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Best Resort in the East? - Page 3

post #61 of 108
From an East Coast skier (3 seasons so far) from Western MA:

I like to ski Stratton mid-week when the conditions are good. They have great terrain parks and it's easy to get around the mountain. However, I suspect that it's a dull mountain for expert skiers who crave bumps and trees and steeps, as those options are few, but at my level (6-7), it's a fun place to buzz around when it's not crowded and it's only 1 hr. 35-40 minutes from home.

Weekends I take my kids (ages 10-13) to Berkshire East, only 40 minutes away. They love it, and while I get a little bored, I feel safe letting them ski and ride with friends, and it's very affordable as a ski parent and it never too crowded. I bought passes this year so we'll get more days in that the last two seasons (my kids' first two seasons).

I skied Smuggs in March, and while the conditions were poor, it seems like a great place to ski, especially if you like tree skiing. I hope to attend ESA Stowe if it's on a weekend when I can make it, and from all I've read of Stowe, I think I would love it. Apparently I "skied" for the first time there in January 1960 at 3 months old in a basket on my Dad's skis (on the bunny hill). I just found that out from my Dad so I'm psyched to go back to where it all started!

I don't care for Mt. Snow and while I love the friendliness of Okemo, I find the mountain a little dull and the runs are short. I did buy a Statton/Okemo super pass for mid-week for next season, however, as I plan to do some freestyle lessons at Okemo.

Killington -- well, I will go there when there's no snow elsewhere, with mixed experiences. We'll see what happens this season. Seems like a great party scene for 20 and 30 somethings though.... And the shopping's not too bad either.

Some day: MRG and Jay....
post #62 of 108
Jay is for skiers only, the gapers give up and don't come back. Everyone who hangs there regularly swears by it. Lots of French spoken and good political conversation on the lift with the Quebecians.

Stowe is fun, pleasant trails (other than the double-blacks mentioned earlier for the hard-3's) but frickin' expensive.

Killington is great for the blue/easy black skiers out there and the nightlife is fun for all ages. It also has the serious bump runs on bear if that's your taste. Good place for beginners/easy intermediates too. You don't HAVE to take the connecting trails, so quit yer whinin'.
post #63 of 108
If you don't mond staying only on Bear with it's SLOOOOOW lifts, then traverses aren't required, but maybe to get some variety over on Stupidstar, or to get to what's usually the area's best snow in the Canyon area, sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery because you'll be on a flat cat track for a while.
post #64 of 108
You actually can work your way around Killington without using catwalks. Ski from the top of one lift to the bottom of the next.
post #65 of 108
Sugarloaf, Mt. St. Anne, Stowe. Looking forward to meeting Le Massif, Wildcat and Burke.

Dislike Kton (traverses and crowds), Okemo (lame), Smuggs (lifts).
post #66 of 108
For everyone who has claimed Stowe and Sugarbush the very best in the East, who has actually been to Le Massif or Mont Ste Anne? Do they compare? Anyhow, here is my list in order...

Le Massif- best combination of snow, vert, steeps, crowds
Mont Ste Anne- almost as good as Le Massif for the same reasons... with a little more steep, a little less snow and vert
Whiteface- best vert... I love non stop skiing, good steeps, caught some powder here before, but I've also caught lots of ice, no crowds
Jay Peak- Trees were fun for about an hour until my legs gave out for the weekend. Snow is overated. Most runs are not much more that 1000ft vert.
Mt Tremblant- Vert was okay, but crowds ruined this place for me.

This year, I'll probably head back to Le Massif or Mont Ste Anne, unless anyone who has been there can convince me to check out Sugarbush or Stowe.
post #67 of 108
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View Post
...Jay Peak- Trees were fun for about an hour until my legs gave out for the weekend. Snow is overated. Most runs are not much more that 1000ft vert...
Would your legs have held out longer if the runs had more vert.? "Snow is overrated"? True but how you gonna ski without it? When I went to Jay I was assuming skiing would be limited to pistes with man-made due to recent weather trends. As I got closer, it began to snow. When I got there, I was told enthusiastically that they had six inches of new over six inches of base. I thought "yeah, great..." but all the glades were open and it was sweet. My legs gave out after about an hour, but quitting wasn't an option, I had to ski two days to get my credit (PSIA clinic). The excitement of others in my group about the "powder" made me cringe a little but I must admit it was very nice.

Jay sucks for sure, don't get me wrong... I suffered, you were smart to stop early and head for the border.
post #68 of 108
I have the distinct feeling that with the demise of ASC that many Eastern skiers are going to choose to ski some new hills and expand their horizons.

And, even then, with new and separate ownership of the Loaf & SR and the big K along with Sugarbush and Stow & Jay that there will be some new and glowing reviews of many Eastern ski areas.

I love Stowe but it is always toooo cold for my 58 year old bones on the best ski days. And, too be honest my days of spending big bucks on skiing will take me out West from now on, and Stowe is big bucks these days, no matter what the locals may say.

Sugarloaf has been my mountain of choice the past few years, but maybe the Boyne family will spend some $$$ on some new lifts and enhance the ski experience at the Loaf.

Sugarbush was where I learned to ski and I have enjoyed some of my best singular ski days at the newly locally owned Lincoln Peak over the past two years. Bring back the t-bar to the North Poma Link and I will be hooked again (except on the days I bring out my snowboard).

Hopefully, separate ownership will result in many great and more competitive Eastern skiing days for we poor Eastern skiers & riders. I am looking forward to next season - at many different Eastern ski areas!! Bring on the snow.
post #69 of 108
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post
Would your legs have held out longer if the runs had more vert.? "Snow is overrated"? True but how you gonna ski without it?
What I meant was that the snow at Jay Peak is overated. When I went there, there was a totol of "350in" already that year, but I found ice everywhere. My guess is their 350" was closer to 200" or so in reality. Try going to Quebec City and you'll see a true 300".
post #70 of 108
As well, if speed is your game, as it is mine, you're not going to find it in trees that are spaced 2 or 3 feet apart. Fun for a few runs maybe, but not a whole weekend.

Anyhow, I ask again, could anyone compare Le Massif/Mont St Anne to Stowe/Sugarbush? How are the lineups on Sundays and Mondays? How does the snow, vert, steeps compare?
post #71 of 108
boston e, at fourteen posts thinks he is going to walk in here and we are gonna' tell him and every JoeSchmoe our favorite places.

If we did, then you would be there.
post #72 of 108
I've never been to Le Massif but it's definitely on my list. Too far for a casual trip so I haven't been to this point.
post #73 of 108
Jay Peak is a complete bore fest.
post #74 of 108
my vote:
smuggs. some of the best glades, it gets deep there when its good. i love their technical lines, lift lines are minimal, never more than 3 min, ok, so their lifts are slow as death, just means fewer people on the trail.

and their off piste is sick

jay takes top glades and most deep days, but theyre 45 min further, and their lifts are constanty down. they also have nasty OB. But the crowds and queebs(french canadians, quebecians) are annoying.
post #75 of 108


Originally Posted by ski now work later View Post
These comments sure makes the ESA Stowe event appealing (especially if the start of the '08 season is better than December '07)! I liked Smuggler's a lot too, though when I was there the conditions were iffy (late March '07).

Any Sugarloaf (Maine) fans out there?
Ya...a fan here, can't wait to get back on the mountain with my new boots...
*But...also a Saddleback fan as well...., but am looking forward to hitting VT a few days.....and with the new boots I'm looking forward to just traversing the backyahd after the first snowfall on the rockskis.
The Loaf's layout offers vertical to a good many at the same time without getting bunched together.
post #76 of 108
I love the Morons here that ski a mountian once and tell you it sucks or the snow isn't good. I was in Utah last year and park city was all ice. Guess they don't get good snow. It sucks!!!
post #77 of 108
ski=free = I am a clown
post #78 of 108
Originally Posted by Hoontasan View Post
ski=free = I am a clown
ski=free was not alone in his sentiment. I felt the same way about your comment, but decided not to feed the obvious troll. But now that ski=free opened the floodgates....
The only way I can see someone not enjoying Jay Peak, is if they never got off the groomer's. Anyone who went to Jay Peak, and couldn't stay interested, strikes me as an intermediate who thinks he's better. Did you get off trail at all while you were there.
Or you just made a ridiculous statement to get a reaction.
post #79 of 108
Sugarloaf would give Stowe a run for it's money IF they ran a high speed quad straight up the upper 1800-2000 verticle feet of the mountain (thus eliminating the long flat at the bottom) all the way to the top...really great steep consistent fall line skiing with any kind of terrain you could ask for in the East. I dislike having to take two chairs each time you want to ski the full length of all the great runs from the summit...
Northern VT gets substantially more snow however than anywhere in Maine so that might be the only thing from it being #1 if the new lift was put in.
Nothing like The Loaf after a big N'oreaster
post #80 of 108
Originally Posted by 2-turn View Post
ski=free was not alone in his sentiment. I felt the same way about your comment...

The only way I can see someone not enjoying Jay Peak, is if they never got off the groomer's. Anyone who went to Jay Peak, and couldn't stay interested, strikes me as an intermediate who thinks he's better. Did you get off trail at all while you were there.
I didn't say it because I wanted a reaction; I said it because that's how I feel. I just don't find the mountain very challenging or interesting to ski. And that means off-piste because that's pretty much all I've skied there because the groomer's are an absolute joke. And I reserve the right to label someone a clown when they refer to others who have a different opinion a moron.
post #81 of 108
Live in NW Maine and have passes and condo at the Loaf. My first two years there I missed the Big K, but now I have no desire to go back. The Loaf kinda grows on you. The community spirit is phenomenal, terrific steep skiing, awesome kids programs (both racing and non-racing), tree skiing that could be the envy of other resorts and great snow. I even like the lifts the way they are, I need the break while riding back up the Spillway lifts!

Have skied a lot at Le Massif and love it. Ski the view! You park at the top and as you ski over the top you are looking straight down into the St. Lawrence. Awesome! The terrain is old style turny trails and fairly steep. There are some modern blvds too. Check their website to see if the downhill trail "Charlevoix" is open to the public on the date you go. It is only open for about 10 days a year, and it is well worth it to try and time your trip for when it is open. I have not skied Mt. Ste. Anne, but I hear it is very crowded. Another great place is Mt. L'original, in Lac Etchemin. It is a small local mountain with an incredibly steep face. They have a six pack that you load in true Quebecois style, whoever pushes hardest gets on first, nice guys don't get on at all. Before we became 'Loafers, Mt. L'original was my favorite place to ski.
post #82 of 108
Mt Tremblant vs. Stowe? Skiing, resorts, accomodations, and cost wise?
post #83 of 108
Jay and then Le Massif, no doubt. Most of the other resorts aren't even in the same league. Okemo I swear to god that is the flatest ski area in existence. Gapers love Okemo.

Stowe is a great time and with it being so close to burlington there is alot to do at night but it doesn't get the snow year to year that Jay does. Best experiance in the east though isn't at any resort, Chi Chocs, Tuxs and Marcy are way way way more interesting though they wouldn't work for a quick fix.
post #84 of 108
My doctor and her family go to Le Massif every year (lately). I've never skied with her, so I can't attest to her abilities, but they love Le Massif more than Stowe (where they used to go).

Chic Chocs, Marcy, Tuckerman are not resorts (check out the OP topic).

Lots of people that aren't gapers love Okemo too. I used to ski there on occasion because it was close to my uncle's house in Springfield (VT). On a weekday in 1978, there were 5 cars in the lot and they ran every lift. I swear my dad and I tucked every trail there and had a blast. Doubt you can do that any more.

And Mount Snow may be the flattest resort in the east, although the North Face has some pretty interesting trails (maybe 10 out of more than 100 trails).
post #85 of 108
The North Face is Mt. Snow. The rest of it is for the Okemo, Bromley, Stratton crowd so they don't feel intimidated.

Even a run down the front is like a double diamond at Stratton.
post #86 of 108
That doesnt sound so promising, my family was considering Stratton this New Years vacation, we've never been there. They are all novices, I am the only advanced skier; the steeper and faster the better.
post #87 of 108
I've skied both quite a bit because of proximity - I still think as someone said Mt Snow is much flatter and more boring than Stratton to me. It seems like something from a bygone era (not in a good way . Wide, windswept (ie cold) runs over at Snow. EXCEPT for the North face, but there's not that much over there. Some nice narrow tree runs exist although you need snow to go in there.

There are a few steeper interesting runs at Stratton, but snowmaking, grooming or in another term consistency of surface and lifts are more their forte. Boarders will have a lot of fun if there are any. Okemo again, similar easier than Stratton great surface and well-served by lifts. Both places service and layout are well done.

They're all close for me (relatively) so that's the biggest thing that keeps me coming back.
post #88 of 108
Our family is looking at booking a week starting Dec. 19-24 at one of the big eastern resorts. My girls are 9 & 13 and can ski all the blacks at Blue Mountain, Ontario (smaller ski hill).

Last year we have skied Tremblant and found it ok, too crowded and we saw way too many people crashing into others, mega injuries.

All of us skied Sunshine, Lake Louise, Panarama last year where my girls really started to ski good. They ski a solid parallel turn at moderate speeds.

Me on the other hand can ski difficult blacks and some double blacks.

I've been to Stowe, Killington, Sugarbush and Mt St. Anne many years ago. I was looking a booking Sugarbush because I really like this place.

Can someone recommend a good resort where all of us can have fun skiing different terrain? Is Sugarbush a good choice? Is Dec. 19 too early for VT resorts?

post #89 of 108
Originally Posted by soundrulz View Post
Can someone recommend a good resort where all of us can have fun skiing different terrain? Is Sugarbush a good choice? Is Dec. 19 too early for VT resorts?

My skiing experience in the east is limited to day-trip areas, so I can't speak for where to go, but I'd recommend that you wait until January or February if at all possible. Unless we get a couple of December snowstorms (which is not typical), the overall number of trails is usually limited until at least January.

Also, have you considered going to Maine?
post #90 of 108
Normally my number 1 recommendation is Jay glades hands down, but with your kids I think a good amount of its terrain would be wasted, unless of course you want to dump them in ski school. While I haven't been there I've always heard good things about Sunday River and Sugarloaf. The sum of what I've heard is that since they're so damn far away up in Maine, they miss the New England crowd that usually hits Vermont or New Hampshire. They were both owned by the ASC up untill recently, so a lot of money has been pumped into both those resorts to keep the terrain well maintained (basically they both have a HUGE snow making system) so you should have good coverage when you go. Sugarloaf is cool because it's basically one of the only mountains in this area that actually has a bowl. Sunday River is just supposed to be, again from what I've heard, a great all around family resort. My buddies went up there on a ski trip in high school and came back raving about it. The story that caught my ear was our friend Brian getting stuck in waist deep powder in the trees for over an hour. Smugglers Notch is also supposed to be good, but if your goal is volume of runs I wouldn't go there as the lift system is supposed to suck, though it does keep the mountain from getting crowded.
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