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MontSainte Anne, Le Massif $ Jay Peak 2/25 - 2/21

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Pres. week crowd and high price avoidance strategy in effect we made the trek to Quebec. It worked. No lift lines, uncrowded pistes, discount lift tickets thanks to Liftopia and KimmyT. Thanks Kimmy.

 

 

This is a black groomer called La Crete at Ste Anne there are several glade entrances on skiers left. Note the massive hordes of skiers.

 

http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/ii16/mafleisher/LaCrete.jpg

 

 

Here is a stitched together panoramic view from the top of La Crete.

 

http://s260.photobucket.com/albums/ii16/mafleisher/?action=view&current=SteAnnePanorama.jpg

 

Monday: Conditions at Ste Anne were fast. The 4 or 5 inches they got after the thaw/rain and another inch of fresh snow the night we arrived helped somewhat but the groomers were slick with plenty of boiler plate. Bumps and glades were very skiable with some crunchiness to them.

 

Tuesday: Le Massif! I've been wanting to ski there since I read an article about in in 1989. Great mountain. 2600 feet of decently pitched skiing with a good mix of groomers, bumpers and glades. They had more and softer snow than Ste Anne. We skied a ton of vertical with their high-speed quads climbing straight up from the river to the top in 1 shot. Incredible view. It was socked in most of the day and I snapped a few pics when the clouds lifted but nothing that comes close to doing the place justice.

 

 

http://s260.photobucket.com/albums/ii16/mafleisher/?action=view&current=LeMassifview.jpg

 

 

Wednesday: Snow in the forecast! We took the day off and hung around the condo reading, playing chess and Risk and watching movies. Thursday, 2/19 would bring my 52nd birthday. The boys asked me what I wanted. My stock answer had long been, "All I want for my birthday is a foot of snow. It started snowing Wednesday night and by 7AM Thursday there was about or 7" on the car and it was puking out.

 

Thursday: We opted for Ste. Anne over Le Massif for 2 reasons: First Ste Anne has a nice gondola and a bubble chair so we could ride up in dry comfort; second, I had a long drive to VT ahead apres ski and did not want to add another hour to it coming back from Le Massif in the storm.

 

Here's Matt making tracks on one of Ste Anne's Glades.

 

http://s260.photobucket.com/albums/ii16/mafleisher/?action=view&current=mattinpowsteanne.jpg

 

We stopped at the trailside sugar shack for a late afternoon maple syrup on snow sugar rush break.

 

http://s260.photobucket.com/albums/ii16/mafleisher/?action=view&current=sugarshack.jpg

 

Simon heading down

 

http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/ii16/mafleisher/simonintrees.jpg

 

The boys wanted to play around on some low angle glades for the last couple of runs so I went off on my own and found a roped off racing trail with not a track on it. Last run - I ducked the rope. Great way to end my birthday skiing experience.

 

http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/ii16/mafleisher/tracks.jpg

 

Then it was time for the long snowy drive back to the states. We hit Newport, VT around 8:30PM, grabbed some pizza at Hoagie's and on to Snowline Lodge right next door to Jay Peak and tumbled into bed exhausted at 10PM.

 

Friday: Still snowing! We got up and out early figuring Jay would be a bit crowded with the holiday week and a powder day and all. Wasn't too bad. A few lines at the start as the Freezer was closed, but the tram was running and conditions were freaking great. We skied a run off the tram ducking into Valhalla glades then angling for the Jet triple at Stateside. We skied 3 or 4 runs finding plenty of knee deep and above untracked snow in the woods between the trails and even untracked on the trails themselves. Took an OB run skiers right of Timbuckto but that was more tracked than the stuff we had been skiing. Then we took the Bonadventure chair and skied Everglades and some woods back to the front. Freezer was running so we jumped on and hit Andre's Paradise. We were skiing with some buddies of mine who had come up to enjoy the storm. After lunch we stashed my car down 242 and I popped my Big Jay cherry. Unfreakingbelievable how much snow loads on that hillside! It was at least thigh deep with face shots every few turns. We didn't get out of the woods until 5:30. I didn't bring Matt and Simon out to Big Jay. Matt could have handled it but Simon is not ready. Maybe next year. Sorry no pics from Jay the group was moving too fast. In fact most runs once we ducked onto the glades or the woods you didn't see anyone until we met up at the lift at the bottom.

 

Our plan was to drive back to Saratoga that evening, but I was beat and it was dark and still puking snow. We followed my friends down to Stowe and grabbed some motel rooms and dinner at Piecasso. Next morning we got up to ski Stowe but Simon had banged up his knee there was no way he was riding. Mat and I were pretty tired too and he had some theatre stuff starting up on Sunday in CT. So It was hard to do but I left Stowe and drove south on 100 heading for home. My friends are still up there mining Mt. Mansfield's woods as I type.

 

 

Edit: How do you embed pics in this new forum format and how do you preview a post?

Also, title should read 2/15 - 2/21.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by crank - 2/23/2009 at 03:17 pm


Edited by crank - 2/23/2009 at 04:32 pm


Edited by crank - 2/24/2009 at 02:10 pm
post #2 of 18

Thanks for the stoke! I've always wanted to go to Jay (pow on the East coast? unbelieveable!)

post #3 of 18

 Those yellow boots still getting you around?

 

Nice TR Crank!!

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

TC,

 

Of course i still have my yellow boots.  My friends and kid wouldn't be able to find me on the hill without 'em.

post #5 of 18

Nice TR... glad those tickets got put to use and that you guys had some good conditions!

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post

 


TC,

 

Of course i still have my yellow boots.  My friends and kid wouldn't be able to find me on the hill without 'em.

Last time I saw you ski they were working fine and you were skiing great.  Sounds like a great trip.  Never been up that way, to ski.
 

post #7 of 18

Way to go.  I was snooping through your photobucket album and there was a shot of the two boys resting in a gladed area with a big cliff behind them.  Was that on this trip?  Where?

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

Paul,  Thanks.  We should ski together again.

 

James,  That shot is from The Cirque Glade at Gore.  It's a fantastic new trail off the brand new Burnt Ridge quad.  Same 2 boys a month earlier over MLK weekend.

post #9 of 18

Great TR, Crank.  Jay was treelicious yesterday.  I have not skied Gore this year and am eager to try the new Cirque Glade. 

 

Please tell more about your Big Jay adventure.  Is that accessed from the top of the Timbuktu glade? 

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

Live4ski,

 

Big Jay is accessed from the tram.  You ski down the trail that brings you over to the side of the hill where Beaver Pond is (I can't think of the trail name off the top but it's the one where you hang a right and ski down a cat track for a ways.  Where it makes a right hand curve there is some fencing on your left.  Used to be a gate there.  Last season it was closed.  This year it looks like unbroken fencing but there is a gap in it with a pathway delineated by the fencing.  That is the access for Big Jay trail.  You do a little up and down on a tight path for a while then put on skis or boot pack for about a half hour.  At the top you head down to your left through tight tree lines which open up after a bit.  It's steeper than most of Jay but not sphincter puckering steep.  When it begins to level out a bit start working to skiers right.  There is a small traverse that leads to a logging road that leads to route 242.  From what I understand you do not want to miss the traverse and logging road because then it is a long, deep slog out of the woods.

 

I've been wanting to do it for a while but was nervous about route finding by myself.  I totally owe my friends for  coming up to Jay to show me the way.  I do know another guy who did it just by using the directions in Goodman's Back Country skiing book.  If I were to have done it unguided I think I would have purchased a topo map of the area.

post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post

 

Live4ski,

 

Big Jay is accessed from the tram.  You ski down the trail that brings you over to the side of the hill where Beaver Pond is (I can't think of the trail name off the top but it's the one where you hang a right and ski down a cat track for a ways.  Where it makes a right hand curve there is some fencing on your left.  Used to be a gate there.  Last season it was closed.  This year it looks like unbroken fencing but there is a gap in it with a pathway delineated by the fencing.  That is the access for Big Jay trail.  You do a little up and down on a tight path for a while then put on skis or boot pack for about a half hour.  At the top you head down to your left through tight tree lines which open up after a bit.  It's steeper than most of Jay but not sphincter puckering steep.  When it begins to level out a bit start working to skiers right.  There is a small traverse that leads to a logging road that leads to route 242.  From what I understand you do not want to miss the traverse and logging road because then it is a long, deep slog out of the woods.

 

I've been wanting to do it for a while but was nervous about route finding by myself.  I totally owe my friends for  coming up to Jay to show me the way.  I do know another guy who did it just by using the directions in Goodman's Back Country skiing book.  If I were to have done it unguided I think I would have purchased a topo map of the area.

 

Thanks, Crank.  I saw the OB gate at Timbuktu.  Where does the OB run take you?

 

How long does it take to ski from the Big Jay access to Route 242?  Would 4:00 PM be too late to start on the Big Jay trail?

 

How long does it take to drive to and from the 242 drop off?  It sounds like a good chunk of ski time for two skiers may be burned to drop off a vehicle, unless you can do it in the morning before the lifts start running.  Can you leave a car there all day?  Where exactly is the vehicle dop off?

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
We left the gate around 3:35 and got out of the woods at 5:40. This time of year it is doable as it was just getting dark. Me and 1 other guy shuttled the cars at lunch time. It took no more than 15- 20 minutes so we missed 1 run. Could have eaten in the car and not missed any ski time I suppose. Yes you could leave a car in the AM. There is a parking area on the side of 242 about 3 miles west of the ski area. The OB sign at the top of Timbuckto leads to some side country where you can traverse back into Timbuckto or you can also access The Dip for there. I mentioned skiing OB off of there in my report and it was pretty well tracked out, more so than some of the marked glades. We've been skiing that area for years. Great spot when it's cold and windy at Jay and the Tram is shut down. Just explore it and be sure to traverse left when tracks start getting thin in order to get back to the Jet.
post #13 of 18

I have skied in all three places, I agree about Mont. Ste. Anne and Le Massif. I'm wondering why you would waste your time going to Jay Peak after being at the other two unless you've never skied at Jay Peak before, unless you like skiing through the trees. If it's trees you like, you should have gone to Sutton, an hour from Montreal unless that would be out of your way as it's about 4 hours from Mont. Ste. Anne.

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

FLipFlop,

 

I have been skiing at Jay Peak most years since 1985.  I love skiing trees.  I love skiing powder.  And I had a bunch of friends and a friend of my son's skiing at Jay that day and we both love sharing powder and trees with our friends.  Well, as long as we're fast enough that they don't poach our lines.

 

I'm sure I will get to Sutton one day.  I also want to ski some of the eastern township areas as well.

post #15 of 18

crank,

I've come on here numerous times touting how Jay Peak WAY over reports their snow totals and the Quebec City area is the true powder king of the East.  Did you have any impressions in that regard?

 

Right now, Jay Peak is reporting a season total of 892cm compared to 566cm at Le Massif. I would hazard a guess that there is double the snow in Charlevoix?  Your thoughts?

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 

Afraid i can't agree with ya there JoeSchmoe.  Massif had tons of snow and so did Jay.  I don't think Jay over reports snow totals.  In the past the R word was not in their vocabulary.  Jay loads up and then it thaws and rains and they lose snow then it loads up again.  This vicious cycle happens several times every season. So while Jay keeps tabs on how much snow has fallen, they don't mention how much has melted.  Perhaps there is less melting  another 100 miles north?

post #17 of 18


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post

 

Afraid i can't agree with ya there JoeSchmoe.  Massif had tons of snow and so did Jay.  I don't think Jay over reports snow totals.  In the past the R word was not in their vocabulary.  Jay loads up and then it thaws and rains and they lose snow then it loads up again.  This vicious cycle happens several times every season. So while Jay keeps tabs on how much snow has fallen, they don't mention how much has melted.  Perhaps there is less melting  another 100 miles north?


 

Okay here's why I think Jay serious over reports...

 

Currently Jay Peak is reporting a base of 18-36".

 

Owl's Head and Mont Sutton, both of which are virtually in viewing distance of Jay (and subject to the same melting) have 35-40" and 12-24" respectively.  Their annual snowfalls are 180" and 204" respectively.  As well, these resorts are relatively small compared to Jay, and wouldn't have the same snowmaking ability.

 

If Jay was truly gets its advertised 355", they'd be blowing away these other two places in terms of base...

 

It's just a huge pet peeve for me, as I was so underwhelmed by my visit there...  My message to all Bears is that if you want snow, go to Quebec City (Le Massif / Ste Anne), the land of the HONEST snow tallies, and by far the powder king(s) of the East!!!!!!

post #18 of 18
I think what JoeSchmoe says about Jay is fairly close to the truth. It's very often very icy and there is a real lack of true vertical, unlike Mont. Ste. Anne, Le Massif or even Orford which is only 1800' of vertical but it's 1800' from a number of runs, unlike Jay's run out or run down to the real vertical.
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