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The best skiing in vermont???

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I have been skiing for 18 yrs and i live in new york until recently ive never had the urge to travel but i would really like to take my girlfriend to vermont skiing i was wondering if you guys know of a good place i could take her? im advanced expert and shes below beginner as of now i haven't taught her yet but by the time we go she will be a beginner
post #2 of 28
The Best Skiing in Vermont is at Jay Peak. However, the best beginner terrain is certainly not!

Try Smuggs.
post #3 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayPowHound View Post
The Best Skiing in Vermont is at Jay Peak. However, the best beginner terrain is certainly not!

Try Smuggs.
Beat me to it. Can't go better!

Jay Peak is the best skiing
Smuggs is possibly the best beginner terrain.
post #4 of 28
I'd have to say the best skiing in Vermont is done by Chaos.

Oh you're talking about a place? Sorry ...
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ct55 View Post
I'd have to say the best skiing in Vermont is done by Chaos.

Oh you're talking about a place? Sorry ...
please this is what he wants...
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiking4 View Post
Beat me to it. Can't go better!

Jay Peak is the best skiing
Smuggs is possibly the best beginner terrain.
Smuggs has got a great beginner area, but it's separated from the main mountain & lodge by a v-e-r-y long traverse. If you expect to take a few runs on your own, that could be a factor.

Stowe also has some good beginner terrain, including a long green (Toll Road) from the summit. Stowe also has a lot more options for nightlife, etc. than Smuggs, which is more family oriented.
post #7 of 28
Smuggler's Notch is one of the few places in VT I have yet to ski. From what I read here and from the marketing materials they send me every year, it looks like a total family place with lots of young kids. If OP wants the GF to think about settling down and having a family it might be a good choice. If he's looking for a romantic getaway with some good skiing then I would probably go with Stowe or maybe Jay Peak.

Jay is the more cost effective option and does have some very good beginner terrain, and a lot of great terrain for better skiers as well, just not a lot of nightlife.

If your looking for an easier drive, maybe Stratton or Okemo, both great for the GF, but not a lot of challenge for OP. Killington has it all and is easy to get to from NY, but the crowds and somewhat confusing layout, to me, make it not the place I would take a beginner.
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post
Smuggler's Notch is one of the few places in VT I have yet to ski. From what I read here and from the marketing materials they send me every year, it looks like a total family place with lots of young kids. If OP wants the GF to think about settling down and having a family it might be a good choice. If he's looking for a romantic getaway with some good skiing then I would probably go with Stowe or maybe Jay Peak.

Jay is the more cost effective option and does have some very good beginner terrain, and a lot of great terrain for better skiers as well, just not a lot of nightlife.

If your looking for an easier drive, maybe Stratton or Okemo, both great for the GF, but not a lot of challenge for OP. Killington has it all and is easy to get to from NY, but the crowds and somewhat confusing layout, to me, make it not the place I would take a beginner.
Smuggs is the "Number 1 Family Ski Resort In the Country" and their advertising doesn't hesitate to shove this down your throat, but don't let that fool you. They are on the opposite side of the same notch as Stowe, and have a LOT of comparable terrain including some pretty spectacular side-country stuff!
post #9 of 28
Smuggs has a noteworthy combination of very easy, segregated learning terrain, and some good gnar on the main mtn. But agree with Crank that so does Stowe. And if budget allows Stowe would score more romance/style points with girlfriend because of the upscale nature of the place.
Oops, typing same time as JayPowHound.
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post
Smuggler's Notch is one of the few places in VT I have yet to ski. From what I read here and from the marketing materials they send me every year, it looks like a total family place with lots of young kids. If OP wants the GF to think about settling down and having a family it might be a good choice. If he's looking for a romantic getaway with some good skiing then I would probably go with Stowe or maybe Jay Peak.

Jay is the more cost effective option and does have some very good beginner terrain, and a lot of great terrain for better skiers as well, just not a lot of nightlife.

If your looking for an easier drive, maybe Stratton or Okemo, both great for the GF, but not a lot of challenge for OP. Killington has it all and is easy to get to from NY, but the crowds and somewhat confusing layout, to me, make it not the place I would take a beginner.
smuggs has REALLY good terrain. In fact Madona Lift line is quite a bit gnarly than say the front 4....whens it open. I cant wait to get up there in January.
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayPowHound View Post
Smuggs is the "Number 1 Family Ski Resort In the Country" and their advertising doesn't hesitate to shove this down your throat, but don't let that fool you. They are on the opposite side of the same notch as Stowe, and have a LOT of comparable terrain including some pretty spectacular side-country stuff!
From what I read here, you are 100% right. I know it's got steeps with a capitol S. I went hiking there when I was a kid and that was before Madonna was built. Every season I think about stopping by for a day. (maybe this will be the year). I was just saying that with all the young families and a super abundance of cute little ones sprawled all over the beginner's slopes it might send a certain message to the GF whether intentional or not.
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sno-Ball View Post
im advanced expert and shes below beginner as of now i haven't taught her yet but by the time we go she will be a beginner
Do yourselves both a favor and enroll her in a lesson. Wherever you go. Otherwise make sure the hotel you stay in has a dog house and some milk bones for you.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post
Do yourselves both a favor and enroll her in a lesson. Wherever you go. Otherwise make sure the hotel you stay in has a dog house and some milk bones for you.


Do Not Fail to do this. If you want to maintain the relationship do NOT teach her yourself.

Are you an instructor?
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayPowHound View Post
The Best Skiing in Vermont is at Jay Peak. However, the best beginner terrain is certainly not!

Try Smuggs.
Respectfully, I can't agree. I've been to Jay Peak and that's exactly what it is, a peak. You basically have to ski off the peak, which is basically a ski out and not really a slope to the main mountain which is a lot lower than the vertical that Jay posts. (Don't go by the trail map; it doesn't look like that at all) Snow making is poor and services are outdated. That was as of four years ago. If things have been upgraded since then, I retract the above statements.

Killington is the best skiing in Vermont bar none. However, it can be crowded and is probably also the most expensive.
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlipFlop View Post

Killington is the best skiing in Vermont bar none. However, it can be crowded and is probably also the most expensive.
Killington ahead of Stowe, Smuggsler Notch, MRG, Sugarbush, and Jay?

I am sure tons will disagree with you on this.
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlipFlop View Post
Respectfully, I can't agree. I've been to Jay Peak and that's exactly what it is, a peak. You basically have to ski off the peak, which is basically a ski out and not really a slope to the main mountain which is a lot lower than the vertical that Jay posts. (Don't go by the trail map; it doesn't look like that at all) Snow making is poor and services are outdated. That was as of four years ago. If things have been upgraded since then, I retract the above statements.

Killington is the best skiing in Vermont bar none. However, it can be crowded and is probably also the most expensive.
Oh, cool. Sorry, I didn't know. I can assure you that the snowmaking and services have not been updated recently, although there IS a new hotel/base lodge under construction right now. The mountain is the same. If you don't like it, go ski at Killington. Have fun with that.
post #17 of 28
Kmart sucks!

{not as bad as some argue but ... it's not as great as some claim either}
post #18 of 28
Killington is probably the place you do not want to go. Terrain is OK but the crowd is terrible. It is not even close to a traditional Vermont feel.

Stowe has some really good terrain and some good nightlife.

Smuggs is fun. It certainly is a great family place but that is only part of the story. Smuggs has some great terrain. I agree with Bushwacker, Upper liftline and Freefall on Madonna are steeper than any of the Front Four at Stowe. The Madonna II lift has green and blue terrain so you both can be on the same mountain. If you can get some of the locals to show you there is some good tree skiing.
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlipFlop View Post
Killington is the best skiing in Vermont bar none. However, it can be crowded and is probably also the most expensive.
There are two types of skiers in New England. Those who worship Killington, and those who won't go anywhere near the place. Personally, I think Killington would be a horrible choice for beginners or low-intermediates. A lot of Killington's "beginner / green circle" trails are really just connector trails, meaning everybody needs to use them just to get around.

I'd vote for Stowe, myself. They have Spruce Peak, which is completely separate from the "main" trails over on Mansfield. There's enough to keep a beginner / low-intermediate entertained for a long time over at Spruce.
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sno-Ball View Post
I have been skiing for 18 yrs and i live in new york until recently ive never had the urge to travel but i would really like to take my girlfriend to vermont skiing i was wondering if you guys know of a good place i could take her? im advanced expert and shes below beginner as of now i haven't taught her yet but by the time we go she will be a beginner
Sno-Ball, If I'm reading this right she has never skied and you will be getting her a lesson or two before you come up to Vt. right? You are also a pretty good skier. If you want this relationship to last you have to accept that she will not be anywhere near your level of what you might like to ski. If she is happy letting you take a run or two alone your fine, if not you have to be ready to ski with her at her speed on trails to her ability.

That said one place to look into is Pico, it is next door to Killington (oh no the dreaded K word) , has a more mellow weekend crowd and generally nicer greens and easy blues, you both can access terrain good for either of you on the same chair and meet up again at the bottom, again knowing her pace will be vastly different than yours.

Pico is not open on Tues, or Weds, but if your here for a weekend that does not matter.Get her in some lessons when she is here and you can go off and rip it up for a while, you can also take a shuttle over from Pico to Killington and ski there while she is in lesson. I think the Killington ticket will cost a little more though. Lots of places to stay and party at on the Killington access road a couple of miles away from Pico, again there are shuttles for all of that. Main thing is don't rush her or push her and let her find out what a great sport this is and explore the mountains.
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
Killington ahead of Stowe, Smuggsler Notch, MRG, Sugarbush, and Jay?

I am sure tons will disagree with you on this.
That's OK, I've been disagreed with before. My wife does it on a regular basis. The problem, is she's often right.

And to deter to you, I have not skied at some of those other places, so you likely are a better judge than me.
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
smuggs has REALLY good terrain. In fact Madona Lift line is quite a bit gnarly than say the front 4....whens it open. I cant wait to get up there in January.
Mini hijack: does that mean you are skiing in the east this year? Would love to hook up at Smuggs, I agree that it's got some of the coolest terrain in NE.
post #23 of 28
I'm a big fan of Sugarbush/ mount Ellen-it's beautiful area, great terrain-plenty for advanced experts and beginners alike..plus it has a good 'couple on a ski weekend' vibe.
post #24 of 28
yeah it depends how much you want to wine and dine. If you really want to impress her, take her to Stowe. But be prepared to drop some coin too. The other problem with that is, where do you go next time to top it? Colorado or some place out west maybe ...

How about a smallish place like Bolton Valley - there are two really awesome trails and a lot of intermediate/beginner trails. Very un-intimidating.

Other than that many good ideas have been presented. Also a great place to learn is Okemo. That's a super cruiser mountain and nice family place also. Great snowmaking. Nothing killer hard though. Go to Smuggs or Stowe if you want that. Or if you want Killington. It's big and there's a great apres ski and night scene. And some good expert terrain too.
post #25 of 28
Where in NY are you? You could stay in your home state and hit up Iceface, haven't skied there yet, but I've been to Placid and it's a great town. Lots to do off the hill which may be important on this trip.

As far as VT is concerned, yes Jay has the best skiing, but you need to be able to ski the trees to truly enjoy it. There is very little off hill.

Sugarbush has great terrain variety and a fair amount of decent lodging and off hill options without feeling over run. Of the ones I've skied, it's my number 2 behind Jay as far as skiing is concerned. #1 of the ones I've skied as an overall "resort" if that matters to you. SB is IMHO the land of balance, it has a bit of everything.

Stowe/Smuggs might be a good option, unfortunately haven't skied either (on my must ski list), but I've heard great things about both mountains. Stowe is a cool town that has that "VT feel". You could stay in Stowe and ski either mountain.

I'm probably the only one that does/feels this way, but I judge all VT ski areas on a +/- scale with Killington. I consider this mountain to be dead in the middle. There are things I like about it (good terrain/lifts, fun nightlife, decent affordable lodging options, proximity to Long Trail's brewery, etc). Then there are the things I hate (crowds, poor layout to handle crowds, snow quality after crowds, price, long connecting trails, crowds). I truly have a love hate relationship with this mountain. Mountains that I find better than K-mart I visit again, those that score lower than K I stay away from. I visit K when I have a certain reason to, early/late season, trip deals, etc.
I would NOT recommend K for a beginner, despite the large selection of greens. These trails are over run and many are just connecting trails between expert runs.
Pico however may be a viable option, but I still think you'd be better off elsewhere.

If you want to really get away from it all, Burke Mountain is a fun little mountain in the middle of nowhere. There is some fun expert terrain, I honestly can't recall what the beginner terrain is like, but there is a lower "mountain" dedicated to it. Nightlife is limited, but there are some nice inns nearby for lodging. Some decent eats in the area if you know where to look (River Garden is amazing). Lifts are slow, but crowds are small. It can get very cold there.

I haven't been, but I've heard Bromley is about the sunniest location in the Northeast (ski area or otherwise). This may be beneficial if you are trying to get a noob to enjoy skiing. I think they have a fair ammount of beginner terrain.

Stay away from Stratton, Mt. Snow and I've heard Okemo. Not that great and overrun with NYC/NJ. Crowds are not a good way to introduce someone to the sport.


Good luck in planning your vaca and have a fun trip!!
post #26 of 28
Please also do a search. There are plenty of recent references for what you want to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayPowHound View Post
The Best Skiing in Vermont is at Jay Peak. However, the best beginner terrain is certainly not!

Try Smuggs.
Just to add, while Smuggs is all-levels friendly, the "gnarliness" of their harder stuff can match Jay or anything in the East.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dumpy View Post
Where in NY are you? You could stay in your home state and hit up Iceface, haven't skied there yet, but I've been to Placid and it's a great town. Lots to do off the hill which may be important on this trip.
Similarly to Whiteface and closer to downstate, Gore is also a good option. Like Whiteface though, there is no hill-side living.
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post
Smuggler's Notch is one of the few places in VT I have yet to ski. From what I read here and from the marketing materials they send me every year, it looks like a total family place with lots of young kids.
That is how Smuggs' business is marketed. Family skiing is their bread and butter as a destination resort. They have a whole mountain dedicated to the beginners and aspiring immediates.

But, the fact is unless you have the skills to match, more than half of the upper mountain (including many unmarked trails) can only be mastered by experts and beyond. No kidding! If you find kids skiing the back side with an instructor, the chances are these kids can outski 95%+ of the skiing population.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldEasternSkier View Post
Smuggs has got a great beginner area, but it's separated from the main mountain & lodge by a v-e-r-y long traverse. If you expect to take a few runs on your own, that could be a factor.
Not a big deal. If snow is good, you're one chair ride away (about 20 minutes). On in-bound, just off top of M2, Ruthie's is a great trail for an immediate and beyond. Challenging to some, just plainly scenic to the more advanced. Very New Englandy. Or take the shuttle; you can make it over in less than half hour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dauntless View Post
The Madonna II lift has green and blue terrain so you both can be on the same mountain. If you can get some of the locals to show you there is some good tree skiing.
Quick correction/caution here. M2 is rated blue. For a true green skier (like those who would do only Morse - their beginner's mountain; e.g. my wife), M2 can be too hard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldEasternSkier View Post
Stowe also has some good beginner terrain, including a long green (Toll Road) from the summit. Stowe also has a lot more options for nightlife, etc. than Smuggs, which is more family oriented.
I won't argue with that one. There is some "adult" entertainment but nothing like Stowe and Killington. But, if you mostly want to stay in or go to one of their low-key (although fun) lineup, Smuggs isn't that bad. Most of their condo accommodation is 4/5-star (in room whirlpool, woodstove, nice furnishing, etc.) for the same as what you would pay for something mediocre elsewhere. Just make sure you ask for one of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
Killington ahead of Stowe, Smuggsler Notch, MRG, Sugarbush, and Jay?
I am sure tons will disagree with you on this.
I will!!! Actually, I retract, I have skied all these areas but Killington. Guess what, I have no immediate desire to ski there either. To me, it's too big, too confusing, too commercial, too expensive, too snotty and too crowded.
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by chanwmr View Post
Similarly to Whiteface and closer to downstate, Gore is also a good option. Like Whiteface though, there is no hill-side living.
Gore is a great mountain, but I wouldn't say it is close to anywhere.

Then again, I've always thought of "close to downstate" as a negative when it comes to ski areas (ie Huntah, flatton, etc)
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