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Vermont Ski Trip Advice

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Stumbled across this site a few days ago while researching a ski trip and have really enjoyed searching thru past posts for help. Some really good info and websites were found, so thank ya’ll!

So onto the meat of my post: Landed a job working 10-11 hours every day from Nov 23-Dec 24 and decided to reward myself with a 7-10 day solo ski vacation in January. After some thought and research; I decided on cruising around VT with a focus on Stowe & surrounding mountains.

As conditions will be unknown; and I like not having a schedule, I’m hoping to avoid reserving rooms until I get up there. Do ya’ll think this is feasible, or will rooms be hard to come by? I’m not looking to stay in a spa, just a plain Jane room….at the most perhaps a place w/ a hot tub.

With 7-10 days, any advice on where to start my trip? I’m an intermediate skier who also enjoys the occasional easy/expert run. I am fairly adventurous (ex-paratrooper) so I was thinking glade or tree skiing after taking a private lesson might be fun.

Thanks in advance, you all have helped immeasurably just with your informative and downright hilarious past posts.
post #2 of 27

welcome

If your trip starts on Jan 2 or thereafter you should be able to wing it without reservations in a great variety of accommodations. Stowe/Sugarbush/MRG is a fine area to focus on. Killington has a lot to offer intermediates on weekdays.
post #3 of 27

cool

You will not have a problem if you are flying solo. Go to Stowe, Smugglers Notch, Jay Peak, Sugarbush, Bolton Valley, Mad River Glen. All within an hour and a half of each other. Go for it.
post #4 of 27
As the time to Dec 25th diminishes, your wish that you'd made prior reservations will increase.

Translation: Bring a warm sleeping bag, a car with fold down seats, and really strong deoderant.
post #5 of 27
After January 2nd it's pretty easy to find lodging around the Mad River Valley/Stowe/Burlington area. Burlington's pretty easy any time of the year, but if you want to be close to the mountains, wait until after the Christmas crowds have cleared out.

FYI - it snowed about 5 inches at Sugarbush last night and it's still on the trails right now as I view from the Valley. Nice to see it white!
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oboe View Post
Translation: Bring a warm sleeping bag, a car with fold down seats, and really strong deoderant.
Hmmm, not a pleasant thought......but am not averse to that happening one to two nights. I'm thinking reserving a room for my first night would be good, then go from there.

Edit: I'm planning January12 - whenever
post #7 of 27
Jay Peak is nice.
post #8 of 27
I've never skied Burke Mt. If I were to do a trip like that Burke would be on the list. Killington would not.
post #9 of 27

Mlk

Oops, Jan 13-15 is MLK weekend. That could be a little tricky showing up without reservations at some of the popular slopeside lodges at a place like Stowe, otherwise I think you should still be good winging it.

If you stay at chain motels near Vermont Interstates they almost always have room except a few days a winter.

It's been a few years, anybody know if Sugarbush is ever truly mobbed these days?
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post
It's been a few years, anybody know if Sugarbush is ever truly mobbed these days?
As long as all the lifts are running, you probably won't have to wait for a chair. Except maybe intermediate chairs on those days when all the kooks come out.
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 

A whole saturday on the 'net

ALRIGHTY!! Some really good advice especially factoring in the crowds. So my plans are shaping up to start @ Sugarbush and work my way north. Of course if a system dumps at a slope I'm not at, the plans go out the window. Woohoo, a whole saturday spent on the 'net, but I've made a spreadsheet of hotels/rates/bars....is January here yet?
post #12 of 27
The other truth: If you don't mind an hour's drive to the hill, you can always find lodging of adequate sort. If you need more specific input from a local, pm me.
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oboe View Post
The other truth: If you don't mind an hour's drive to the hill, you can always find lodging of adequate sort.
If it comes to that I shouldn't mind too much.... as long as a bar isn't an hours drive

Thanks for the offer, I'm sure as the date gets closer I'll have some questions.
post #14 of 27
Ooog,

You must spend at least one night at "The Barn at mad River", it is owned by Betsy Pratt, the former owner of MRG. You will need to corner her for some stories of MRG lore. Plus, you will get to meet one of the best bartenders in the MR valley, Craig. Make sure you tell him I sent you.
The Barn is a must do for any Vermont tour.
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 

Nice rates for midweek

With rates like those I'll be spending at least a few days mid-week Phil. Thx, I've added it to my "probables" in my spreadsheet.....
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ooog View Post
If it comes to that I shouldn't mind too much.... as long as a bar isn't an hours drive

Thanks for the offer, I'm sure as the date gets closer I'll have some questions.
If you stay in Burlington, St. Albans, Waterbury, Montpelier, Berlin, South Burlington, Williston, or almost any other populated area, you can arrange to walk to the bar or, take the risk, drive about fifteen minutes max.
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
Jay Peak is nice.
I cannot believe Jay Peak was mentioned once. If you are a serious skier looking for the best terrain Do Not pass up Jay Peak. The best/most snow almost every year if not every year. By far the best tree/glade skiing, a bunch of good steeps and huge natural airs all over the place!
Stowe should definately not be passed up either. Take the time to hike the chin and you will find a few nice drops!!
MRG is fun with some really nice terrain.
Only thing about Jay is not a huge nightlife but if you are really here to ski seriously who cares about that. Jay pek is by far the best in the area for diversity of terrain, face chute and tuckermans are steep and will provide a smile on your face for sure.
post #18 of 27
Jay is a given as is MRG. I didn't feel that it was necessary to talk about them. I mentioned Burke because I've never skied there and would like to someday. This trip sounds like an opportunity to explore a bit.
post #19 of 27

...Follow the Snow!

Follow the snow man....the MR area sounds like a great default area if the snow is equally distributed....a good choice over sleeping in a parking lot in Essex Junction!....JEEZ..*#^$%&%...talk about Gloom & Doom...ROTFL!!! ...or is this just the tail-end of the non-skiing angst !...Oboe ??
Too much driving can often make this time seem like commuting each day....get close...and if there's good snow, hang out for at least a few days...
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by connor View Post
I cannot believe Jay Peak was mentioned once. If you are a serious skier looking for the best terrain Do Not pass up Jay Peak. The best/most snow almost every year if not every year. By far the best tree/glade skiing, a bunch of good steeps and huge natural airs all over the place!
Stowe should definately not be passed up either. Take the time to hike the chin and you will find a few nice drops!!
MRG is fun with some really nice terrain.
Only thing about Jay is not a huge nightlife but if you are really here to ski seriously who cares about that.
The only thing I am a little worried about is the terrain at some of these places; while I'm not averse to some risk I would hate to spend most the day(s) doing parallels and pissing off the advanced skiers. I am planning on taking a private lesson my first day, and possibly later on during the trip for tips on glade/tree skiing but skiing a slope too advanced for me would suck...wait a second...EFF THAT

BRING IT ON YA MOTHEREFFIN MTN

I'll buy apres-ski drinks for any of ya'll pikers I piss off with my out-of control style
post #21 of 27
Well I had no idea yous is a gebinner: Might as well forget about hiking the chin at stowe, you might end your vacation with a hospital stay!
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ooog View Post
The only thing I am a little worried about is the terrain at some of these places; while I'm not averse to some risk I would hate to spend most the day(s) doing parallels and pissing off the advanced skiers. I am planning on taking a private lesson my first day, and possibly later on during the trip for tips on glade/tree skiing but skiing a slope too advanced for me would suck...wait a second...EFF THAT

BRING IT ON YA MOTHEREFFIN MTN

I'll buy apres-ski drinks for any of ya'll pikers I piss off with my out-of control style
Well if you're in Stowe and looking for a lesson, look me up. I'd be happy to show you our mountain. I think probably every other mountain you will visit has a Baring Bear or two as well. For example, you could hook up with Oboe at Smugg's.
post #23 of 27
Hello Everybody,
I think the best way to go would be to follow the snow. As you are going mid-January, accomodation shouldn't be a problem. Jay Peak is always the best bet for truly deep stuff but only hit it after or duing a storm. Jay is not worth it for the on-piste. Sugarbush is steep enough and don't miss out on Mad River Glen especially after a storm. MRG has different systems effecting it and you can get really lucky there when no-one else has fresh. If you are terribly unlucky, stick to big areas like Stowe and Killington as they have superior grooming. Remember, nothing says yipeee like a foot of fresh!
post #24 of 27
I've spend the second week in January in Stowe for the past couple of years. It's totally uncrowded midweek, it should be great. I just wanted to warn you that oddly, for both of the past two years, it has rained in Stowe during our week up there. Hard. And more than once each year. Despite that, the snow has been quite good. Last January we had a few days that were like spring conditions, too warm for everyone's winter gloves. Of course, it can also be brutally cold with really high winds. Last year it rained and then froze, the mountain road was closed one day until about 9:30 a.m. or so. The mountain was really abandoned that day, with some interesting conditions!
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gotamagal View Post
FYI - it snowed about 5 inches at Sugarbush last night and it's still on the trails right now as I view from the Valley. Nice to see it white!
I hope that's a sign of things to come!
Any webcams out there?
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ooog View Post
Stumbled across this site a few days ago while researching a ski trip and have really enjoyed searching thru past posts for help. Some really good info and websites were found, so thank ya’ll!

So onto the meat of my post: Landed a job working 10-11 hours every day from Nov 23-Dec 24 and decided to reward myself with a 7-10 day solo ski vacation in January. After some thought and research; I decided on cruising around VT with a focus on Stowe & surrounding mountains.

As conditions will be unknown; and I like not having a schedule, I’m hoping to avoid reserving rooms until I get up there. Do ya’ll think this is feasible, or will rooms be hard to come by? I’m not looking to stay in a spa, just a plain Jane room….at the most perhaps a place w/ a hot tub.

With 7-10 days, any advice on where to start my trip? I’m an intermediate skier who also enjoys the occasional easy/expert run. I am fairly adventurous (ex-paratrooper) so I was thinking glade or tree skiing after taking a private lesson might be fun.

Thanks in advance, you all have helped immeasurably just with your informative and downright hilarious past posts.
I took off from mid December to February a couple of years back, skied Vermont and did it by the seat of my pants. I drove to the mountain I wanted to ski, and looked for a vacancy sign. I had no trouble finding a room for the night. My credit card took a serious beating though. For only 7-10 days, you're probably better off spending it at maybe 2 places and learning your way around. Check on the place you stay, some offer vouchers for a discount on lift tickets if bought at the hotel. OTOH, you'll save a ton of money if you buy a package or 2 in advance.
post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 

Huh?

Once again I have posted whilst intoxicated, and again I was posting rambling incoherent statements. So without even reading the posts that came after mine last night, just ignore any post I put up after 10pm.....like tonight as well.
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