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Need lots of help with JAY Peak.

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
So unfortunetely I can't head out west this season, so my only option is to ski east coast. So I figure to give JAY a try since everyone seems to compare it to the west coast the most ( I hope all the Hype is real)

I'm heading out Jan 4th - Jan 8th and I have some basic Questions that I hope some of you can help me with.


1) We are traveling from NJ, and I get 2 different Directions from google both equal in time.

First one tells me to Head all the way up Route 87 North then take Route 11, vt-78 etc.

The other one tells me to go up Route 91 North and then take VT-100 etc.

My question is which route is easier to travel during a storm to get to jay? I usually don't mind driving in the snow and I'm a pretty experienced driver in the snow however we are using my buddies minivan so I'm not sure what roads will be ok etc.



2) I'm planning on booking through jay peak and I was wondering, Is there much of a difference between Village Condos and slopeside or Mountain Side. I don't want to walk 5 minutes to get to the slopes it's a pain to do so with ski gear obviously. what's the best option ?



3) hows the food in the area ? I know that there's no nightlife there from what I've read but are there bars in walking distance and good places to eat ?




Help me out guys, I appriciate your help like always.
post #2 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtremity View Post
So unfortunetely I can't head out west this season, so my only option is to ski east coast. So I figure to give JAY a try since everyone seems to compare it to the west coast the most ( I hope all the Hype is real)
yes the hype is real, I mean it's not Jackson, but its a damn good mountain for the Ice Coast. You had better like tree skiing. My suggestion is to just get out and explore, especially on tram side. If you see something that looks good, drop in, it's all fair game at Jay.

If you don't like trees and powder, theres not much of a point to go there. Honestly if you don't like trees and powder, theres not much of a point living.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtremity View Post

1) We are traveling from NJ, and I get 2 different Directions from google both equal in time.

First one tells me to Head all the way up Route 87 North then take Route 11, vt-78 etc.

The other one tells me to go up Route 91 North and then take VT-100 etc.

My question is which route is easier to travel during a storm to get to jay? I usually don't mind driving in the snow and I'm a pretty experienced driver in the snow however we are using my buddies minivan so I'm not sure what roads will be ok etc.
I only know the 91 way, 91 is a typical Interstate, usually plowed pretty well. From WRJ to St. J and then from past Lyndonville on you can usually go pretty fast, low cop/traffic area, but use your own discretion.

I'd suggest snow tires, but I suggest snow tires for everyone in the north east. I'm assuming/hoping you have some.

theres a fair amount of populated places (for VT) off of 91, so if you need to stop and stay the night you could.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtremity View Post
2) I'm planning on booking through jay peak and I was wondering, Is there much of a difference between Village Condos and slopeside or Mountain Side. I don't want to walk 5 minutes to get to the slopes it's a pain to do so with ski gear obviously. what's the best option ?
No clue, I'm trying to find out about lodging in the area as well. However, I must say 5 minutes in not a bad walk at all, if you have trouble with 5 minutes and ski gear may I suggest

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtremity View Post
3) hows the food in the area ? I know that there's no nightlife there from what I've read but are there bars in walking distance and good places to eat ?
Help me out guys, I appriciate your help like always.
Not that sure about right at Jay, but I can't recommend the River Garden Cafe in East Burke enough (about 40 minutes away and not far off 91 aka way there or back). Try the fried ravioli in tomatillo cream sauce, its an amazing appetizer. Pretty much everything on the menu is excellent and its a cool little, very friendly place with decent prices for what you get. I've been in Stowe and made the drive to EB just to go to the RGC.
post #3 of 25
Lots of Jay questions lately.

There are others here, Jaypowhound for one, who are more expert on the area than I am, but I have been skiing there for a few days most seasons since 1984.

First, here's an answer to a few questions you didn't ask: It's colder than hell so bring lots of warm clothes.. windy too so bring facemask or ballaclava. It's hit or miss. Yes jay often has incredibly great conditions when much of the northeast is mediocre, but if it's bad it's really bad, Jay is not known for it's groomers.

#1, I would absolutely drive up 91. There has been some debate about this in another thread. Especially if you are driving up at night. going up 87 to the Northway and cutting across VT puts you on secondary roads the second you leave the Northway and it is a long, dark, 2-lane drive from there on. 91 is fast and smooth and deposits you 20 minutes from Jay Peak. I normally drive 91 at 75-80mph and it takes me 5 - 5.5 hours from SW CT. In the snow - definately 91, no question.

#2 I have no idea, ask them. They do have some older condos that are down at parking lot level and require probably a 3-minute walk. Right by day care center if you have young kids though.


#3 There is absolutely nothing within walking distance. And IMO nothing worthwhile in Jay at all. Drive to newport for Lagos Trattoria. The Bellfry has nice atmosphere, not very good food and worse service. Probably good for some apres ski drinks and apetizers though. If Hotel Jay allows diners who are not staying at the hotel it is, used to be anyway, very good.. and a meal there also takes up most of the evening.
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks Guys. I appriciate the responses.

This has me thinking now. I mean I could care less for a night life I'm there to ski and ski hard, but I'd like to eat once in a while without having to drive an Hour for dinner every night.

That really really stinks.

It is hard to believe that they don't have as much as 3 places in the area for food and drinks.

They don't have a simple steak house a pizzeria or a burger joint ?


This is making me lean towards Stowe but then I think i'll be bored out of my mind skiing at stowe...terrain wise. (never been though so don't get offended)


How big of difference is there between Stowe and Jay in early Jan skiing wise ?
post #5 of 25
Xtremity, there are a couple pizza type joints within 3-5 miles, I've just never tried any of 'em.

Stowe is a great mountain. Tons of tree sking and really nice hike to terrain above the Gondola Most of the video below was shot there, with a little bit from Jay and a Mt Washington section as well.



post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
man now i'm really confused..

stowe or Jay in January

crap.
post #7 of 25
i just stumbled upon this thread, let's see what I can add to help:

Accomodations:
None of the condos at Jay will have more than a two or three minute walk to the slopes. Slopeside will cost you a bit more but you can click into your skis right outside your door, which can be nice.

Directions
I have never driven to Jay from NJ, but drive there frequently from Boston. If 91 is convenient for you than that is def. the best way to go. Follow it all the way up to Orleans, then it's only like 1/2 hour west to the mountain. However, if you are driving up during the day and the weather is clear, route 100 can offer some really nice views.

Food
There is basically nothing right at the mountain, or within walking distance. The hotel Jay has a resteraunt mostly for their guests, I have never eaten there. As you leave the resort you can either head into Montgomery or Jay.

If going towards Montgomery (west) the first place you will come to is the Belfry. Unlike the previous poster, this is one of my favorite places to eat in the area. Great burgers, friendly staff, good bar scene. Maybe crank just hit it on a bad day?

Farther down into town are the Snowshoe (local bar. good bar food. this is my main apre spot.) as well as Bernies and Trout River Traders. Both of these are good breakfast spots. Bernies also has a bar and serves dinner.

If you go east into Jay my fav. place to eat is the Jay Village Inn. Nice atmosphere, small bar, big fireplace, good pizza. There are a few other options in the town of Jay as well.

None of these places are within walking distance, but none are more that 10 or 15min away either. They are all a much shorter drive than Newport or Burke.

Hype and Stowe comparison
The hype is real. I honestly believe this is the best skiing the East Coast has to offer. If you like steep, tight trees and deep snow this is the place to be. If you like blue groomers, you may want to look elsewhere.

The conditions at Stowe in Jan should be similar to those at Jay. I would imagine both mountains should be at or close to 100% open by then. The difference is that if it snows while your there, Stowe may get 6in and Jay may get 18. Just sayin.


I will be there during the dates you menioned, hit me up with a PM if you decide to have your vacation with us... I'd be happy to show you around!

-JPH
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtremity View Post
This is making me lean towards Stowe but then I think i'll be bored out of my mind skiing at stowe...terrain wise. (never been though so don't get offended)


How big of difference is there between Stowe and Jay in early Jan skiing wise ?
Absolutely not! Stowe is on Mt. Mansfield, the tallest mountain in Vermont, and has some incredible in bounds terrain, not to mention the hike-to stuff which is unlike anything else around...






** Also worth knowing **
There IS a bar at the mountain. It is called the eagle, and is on the ground floor of the main lodge, tramside. It has a wonderful view of the parking lot/construction site, and usually closes down at about 6pm. Seriously. Well, maybe SOMETIMES 8... if they're super busy. They don't serve food. After that you'll have to make the drive to Jay (town, not peak) or Montgomery. Snowshoe or the Belfry in Montgomery, JVI or The Lodge in Jay. That's about it. We can usually be found at the 'shoe, stop in and have a beer if you make it..
post #9 of 25
Xtremity and JayPowHound: I too plan to be up that way around then. I don't have any definite plans other then I will be skiing in Northern VT, ME, and Upstate NY around then. I had planned on skiing Jay around then.
post #10 of 25
Xtremity, Jan 4-8th is still pretty early for snow for the base depths for tree skiing, even up there. All things the same that time of year Stowe might have a better product with their snowmaking and steeper trails if that is one component of what you might be looking for. Nightlife, restauraunts or just places to eat there is no comparison Stowe wins. Can't say with experience for lodging on slope at either place but I think Jay has more condos on slope, Stowe has that new hotel/time share but nothing really ski in ski out. You might split the trip depending on conditions, start out at Stowe on the mountain rd. Ski Stowe for a day or two then keep checking conditions and websites for Jay info or just take a ride up there 1 or 2 days. its about 1-1:30 up to Jay from Stowe. Lodging on the fly might not be too bad because you will be right after the holidays and it will be fairly quiet then. If the snow is there definately Jay, but maybe not put all your eggs in one basket. Also basing out of Stowe puts you 30-40 minutes from Sugarbush and MRG as other options.
post #11 of 25
Both Jay and Stowe are great mountains but Stowe wins hands down for apr├Ęs ski. Jay is close to Montreal so you will find many Canadians like myself there but at the end of the day they might as well roll up the sidewalks. Too bad because it could be so much more than it is. Have you ever considered Sutton? Much like Jay just smaller in height. There are some good eats and fun bars in town, and don't get me started on the beautiful women.
post #12 of 25
Lots of good info already so I'll try not to repeat too much. My wife is the Lodging Director for Jay so I sorta know about the condos.

Condos: All condos are ski in/ski out. Village condos are much newer and therefore more expensive BUT they are farther from the actual main base area. Slopeside condos are the original, older condos but you can literaly throw a snowball from your condo to the tram and easy bar access. The bar at Jay is mostly for apres I think. Late night partying is done down at the Snowshoe,Belfry(montgomery) or the JVI in the town of Jay.

Def. take I 91

I basicaly grew up at the Belfry, its the greatest place in the world. If I just want to go drink beers though, I go to the snowshoe. JVI is really cool too.

Jay vs Stowe:
I grew up in Montgomery so I know Jay pretty well. I did just spend the last 2 years living in Stowe due to work. It kicks a$$!! The skiing is very, very good. The scene is very, very different. Its the yuppy capital of Vt! Jay does tend to get more snow but Stowe gets the suprise storms too. Like they forecast a dusting and you arrive to 6-8". Stowe is more expensive for sure but the base facilities are nicer, the runs are longer and better maintained, and they open at 7:30am!! I had a very cheap pass to Stowe which helped. If I had to pay full price for skiing I'd choose Jay. Stowe has a pretty happening night life, Jay(which really means Montgomery) does too but mostly on the weekends. I agree with trying both mountains during your trip. Its also worth repeating that early Jan is still early season. I've seen green grass during that week. I've also seen 4 feet of snow. With that said, take conditions into acount when you come up. If there is lots of snow, come to Jay. If there isn't go to Stowe as the groomers are a little better and longer and there is way more to do besides skiing down there.

Well, hope you're not too confused now. Good luck and have fun!
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtremity View Post
3) hows the food in the area ? I know that there's no nightlife there from what I've read but are there bars in walking distance and good places to eat ?
Don't feel like driving? Hotel Jay (where the check-in counter is) has awesome buffets, both breakfast and dinner.
Lodging at the hotel really sux big time. Other than being clean with good linens, it's just like the kind that you pay by the hour. Nuh, maybe I stretched a little.
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post
It's colder than hell so bring lots of warm clothes.. windy too so bring facemask or ballaclava.
Only on the lift. Once you hit the woods, it's quite nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtremity View Post
man now i'm really confused..
stowe or Jay in January
crap.
Just as cold at Stowe.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by chanwmr View Post
Only on the lift. Once you hit the woods, it's quite nice.


Just as cold at Stowe.
Both true.
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 

I love this site.

You guys are the best I sware. After considering everything, I'm going with JAY. I am not the type to put up with families and kids etc. I don't really like that scene.

I ski North Lake tahoe because South lake is filled with tourists. So given that I think My personality and style of skiing put me right on Jay.

I don't have the time to do both, and in all honesty once I'm a place I can't see leaving in the middle to switch. Too much hastle, I'm on vacation i was get there and chill.

I'm probably going to stay on Mountain Side or Slope Side condo, and I rather have a 5 minute drive to eat dinner than 5 minute shuttle ride to ski.

Also, since it is soo early in the season I'm going to place my money on Jay having the powder and snow in the trees. Which is the #1 reason for my ski trip.


So thank you all, but I think I'm going to give Jay a shoot. Maybe I'll try stowe later on in the season as well..depends on if I get a Xmas bonus or not..


thanks guys.


JayPow I'll send you a PM before I head out bud, hopefully we can hit the slopes togheter.
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
Oh yeah and I don't care about the cold, I'm a skier I welcome it.

0 degrees with dry snow = perfection.
post #18 of 25
Based on what you've said you look for in a ski vacation, as long as there is snow, you will love it. Weather there can be unpredictable, the best snow I've ever had was at Jay and one of the worst days (conditions wise) Ive had was also at Jay. Luckily the good days tend to outnumber the bad there.

Luckily the Jay is a great skier's mountain, probably not so great as an all around "vacation". if you need to party it up hard, drive up to Sherbrooke Quebec and drink with hot French speaking college girls.

the cold and winds are the only true skiing related drawback, but you said it best, were skiers and should invite that kind of weather.
You are not at all what I think of us as a Jersey skier, you seem too cool, was that a typo??

Have a great vacation!!!

I will soon be going to Jay for the first time as a "vacationer" and have garnered a lot knowledge from this thread as well, thank you.
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dumpy View Post
Based on what you've said you look for in a ski vacation, as long as there is snow, you will love it. Weather there can be unpredictable, the best snow I've ever had was at Jay and one of the worst days (conditions wise) Ive had was also at Jay. Luckily the good days tend to outnumber the bad there.

Luckily the Jay is a great skier's mountain, probably not so great as an all around "vacation". if you need to party it up hard, drive up to Sherbrooke Quebec and drink with hot French speaking college girls.

the cold and winds are the only true skiing related drawback, but you said it best, were skiers and should invite that kind of weather.
You are not at all what I think of us as a Jersey skier, you seem too cool, was that a typo??

Have a great vacation!!!

I will soon be going to Jay for the first time as a "vacationer" and have garnered a lot knowledge from this thread as well, thank you.

hahaha.


Yeah I was lucky enough to find a girl who's cousins live in lake tahoe and who has full responsibility to why I ski at all. I was Born is southern Italy and Didn't see snow untill I moved here at age 10. I think that's why I love winter so much, because I was deprived of it my entire childhood.

Then at age 20 (my soon to be wife) told me that I have to be able to ski if I wanted to continue dating her. I was a sponsored in-line skater at the time and transition into skiing very easily. By my 3rd season I had surpassed her abilities and was hooked on skiing more than anything (well almost anything..she is a cutie you know hehe)


But don't under-estimate Jersey boys. We may not be able to ski like someone from vermont can But I bet we'll leap off the same stuff as you(landing it or not) hehe.

See we're very similar.

You practice dodging trees. We practice Dodging 70,000 people on one mountain.
You inhale low oxygen due to altitude. We inhale toxic chemicals.


hahaha.
post #20 of 25
hey guys, I'll be up during that week as well. Hopefully by then we get some good dumpings so that the back country is skiable!

Jay pow hound, you headin up this weekend? i'll be setting up my house up there friday night and picking up my pass sat morning, probably wont make any turns because i'll be headin back sat night, but if your around PM me, i'll check my computer fri night!
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtremity View Post
hahaha.


But don't under-estimate Jersey boys. We may not be able to ski like someone from vermont can But I bet we'll leap off the same stuff as you(landing it or not) hehe.

See we're very similar.

You practice dodging trees. We practice Dodging 70,000 people on one mountain.
You inhale low oxygen due to altitude. We inhale toxic chemicals.

hahaha.
Actually I'm a NY boy, who spent a few years in VT. NY skiers learn to dodge both trees and people depending on the day/date. Where I am we breathe in fairly clean oxygen rich air.

If you can dodge the skiers at Mt. Creek, I bet you will own the trees at Jay. The trees at jay won't pull a switch blade on you if you run into them.

Your wife sounds awesome, glad she pulled you into the sport. I pulled the same maneuver on my GF who is also now a full on skier. A big reason for my upcoming Jay trip is to take her there. Between hearing me talk about it and seeing it in some ski porn/mags, she has been dieing to go. I think she is ready to appreciate it now.

If you ride the tram, count the number of people speaking English vs. French on it. It always seemed like it was loaded with French speakers.

Have Fun!!!
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtremity View Post
You guys are the best I sware. After considering everything, I'm going with JAY.

I don't have the time to do both, and in all honesty once I'm a place I can't see leaving in the middle to switch.
Stowe is approx an hour drive from Jay - close enough for a day trip. Last season I spent a 4 day weekend at Stowe, skiing one day at Jay. Jay definately kicks but you should take a taste of Stowe - worth the hour to/from drive.

Ski Ya

Falcon_O aka Charlie
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtremity View Post
So thank you all, but I think I'm going to give Jay a shoot. Maybe I'll try stowe later on in the season as well..depends on if I get a Xmas bonus or not..
If you don't like the crowd/tourist scene, MRG and Smuggs are definitely worth it to try. Both great mountains with good challenges. They get about the same amount of snow as Stowe. But, stay away from the village at Smuggs to avoid the crowd/kids.
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtremity View Post
Oh yeah and I don't care about the cold, I'm a skier I welcome it.

0 degrees with dry snow = perfection.
Alright, now we got you psych'ed, let's get something straight here -- just so that you know. In January, it could hit -15 or colde ambient (no windchill) in N Vt. There is a huge difference between 0 and -15 deg f)

With that said, dress warm and you'll be fine.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by dumpy View Post
You are not at all what I think of us as a Jersey skier, you seem too cool, was that a typo??
He said Jersey not JOISEY!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dumpy View Post
Where I am we breathe in fairly clean oxygen rich air.
Not in a small crowded room though.
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