loves Stowe, if the conditions are decent. But that's pretty true for most places that we ski. I'm not a Stowe local, but the times that I've been there I've really enjoyed. I caveat that statement, though, with the fact we've skied there during the week every time except for one day.

 

I like Stowe because when you get tired of the groomers you can tuck into the trees and find some really fun runs. My kids were skiing the trees off of Nosedive on Friday and having a great time. For less steep (i.e. flat) trees, the area over by the Chapel is super fun. The one area that I don't like about Stowe is the runs off of the gondola - except for Chin Clip. The rest of the runs over there are too crowded, cookie cutter blues. We have way more fun skiing the empty cruisers on the Spruce side of the resort.

 

As for the wind? I'm guessing that you could say that about most of the mountains in Northern Vermont. We had blue skies at Sugarbush yesterday and little wind. Today? Blowing like hell and raining. We went to Sugarbush instead of Jay Peak yesterday because even though Jay had 8 inches of snow overnight, they were calling for 40 mph wind gusts. No thanks.

 

The one thing that I did learn from this trip is not to schedule anymore trips on the east coast months in advance. Just wait and see how the season is progressing and then book the trip if conditions are goodish.

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksampson3 View Post
 

Our family loves Stowe, if the conditions are decent. But that's pretty true for most places that we ski. I'm not a Stowe local, but the times that I've been there I've really enjoyed. I caveat that statement, though, with the fact we've skied there during the week every time except for one day.

 

I like Stowe because when you get tired of the groomers you can tuck into the trees and find some really fun runs. My kids were skiing the trees off of Nosedive on Friday and having a great time. For less steep (i.e. flat) trees, the area over by the Chapel is super fun. The one area that I don't like about Stowe is the runs off of the gondola - except for Chin Clip. The rest of the runs over there are too crowded, cookie cutter blues. We have way more fun skiing the empty cruisers on the Spruce side of the resort.

 

As for the wind? I'm guessing that you could say that about most of the mountains in Northern Vermont. We had blue skies at Sugarbush yesterday and little wind. Today? Blowing like hell and raining. We went to Sugarbush instead of Jay Peak yesterday because even though Jay had 8 inches of snow overnight, they were calling for 40 mph wind gusts. No thanks.

 

The one thing that I did learn from this trip is not to schedule anymore trips on the east coast months in advance. Just wait and see how the season is progressing and then book the trip if conditions are goodish.

Thanks for replying. I agree, when conditions are decent just about any place is nice! I don't think that is just the case at Stowe. And I also agree with you that just about any place is going to be rather empty during the week. My friends' experience this weekend was very different. They said they felt it had more to do with the poor layout of of the resort and (lodge, food, ski school...) than with the actual number of people even though like you they also mentioned how crowded some of the runs were.

As for the wind, it seems like it can get pretty bad but like you point out that tends to happen at places like Stowe in northern VT.

I learned the same lesson last year - book a west coast or trip to Europe a year ahead - book an east coast trip a week ahead. 

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksampson3 View Post
 


Well, we skied Sugarbush yesterday, Sunday the 28th and what a mixed bag that was. They claimed that they were 100 percent open. That is the biggest "Chamber of Commerce" snow report that I've ever seen. There were so many runs with minimal snow cover on them that it was ridiculous. And when I say minimal, I mean the trail was covered in rocks, dirt/grass, long stretches of bullet hard ice, etc. From a liability standpoint, why any ski resort wouldn't just say that the runs were closed, I have no idea. I told one of the mountain hosts that they had a lot of nerve to list all of the runs as open and he said kind of sheepishly, "It's been a really bad year, sir." Yeah, I get that. But when you have the Castlerock lift not even open, where do you get off saying that the runs off of the lift are open? Oh yeah, by saying that you can hike to them. Baloney.

 

Anyway, it turned out that anything that had enough snow on it to be groomed was really nice. It's just that so much good terrain wasn't even open. You pretty much had to stay on cruisers all day. Maybe we should have gone to Mad River - at least their snow conditions report is truthful.

 

I guess the good news was that lift lines were pretty nonexistent due to the snow conditions.


Just saw your response now. Sorry to hear about your trip.I guess I've learned to interpret their reports, because while I may be surprised that some trails are open, I'm usually not surprised at the conditions. We ended up skipping last weekend - actually was supposed to be up there all week, still trying to decide if we go up later this week. In any case, I'm afraid our season is quickly coming to an end.

 

Curious if you made the hike over to Castlerock?

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsqurd View Post
 


Just saw your response now. Sorry to hear about your trip.I guess I've learned to interpret their reports, because while I may be surprised that some trails are open, I'm usually not surprised at the conditions. We ended up skipping last weekend - actually was supposed to be up there all week, still trying to decide if we go up later this week. In any case, I'm afraid our season is quickly coming to an end.

 

Curious if you made the hike over to Castlerock?


I asked the mountain host if the hike up to Castlerock would be worth it and he said, "If you care about your skis, don't even bother." I turned to my kids and said, "Sounds good, let's do it!". They turned around and headed down Birdland, instead. I took that as a "No".

post #13 of 13

Bummer of a season.

 

We would love to make the 3-4 day trip to Stowe in late March but given what I am hearing I just don't think it will be worth it.

 

Will keep a close eye on the weather/conditions and see what folks report back this coming up weekend and next.

 

Best - 

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