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Stowe or Sunday River?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'm new to skiing and am trying to decide on a destination for a weekend ski trip. The suggestions in my previous posts for day trip ideas were very helpful and I wanted to try to get people's opinions on a possible weekend destination. I was thinking about either Stowe or Sunday River. Does anyone have any knowledge of the ski school reputation at either of these? I did a search and saw a thread a few years back re: Sunday River maybe not being as productive as the groups were not divided well by ability. Anyone able to expand on this or offer any insight as to where would be better to go for someone who recently started skiing and has moved into doing mostly skidded parallel turns and has skiied mostly greens? Thanks.
post #2 of 19
Well, I teach a lot of those lessons at Stowe, so I guess I'm biased, but I think we do a pretty good job with the lesson you describe. For what it's worth, the majority of the instructors at our adult group line-up are level 3 certs.
post #3 of 19
Stowe and northern Vermont, just got a ton of snow that Sunday River DIDN'T get.
post #4 of 19
Both have excellent ski schools and plenty of easy terrain for beginners BUT
Stowe has a higher % of terrain open (close to 100%) due to MUCH more snow this year.

YTD Snowfall:
Stowe.....294"
SR...........98"
post #5 of 19
I went to Stowe last weekend expecting great conditions and came away quite disappointed. Apparently the wind blew so hard that all the fresh snow ended up in the next county. Some of the intermediate trails on the main mountain were in decent shape, but the gondola and Spruce Peak were scoured down to the base, leaving frozen granular at best, and blue ice in other areas. Some of the trails at Spruce that looked liked they might have had some powder on them were roped off, despite the resorts' claim that they were 100% open. Went to Killington on Sunday and found the conditions were vastly superior, despite the fact that Stowe has had a lot more natural snow than Killington this season. The difference being Killington was out blowing snow all over the mountain, and Stowe wasn't. It seems to me that when they charge $76 for a lift ticket, that they could at least get out and make some snow on the big patches of pond ice. There was a thin cover sign at the top of Main Street at Spruce. This is the same trail that they installed their much ballyhooed automated snowmaking system on for this season, the only one of it's kind in New England. What good is it if you don't have the commitment to use it? And yes, I know the wind was a factor, but it blew just as hard at Killington.
As far as the ski school goes, Stowe has excellent reputation. They really have some top notch instuctors there. Not to say that Sunday River doesn't also have some fine individuals also, but my experiences with the ski school in general have not been very good.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the opinions. I was kind of afraid that the snow at Stowe had been blown off and it sounds like it has been. . . .Stowe ski school sounds better but the current conditions might suit me better at SR. Hmm-- tough decision. Thanks
post #7 of 19
You can't make snow when it is blowing 40 mph. The snow would just end up where all of the other snow went. Conditions were pretty great today (and on Sunday too IMHO), with nice springy feel to the snow. It's a different mountain everyday, you just have to know how to ski the mountain on that day. For sure on Sunday, Gondolier was not where you wanted to be. It has recovered nicely now and without making snow. That's what the big blade on the front of the cat is for.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic
You can't make snow when it is blowing 40 mph. The snow would just end up where all of the other snow went. Conditions were pretty great today (and on Sunday too IMHO), with nice springy feel to the snow. It's a different mountain everyday, you just have to know how to ski the mountain on that day. For sure on Sunday, Gondolier was not where you wanted to be. It has recovered nicely now and without making snow. That's what the big blade on the front of the cat is for.
I agree with this assessment. I was at Killington last Saturday and it was horrendous - maybe the worst I've seen in years. Sunday I bit the bullet and drove up to Stowe and it was awesome. Snowing pretty hard at one point. I didn't go over to the Gondola side but there was a few inches of fresh powder on the other side and a nice base as well. Very little ice. In fact, the difference was so great that I'm driving back up tonight even though it is 1.5 hours farther than Killington.

T
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac

I went to Stowe last weekend expecting great conditions and came away quite disappointed. Apparently the wind blew so hard that all the fresh snow ended up in the next county.
Something should be done about the wind situation. That's the trouble with locating ski resorts in the mountains.

I can't believe that the choice is Sunday River or Stowe.

I was at Killington last Saturday and it was weak. It was still fun though.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac
I went to Stowe last weekend expecting great conditions and came away quite disappointed. Apparently the wind blew so hard that all the fresh snow ended up in the next county. Some of the intermediate trails on the main mountain were in decent shape, but the gondola and Spruce Peak were scoured down to the base, leaving frozen granular at best, and blue ice in other areas. Some of the trails at Spruce that looked liked they might have had some powder on them were roped off, despite the resorts' claim that they were 100% open. Went to Killington on Sunday and found the conditions were vastly superior, despite the fact that Stowe has had a lot more natural snow than Killington this season. The difference being Killington was out blowing snow all over the mountain, and Stowe wasn't. It seems to me that when they charge $76 for a lift ticket, that they could at least get out and make some snow on the big patches of pond ice. There was a thin cover sign at the top of Main Street at Spruce. This is the same trail that they installed their much ballyhooed automated snowmaking system on for this season, the only one of it's kind in New England. What good is it if you don't have the commitment to use it? And yes, I know the wind was a factor, but it blew just as hard at Killington.
As far as the ski school goes, Stowe has excellent reputation. They really have some top notch instuctors there. Not to say that Sunday River doesn't also have some fine individuals also, but my experiences with the ski school in general have not been very good.
Oh No's: Spruce peak was skiing poorly, maybe we should not hit Stowe tomorrow.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfonse
Oh No's: Spruce peak was skiing poorly, maybe we should not hit Stowe tomorrow.
Spruce faces an entirely different wind direction (more or less W) than Mansfield (S x SE).
Mansfield doesn't blow off like Spruce...
Stowe is the easy choice, stick with mansfield, though
post #12 of 19
I was being sarcastic. While Spruce Peak has its place at Stowe I have not skied it since I was 12 and my friends parents made us ski there for a day. I do not intend to change that streak anytime soon.

Alfonse
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfonse
Oh No's: Spruce peak was skiing poorly, maybe we should not hit Stowe tomorrow.
Yeah, w/o Spruce in good shape I'd have to pass too.....
post #14 of 19
Alfonse and Treewell, play nice. If Miramar is new to skiing, he/she will be skiing at Spruce, that's where the beginner lessons are, so this is something to consider.

That said, I would still recommend Stowe over Sunday River for their first-timer and beginner lessons. It has not been windy lately and most likely the terrain at Spruce Peak has recovered just fine after some grooming TLC. Stowe is very good at repairing windblown snow once the weather cooperates.

Thatsagirl
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfonse
I was being sarcastic. While Spruce Peak has its place at Stowe I have not skied it since I was 12 and my friends parents made us ski there for a day. I do not intend to change that streak anytime soon.

Alfonse
believe me, i got it
i was just putting the facts up there for the faint of heart
post #16 of 19
[quote=Thatsagirl]Alfonse and Treewell, play nice. If Miramar is new to skiing, he/she will be skiing at Spruce, that's where the beginner lessons are, so this is something to consider.


They do have blues and greens on Mansfield proper you know. Besides whats fun about playing nice
post #17 of 19
[quote=Alfonse]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thatsagirl
Alfonse and Treewell, play nice. If Miramar is new to skiing, he/she will be skiing at Spruce, that's where the beginner lessons are, so this is something to consider.


They do have blues and greens on Mansfield proper you know. Besides whats fun about playing nice
You need to go skiing! And Miramar, what he says is true. After lessons, if it's a nice clear day, go to Mansfield and ski down the beginner trail called Toll Road. Awesome views!

Thatsagirl
post #18 of 19
[quote=Thatsagirl]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfonse

You need to go skiing! And Miramar, what he says is true. After lessons, if it's a nice clear day, go to Mansfield and ski down the beginner trail called Toll Road. Awesome views!

Thatsagirl
and a truly fairy-tale-esque chapel en route, which provides beautiful photo ops.
post #19 of 19
I just did ski, at Stowe, go figure. Great day, I may do a trip report with pictures depending on how lazy I am.

Alfonse
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