or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Skiing The Front Four At Stowe
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Skiing The Front Four At Stowe

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Yesterday was my first look at Stowe and of course I was checking out the front four.

There were low, fast moving clouds so it was hard to see the summit at times.

It looked like the top of the main peak is very steep and then it hits a ridge or plateau before the long pitch.

The top of Goat looks pretty friggin steep and narrow.

My question is should anyone other then a "true" expert attempt any of these trails? What trails at other mountains in the Northeast, if any, could help you develop the skills neccessary to ski these runs?

I am currentky still working on my super steep bump skills so I don't think I would attempt Goat or Starr but the other runs don't look as bad.
post #2 of 19
Book a private with Epic and get a guided tour!
post #3 of 19

The goods

Forget the front four the good Mansfiled stuff isn't on a trailmap. Hook with a local and get a real tour.
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalce
Yesterday was my first look at Stowe and of course I was checking out the front four.

There were low, fast moving clouds so it was hard to see the summit at times.

It looked like the top of the main peak is very steep and then it hits a ridge or plateau before the long pitch.

The top of Goat looks pretty friggin steep and narrow.

My question is should anyone other then a "true" expert attempt any of these trails? What trails at other mountains in the Northeast, if any, could help you develop the skills neccessary to ski these runs?

I am currentky still working on my super steep bump skills so I don't think I would attempt Goat or Starr but the other runs don't look as bad.
I guess we could go to the archives and look at various people's definitions of expert. I will say you need to be pretty good. I don't think you can really see the very steepest or narrowest parts of Goat and Starr from the parking lot. I have skiied both of those trails many times with some of the kids that some of you guys saw at ETU. I don't think anyone would call them "true experts" although I think they're pretty darn good. Of course it depends largely on conditions. I know someone that ducked the rope and skiied Starr yesterday! If he slipped and started falling he wouldn't have stopped 'til he hit the base lodge. The Blues felt dangerous (but mostly from the gapers sliding past me on thier bellies and backs), I can't iagine skiing Starr in those conditions. Well, OK, I have a good imagination, I'm picturing it now. Not a good idea! The top of Starr is really steep, and pretty unforgiving. I'd say Goat is less steep, but kinda off-camber, and much more narrow. The good thing is you can work your way up to them. There are plenty of steep bumps in lower sections you where you can get the knack of it, and then you can traverse into the halfway points and start below the steepest and narrowest pitches. Coe on up! It's fun!
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the insight Epic.

What are some of the other runs that have steep bumps that I could practice on?

I could make out a small section of Goat that looked pretty steep and narrow with a sharp turn to the skiers left.

I would love to go ski Stowe as some of my favorate New England runs are narrow and winding trails like ones at Cannon.
post #6 of 19
Hayride often has some nice bumps on skier's left. Chinclip is pretty steep and bumpy. There's a pretty steep section at the very bottom of Lookout/Starr that you can reach from Hayride. The middle of National will grow some, and Liftline will have them too. There's a lot of ways to work your way up to it.

I'm not sure if you can make out the very top of Goat from the parking lot. I don't think so. Sometimes people mistake the pipelines from the Octagon for being Goat. Those are steep and narrow! Don't fall!
post #7 of 19
I thought the top of Starr was the steepest, but Goat has that weird offset pitch. I loathed them both when it was icy! but in soft, they were surviveable. the other two are fine, they are just normal blacks, and Chinclip is to me quite a challenge, as it's so bloody long, and if it's icy, those bumps are sustained. Hayride was steep too, but wide. If it's icy, Goat and Starr are bloody tough. If it's not, they are almost fun (almost).
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Here is what I could see from the base

http://members.bellatlantic.net/~jscalcio/P1010023.gif
post #9 of 19
I don't think National and Lift Line ski any different that any other double-black
"rectangular" bump-run in New England, no need to list them, everyone knows the ones at each mountain. The only difference would be being completely ungroomed side-to-side whereas some bumps runs like White Heat gives you one side to ski that's steep but groomed flat if you don't want to take on the bumps for all or part of the run.

Starre is really intidimating when you drop in from the top, It's wayyy steep for a few turns but then is does mellow out quite a bit. A lot of advanced but not expert skiers just do four or five skid turns to get by the entrance and then ski the bumps the rest of the way. It really is much less hard then it looks from the top. If the top is impassible (because of conditions or an ill-placed red rope), you can get in by skiing the first steep section of National and banging a right through the woods at a visible cut thru. From there down, it ain't bad. Starre near the bottom actually has some delightfully easy bumps after it crosses some other trail (forget which).

Goat is tough because it's so freaking narrow. You often have just one bump line to ski. Ski that line or crash. I think there's a way into the lower part of Goat also, maybe off National, if you just want to bite off part of it.

I wouldn't think of messing with most parts of any of those trails under conditions described as "miss one turn and you slide to the parking lot".

My favorite advanced learning trail at Stowe is Chinclip. It skis in steps. You have a steeper drop with bumps and then it flattens a bit, then there's another drop, and so on. Gives you breaks to get your whits about you. The front four just keeping going and going.
post #10 of 19

Getting into Goat

Quote:
Originally Posted by learn2turn
I think there's a way into the lower part of Goat also, maybe off National, if you just want to bite off part of it.
There's a little cat-track type trail that takes you from upper Lord (I think...) to the entrance of Liftline and National. If you just keep following that cat-track past Liftline and through the trees for another 30 feet or so you'll pop out on Goat. Looking at the trail map, it looks like you'll be in about half-way down. On my best day I have no business being on Goat, but my friends who have survived it claim that the lower entrance is past the truly hellacious stuff and then it's just hard (as oppossed to who-skis-this?) from there.
post #11 of 19
I haven't ben up to Stowe in many years, but I vividly remember the Front Four. I chickened out skiing Goat and Starr. In my opinion skiers that can ski the tough runs at Stowe can pretty much ski anywhere on planet earth short of extreme terrain maybe.

I have enormous respect for New England skiing and the skiers that ski the challenging terrain and conditions that exist. I need to get back and look at it again just to reinforce my earlier images and experience.
post #12 of 19
in 1987 I took my only trip to Stowe. I skied National and Starr but was put off by the "turn here or die" nature of Goat. What I did on National and Starr was pitifully inept and probably shouldn't be called skiing. I wonder how I'd fare today, and the answer is probably NO BETTER.
post #13 of 19

Front 4/5

Lower Goat can be accessed from Nosedive by turning right at the Sugar Shack onto Midway. The top 1/3rd and bottom 1/3rd of Goat are the most difficult, the middle is merely tough! The top 1/3rd is usually so marginal and ski-destructive that I avoid it and enter from Liftline.
If you enter Goat from Liftline, ski right across Goat, you enter Goat Woods..a truly great trees run..steep with ledges and unforgiving trees.
Liftline and National are not double-black runs when they are groomed. Upper National is always a double...it is never groomed, and is truly steep.
Epic is correct about Starr, the top is intimidating, but the rest usually has well formed bumps.
I consider Lookout a better candidate for Front 4 status than Liftline or National. It is steep, mostly quite narrow, natural snow and usually the best bump lines on the mountain.
Lookout Woods..between Starr and Lookout..easier than Goat Woods, but now an official run on the trail map.
If you want excitement on an official run, hop into Bypass..steep, very narrow, ledges, rocks, trees, natural jumps.
post #14 of 19
If you really want excitement try left of Goat from the top,don't freak out about the power or phone line on the ground, I think it's dead, it brings you into Goat woods but 1st you have to get down this very steep and narrow approx. 5-7' trail.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowbowler
If you really want excitement try left of Goat from the top,don't freak out about the power or phone line on the ground, I think it's dead, it brings you into Goat woods but 1st you have to get down this very steep and narrow approx. 5-7' trail.
that sounds like the section I saw that spooked me off Goat & Goat woods.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalce
My question is should anyone other then a "true" expert attempt any of these trails? What trails at other mountains in the Northeast, if any, could help you develop the skills neccessary to ski these runs?
I think if you are an advanced skier with good "all mountain" skills and the conditions are reasonable, i.e.,good snow and coverage, Goat and Starr would be doable for you. I've skied them a couple of times...the first 50-100 feet generally has big, deeply rutted irregular bumps...hacking my way down would probably be a better description of my skiing on this part of the run ...beyond that, they are good leg burning bump runs!

Early spring is a good time when temps warm up and the snow softens or, of course, just after a dump!

powsniffr
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
When I said "true" expert I was referring to someone who can ski any condition on any type of terrain and still look and be fluid. That is my definition at least.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
I was referring to Epic's earlier post that people's definition of an expert varies. I was just stating what I meant.

I wasn't referring to your post.

Thanks for the info on the runs.
post #19 of 19
By your definition, I'd have to say.... it depends.

To ski it in all conditions, you'd have to be a true expert or an idiot. To ski it in all conditions and look and be fluid... yes, you'd have to be a hell of a skier.

(When I say "it" I'm picturing Upper Starr.)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Skiing The Front Four At Stowe