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Boston/Springfield trip in mid-Feb - Recomendation?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'll do some more re-searching tomorrow, but can the North Easterners give me a tip?

I'll be in Charlton Mass (about halfway between Boston & Springfield) for a business trip week in mid-feb. I can probably get my wife to come out for a 3 day weekend, and we'd fly coast to coast Friday night or Saturday then drive & ski on Sunday. (I'm based out of Seattle, WA)

So, since we'd hit just one hill on a Sunday, which NE resort should we go to?

(Not beginners but we've pretty much only been at various western resorts. We have enjoyed both big and small hills, From Whistler/Blackcomb to tiny rope-tow only spots but would at least want lift-served.)
post #2 of 13
how's your ice skiing?

on a Sunday at least in the PM, even the biggest NE resorts shouldn't be too too crowded. The closest from Springfield would probably be Killington or Stowe. If you are afraid of weekend crowds, perhaps Cannon, Magic or Mad River Glenn will do it.
post #3 of 13
Halfway between Boston and Springfield puts you close to beautiful Worchester. The closest option is likely Wachusett, but I'd avoid that on a weekend. You actually have a bunch of options depending on how far you're willing to drive. I'd also keep an eye on weather patterns. You might consider Berkshire East, especially if the current storm tracks where it's currently projected. Probably 1.5 hours or so, 1000+ vertical, some challenging terrain, kind of old-timey NE that doesn't usually get very crowded. Sunapee (I'm guessing at about 2 hours but I'm not sure what route you'd take from your location) offers very good grooming and snowmaking with about 1500 feet of vertical--nice place for intermediate cruising. Mount Snow would likely be no more than about 2 hours--never been but always reputed to be very busy weekends. Places like Okemo, Killington, Stratton, Bromley would all be within day trip distance.
post #4 of 13
I take it you will be wanting to make a round trip to a resort and back to Charlton in one day.

I live just north of Charlton, (about 25 minutes), Legendary mountains you hear about on this board and the estamate time to get to them are:

These are all estimates one way from my house (add 25 min to these times)
Jay Peak 4 hours
Sunday River 4.5 to 5 hours
Stowe 4 hours
Sugarbush / Mad River Glen (using the Warren Gap... 4 hours)
Killington 3.5 hours
Okemo 2.5 to 3 hours

I am sure there are a few others I have forgotten but this will give you an idea of the travel time to the areas.

Personally, if we take a day trip, we either go to Sunapee or Waterville Valley. With a preference toward Waterville in light snow years (like this year). These resorts are exactly 2 hours from our house. They might not get allot of play on this board but if you want a taste of NE sking without the long drive, these two are pretty good.

If I was in town for one day and had to chose a NE mountain to visit and I dont care about the drive and there was good snow....I would pick Stowe or MRG. If I was also concerned about snow conditions.....Killington or Okemo.
post #5 of 13
Originally Posted by spork
Personally, if we take a day trip, we either go to Sunapee or Waterville Valley.
between those two, I'd also consider Cannon or Loon (though Loon on a Sunday might be a little bit of a zoo). Both are same distance than Waterville, give or take 10 minutes.
post #6 of 13
Originally Posted by kelly001
between those two, I'd also consider Cannon or Loon (though Loon on a Sunday might be a little bit of a zoo). Both are same distance than Waterville, give or take 10 minutes.
good point, Cannon would be a good option also.
post #7 of 13
just know that if it's a cold day, cannon will be twice as cold but half as populated than loon, waterville or sunapee. It's a great smaller new-england resort but if it's a cold day in new-england, it's a real cold day at cannon.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks folks, exactly what I was looking for.
Off to print trailmaps and such.

Cold isn't a problem for us. We've skied in -20 (-50 windchill) at Loveland CO. Squeeky snow.
post #9 of 13
Charleton??? Why on earth would anyone go to Charleton? I'm scratching my head trying to think what businesses are there.

As for skiing...if you want to do some night skiing while there, Wachusett or Ski Ward (real small) are close enough to do this. For your 1 longer trip there's also MT. Snow, Okemo, Killington, Stratton, Bromley and Magic (best with natural snow, classic NE trails), that are probably closer to Charleton than the NH areas. You would take the MA Pike West to 91 North (these area are accessible from 91 North).

There is also Jiminy Peak, Butternut and Bousquet(smaller, but home to skier_j ) in Western MA, that you may want to consider. It all depends on what kind of skiing you want to do and what level the others you will be with are at. These are all accessible from MA Pike West, exit 2 (route 20 and 7).

I saw Berkshire East mentioned in another's Post. To get there you'd take the MA pike to 91 north and get off at route 2 west.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks teachskiljp,

The company I work for is in telecom, and we have a big building in Charleton that connects Boston to the rest of the network. I'm teaching a class to the techs who keep the place running, and its a central location for the audience.

Sunday we're planning on Sunapee - with our horrible PNW conditions we've only got 3 short days on the snow, so want to take it easy. After she's gone home on Monday I might squeeze in a night ski mid-week at Wachusett or Ski Ward for the fun-of-it.

Thanks again all.
post #11 of 13
okemo? legendary? gotta disagree with that.

TomK, if you're from the PNW and only have a few days in the area, i think it would be really disappointing visiting sunapee when you could get a place like cannon for just slightly longer drive time. could also do loon which is near cannon, little more crowded.

in VT, sugarbush, mrg, stowe, and jay peak (most reliable powder) all offer up excellent snow and trails. kmart if you want the big resort experience with night life. want to keep it closer to home, then bromley or magic in VT are options too.

perhaps a multi-day trip up to sugarloaf in ME if you have 3 days to spend on the snow?
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Sunapee report

Thamks for the suggestions folks, I made my choice based on trailmaps and ended up on my own. Sunapee was a lot of fun.

Since I'm going to be in the Boston Mass. area for business next week, took along the ski clothes and boots to get some runs in. I've never skied east of Devner so this was going to be an adventure in NE ice.

Woke up super early on Sunday and hit the road for Mount Sunapee up in New Hampshire. Three hours of mostly two lane roads thru picturesque little towns later, I was showing my Snoq's season pass and telling our tale of no-snow-woe to the gal at Guest services hoping to get a few bucks off the $56 lift ticket. She stunned me with "poor guy, how does an employees ticket for $25 sound?" Score one for the pity effect!
Rented a set of Rossi Bandit X's in a 185 length and out to the lifts I went.

Temps went from the mid-20's to almost 30. Pretty light winds (especialy for HN per the locals - 20 MPH is common). Blue sky with a few scattered clouds.
Natural snow base was about 2 feet deep, on-piste with a manmade base was 56". New snow last night 4-5 inches of reasonably light powpow (Seattle equivelent = very light crude) over a foot from 2 days ago. The locals were raving that this was about the best it's been all season so far, and Id have to agree that this was my best day so far this season.
Most of the runs are fairly wide (20-30 meters) and pretty empty until 11ish. After warming up on a few groomers to get the feel of the sticks, I hooked up with a father/daghter piar who were getting set to hit the Ridge Glades for freshies. The top 30 yards of the entry was a little bony and tufts of grass & rock were starting to come out, but it opened up after that and we were getting boot deep first tracks and crosses while dodging thru 10" diameter birch trees that were spaced 5-15 feet apart. A nice intro to eastern glade skiing which is looser and way better vis than the typical PNW cedar choked stuff I'm used to. The glades were only good for one more and then got pretty badly tracked out so I spent the rest of the day burning down the mainlines. They tarted to get scrubbed down to the underlying manmade "scaaaaaaape" in spots after 11. I only stopped for water and some Balance bars to eat up at the Summit Lodge, so I called it a day around 2 when the legs started to wear out.

Compared to what I was expecting, there was plenty of room to manuever around folks. A couple of folks commented that the crowd was on the light side though.

Comparing to elsewhere I've been, I'd say Sunapee was like a mini-Steamboat without the long-ass flats at the bottom.

The Sunbowl fixed grip Quad was pretty light crowdwise. Typically under 2 minutes to load, and often just a couple or three chairs to wait. The big lift Sunapee Express looked crowded but the single's line made for under 5 minute waits. Only rode a couple of the other lifts once, and I stayed away from the beginner lifts across the parking lot.

Runs taken (Left to right on the trailmap)
Porky's-Upper Williamson-Crossover or Upper Wingding-to-middle & lower Wingding along with Liftline which was nice soft moguls. Hawes Hideout (pretty narrow slot thru some trees)-Sunrise Glade-Skyway-Sundance-Lower Cataract (The glades below Cataract were way to bony even with rentals). Guster-Eggbeater. Lynx. Upper Ridge-Ridge Glades-Outer Ridge-or-Upper Ridge-Lower Ridge-or-Portage.

Thier homepage:
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Took some pictures, uploaded them over here...

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Boston/Springfield trip in mid-Feb - Recomendation?