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sugarbush report

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
was at sugarbush this weekend, nice hill in need of some lift upgrades, wow i loved the trails, i was flashing back to my recent trip at smuggler's notch. i dont get these so-called "resorts" where it 's all condos all the time. my suggestion is infrastructure, bring the hill up to spec then do the condo's. they closed castlerock peak around 1:00pm due to wind, they closed lincoln peak even earlier around 11:00 am. i only got to do organgrinder(great bumps) and spillsville before they closed it. so here's what i got to do in those short hours rumble(definitely the best run at sugarbush)/castlerock run/middle earth...then lift closed!. so at 2:00pm the only lift opened was called the valleyhouse double, ok no problem so i hit stein's run, great moguls on the left side; lexi twist, again nice mogul run, eden's woods which were a blast, as was the mall. what i don't understand is why they closed the lifts so earlier when the wind was not an issue by today's standards, but again with lifts from the 70's and 80's, obviously it was an issue. without being too negative, i loved the trails totally disliked old and slow moving lifts. i think a few high speed quad's are in order then build the condo's.
post #2 of 24
I think Sugarbush has some of the most original runs in the Northeast.
post #3 of 24
High speed quads are not the end all be all. Mad River Glen has 2 doubles and a single and oddly is one of the only ski hills to make money each year in New England. I would rather have 5 amazing runs than do 10 or 15 laps on crappy snow and terrain.......

Alfonse
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
i never once complained about the runs, and given i'm the type of skier who opens and closes the hill, eating a couple of vectors on the ride up(no lunch/vanity stops), i ski hard the whole day. the reason i was a little preturbed is that they closed a good portion of the hill very early, thus denying me of multiple runs down the trails(organgrinder/rumble) i paid good money for. it is obvious that it was more of an ancient technology closure than anything else. i'm sure modern hi-speed quads can resist cross-winds better than lifts that were designed in the 70's. so they closed them which resulted in a very long line to access a very slow double chair. the trails were amazing which made what i feel the wait all the more agonizing. to cut to the chase, the thrust of my comments were that maybe if you upgrade the "chair" system it sure would make selling those condo's alot easier. not only that, the condo's act like hotel units, so if they are to increase skier traffic and not modernize their facilities, then what i went through yesterday will be even more frustrating. i think it behooves them to make sure skiers can enjoy the whole mountain the whole day and move them up there quicker. just different priorities.
post #5 of 24
It is frustrating when lifts go on wind hold. I doubt that lift age has much to do with how well the lift performs in a cross wind. There is a high speed quad that services terrain adjacent to the Valley House double that seems to have been shut down when you visted. Sugarbush has a lot of elevation the makes the upper lifts exposed to winds crossing the Green Mtns.

My prefernce would be to have a better lift infrastructure than build more condos, but ski area economics drives the condo building. At Sugarbush the proposed condos are going on my favorite parking area.

I hope you get a chance to come back to Sugarbush and enjoy the skiing on a less windy day.
post #6 of 24
Driving over the Northfield Mountains I can clearly see Sugarbush south and North, they are open and exposed. I can just barely see Mad River tucked away in the corner. Perhaps that is why I have never ever seen their lifts on wind hold. I skied the 30 inch storm this year and everyone from sugarbush came to mad because of wind hold....

Ironically I have never skied Sugarbush, just fate really, I love Mad River. Every time I drive over the pass and see Castlerock though I sure do want to ski it, looks like lots of Mads terrain

Alfonse
post #7 of 24
Alfonse,

Sugarbush is all groomed out and sanitized. The last time I was there it became clear why I always go to MRG. But Mad River is not for everyone. Some people don't like rocks and ice and stumps and ledges and endless bumps! Skiing how it used to be.

Union, I don't mean to put down your great experience, but for me - MRG next door - you owe it to yourself to go check it out. Many people call it No. 1.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Sugarbush is all groomed out and sanitized.
I'm confused...I ski the Bush all the time (and ski Mad River too) and never have a problem finding ungroomed, bumped up terrain. Castlerock is usually the last lift to go down for wind (on Saturday I skied it for a good portion of the afternoon - Sunday was the windy day). I have to agree that Rumble was fantastic! Best it's skied all season. Tumbler, Bravo, Black Diamond, Hammerhead at North are skiing great. South has lots of snow in the woods as well.

Sugarbush is still struggling to get out from the chaos that ASC wrought on it. ASC devoted their time to removing functional and practical lifts, ignoring maintaining the snow making ponds and trying to build a hotel. The new owners (Summit Ventures, Inc.) have great plans and are moving forward this summer with a new base area at South (Lincoln Peak), including a new family center and eventually some on mountain housing. Lift repairs and upgrades are scheduled as well. Castlerock is, in fact, a new Poma double. The new owners made that lift their first priority for upgrading (ok, so they had too - the old lift was a goner from a safety standpoint)...but they wisely kept the uphill capacity roughly the same, it's just a comfier ride now. I agree that they do have older lifts, but have never not found myself tired at the end of a full day of skiing there.

Having said all that - it's warm right now, but the snow line is below us for tomorrow and on top of the snow we got here in the Valley last week - the skiing is amazing! Mad River on Tuesday/Wednesday was to make others jealous! Sugarbush on Thursday was windy, but we managed to have fun anyway - the NE Masters racers weren't having as much fun on their DH/SG skis, but there was a ton of snow!
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by uniontire
was at sugarbush this weekend, nice hill in need of some lift upgrades, wow i loved the trails, with lifts from the 70's and 80's,
Actually..in the mid 90's ASC/Sugarbush invested millions in 6 new quads(Super Bravo, Gatehouse Express, Summit, NorthRidge, Green Mountain,Inverness) plus the 2 1/2 mile Slide Brook Express Quad. That's most of the major lifts. Two years ago the Castlerock lift was replaced.

The new Claybrook developement is not going onto the same footprint as the Lodge at LP, it is basically replacing the Gatehouse Base area so the parking lot will hardly be affected.
post #10 of 24
Whew! I'm glad my parking spot is safe thanks for the information.
post #11 of 24
Quote:

Posted by Gotamagal
Sugarbush on Thursday was windy, but we managed to have fun anyway - the NE Masters racers weren't having as much fun on their DH/SG skis, but there was a ton of snow
Yes, thursday was supposed to be a Super G training day but Inverness hadn't been groomed!. Not a lot of fun on SG skis!!

Fortunately I didn't go Thursday but by Friday it was in great shape for race day and the wind had dropped away.
post #12 of 24
I like Sugarbush, I think it complements MRG well. I was with Alfonce when tehy had the 30" dump. I skied it that Friday then skied Sugarbush on Saturday. Bush was aweful, I don't think they got half of what MRG received out of that storm. It was the work conditions I skied 'bush in a long time. Whne "Bush is "on", it is as good as any area in the east and I really like it. If I was limited to skiing "Bush and MRG for the rest of my life, I would be a happy skier.
post #13 of 24
I always thought everyone liked Rocks, Ice, Stumps, ledges and endless bumps! What gives...

Alfonse
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
i definitely will be hitting MRG this year, i guess skiing at local hills here in quebec, i have been pampered with high speed quads.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by uniontire
it is obvious that it was more of an ancient technology closure than anything else. i'm sure modern hi-speed quads can resist cross-winds better than lifts that were designed in the 70's. so they closed them which resulted in a very long line to access a very slow double chair.
Sorry to hear about the wind closures you experienced. As someone else said, that's never fun. In my opinion, wind closures are a safety issue, and I think it's generally black and white - once the chairs start to sway past a certain point, the lift gets shut down.

Think about where you were skiing at the end of the day though - the Valley House double is ancient. I would almost propose the opposite theory: older lifts are more likely to run in the wind than new lifts. I don't think it's a design advantage, just that the older lifts are more likely to be found on a narrow trail or lift line (cut years ago, and perhaps a little grown-in), and possibly have shorter spans between the towers(and thus shorter towers). I would think a bigger chair would act as a bigger sail in a cross-wind too.
post #16 of 24
We just had our best week of skiing ever at the Bush last week. It was in good shape Monday even before the snow hit. The wind holds Tues. and Wed. were a pain but there was still a lot of powder to be had. Some areas did get scoured by the wind but we noticed that at MRG also on Thurs. The high speed quads do tend to spoil you, and when you get on a fixed grip lift they seem awful slow, but you still get a lot of skiing even on those lifts. Sugarbush is a place that has every kind of terrain to suit every kind of skier. It's definitely one of our favorites!
post #17 of 24
Union

A word of advice: Try not to hit MRG on a weekend if you can help it. Remember that the main lift to the top is a single built in 1949 or so. The lift is not slow for a fixed grip, but it cannot handle numbers well. You can easily ski yourself into the ground on a weekday. You gota check it out, man!
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHrefugee
Actually..in the mid 90's ASC/Sugarbush invested millions in 6 new quads(Super Bravo, Gatehouse Express, Summit, NorthRidge, Green Mountain,Inverness) plus the 2 1/2 mile Slide Brook Express Quad. That's most of the major lifts. Two years ago the Castlerock lift was replaced.

Yeah... most of the lifts are new. I remember when Sugar Bravo got replaced by Super Bravo (and if i remember right, Sugar Bravo chairs moved up to the North Lynx to replace the fun old J-bar). They had a bunch of new lifts installed in that same timeframe, along with a lot of added snowmaking capability. I think it took the $$$ of ASC to make it happen, so there's one good thing they did.

As long as I have skied there (since the mid 80s) they have always put chairs on wind-hold quite often. It's just the location and the fact that they are so exposed. I can remember some great big Nor-Easter snow dumps, followed by windy days in which you couldn't really ski. It's something you learn to expect at the Bush. Fortunately, MRG is just down the road and is a lot more sheltered from the wind.

Craig
post #19 of 24
I was up there two weeks ago for a week. Skied both 'Bush and MRG and both were excellent. Our group was composed of skiers from begineer to expert, young and old, and no one was bored for the entire week. Can't wait to go back.
post #20 of 24
I'm not on the hill today, but guessing there are some wind holds...it was blowing like stink when I left the valley this morning...and cold. The woods should be good this weekend at both the Bush and MRG, given the snow we got last night and the wind speed as well. I skied Stowe yesterday and it was polished chrome in some places, as well as COLD. The gondola was down most of the day and the quad was getting blown around. NCAAs there today are still going off but it has to be pretty chilly I would think!
post #21 of 24
This morn Summit and Heavens Gate is on windhold...tomorrow Paradise should be sweet.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by uniontire
so here's what i got to do in those short hours rumble(definitely the best run at sugarbush)/castlerock run/middle earth...then lift closed!..........with lifts from the 70's and 80's, obviously it was an issue.
As stated previously, the Castlerock Chair is only a few years old. I don't know for sure, but I don't think Heaven's Gate is 20+ years old. Personally, I applaud the mountain for the new Castlerock Chair - a very spaced out double. For the type of terrain it services, this approach is great to preserve the conditions and keep skier traffic to a minimum.

What you experienced is classic SB windhold. It has nothing to do with the lifts. The mountain typically errs on the side of caution and seems to get a lot of flack about it. I was there on last month's first powder dump (18"+) and the only lifts open were Gatehouse and Lynx. It was windy, but didn't seem that bad. Kind of a bummer to be locked out from the rest of the hill, but I still love the place...
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfonse
Every time I drive over the pass and see Castlerock though I sure do want to ski it, looks like lots of Mads terrain

Alfonse
I think the trails at Castlerock were designed/cut by the same person who laid out the trails at MRG. I can say that I think the CR trails are very similar to the terrain at Mad River.
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
i have to admit the trails were super cool, just felt short changed when the lifts closed, in 2 weeks im heading off to sugarloaf(what would be the gotta-do trails if anyone cares to inform) . this sunday will be a local glade paradise known as mont sutton. MRG i'll save for a mid week excursion sometime in the next couple of weeks.
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