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Mad River Glen?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I brought up this topic in the thread my husband started for Cannon Mountain in NH, but figured it probably should have been a new thread, so I'm reposting...
My husband and I have the week of March 7-13 off from work. Originally, we were thinking of doing a ski & stay package at Woodstock Inn in Lincoln/North Woodstock, NH with lift tickets for Cannon Mountain (at the fabulous price of $53 per person per night). After considering the comments given regarding our experience levels and the skiing offered at Cannon, as well as discussion I've seen regarding probability of more snow in Vermont than New Hampshire, I decided to look around a little bit to find a comparable ski & stay package in Vermont. What I found were some packages for Mad River Glen lift tickets w/lodging in the $60-$70 per person per night range, which isn't bad (we're on a tight budget, so we can't afford to do Killington/Jay Peak/Okemo or the like...). What I'm wondering is: a) what's the likelihood of there being skiable snow at MRG in early March? And b) would an advanced-intermediate (my husband-mostly blues, some blacks) and a first season skier (me--I've been out 6 times now, almost ready to start blues) be comfortable at Mad River Glen? We were dissuaded from Cannon due to its mostly steep terrain, but from what I can see on MRG's website, it looks like they have quite a few greens and blues there.
If you don't recommend MRG, what other smaller (read: cheaper) ski areas in Vermont/New Hampshire would you recommend? We're planning on going midweek for 3 nights and are trying to keep it under $400 for the 2 of us.
Thanks for any advice/recommendations in advance!
post #2 of 13
Mad River Glen has the hardest terrain in the East. There is one lift called Bird Land that is easy. There is an easy run from the top of the Single and one from the top of the double.

You should go to Mad River IMHO anyway! It really is the best.
Remember that on weekends it will be crowded. Don't go down trails marked expert unless you know you can handle it.
post #3 of 13
Contact "The Barn At Mad River" Besty Pratt is the owner (and former owner of MRG), a great place to stay, rustic and verrry friendly.
post #4 of 13
Just so you know... Mad River Glen has virtually no grooming and virtually no snowmaking. It is a very "throwback" area -- almost an altar to skiing the way it used to be. It is probably the most "expert" mountain in New England.

You appear to have picked two of the more challenging mountains in New England -- Cannon and MRG. I'm more familair with New Hampshire skiing, but as you mentioned Vermont... The web site Ski Vermont has loads of information on the various Vermont ski areas. Some of the lesser known ones are Acutney, Bromley, Burke, Middlebury, etc., but the full list is on the web site.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info! Leave it to me, in my quest to find an inexpensive ski vacation, to pick the 2 toughest mountains in New England.
One of the ski & stay packages I saw allowed you to get a flex lift ticket good at both Sugarbush's Lincoln Peak & Mt Ellen as well as Mad River Glen. I was leaning toward that package initially, figuring if conditions weren't good at one mountain, we could move to the other (and since it only costs $10 more per person per night, it wasn't a huge increase in price). Any thoughts on that? Again, neither of us is familiar with Sugarbush, but with this package, then we could at least take a gander at Mad River Glen, and if it doesn''t work out there for whatever reason (terrain, lack of snow, etc), at least we have another mountain we can go to.
Thanks again for all your help! Being so new to skiing, but especially to skiing outside of Connecticut, I appreciate the time everyone has taken to steer me in the right direction. [img]smile.gif[/img] I know what we're planning will be a huge difference from the mountains I've skiied around here (Mohawk, Southington, Sundown), but I would like to try something new and a little more challenging, provided it's not too far outside of my skill level. After all, we don't want vacation to turn into an emergency room visit.

[ February 03, 2004, 04:28 AM: Message edited by: severine ]
post #6 of 13
That sounds like a plan. When you first pull up to the Mad River parking lot remember there really is enough easier stuff to ski for at least a day. My wife was a beginner and she skied from the top with no real problem. I would not encourage a beginner to go to the top but Antelope is really not hard.

Sugargush as a backup is good. Lots of easy stuff there. But Mad River will be a real treat.
post #7 of 13

Have you consider Sugarloaf or Sunday River, Maine.

Both of these mountains are very good and cheap.

They are top 5 five favor places for me to ski.

If you need more help, let me know.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, Sugarloaf is about 6.5 hrs from where we live in Connecticut/Sunday River about 5.5 hrs away. Going to Mad River Glen is approximately 3.5-4 hours away--a big savings in travel time and gas compared to the two you recommended. I knew of the 2 previously, but didn't include any ski areas in Maine in our choices as the travel time would be much longer for us to get there from the Northwest Corner of Connecticut than it would be to go to the areas we were initially researching in New Hampshire and Vermont.
Thanks for the tip, however. If we ever plan a 2 stage vacation (where we would stay a couple days in New Hampshire and move on for a few more elsewhere), I will keep it in mind, but I can't really bear the thought of 6 hours in my little convertible with my husband's skis digging into my elbow the whole time for our upcoming trip.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
It's all set... We made our reservations today at the Sugar Lodge for the "Ski the Valley" lodging & lift tickets package. I'll be sure to update everyone on my "novice" experience at MRG and Sugarbush. I'm really looking forward to it....and hopefully the weather will comply! I don't know about up north, but we had one heck of a thaw today. If this keeps up, there won't be any snow left!
In any case, thanks for all the help!
post #10 of 13
Will look forward to your "novice" experience at MRG and Sugarbush. I'm sure the weather will comply. We'll be at MRG the 6/7 and hopefully at least one more time after that before calling it a season.

We were up last week-end and the mountain is in GREAT shape. You'll have a wonderful time! We drive up at least once a month from NJ.

If you take a day off - go visit Mad River Massage and ask for Ron, he'll give you the best massage of your life!
post #11 of 13
I was up at Sugarbush last Wed-Fri and it was great.
post #12 of 13
You ought have plenty of fun and plenty of variety at MRG and SB (north and south). Those three have enough to keep you busy for many days at any level of ability.

Yeah, MRG is known for being grarly but the novice terrain there, though not vast, is absolutely delightful. It's groomed and the trails are somewhat narrow and windy which makes them a lot more fun then the big rectangle trails. I took my wife there when she was not quite intermediate and she loved it.

If you ski the blues at MRG, be sure to ask a local how they are skiing that day. Some blues, unlike the greens, may not be groomed and may be what you'd expect on black mogul runs at other mountains.

For a start SB, try the family area below Lynx Peak in the Lincoln (South) area. Venture out from there as your feel comfortable. North has some nice greens at the bottom and a blue cruiser all the way from the top. The view from the top of North (Mt Ellen) is great.

Never hestitate to walk up to a patroller, ambassadore or off-duty instructor and ask for trail recommendations based on your ability. It's great way to find the right trail for you.

[ February 20, 2004, 12:53 PM: Message edited by: Ken Koellner ]
post #13 of 13
I can vouch for Ken's advice on seeking out recommendations on the mountain. I typically ask for advice on which trails to do with my 7 year old son who is progressing rapidly but still learning. They've never steered us wrong, and are happy to help.

(I'll typically say, "he just skiied X run and did great -- what would be the next step up, or next easiest run?")
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