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Christmas Break in New England

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
A friend of mine is taking his family skiing for christmas break in NE. He asked me what i would recomend, but since i haven't been living there lately (but will be back home for christmas) i didn't know what to tell him. Can anyone recomend an area or resort in particular. They are all advanced and above level, and would prefer short lift lines (as we all wood), but being christmas break we'll see!

I am just wondering who has gotten snow recently. i always ski Okemo (getting busy as of late), shawnee peak, Waterville Valley, Attitash, Sunday River,Wildcat and such--but would like to give him some other "family" options

Thanks for the input
post #2 of 18
Due to the beautiful weather we are having, there are only a few reliable places with decent coverage. Killington has the best right now but it is always crowded (especially during the weekends and breaks). Okemo will also be busy during the breaks and weekends and it does not have as much coverage as Kmart. Stowe I heard has decent crowd but I don't think they have that much runs opened yet. Mount snow is just ramping up and I think it will take a few more weeks for it to be OK. I skied on it last thursday and scratched my skis due to ice chunks. Mount snow also tend to be crowded during the weekends. One place that does not have a lot of runs opened but I find the atmosphere very nice and not a lot of crowds is Bretton woods. I am sure others can help with other resorts.
post #3 of 18
No place here has much coverage yet. Could have excellent coverage by Christmas, or not. I'd tend to look at the further North spots. I'd take a look at Stowe, fantastic village, challenging skiing, and enough snow making that they should have some decent terrain open. Smugglers Notch would be worth a close look, especially if the family has younger children, really geared towards familys. Jay Peak or Sugarloaf would probably be among the better choices for smaller crowds. I'd tend to steer away from the popular Southern VT or NH resorts (e.g., Killington, Snow, Okemo, Loon, Waterville Valley) if you want to avoid crowds during holiday periods. Bretton Woods is well run with very good snowmaking and grooming, but the terrain may not satisfy advanced skiers and outside of the Mt. Washington hotel there's very little to interest folks off the slope.
post #4 of 18

Ne right now ( 12/08/2004)

Right now:

Okemo, Sunday River and k-Mart are best for coverage and big crowds, except Sugarloaf (Best snow in NE now, but no crowds due to lenghth of ride) 4 hrs from so. Nh or 4+ from Boston ( don't believe the hype about 3 hrs from boston unless you are in a Cayenne Turbo w/ no points on license and a iron nerve!)
post #5 of 18
Originally Posted by mtbykr
..............They are all advanced and above level, and would prefer short lift lines (as we all wood)...............
holidays and short lines are not a contradiction; however, with the additional requirement of advanced terrain but xmas, you're options are quite limited and you really need to rely on some good natural snow between now and then or else you really will need to stick to the major (VERY crowded) resorts.

that said, the following areas over up good challenge without lines but without decent snowfall, you'll likely find most groomers (no particular order): burke, cannon, wildcat, and magic i can say for sure are locks for no crowds with good challenge. haven't skied them so not sure on the crowds, but also look into smuggs, saddleback, jay peak (skied jay, only mid-week though), and the bush. loaf might be a possibility too, not sure how the holiday crowds are there. loaf seems to be doing okay this year with getting more snow than rain compared to most of new england, probably not a bad idea. though i wouldn't recommend any other ASC resort for crowds. also on the list to avoid would be okemo, stowe, MRG (loooooong single line), loon, waterville, mount snow.

again, it totally depends when and where the snow falls. some years southern VT will get nailed with a few feet and magic is hands down the place to be. other years southern VT gets rain and the NEK gets dumped on and i'd flock to cannon, burke, etc. i'd recommend watching the weather and avoiding resorts.
post #6 of 18
I'm thinking someplace in Maine. Sugarloaf or Sunday River.
post #7 of 18
Make the extra drive and go to Sugarloaf. Both will have the same quality of coverage, but the terrain that opens up first at Sugarloaf will be more to their liking and the lines will be less.
post #8 of 18
Burke, Cannon, Saddleback; those would be excellent choices for february vacation, but christmas I'm not so sure. They don't have the snowmaking of the bigger places and natural snow is hit or miss (more miss than hit I'd say).

Sunday River disperses crowds well. There are places to go that aren't crowded (like Aurora Peak). They almost always have a decent amount of man-made covered trails open. Sugarloaf doesn't get very crowded (superquad line can be somewhat long, but slopes are never crowded). They don't invest as much into snowmaking, so they might have less terrain open, but if they have a decent amount it will be better than Sunday River (steeper and longer).

Never been to Bretton Woods. They get a lot of snow. The terrain isn't challenging. It's family-oriented, but big, so I'd guess they'd be crowded at that time.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 


Thanks for the info, i will keep a watch on the weather (esp since i will be back in NH before christmas) and will recomend to him while he is on his way up after christmas.
post #10 of 18
No don't go to Maine.

It's wicked crowded and the people are mean.

I will be up at Sugarloaf this weekend so I will take some pics.
post #11 of 18
Advanced and above, and want alack of crowds: Sugarloaf in Maine is a good bet, but stay far away from Sunday River.

Jay Peak gets tons of snow - watch the weather this coming Sunday - Tuesday. You could also try Smuggs and Burke in northern VT. Sugarbush North might be OK if they get snow. Not sure how the North only pass has affected crowds there this year.

Wildcat in NH?
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 


Change of plans---he is wanting to stay in vermont so i suggested mid to northern vermont to try and beat the ny/nj christmas rush. any recomendations up there?

post #13 of 18
Have them go to Northern VT. If they can find a place to stay that week, Smuggs, Burke and Bolton are usually not crowded.
post #14 of 18
I've done all of Vermont (i.e. north central & south) during Christmas. Stowe was the least crowded but still pretty crowded. Much better than K-Mart. I would imagine that Smuggs or Jay would be less crowded than most in N. VT.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

Jay Peak

He's def going to go to Jay Peak after he read about it, also thinking about Stowe. Then might try Sugarbush or somthing like that! (although they might be crowded) Thanks for all the advice!
post #16 of 18
Actually S'bush isn't so bad around the holidays compared to So VT. The key is getting on the slopes early and avoiding the base area. If you get off to a late start, head over to S'bush North which generally starts more slowly than S'bush South. My gripe about S'bush around the holdiays is unless there is a major dump the crowd and lack of terrain can lead to a sub-optimal ski experience.

Smuggs and Jay can be boney in December (not the case right now). Jay tends to get more people than Smuggs or Burke. Finding a place to stay can be the main challenge.
post #17 of 18
When I used to do my ski bum week I would stay at the Sunrise Motor Inn in Morrisville VT they are with in 45mins of Jay, Stowe, Sumgg's, Burke, Bolton and MRG/Sugarbush. The Motor Inn is located on RT100 and RT2. They are in the AAA guide.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 


thanks guys, i will pass on the info. and i may have to join him for a day or two since i will be back home for a few weeks!
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