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Stowe, VT -- 12/26/09 - 1/2/10

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
We had an incredible week skiing in Stowe.  This brief TR won't do justice to our trip, but I'm thinking it's better to bang out a quick report now instead of waiting for the ideal time to write a longer piece.

Background:  This was my first time there.  Others in my group were my 15-year old son and my 9-year old daughter -- both skiers -- and my non-skiing wife.

Weather:  The weather while we were there varied from almost warm (above freezing) with rain one day, to extremely cold (even for New England) with high winds, to just NE cold -- sometimes with clear skies and sun, sometimes gray and snowing.

Lodging:  The new AIG structures on the Spruce Peak side are beautiful, but you don't have to stay there (with the "arm & leg" rental rates) to be slopeside.  We stayed at a condo just off the Toll House lift; at the end of each day we skied home via the Toll Road slope.  Also, although not slopeside, there are dozens of of nice looking places to stay on Mountain Road between the resort and the town.

Food:  We had lunches either back at our rental condo, or at one of the base lodges. The base lodge food is surprisingly good, albeit pricy.  For dinner, we made our own a few nights, went out or ordered carry-out from the dozens of places on Mountain Road.  One could go to Stowe and just eat.   

Skiing:  About time I got to this.  Skiing at Stowe is, in a word, awesome.  There is so much variety you can't get bored.  Want a fun groomed warm-up run?  Perry Merrill, off the Gondola lift.  Moguls on a wide slope with plenty of room to maneuver?  Hayride, off the Lookout double.  Moguls on a narrrow winding slope with great views?  Upper Smugglers, off the Sensation Quad (this is on Sterling mtn. and rarely has lines).  Want to lose your lunch skiing icy moguls?  Upper Nosedive, off the Fourrunner Quad.  (Note: my kids love moguls, and they outski me on them -- but I got a lot of practice this past week).  Want glades?  Stowe has them.  I don't know the names of the glades I skied in, or even if they have names, as I skied in the trees with some well-known locals (see below).  Terrain Parks?  Yes, several.  Ask my daughter -- she loved the jumps (as far as I know, there is no photographic record of my yardsale off a jump...)  Want a nice long cool down at the end of the day?  Toll Road -- easy, winding and interesting.  In short, we had an amazing, varied menu of great skiing packed into one week.  On many occasions, we had very little other traffic on whatever slope we were on.

The locals:   The high point of our week was skiing with two eminent locals, Epic and his daughter (future Olympic skier, BTW) on Friday afternoon.  Since I'd been doing moguls all week, Epic took us all to some beautiful, fun, not overly-used cut-throughs in the trees.  We were a party of five, and looked at times like a strung-out conga line skiing through the woods.  For me it was like starting over, but Epic -- on his day off! -- got me through in one piece and helped me to get better at it  And, to top it off, since it was too late to make it worthwhile to rent a demo, he traded skis with me!!  I was able to try his 115-waisted Rossi's, and he took my 74-waist AC-20s (and of course skied beautifully with them).  It was fantastic.  He made our week.  If you're ever in Stowe, he is the Man! 
post #2 of 7

Enjoyed reading the report and it captures so much that is wonderful about a family ski vacation. Sounds like everybody had a great time together and you all had a wonderful ski experience. I haven't skied in Vermont since the early 80's and I need to do so again sometime.

I have the opportunity to travel on business to Colorado and Utah and the Colorado Card makes the skiing affordable. That said, Stowe is a one of a kind special neat place with tremendous history.

post #3 of 7
I went to Stowe 2 times over ten years ago.  Both times I had terrible luck as it was so foggy I couldn't see 20' in front of me.  I had to follow others down since I didn;t know the mountain.  Since then I have been itching to get back there.  Sounds like a great mountain and a great time.
post #4 of 7
 sorry we didnt get to meet up. At least you got to steal a pair of epics skis and see A rip as well. 

Stowe rocks I might be here for awhile :).
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Bush -- same; next time we'll get in some skiing time together.  Epic said you were quite busy.  {Note to others:  I surprised BWPA by introducing myself to him on the slopes.  A couple other instructors pointed him out to me, saying I should look for the hard-working guy with the fluorescent green ski boots}

N' Easter -- we also had a couple of low visibility days, and only one real sunny day.  I just followed my kids down.  The one equipment addition I'll make for next time is low/flat light goggles. 

Roundturns -- go back there!  They just had a big snow dump after we left. 
post #6 of 7
 Jim it was good to ski with you. It's fun to share the hill with new people.
post #7 of 7
Jim, glad to hear you liked Stowe.  I love it up there.  It's a special mountain for sure!
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