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Where to Ski in Burlington, VT

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Myself and a few friends will be heading to Burlington, VT for the week after new years.  I was wondering what advice people had about the restorts we should visit (Stowe, MRG, Sugarbush, or others), with considerations such as crowds and terrain.  I've never really been to Northern VT, but have skied the Okemos, Strattons, and Killingtons of the world.

Is it best to just go to many different resorts, or are some much better than the other?  Important note: We're all skiers, so going to MRG would not be an issue, and we are all pretty good.

Thanks for any help, and if any local bears want to show a couple of college shmucks around, all the better.
Edited by JGTski - 12/16/09 at 11:25am
post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 

Where to Ski in Burlington, VT

Note: I posted this same thread in the "General Skiing Discussion" forum, so if it is inappropriate for me to post it twice, I'll take it down.

Myself and a few friends will be heading to Burlington, VT for the week after new years.  I was wondering what advice people had about the resorts we should visit (Stowe, MRG, Sugarbush, or others), with considerations such as crowds and terrain.  I've never really been to Northern VT, but have skied the Okemos, Strattons, and Killingtons of the world.

Is it best to just go to many different resorts, or are some much better than the other?  Important note: We're all skiers, so going to MRG would not be an issue, and we are all pretty good.

Thanks for any help, and if any local bears want to show a couple of college schmucks around, all the better.
post #3 of 14
 Honestly its all good in northern vermont no crowds, better snow generally condition will be more dependant on what happen till then. 

MRG, Stowe, Sugarbush, Smugglers Notch, Jay Peak. dont forget the smaller resorts like Burke and Bolton as well. I think every single one of them is better than the southern resorts.

I am based out of Stowe this year and would be glad to ski with you guys if you make it here.
post #4 of 14
The list you have is right Stowe, MRG, and Sugarbush.  Other suggestions depend on conditions such as Jay or Smuggler's Notch.

Be aware the 'loaf is in Maine and Sugar Bush is in Vermont.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Is it worth the extra drive to head up to Jay?  I've heard a lot of good things about it, but it's a fair bit farther than the others.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGTski View Post

Is it worth the extra drive to head up to Jay?  I've heard a lot of good things about it, but it's a fair bit farther than the others.

depending on the day yes someday stowe and smuggs can get skunkd and Jay can get dumped on.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGTski View Post

Is it worth the extra drive to head up to Jay?  I've heard a lot of good things about it, but it's a fair bit farther than the others.

The reason to go to Jay is to ski the trees.  Period.  Their groomers tend to be wind-blasted boring-to-ski stretches of real-estate.  I haven't skied many bump runs in Jay (not sure if that's your thing anyway?).  But their trees (on a good day at least) will keep you smiling for a long time.

As BushWhacker said, Jay can get hammered while everybody else gets skunked.  If a storm materializes...  it's worth paying real close attention to the radar images, and this:  http://www.famousinternetskiers.com/weather/ and go wherever it looks like it'll be good.
post #8 of 14
As they say, it can all be good.  Based on 15 yrs of skiing there (I live and ski in Utah now, but that's another discussion), I recommend:

Mt. Ellen (formerly Sugarbush North) on crowded weekends.
Mad River on midweek powder mornings--best crowd avoidance strategy
First runner up for midweek pow - Castle Rock at Lincoln Peak (formerly Sugarbush North)
Second runner up--Smugs
Wednesday afternoon ticket on the high speed quad at Stowe--ski the Front 4 for cheap and no crowds
Jay is nice, but it's a long drive from Burly.  Watch for the Jay Cloud, and if it's there, go for it.
post #9 of 14
P.S.  If you want some line recommendations at Sugarbush, ask.  DL
post #10 of 14
Jay, gets the most snow, speaks alot of French (canadian) and sometimes can be like skiing in a wind tunnel.  If you get good conditions, it is a fine resort, if a cold wind is howling, it's like skiing in a blizzard. It's not all that long a drive from Burlington, done it a few times.

Ken
post #11 of 14
Stowe is great, large mountain but more expensive for lift tickets...great village\town with great bars. Smuggs is very underrated for terrain...as long as you can deal with slow lifts...the slow lifts do keep the trails free from too many skiers\boarders on a weekend. Burlington is a great city...be sure to visits Nectar's.
post #12 of 14
I would hit Stowe, Sugarbush and Jay for sure.  Jay is only another hour past Stowe and in my opinion is worth the extra drive.  I have also skied Bolten Valley, liked it but not better than the other three.  If you are limited for time I would skip BV.  I have never been to MRG and Smuggs so I cannot comment on those.  I do know in the winter getting to Smuggs can be a hassle.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by gores95 View Post

I do know in the winter getting to Smuggs can be a hassle.
Only if you're trying to get there from Stowe because the pass between the two is closed in the winter (otherwise a 15-minute drive). Getting to Smuggs takes about the same time as Stowe from Burlington.
post #14 of 14
Great timing for the OP - big snows up there over the past few days (as if you don't know).  Sugarbush and Mad River are outstanding for challenging terrain, great folks, and usually not big crowds (compared to Stowe, where the lines can get very long on weekends). 
I'll be up at Sugarbush and MRG Th-Sun this weekend.      Been doing an annual trip for the past 10 years. 

Bolton Valley is a little known gem very close to Burlington.  It's on the westward side/slope of the mountains and often can get a bit more snow than Stowe.  Lift tickets are half price (relative to Stowe), and the people (more locals) are very friendly.  Great terrain too. 

Jay is a haul - it is great after a dump, but its not a friendly mountain in many respects - wind, variety, tram line, etc. 

Just my 2 cents.
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